How dogs can help you make healthy lifestyle changes
When COVID hit, I was stuck at home all day with very little time outside and not a lot to do. So I started walking my dogs, Hudson and Taz, around my neighbourhood every day after work. It has brought me closer to my dogs, helped me get some much-needed fresh air and physical activity, and has made a crazy couple years more tolerable.
I started with shorter walks around the block, which quickly turned into longer walks through the trails behind my house. In only a short time, it became an important part of my day, and we all get a bit of exercise.
Benefits of owning a dog:
- Dogs help you stay active. Taking your dog for a walk is a great way to fit daily exercise into your routine. Be mindful of your dog’s fitness level – my 16-year-old dog likes to come with me, but I have to carry her once in awhile.
- Having a dog is good for your mental health. They provide companionship, can help with anxiety, and simply make you happier. Nothing beats coming home to a wagging tail after a long day!
- They add routine to your day, and that’s good for both you and your pets. My dogs get super excited after they eat because they know it’s time for a walk.
- There’s always something to see. I try to take my dogs to different places around town for a nice change of scenery; they enjoy exploring new places, too!
- They help me be more social: I’ve met a handful of people around my neighbourhood who walk their dogs on the same trails.
It’s never too late to make healthy lifestyle changes – no matter how big or small, it all has an impact. Summer is here, so get outside with your dogs and enjoy the outdoors this season!