The Benefits of Walking the Dog

When my family was first considering a new dog, I promised to feed and walk the dog every day. For a long time, those promises were not often kept as homework, swim practices, and school took up most of my time. Finally, the stress of going to college for the first time drove me to begin walking Magic and Buddy on an every day basis. Soon, I discovered what I had been missing out on all those years.

Walking my dogs gives me a chance to unwind from the day. All the stress built up during a long day at work or tough semester is relieved when my furry friends and I stroll around the neighborhood. I get to reflect on my day and the things that I find important without any outside opinions. The dogs are so happy to be outside of our yard too!

Through this experience, I’ve determined that walking is an extremely underrated form of exercise. Since Magic is getting a little older, walking gives her the chance to strengthen her hip muscles and the exercise is low impact on her joints. It’s good for Buddy, too, and it lets him explore the smells of the neighborhood.

Recently, I have started using a free app created by Purina called Pro Plan P5, which lets me keep track of how much Magic, Buddy and I are walking and exercising. You can find the free Purina Pro Plan P5 app at the iTunes App Store and it is available on the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Pro Plan P5lets me set goals for the amount of time we exercise and provides ideas for other activities to do with your dog like swimming, flying disc, and agility. Since Magic is a little overweight, I can give her separate goals than Buddy, and also learn about alternative activities with consideration to her age.  And while Pro Plan P5 doesn’t set goals for humans, I feel better, too, after being outside and moving – the gym can be great but everyone needs a little fresh air!

Walking the dogs has given me a special relationship with Buddy and Magic, and I look forward to walking them as much as they look forward to being walked. I get to enjoy some bonding time with my favorite friends, let go of any stress left after a long day, and appreciate the fresh air. The most wonderful benefit may be that this shared activity that they love so much makes them that much more excited to see me when I come home in the evening.

Have you tried Purina’s Pro Plan P5? Do you have any fun activities you do with your dog? Comment and let me know!

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