“Dog owners who don’t walk their dog are missing a great opportunity to get physical activity and stay healthy,” says researcher Cindy Lentino, MS, an exercise scientist at George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services who spoke to WebMd.com about the benefits of dog walking. According to her study, dog walkers are more physically fit by keeping down their weight and blood pressure as well as having less stress. Her findings showed that dog owners who walked their pets regularly were less likely to have symptoms of depression and high cholesterol as well as being less likely to use tobacco products. They were also about 1/3 less likely to have the risk of diabetes.
Woofers On the Run and Canis Major Pet Care has taken dog walking to a new level by starting the TC Dog Walking Group. The group meets the first and third Wednesday of every month from May through October at 6:30 p.m. They walk the Civic Center Loop Trail (1213 W. Civic Center Drive in Traverse City), starting at the basketball courts.
If this sounds like a fun group for you and your dog, please join them with your friendly, vaccinated dog or dogs on non-retractable leashes and don’t forget your poop bags! You can walk any distance and at any pace. It’s free and open to all. Participation in the dog walking group assumes some level of uncertainty and the organizers of this walk can not be held responsible for you or your dog’s actions or those of other participants or their dogs. This is an unstructured setting with groups of dogs who don’t know each other – it’s not a good setting to teach overly-fearful, timid or aggressive dogs better skills.
Please remember to give other dogs ample space as you arrive and start to walk and please watch your dogs carefully. The primary goal of the walks is to get exercise – for both you and your dogs.
Woofers Tip #1: The faster the pace, the more focused the dog stays. A brisk walk is exponentially more productive than a leisurely stroll.
Woofers Tip #2: If your dog has not been exercising, do not overdo it to start. Just like people, they need to build up their pace and distance slowly, so that they do not get hurt. Consistency is the key to any of us gaining the benefits that exercise can bring. Walking daily is best!