Animal Services

Posted on: December 30, 2016

Survey: One-Third of Dog Owners Rarely Walk Their Dogs

January is Walk Your Pet Month

January is Walk Your Pet Month, and it’s the perfect time to begin a daily walking regimen to boost the health of your dog, as well as your own.

A 2014 survey by Pet360 of more than 4,000 dog owners found that only 56 percent of dog owners walk their dog at least once per day. Even more surprising, 33 percent of respondents said they rarely take their dogs for a walk.

“Over 60 percent of humans in the United States are overweight or obese, and our pets mirror that statistic,” stated Dr. Katy Nelson, a Pet360 contributor and host of The Pet Show with Dr. Katy. “Taking our dogs for a walk not only helps them burn calories, build lean muscle mass and relieve stress, it also can provide those same benefits to the human on the other end of the leash.”

While 75 percent of respondents did say their dogs get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, those who choose not to take their four-legged friends for a stroll are missing out on the benefits regular walks provide both canines and humans, including:

  • Promote Weight Control and Digestive Health – An overweight pet is an unhealthy pet. In addition to regulating a dog’s diet, regular exercise will keep a pet fit, agile and limber. Daily walks also support a pet’s digestive health and aid in relieving occasional constipation.
  • Alleviate Destructive Behavior and Hyperactivity – Hitting the pavement with a pup can help reduce or eliminate a pet’s destructive chewing, digging or scratching. Pets are like children — if an owner doesn’t give them something constructive to do, they might take matters into their own paws. Evening walks also help alleviate pent-up energy, helping a dog feel more relaxed at bedtime.
  • Strengthen the Bond – Spending quality time together is extremely important to a dog’s behavioral development. Daily walks help strengthen a bond and promote a trusting relationship.
  • Encourage Socialization – For a timid or fearful pet, strolling around the neighborhood can help a pooch build confidence and trust. Walks expose a pet to other humans and animals, which will help it adapt to new or intimidating situations.
  • Boost Human Health, Too – Walking a pet is sometimes regarded as a chore, but it should be thought of as a way for humans and their canines to stay active. Getting outdoors with a pup in tow is beneficial for all involved and may even help owners shed a few pounds as well.

Perfect Timing

Know someone who could benefit from a daily walk with a four-legged friend? Irving Animal Services is holding a 'BIG Love' adoption day 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 9 at the Irving Animal Care Campus, 4140 Valley View Lane. The adoption fee will be $20.16 for any dog 40 pounds and larger. View the event flier.

(Source: Pet360 Inc.)

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