Walking your dog has a lot of health benefits for both Fido and you. In celebration of National Take A Walk in the Park Day, grab the leash and get outside with your pet!
Here’s what you need to know about this holiday and how you can celebrate with your dog today and year-round:
National Take A Walk in the Park Day is celebrated on March 30th. The origins of the holiday are unclear, but one thing is for sure: this holiday provides the time for you to grab your dog and go for a stroll. Take A Walk in the Park Day promotes fitness and fun, with many people celebrating by taking a guided walk or nature scavenger hunt. This year, we encourage you to let your dog in on the festivities! Take a walk around your neighborhood, local park, or scenic trail.
You already know that walking your dog has a lot of health benefits, such as improving joint health, preventing obesity, and cutting out destructive boredom-fueled behaviors. But if you take the exact same route around the block every day, your dog might get bored.
Dogs need mental stimulation in addition to just physical exercise. Finding a new location to go for a walk could be just what your pet needs, offering a plethora of new smells to explore. If you’re unable to change locations, try changing the time of day you go for a walk — chances are, your neighborhood smells different at 8 A.M. and 3 P.M. If you are able to find new places to walk, however, your dog will appreciate it.
Look for a local dog-friendly park to walk your dog. It doesn’t have to be a dog park specifically — many parks with baseball fields, playgrounds, and other human-friendly amenities also allow leashed dogs.
Depending on where you live, you could go for a walk on the beach or head to the local nature trail to enjoy the shade of the trees. Finding a new dog-walking location can even be as simple as heading to a friend’s neighborhood and going around the block.
If you’re on a road trip, walk your dog at rest stops along the way, and find a local park once you get to your destination. You can use the following search tools to find parks in your hometown or wherever you happen to be:
- Nylabone Dog Park Finder
- TrailLink’s list of state-by-state dog walking trails
Do some extra research on new trails or parks before you arrive. This can help you determine what you need to bring along — for example, extra water if the park doesn’t have water fountains. Reading other peoples’ reviews of the park can also help ensure you and your pet’s safety.
Stay safe if you’re walking in an unfamiliar location. Don’t walk after dark, especially the first time you go, unless the area is well-lit and there are other people around. Make sure your dog’s ID tags are updated and that you have a well-made collar and leash.
Stay on sidewalks whenever possible. Wear reflective clothing if the lighting is dim, and walk on the left side of the street (toward oncoming traffic). Your dog should walk on your left side so you’re closer to the road.
Following these safety tips can help you and your dog have fun and sade time during your walk in the park!