"A Great New Year's Resolution - Get Healthier with Your Dog
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"A Great New Year's Resolution - Get Healthier with Your Dog

Dogs
Life As A Pet Parent

With the Christmas festivities now out of the way and the New Year just a memory, it's time to think about making a really worthwhile resolution namely to start the year a healthier, happier person with the added bonus of including your dog in your plans!

It goes without saying the majority of us overdo it a little during the holiday season, so making up for all the over-indulgence can go a long way in getting back into shape. Including your dog in an exercise programme would be met with sheer delight by your canine companion because it means they get to go out for a lot more walks which as any dog owner knows, is a great way to keep a pet happy and healthier too! If you live with a hyper active dog, going out for a walk more often means they get to expend a lot more energy and as the saying goes a tired dog is generally a better behaved character"".

Throw Junk Food to the Wind

Making sure both you and your dog eat a healthier diet also goes a long way when it comes to getting back into shape and shedding a few unwanted extra pounds which we all tend to put on over the Christmas period. Eating healthier and taking more exercise is the only way to get trim again. Even when a dog is fed a good quality nutritious diet if they don't get the right amount of exercise, they are sure to put on the pounds because they burn far less calories when they are napping which they typically do when you are not around.

By setting up an extra walk or two every day, you will both get to burn off extra calories which can only be a good thing! It doesn't take much to set up a new routine and you don't have to be out on a walk with your dog for hours. Just 15 minutes extra twice a day would make all the difference remembering that on days off, you can make the extra walks that much longer and more interesting!

Brisk Short Walks are The Best!

A brisk, short 10 to 15 minute walk is the best sort of exercise for both you and your dog and because the walks are shorter, they are easier to fit into a busy schedule. Naturally, you want to start a new exercise routine off slowly in order to minimise the chances of you injuring yourself by overdoing things and the same applies to your canine companion, especially if you share your home with an older pet.

Once your level of fitness and that of your canine companion has improved, you might want to increase the length of your walk to 20 minutes or so. You can safely increase the length you are out as long as you do it gradually.

Good for Your Dog and Good for You too!

A good regular, brisk walk is good for your dog and for your own health too. Studies have established the following:

  • A brisk walks lowers all that ""bad"" cholesterol and raises the ""good""
  • A nice fast walk helps lower your blood pressure
  • It can help manage or even reduce the chances of your suffering from type 2 diabetes
  • A brisk walk will tire your dog out and as the saying goes ""a tired dog is a good dog"" as a bonus it will improve your mood too!
  • A fast, brisk walk will increase your strength and fitness level as well as that of your dogs and will help strengthen both your immune systems

The Benefits for Your Dog

As any pet owner knows only too well, dogs just love being out and about in the great outdoors. They get a ton of mental stimulation when they are out on a walk as they track down all those new and old scents they come across on the route. The mental benefits are just as important and good as the physical benefits for our canine companions. Not only does a good walk help keep their hearts nice and strong, but it also helps improve muscle tone too.

Some dogs tend to be quite anxious by nature. Others can be a little destructive around the house. By increasing the amount of daily walks they are given, it can really make a difference to the way they behave. A timid dog could become a lot more confident about different situations they find themselves in and a destructive dog would be too tired to do any damage around the home.

Avoid the Temptation to be a Couch Potato

Making a New Year's resolution to be more active and to spend more time with your canine companion means you have to avoid the temptation of becoming a couch potato which is easily done after a hard day at work, especially when the weather is not that nice outside. However, with a bit of perseverance and commitment, a 10 minute brisk walk offers you and your dog a great way of working off the strains of the day. In short, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. If the weather is really bad - then try doing a little indoor exercise with your dog in the form of an interactive game or two which you would both enjoy!

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