What a CUTIE! Today on Indy Style, we meet Tom Dock’s new puppy AND we chat all things related to “National Walk Your Dog Day!”
1) February 22nd is National Walk Your Dog Day! While we don’t really know who started this annual observance, our pups are probably pretty happy that they did! Getting our to walk with your dog can provide benefits for both you and your beloved canine.
2) In a 2017 study, research showed that dog owners walked about 22 minutes MORE per day than non-dog owners and they walked at a faster pace, often approaching 3 miles per hour. As we all know, getting out and walking just 30 minutes per day can lead to better control of blood pressure, diabetes, and other illnesses.
3) But the health benefits don’t stop with us…our dogs benefit from the walk both physically and mentally as well. There is an old saying in veterinary medicine that “a tired dog is a good dog!”. Remembering that the #1 reason pets are often relinquished to shelters is due to behavior issues, so this time you are spending with your pooch could just keep your pet in your family!
4) History credits Jim Buck of New York City as possibly being the first professional dog walker. As the population of the 1960s New York City continued to grow, many professionals found that they couldn’t find the time to insure that their furry companions got outside often enough. From that humble beginning, dog walkers can be found in every neighborhood and even have branched out to social media to help make sure our dogs are getting the attention they need.
5) Services like Rover.com and WagWalking.com have combined the convenience of having someone else walk your dog along with other services, such as drop in visits during the day or even overnight stays at your house.
6) So, how much walking can your dog handle? That’s a question best left up to you and your veterinarian. As you might imagine, different breeds have different activity requirements. The always athletic border collie or energetic Siberian Husky might require more and longer walks when compared to a lazy Basset Hound or a tiny Yorkshire Terrier.
7) Health conditions will also factor into your pet’s daily exercise routine. Young, healthy adult animals might be able to tolerate more frequent or lengthy exercise, but older pets, those with heart conditions, or even just arthritis could limit how far the pup is willing to walk.
8) Keep the appropriate lead (leash) in mind as well. While the popular Flexi-Leads are great for allowing your pup to explore the grassy areas while you keep your feet dry, they are less practical on busy city streets and have been known to break at inopportune times. Consider a solid, six foot lead of appropriate weight for your pet.
9) Even though you have your pet on a leash, sometimes accidents happen and your pet escapes. Be sure your pet has proper identification, including a microchip, so that he or she can find their way back to you!
10) Finally, don’t forget that these walks will take you into areas where you won’t have control of what your pet will encounter. Routine vaccination for canine distemper, canine parvovirus, leptospirosis, and even Bordetella should be kept up to date. Rabies vaccination, of course, is required by law and will save you heartache and money should your pooch decide to snap at or bite someone.
11) Likewise, microscopic parasites abound in the environment and worms such as roundworms and hookworms can be picked up by your pet and then transmitted to your family. Ask your veterinarian about the best way to make sure nasty pests, like these gross intestinal parasites, deadly heartworms, or annoying fleas and ticks don’t’ travel back home with you.