Dog Lifestyle, Pet Health

Celebrate January’s Walk the Dog Month: Better Health & Fun Tips

January is Walk the Dog Month.   Walk the Dog Month is an important month for dog lovers and their dogs since in North America, obesity is the most common preventable disease in dogs. “Approximately 25-30% of the general canine population is obese, with 40-45% of dogs aged 5-11 years old weighing in higher than normal, “says Dr. Kristina Williams, DVM.  

Woman in short walking her dog on the street with a brown lab.

With studies showing that the lifespan of overweight dogs is up to 2 1/2 years shorter, on average, than the lifespan of dogs with a healthy body weight we have the following tips to encourage dog lovers to reap the benefits of walking their dog.  

Health Benefits of Walking Your Dog

There are many health benefits associated with walking the dog for both you and your pet, including improved cardiovascular and mental health and fending off diseases related to obesity which is why we are sharing fun ways to make your walk more enjoyable so you can get out there and walk the dog even when the weather may not be cooperating.

Small puppy with a Christmas bow running with a man on a leash.
Get out there and walk your dog for the better health of you and your dog.

Tips to Motivate you to Walk Your Dog

At time, when the weather is not so great or you have had a long day getting out there can be a bit of a struggle, even though you know how much your pup appreciates it.  

Some tips to get dog lovers out walking include:

  • Make a dog walk date with a friend.  Your dog will like the extra company and you can catch up on important news or find a fellow dog lover on aps like Dig, a dating app for dog lovers or Bark Happy or Paway apps that help you discover the dog friendly world around you.
  • Use your walk as a dog teaching moment by committing to teaching your dog something new when you are out and about.  Apps like Puppr – Dog Training & Tricks app allow you to take dog training tips on the go with lessons and photo sharing to share the evidence and connect with the community when your dog has mastered his new skill. Find a new dog sport to incorporate and teach your dog like dog frisbee or dog soccer (yes it is a thing!)
  • Try a new outfit.  Winter is a great excuse for a splurge on matching trench coats for you and your dog or maybe just a new bandana.  Either way this established trick is sure to motivate and put some fun in your next walk.
  • Switch it up.  The same route can become a bit of a yawn, finding somewhere new to explore will add interest and new photo opportunities! 
  • Experiment with nose work.  Stop on your next walk for a short game of nose work.  Play by first making your dog sit, scatter treats and then release your dog with a cue to “find it.”  Keep up the challenge by getting progressively more difficult with where you hide the treats. Get inspired by our the amazing scent dogs in our amazing dog series.
  • Play a game like Doggo Bingo by spotting commonly found items when out and about with dogs and marking them on your Doggo Bingo free printable.  Compete with friends and share your results.  
  • Listen to a podcast only when on your walk.  Certain fun dog related podcasts like Can I Pet Your Dog? Will have you laughing as you wait for pup to leave his peemails on everything.  Reserve the fun for only at walk times to keep you motivated to go out for more.  

Dog walks improve mental and physical health for you and your dog, fend off the holiday blues along with diseases related to obesity and improve behavior.  Most dogs (and people) will see these benefits with between 30 minutes to two hours of physical activity per day but there are truly few things dogs love more than a good walk with their favorite person. So, celebrate dog walk month with plenty of walks and with a pledge — better health for you and your dog while also having fun!

The Popular Pets

The Popular Pets is all about promoting fun with your pet with tips, tricks and resources at including the latest book release Motherpuppin Adorable: What to do when your dog is better than everyone else’s available on Amazon a tongue – and cheek guide all about navigating life with your dog from dating to weddings and the perfect social media profile. Find The Popular Pets on Instagram.

Walking the dog FAQs

What is national walk the dog month?

January is a month long dog holiday referred to as walk the dog month. As weather gets yucky walk the dog month is celebrated to help you get out there and ensure your dog gets exercise.

What is the most popular time to walk your dog?

Most people walk their dogs first thing in the morning and then again in the evening. As weather worsens in winter months pets still need to get out and will depend on that routine.

What is a dog holiday in January?

January is walk the dog month. A month long celebration raising awareness of the importance of walking your dog for you and your dog’s health.