A study has revealed that regular exercise can cut both the risk of depression and dementia by a staggering 30%.
Add to this the other undeniable benefits that our pets give us, from providing companionship and reducing loneliness – as well as the positivity that comes from having a living soul there to love us unconditionally – and it’s a pretty powerful combination.
Dogs with their humans, will be uniting across Europe to raise money for the rescue that’s local to them. Countries taking part include Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden – and right here in the UK.
Walks are being hosted by ten UK rescues at venues across the country, and for every single dog that’s walked, Agria will donate £5 directly to them.
Meditation and mindfulness expert, Andy Puddicombe, well-known as the voice of mindfulness app, Headspace, says: “Going for a brisk walk is one of the best things we can do for our mental health. It not only helps to improve our physical fitness, but in being more present in the body, it also helps us to step out of all the inner chatter in the mind.
“So, it’s perhaps no surprise that we might feel less tense, less stressed, and more optimistic after a good walk. And if we can do all that while helping to raise money for an important cause like this, then that’s even more reason to step outside and get some fresh air.”
Adopters who have given forever homes to dogs from some of the rescues taking part in the Agria Dog Walk have shared their stories of just how much their pet has changed their lives.
“We brought Jazz home just a couple of days after we were told my husband was terminally ill. She has been here for us both, spending six hours at the Hospice with me the day that he died, and since then she’s been at my side constantly. She’s the reason I get up every morning. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her,” Row, adopter of Jazz.
Clare, who adopted Arthur and Jessica from K9 focus, said: “Adopting my two German Shepherds has been wonderful. They provide me with affection, entertainment, a great excuse to get out and about in the countryside, as well as a new-found social scene and an added feeling of security when my husband is away.
“They’ve also taught my children who to care and respect for animals and see that, in return, they receive unconditional love and comfort, with no judgement, when they are upset. They are a huge part of my family.”
Caroline Kisko, kennel Club Secretary, commented: “We are delighted that Agria, one of our partners, has organised this wonderful Europe-wide fundraising event to support charities which help animals who need it most, many of which are Kennel Club Breed Rescue organisations.
“Kennel Club Breed Rescue organisations do such a fantastic work with thousands of dogs being rehomed each year. We hope the event will raise much-needed funds for those four-legged friends who have so much love to give but are still waiting to find their forever home, and the organisations who make this happen.”
Numbers on some of the walks are limited. For more information or to sign up for your local walk, you can visit www.agriapet.co.uk/agria-dog-walk.