WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, January 14, 2021 — American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, celebrates Walk Your Dog Month each January and calls on animal lovers across the country to join the effort. Dogs need plenty of exercise throughout the year and the best way to keep them active in winter is to take them for regular walks.
“In January, dog walks may feel more like a chore than a good time,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, CEO and president of American Humane. “During these coldest days of the year, we all need a little motivation to get outside regularly with our pets, and that is the point behind Walk Your Dog Month. Walking your dog is a fantastic opportunity to blend exercise with bonding time for you and your furry best friend, so begin this year with plenty of walks and a pledge – better health for you and your dog.”
A 2017 study from the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention found that 56 percent of dogs were found to be clinically overweight, equating to more than 50 million dogs across the country. This can have serious impacts on a dog’s life expectancy and effect their overall quality of life. While many people worry about their own health and weight, they often forget that their pet’s health is important as well. Regular walks can help control your dog’s weight.
American Humane outlines other reasons to celebrate Walk Your Dog Month:
- Extra Bonding Time – When you walk your dog, it’s a great chance to give your undivided attention to your dog and let them know that you care for them. This is quality time spent together that can lead to greater trust and joy.
- Good Exercise – Did you eat too much over the holiday season? Walk Your Dog Month is the perfect opportunity for both you and your dog to get in shape. Exercise not only has physical benefits, but it is also great mental stimulation and can decrease stress for both you and your pup. Additionally, it helps energetic dogs dispel some energy, which can make them calmer and prevent them from getting destructive out of boredom when in the house.
- Social Activity – Walking the dog means you are much more likely to meet other people in your neighborhood who are also out and about with their dogs. Both you and your dog have the chance to make new friends! Socializing your dog with other people and canines alike will help ensure no aggressive tendencies are developed.
- Training Opportunity – Walking your pup provides ample opportunity for training. A walk is a great time to focus on your dog and practice basic commands such as heel, sit or stay. Practice makes perfect, so incorporating walks and practicing these skills during their everyday routine will make them even more successful.
In general, most dogs benefit from between 30 minutes to two hours of physical activity per day. This varies depending on the specific dog, but one thing remains the same – there are few things dogs love more than a good walk with their favorite person. American Humane urges you to start off the new year by getting into the routine of daily walks, and then carry on the practice year-round.
About American Humane
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization. Founded in 1877, American Humane is committed to ensuring the safety, welfare, and well-being of animals, and our leadership programs are first to serve in promoting and nurturing the bonds between animals and people. For more information or to support our work, please visit www.americanhumane.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.