Why dogs are good exercise buddies

By Anna Valmero

TAGUIG CITY, METRO MANILA— Your dog could be your best friend and your fitness buddy rolled into one. Here are five good reasons why dogs are good exercise buddies especially for city dwellers.

Dogs keep you active during walking. Whether it is a cute toy dog or a handsome sled dog, dogs need daily exercise to be balanced.

Dog rehabilitation expert Caesar Milan, in his popular National Geographic show “Dog Whisperer”,  always reminds dog owners that regular exercise is key to raising a happy dog, along with giving discipline and affection.

Regular exercise through walking allows dogs and their masters to engage in a physical and psychological activity that helps promote well-being.

Make sure that when you walk your dog, the dog is walking behind or beside you, not in front of you. This is to make sure that you have full control of the situation and that the dog will not dictate the direction where you are going.

Dogs keep your exercise routine regular. As a rule of thumb, dogs should be walked at least 30 minutes every morning or as soon as you get home early in the afternoon. Like humans, they also need exercise, according to Dr. Jovelyn Lampac, a veterinarian at Animal Clinic.

Without exercise, a dog left at home would be restless or worse, become aggressive and bite its owner.  To avoid this, daily exercise through walking or jogging with them is key.

There are a number of parks and public places that allow pet owners to walk their dogs including Bonifacio High Sreet at The Fort in Taguig,  Ayala Triangle Park and Salcedo Park in Makati City, and at the Sunken Garden in the University of the Philippines Diliman in Quezon City..

Walking your dog helps relieve stress. Walking or jogging with your dog in the afternoon is a good way to release those endorphins in your body that relieve stress.

This actually provides more health benefits to pet owners, according to Dr. Lampac. Playtime als reinforces bonding between owners and their pets, she added.

Walking your dog is a social activity. Since walking your dog gives you an excuse to go out of the house and wear those running shoes, you are more likely to meet people walking their dogs at the park instead of spending time alone watching the television, said dog owner Kristine Ann Bien.

Most dogs will sniff other dogs when they meet them and owners usually chat for a while during this time. More often than not, dog lovers would stop by to admire your dog and chat with you to ask for tips on reputable dog breeders.

Dogs are always 'free' for a walk. Even a good friend would cancel a dinner date at the last minute. With dogs, they are always ready to go out and walk with you to the park. Without a busy schedule like humans, dogs make for ideal companions. And the best thing of all, your trip to the park is always free.

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