My Dog is Helping me Stay Alive!

All dog owners know that their canine companion is a big part of their life and routine.  A lot of the big part includes the need for walks on a daily basis which can be two to three times or even more every day.  So, our headline might not be quite so outlandish as it first appears.

The Obesity Crisis

The much-discussed obesity crisis is an uncomfortable reality for us humans.  And, of course, that’s the result of us all eating too much, right?  Well, maybe not.  As in all things, the devil is in the detail.  Research was undertaken at the Royal Holloway College, London has come up with some puzzling conclusions.  Over the past 30 years, taking all foods together, there has actually been an average reduction in our daily calorie intake by about 20% (around 600 calories per day).  So, we are actually eating less than we used to, but, if we are in the middle of a developing obesity crisis then how can we square that circle?  Sure, calories going in are down, but calories out are going down even more.  The result, fat!  We still consume more than we need; the point is how far that need has fallen?

Over the last 30 years, there has been a large shift from manufacturing to service industries.  So, we just aren’t physically burning the calories in the way we used to.  To quote from the bible: “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread” really doesn’t apply any more for the vast majority of us.  Perhaps increasing the amount of time, we spend exercising will help?  Maybe.  On average most of us spend about 1% of time exercising.  Certainly, we can make those trips to the gym more strenuous, but it’s still only going to be around 1% of our time.

So, What Are the Health Benefit Of Owning A Dog?

The regularity of slow, steady exercise, the kind we do during our routine dog walks, is starting to make a bit more sense now.  Come rain or shine, our canine companions, well most of them anyway, still expect to get out for their daily constitutional, even if us humans are less than enamoured by the prospect. Their enthusiasm for their daily walk is not only a great motivator for our health, but also for our dog’s health. The Riverside Team will vouch the thought of going out to walk their own dogs in the cold, wet & dark isn’t much fun but once they’re out it’s not so bad. So, it’s the daily discipline of these dog walks that is the key to the statement: my dog is actually helping me stay alive.  With our work style being much more sedentary, the gap in those regular, slow and steady exercises can be filled by your dog walks.

Lady walking a dog

So, What Can I Do for My Dogs Health?

To put it simply, walk them every day, feed them high-quality food and ensure that they have their regular checkup with their vet. By ensuring these three simply demands are met, you can ensure that you are doing the minimal to keep your dog fit and healthy. Doing these simple demands will not only bring you and your companion closer but you will be giving them the life that they also deserve. For people who are looking for more bonding opportunities with their canine then asking your vet is the perfect way to learn of any new dog classes, advice and tips of further activities you and your dog can participate in or simple tricks and play opportunities that your dog will love.

Riverside Veterinary Centre is always looking out for your animals’ best health. For further advice regarding any of your pet’s health then feel free to contact us.