Published on: December 27, 2019
Author: Kathy Pobloskie

There is no better way to kick off the New Year than with an invigorating walk with your dog. Even if you’re not a fitness fanatic, regular walks and playtime with your dog are important for a number of reasons. 

Here are just a few: 

  1. Fit dogs are healthier and good health can contribute to your dog’s long life. 
  2. Tired dogs are good dogs.  Dogs who don’t get enough exercise can become bored, barking, badly-behaved dogs.
  3. Regular exercise with your dog will improve your relationship with him and strengthens the human-animal bond. 

When people make pets a part of their family and include regular exercise in their daily routine, they are far less likely to relinquish their dog to a shelter.  


Are you convinced? Ready to get walking? Here are a few tips for a safe and enjoyable outing:

  1.  Make sure your dog is microchipped and his microchip is up to date with your current information.  He should wear a secure collar with visible ID tags. Depending on your dog, you may also want to use a harness.  Use a six foot leash with a good clip and handle. Flexi leashes are not recommended because they can become a clattering monster behind your dog if you happen to drop the handle. Your dog may bolt in fear and even run into traffic. PetLink’s collar and leash bundles come with a personalized collar and matching 6-foot lead, giving both visual identification and a great, non-retractable leash to use. 
  2. Be visible!  Wear bright colored clothing and consider using reflective materials on your dog’s collar and coat also. 
  3. Know your route and plan ahead..  Avoid busy roads and never walk on roads after dark, or when visibility is poor. Beware of de-icing salt in the winter which may irritate your dog’s paws. If possible walk nature trails instead of roads and sidewalks. Your dog will enjoy the scents and sounds and the extra stimulation will tire his brain as well as his body. Use an app like All Trails to find trails in your area.  You might be surprised at how many trails there are, even in urban areas. 
  4. Carry your cell phone, some water, a small bowl and your doggie cleanup bags.  Clean up after your dog out of consideration for other people and pets using the trail. 

If you or your dog are out of shape, start slow to prevent injuries.  Build up time and distance as you improve. But most of all, enjoy the fresh air and each other’s company.  Your best friend will eagerly look forward to tomorrow’s walk!