Can you believe it’s already mid November?! Where has this year gone? Thanksgiving is next week and I get married in 45 days! WOW. What happened?! Anyways, with all of that being said, ’tis the season of cake, cookies and lots of food! I know everyone is busy getting ready for the holidays (and a wedding in my case) but we mustn’t forget about our dogs during it all. Sounds impossible, right? Well yeah, but some of us may forget that our dogs need extra exercise during this hectic time of year just like we do! So next week, which is Thanksgiving week, I’m challenging myself AND you to take your dog on a walk every day of the week no matter what!
I’m “that guy” who encourages people to take their dogs on daily walks. However, since moving into a house with a huge backyard, I’ve seen how easy it is to think that running around in the backyard is enough exercise for my dogs. The fact is, it’s not. Backyards get boring! The same old sights, the same old smells…dogs need consistent mental and physical stimulation.
Daily walks are just as important for us as they are for our dogs. They get us out into the fresh air. They get our blood pumping. They create bonding time with our dogs. The benefits are undeniable.
So here’s your challenge:
Thanksgiving Challenge: A Walk, A Weekday
Starting this Sunday, 11/20/16, take your dog on a walk everyday through 11/27/16. Of course it’d be awesome to take your dog on a walk every single day after that also, but let’s start with the week.
- It doesn’t matter what time of day you go on your walk. Early morning, afternoon, late night – whatever works best for you.
- Leave your phone at home – take the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with your dog.
- If you have a pack of dogs like I do, you can take them all on a walk together or split them up. I tend to take Wynston and McKenzie Rae on one walk then take Khloee separately because she’s a lot faster. If you have a partner/spouse/etc, have them come along with you! Matt and I like to go together with all three dogs but sometimes he doesn’t have time, in which case I will split up the dogs for easier walks.
- Be realistic – I’m not asking you to take a five mile walk everyday. Take a nice stroll around your neighborhood. Walk over to the park for a bit. Take a short hike. Whatever is best, most fun or more convenient for you.
- Bring poop bags – always pick up after your dog!
- No choke or prong collars – use a harness or gentle lead for your dog to ensure comfort.
- If you want to add some fun, download a dog walk app! There are some smartphone apps you can download that will map your walk and donate a certain amount of money per mile you walk. If anything, it’s fun to see how far you walked or what your path looked like (in this case, you would need to bring your phone along).
- Go on a walk with your dog everyday from 11/20/16 through 11/27/16 – do not skip Thanksgiving day!
- Set personal goals for yourself – maybe you’d like to walk a little further everyday or take a different route each time. Create a personal goal for the challenge, even if it’s a small one!
- Keep track – take a picture for each walk you go on, map the route you walk or write down the time you go on each walk. However you want to keep track of your walks, do so! Then at the end of the challenge you can reflect on your successful walk week.
- If you post photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, use the hashtag #AWalkAWeekday
Thanksgiving does take place during this challenge, so you cannot skip that day! In fact, that’s probably the most important day to walk because we’ll be eating a lot of food (and sharing it with our pups, most likely). I am going to make my Thanksgiving Day walk my longest one! I’m going to need it 😉
Will you be joining me on this challenge?! Let me know in the comments!