It’s National Walk Your Dog Week

National Walk Your Dog Week, the first week of October, was founded by Celebrity Pet Lifestyle Expert and Animal Behaviorist Colleen Paige, to bring awareness to the ever increasing problem of canine behavior issues and canine obesity in America. Sponsored by Animal Miracle Network, it aims to improve the health and well being of Americaís dogs and sends the message to unchain your dogs!

Paige says, “With more and more people becoming sedentary and gaining weight due to a lack of exercise, dogs don’t get the necessary outlet they need to stay physically and mentally healthy. I feel that part of the overpopulation of dogs in this country is hugely associated with our growing waistlines. Generally, the less a person exercises, the less a dog exercises. Having trained thousands of dogs in the last twenty years, it’s my estimation that at least 75% of dogs in shelters are there due to a lack of exercise, which has thus resulted in serious behavior issues such as aggression, destruction and separation anxiety issues.

“Often, dogs run away from home because they’re kept sequestered all day long in a crate or a small yard, which only exacerbates a dog’s destructive, aggressive or anxious tendencies. This, coupled with too much fatty food, leads to obesity, as well as medical issues like pancreatitis, diabetes, heart disease and the number one killer of dogs Ė cancer. October is a beautiful time of year everywhere to get outside. Walking your dog on a daily basis not only increases the endorphins in both human and canine brains {happy chemicals} but it improves the bond between the two.Ē

Speaking for myself, every day in my dogís life is Walk your Dog Day. I take pride that Sanchez gets at least one off-leash run and an on-leash walk every single day, rain or shine. Sanchez is seven years old and is in excellent physical condition. And all the walks inspire me to take breaks from long hours at both of my keyboards – the grand piano with 88 keys as well as the computer keyboard.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more than 40 percent of dogs – a total of about 17 million in the United States – are overweight. I donít like seeing overweight dogs, and I feel it is my responsibility to provide my dog with a high level of physical conditioning. Itís good for his health and mine. Even when my workouts are indoors at FIT, I make sure that heís received his fare share of exercise first.

Some of the best advice Iíve read about changing a pattern has been from Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project. Gretchen says, when you are trying to change a pattern in your life, instead of adding a new behavior two or three times a week, try it seven days a week. That advice seemed backwards at first, but when I read it again it made sense. When you do something everyday, you build it into your schedule as a priority. What adult would consider only brushing their teeth three days a week? Try walking your dogs seven days a week and I guarantee that youíll love it as much as them and it will become as natural as eating and sleeping.

How are you honoring National Walk your Dog Week? Here are some ideas to inspire you in getting your dogs out this week and every week. Have you noticed any benefits for you as well as your dogs in getting them out for walks and runs? Thank you for clicking comment and sharing.

Related:
People Who Walk Dogs
5 Healthy Recipes for Your Dog
Jog With Your Dog
Image: Sanchez enjoying a walk along the California coastline

70 comments

Liana R.
Past Member about a year ago

Sorry for the double comment, but I didn't see it there the first time and reentered it. I wish there was an undo button!

Liana R.
Past Member about a year ago

When one takes on the responsibility of taking in a dog, you are making the commitment to treat them as part of the family. A daily walk used to be the norm, but with the hectic lifestyles people lead today, they can't seem to find the time. A dog needs a daily walk and the occasional trip to an off-leash dog park to let the dog run free. All of this could prolong the life of your furbaby!

Liana R.
Past Member about a year ago

When one takes on the responsibility of taking in a dog, you are making the commitment to treat them as part of the family. A daily walk used to be the norm, but with the hectic lifestyles people lead today, they can't seem to find the time. A dog needs a daily walk and the occasional trip to an off-leash dog park to let the dog run free. All of this could prolong the life of your furbaby!

Sandy S.
Sandy S.about a year ago

This is great advice and all dogs should be walked often. I may get a job soon walking a dog and taking care of him. I am looking forward to it.

marilyn Graziano
M NoFwds Grazianoabout a year ago

I agree with the Lisa Spector dogs need to go for walks every day even when it's really cold even when it's raining! I take my dogs out each day from 2/3 hours. They also have a garden to run around in! When dogs are forced to stay indoors they become stressed and don't know what to do with themselves!!They Cannot Sleep Continuously so they look for something elso to do and usually destroy whatever they can!!

Duane B.
.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Snow Katze
Teri Graham6 years ago

I have 2 large dogs that get walked, on average, 4 hours a day. While on the morning walk, there is usually the opportunity to swim. Plus we compete in herding, tracking, agility, obedience and rally obedience. I have had numerous compliments on how quiet and well-behaved my dogs are. They're too tired to misbehave! Exercise, both physical and mental, is a necessity with any breed of dog to help keep them healthy and happy.

nora b.
Nora b.6 years ago

Every week is National Walk Your Dog Week as far as my Boomer is concerned.

DORIS L.
DORIS L.6 years ago

I walk my dog several times throughout the day---it's good for both of us.

Lori Esposito
Lori E.6 years ago

We walk our dog 4x a day. I tell people that have dogs who misbehave that they need to walk their dogs more often and the bad behavior should be curbed. Their response is "Well we have a fenced in backyard that they in all the time" There is a difference people!