January is National Walk Your Dog Month and whether you’re walking a new pup or your elderly pet, regular exercise is important to maintain your dog’s health.
Regular walks not only keep your dog active and their joints working, but they also ensure you beloved four-legged friend enjoys a good quality of life.
Korina Stephens, RVN from nutravet comments: “We all want to make sure our pets have the best quality of life with us and maintain their optimum health throughout their life. Joint health can have a major impact on your dog’s day to day well-being, so it’s important to keep up with regular walks come rain or shine.
“As well as enjoying some much-needed quality time with your dog, walking can also benefit their health in many ways, including maintaining their joint health, preventing unwanted weight gain and their mental health. It’s always important to check with your vet before starting a new exercise routine with your dog to ensure they receive the optimum amount for their age and breed.”
Remember to stick to the government guidelines when walking your dog. Walk with your dog and only with people in your household and remember to keep two metres apart from other people and other dogs. To ensure distanced is maintained, consider keeping your dog on a lead and when you get back home after your walks, it’s recommended to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
Top tips for dog walking:
Whatever the weather – Make sure you walk your dog no matter the weather. Most dogs are happy to go out in the rain. Just be sure to consider the weather when planning your walk, for example in hot weather, walk your dog at cooler times of the day.
Routine – keep their exercise pattern as regular as possible. Stick to the same lengths of walks that you know your dog can manage and try to walk at the same times of the day.
Variety of routes – try to vary your walks by going on different routes. This will help to keep your daily walks interesting and exciting for your dog.
Let them sniff – let your dog have a good sniff around whilst out on walks. This is really important for their mental health.
Don’t throw sticks – try not to throw sticks for your dog to chase. They could splinter and injure your dog’s mouth and throat. If you throw a ball, be sure it’s not too small so they don’t swallow it.
Consider their age – younger dog will be able to walk further and for longer than older dogs, so it’s important to bear this in mind. Don’t push your dog. For older pets, think little and often to help keep their joints healthy.
For new puppies, it is recommended you wait one to two weeks before starting to walk them, following their vaccinations. Long walks or runs should be avoided in the early stages.
Don’t miss a walk – If you are unable to walk your dog for some reason – especially during current restrictions and you are self-isolating – ask a friend to walk them for you or a professional dog walker. Be sure to follow government guidelines with regards to social distancing.
Cold weather – during colder months, keep your pet warm with a dog coat or jumper and remember to clean snow and ice from their paws when you get back home.
If you have a dog who is showing signs of joint stiffness, nutraquin+ is recommended by vets throughout the UK and Ireland to aid and soothe stiff joints, as well as aiding your dog’s mobility and flexibility.
For more tips and information visit www.nutravet.co.uk