During the pandemic, a survey by the Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association reported that 3.2 million households in the UK acquired a pet. Guess what, I was one of them.
My partner and I had been searching for a puppy for 2 years prior to the pandemic but once that hit, it saw us priced out of our preferred breed of dog. Always one to rise to a challenge, we began our hunt for a rescue pup instead.
Twelve months from the start of my search, fate sends me an email: “Are you still looking for a puppy?” Err Yes… “Would you mind a cross breed?” Absolutely not, “Would you like to be considered for one of these?” (photo of adorable black puppy). This was the easiest question I have ever had to answer in my life, apart from “are you hungry?” (always is the answer in case you were wondering). Fast forward 3 months and we are picking up our little bundle of furry joy from the charity Vizslamente’s HQ.
Our life has irrevocably changed since bringing home our new addition, but it has been 100% for the better. The change I love the most is that he ensures we go outside every day for extended periods of time. This is what the Walk Your Dog Month, is trying to encourage everyone to do.
A survey in 2017 reported that the number one reason for people not being able to exercise their pets was due to them being “too busy”, so Walk Your Dog Month is a great opportunity to set yourself some small targets to get out walking with your dog and hopefully create new habits to benefit you and your four-legged friend.
The health benefits for you and your dog are far more than just reaching that step count for the day, but also to dust off those January blues, to meet other dog walkers and improve your wellbeing. The mental health charity Mind posted an article in 2018 listing the health benefits of walking in nature, which include: a noticeable improvement of your mood, reduced stress, improvement of your confidence and self-esteem and to help you make new connections. All of which are very important to keep us mentally happy and healthy.
At Wolferstans, we understood these benefits and started our own Wolfies’ Walking Group once restrictions permitted. Walks were organised at various spots around Plymouth (with the added bonus of a bacon sarnie and a cup of tea waiting at the end), to celebrate being able to see each other again. Some brought their children and others brought their dogs, but the enjoyment for all who participated was immeasurable.
So come January 1st, when those post-Christmas, January blues are starting to seep in, grab your dog’s lead and think to yourself: It’s not where you walk, it’s who walks with you.