Taking your dog for a walk – sometimes it is just another chore, something you’d really rather not do. Often you can convince your self not to do it. Maybe you are really good at the walks. Donning the comfortable shoes, grabbing the leash and heading out the door with Fido is a daily occurrence for you. I wish that was true of me. More often then I would like to admit, inertia sets in. I formulate just the right excuses and the walk is skipped for another day. We all know the rhetoric, all the health benefits for you and your dog. However, just in case you have forgotten here they are again. According to the American Heart Association, for you the benefits of walking are:
- Reduced risk of coronary heart disease
- Improved blood pressure and blood sugar levels
- Improved blood lipid profile
- Stable body weight and lowered the risk of obesity
- Enhanced mental well being
- Reduced risk of osteoporosis
- Reduced risk of breast and colon cancer
- Reduced risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes
According to the ASPCA, for your dog daily exercise helps to:
- Reduce or eliminate the common behavior problems, such as digging, excessive barking, chewing and hyperactivity
- Keep them healthy, agile and limber
- Reduce digestive problems and constipation
- Build confidence and trust in timid or fearful dogs
- Reduce restlessness and increase sleepiness at bedtime or when you’re relaxing
- Keep their weight under control
Well if all that is not enough here is a way that walking your dog every day will not only help you and your dog, it can help countless shelter pets. Walk for a Dog is a smartphone app for Android and iPhone. Once you set up the app, including selecting the shelter you wish to sponsor, every time you click on it at the start of your walk, contributions towards a donation are calculated. According to Walk for a Dog’s parent organization, WoofTrax, donations are funded via sponsorship deals and advertising. The donations vary from 11 to 25 cents per mile, depending on the number of people who have signed up to walk in benefit of a particular animal organization. This information is based on a Huffington Post article. Not training for a marathon or cross country hike? It doesn’t matter. The number of walks you take is more important that the distance you walk. Below is a quote from Doug Hexter one of WoofTrax founding partners taken from a SFGate article.
Every funding period is going to be different,” Hexter said. “About twice a year, we send donations to organizations with active walkers. The donation pool is divided based upon the number of people walking for a particular organization and the number of times they walked.
Don’t have a dog, or know someone who may not have a dog, and would like to support shelter animals? There’s an app for that. Actually in the Walk For A Dog app there is an option, “Walk With Cassie”, named after Hexter’s rescued foxhound mix. If your going to take a walk anyway, why not support shelter animals at the same time? You will have to tolerate some ads in your app. These are the people making the cash donations. There are no other catches, it costs you nothing and shelter pets benefit. Can it get any better? PSST! Spread the word.