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Grab the Leash: It’s Walk Your Dog Month

Welcome to winter when walking your dog requires bundling up in multiple layers—and dressing your dog for the weather, too—and circling the block in frigid temperatures. 

You might be tempted to skip walking a dog in the cold but it’s a good time to get outdoors. 

January is National Walk Your Dog Month. Leashing up your dog and going for a walk (or hike) can provide a bright spot during the coldest, shortest days of the year. Need more motivation? Here are three reasons to participate in Walk Your Dog Month:

Improved health: More than half of dogs are obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Daily walks burn calories, helping your dog maintain a healthy weight; each lap around the neighborhood or mile on the trail also contributes to improved joint and digestive health. 

The fitness features on the Whistle Health allow you to set activity goals and monitor health to ensure those cold weather walks are paying off with improved health.

Mental stimulation: Tracking your pet’s activity goals is important but daily walks are about much more than counting steps. Sniffing fire hydrants, watching squirrels scurrying up trees and passing other people and pooches all provides great mental stimulation. 

Use the Whistle Health to monitor your dog’s habits: Excessive licking or sleeping could be signs that your dog is bored and needs more activity to boost his wellbeing.

Bonding time: A walk is a great opportunity for some one-on-one time. Grab the leash and head out for a sunset stroll with your number one fan. 

So, how often should you walk your dog to reap the rewards? Most dogs benefit from at least a 20-minute walk every day. Active breeds (hello, Border Collies, beagles and Huskies) will need even more exercise.

Walking a dog in the cold requires the right gear: Short-haired breeds may need a jacket and booties are a must for all dogs if your route includes sidewalks covered in chemical ice melt.

Choosing the right leash is also important: Look for a leash made of nylon or another sturdy material and attach it to a well-fitting collar. Consider a GPS tracker like the Whistle Health & GPS or Whistle Health & GPS+ that allows you to track your dog’s location if he gets loose on a walk.

National Walk Your Dog Month is a great time to get outdoors to experience the rewards of walking in the crisp winter air and spend some quality time with your favorite pooch.

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