Hey Mighty Paw fam, Barbara here to talk about one of my favorite topics - how to walk your holiday calories off with your dog!
If you're like me, you probably indulged a little over the holidays. Even with less social gatherings with friends and family due to the current Covid pandemic, I didn't change my holiday eating habits to be quite honest. I still made cookies and cake, and ate them, too!
As a consequence, I definitely have a few pounds to loose.
Truth be told, this is a repetitive pattern for me personally. I like to stay fit, but I also like to eat, and I definitely like to eat yummy holiday food.
So to loose my holiday cushion, I'll be cutting out any holiday-related food items that pack on the pounds, AND I'll be walking. As a matter of fact, I'll be going on daily walks with my personal trainer.
Yep, you read that right, I have a personal trainer. His name is Wally West and he's relentless in getting me going.
Here's how he motivates me: After his post-breakfast morning nap, he stretches on the couch and gives me THE LOOK. It's the one that says "I'll be antsy and annoying all day if you skip our walk", and at this point, I just know better than to ignore it.
Of course you guessed it, Wally West is my dog, aka the most motivating personal trainer I ever had!
Something tells me that you have one of those as well :-)
How To Walk Your Holiday Calories Off With Your Dog
OK, let's jump right in!
Benefits Of Daily Dog Walks
So of course you're familiar with the concept of walking your dog. I mean, everyone knows that dogs like to walk and that it's good for them, too.
But did you know that if you walk your pup at a moderate pace for one hour, you burn around 230 calories, and considerably more if you walk in a hilly area? Not too shabby, right?!
If you can't commit to one full hour in one go, try to take your pup for two 30 minute walks every day. For example, in the morning and late afternoon or early evening.
Going for walks together with your dog is also a great way of strengthening the bond between you and your pup. This happens naturally when you're active together.
The great thing about walks is that it's a very inexpensive way of exercising. You don't need any fancy human gear except for a good pair of walking shoes.
Walking is also gentle on both human and dog joints, which means that senior folks and senior pups can enjoy it as well.
So to recap, these are the benefits of daily walks with our pups:
- Burns human and dog calories
- Great way of bonding with your pup
- Easy way to exercise
- Gentle on human and dog joints
Walking Your Dog Is More Fun With The Right Gear
In the previous paragraph, I mentioned that walking is an inexpensive activity because you don't need any fancy human sports gear besides decent walking shoes.
Well, the same is true for our pups' gear.
There's no need to invest into anything fancy. All you need is a solid, high quality collar and leash along with a harness if you enjoy walking your pup on one of those.
Here at Mighty Paw, that's exactly what we specialize in: practical dog walking gear that's affordable yet stylish, fun, and comfortable to use.
Wally's wearing the padded Mighty Paw Sport Dog Harness 2.0 (medium size), the padded Sport Collar 2.0, and the 6ft Dual Handle Dog Leash.
Use code: HARNESS5 for $5.00 off our Sport Dog Harnesses now through Monday, 01/11/2021.
You can get a Mighty Paw walking bundle for your pup that consists of a durable, high quality collar, leash, and harness for $50.
For example, our padded Sport Collar 2.0 is only $16.99 and comes in 4 different sizes (small, medium, large and extra large) and 4 different colors (black, grey, green and orange).
It works great with our 6 ft Dual Handle Dog Leash 2.0 for medium to large pups. That one's only $14.99 and comes in two colors (grey/green and black/orange).
If your pup is smaller, we recommend our 6ft Standard Dog Leash for $13.99. It also comes in two colors (grey/green and black/orange) but only has one regular handle.
Sport Dog Harness 2.0:
Standard Sport Dog Harness:
Use code: HARNESS5 for $5.00 off our Sport Dog Harnesses (Standard and 2.0) now through Monday, 01/11/2021.
Did you know? All of our handles are padded to protect your hands if your dog has a tendency of pulling.
So to recap, this gear is all you need for your daily dog walks:
How To Keep Your Daily Dog Walks Interesting
Let's be honest, the same exact daily pattern has a tendency of becoming boring quickly, and once something's boring, it's no longer a priority.
So in order to keep my daily walks interesting for both Wally and myself, I do all of these:
- Alternate walking speed
- Incorporate obedience commands
- Change up walking route
- Listen to podcasts
We'll start our walks at a moderate pace, and then increase and decrease our walking speed throughout the walk. This gets my heart rate going and challenges Wally to pay attention to me and keep up.
For the same purpose, every now and then I stop abruptly, and of course I expect the same of Wally. I've trained him to sit on my left side whenever I do stop. He then looks at me and gets a little training treat as a reward.
In order to decrease his reactivity, I also ask him to "look at me". I do that whenever we come across someone else walking their dog(s) and it works quite nicely in redirecting Wally's focus from the other dog to me. As soon as he makes eye contact with me, I say "yes" and reward him with a training treat.
This challenges him mentally and keeps things interesting for him.
Additionally, I have Wally hop in the car and we drive to a new walking area whenever it's feasible. However, I can't do that every day. So when we're "only" walking through our neighborhood, I don't walk down the same streets but change it up as much as possible.
Last but not least, I personally LOVE listening to podcasts when I'm out walking. It's a great way of catching up with news, politics, and be entertained.
...and guess what, it's not even a hassle bringing my phone along on walks. That's because it fits great into my Mighty Paw Treat Pouch that I always wear on our walks.
Now have fun walking your holiday calories off with your personal (dog) trainer!
Barbara Rivers writes regularly for Mighty Paw. She is a blogger, raw feeder, former dog walker and maintains the blog K9s Over Coffee.