Did you know that January is international walk your dog month?

Walking my dog
Me and Woody

Nope neither did I until a few days ago.

It seems that if you look hard enough you can find a day/month to support any cause, however as a dog owner and a nutritionist I am aware of several health benefits of dog ownership which might surprise you.

Improves fitness.  This one isn’t exactly rocket science is it?  if you own a dog and walk it regularly (which every responsible dog owner should do) you will, of course, improve your fitness.  Unless you live under a rock you know that walking 10,000 steps a day can help you stay healthier and ward off chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. However did you know that it is also believed that walking outdoors is more beneficial than working out in a gym?  You are connecting with your environment, getting some fresh air, and even on cloudy days you can absorb some mood improving Vitamin D.

Improve mental health.  Dogs are increasingly being trained to help owners improve their quality of life, from guide dogs to hearing dogs to allergy detection dogs.  However it’s not just practical help that a dog can give you.  There has been scientific research into the improvements that dog ownership has on the owners quality of life, and there is a significant improvement in the happiness of those with a dog than those without. A dog really is man’s best friend.

Improvements in gut health. City dwellers without pets have a less diverse gut bacteria than those that live in the countryside and have dogs.  Did you know that there is a direct correlation between gut health and immunity?  So, owning a dog can definitely improve your health, and if you are a city dweller without a dog?  Go for a walk in the park, it all helps.

Unfortunately, the kennels are full of unwanted Christmas gifts in January, and there is no doubt that owning a dog requires commitment and time.  However, there is a dog to suit every owner and so why not take a look at your local dogs’ home today, give an unwanted pet a home and improve your health t the same time?

So if you think you can give a dog a forever home why not contact your local blue cross homing centre today.

I am a trained nutritional adviser who believes that we are all individuals and there is a solution for everyone to help them improve their health and wellbeing. If you would like to find out more about my Ditch the Diet membership, or my 1-1 programs please contact me here.

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