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We've put together 10 reasons to take a hike with your dog for "Take a Hike" day!
Take a hike day is taking place on 17th November, and we are now half way through the second lockdown in the UK, due to the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic.
Many members of our K9 Nation community will inevitably be feeling very detached from normality and we want to use this date to encourage each of our community users to get out in the fresh air and take a hike with their dogs.
- Walking improves your health and wellbeing, but it helps even more so when it comes to your daily dog walk! There are lots of reported health benefits of dog walking – both for you and your pooch. Benefits include improved cardiovascular fitness, lower blood pressure, stronger muscles and bones, and decreased stress.
- Being sociable is good for your wellbeing, but due to these new restrictions in place being sociable has been a little difficult of late. Walking your dog, however, naturally brings this about – you’re likely to meet other dog walkers, which helps build a sense of connectedness and wellbeing.
- A walk can make a dog very happy. They love to check out the sights and smells and will really look forward to spending time with you.
- Dog walking can be really important for our mental health, and there is no joy like seeing your dog having a good time. During this pandemic, and at this time of uncertainty and work overload for some, let’s thank our dogs for being such a positive influence on our well-being.
- Find and explore a new walk! Use this day as an opportunity to tackle a walk that’s a little further out of your way. You might find a walk that you want to come back to again and again.
- Take in some nature. As the leaves change colour, this is the perfect time to get out into nature! It can be an excellent way to relax and unclutter your mind.
- Some of the most exciting walks can be a little more off the beaten track! Grab your boots and some supplies and head to our fantastic national parks for your next hike.
- A hike can be a good opportunity to connect with your loved ones (only those in your household for now). Bring your kids or your other half, and of course your dog, and spend some quality time together.
- A regular walk is vitally important for your pet’s health too. Obesity in pets is associated with a number of medical complaints including osteoarthritis, cardiovascular disease, liver disease and insulin resistance.
- We have so many species of mammals and birds that we don’t regularly see in our urban or suburban areas. Heading into the wild, we get to interact with wildlife we don’t normally.
With the above in mind, the K9 Nation team wants to encourage all of our community to take part in ‘Take a Hike’ day, but not alone, with your dog(s) of course!
For those of you who have explored the newly launched K9 Nation app, you will have seen many types of walks listed across many areas of the UK – there is undoubtedly a walk for everyone, in any location, detailed in the app. Why not make the most of ‘Take a Hike’ day and set out on one of the listed walks? If you haven’t yet downloaded the free app – you can do so here – head over to the walks section and filter the walks to your area.
In addition to that – we are looking for our community to also introduce us to their favourite walks. You can do this by sending us your walk, along with any images and a postcode, and we will list it on the app. You can submit your walk here. Alongside this, you can share your hike images and recommendations on the app for everyone to see – we like lots of pictures!
We’ve set out some great tips on health and safety when walking with your dog:
- Train your puppy to walk on a lead correctly at a young age using consistent demand and rewards.
- Ensure your dog is wearing an appropriate collar and lead, there are many types of leads to suit different breeds. Ensure you have your contact details on the collar.
- Consider your dogs size, age and condition when you exercise. A healthy dog of a suitable breed can walk for miles, but remember your stride may be longer than theirs.
- Don’t take your dog to an off-lead area unless you are confident they will come when called, and will socialise safely with other dogs.
- Consider your dogs breed and don’t push them beyond their limits.
- Some dogs like to run, but others just want to plod along. Allow them to do as they wish. If you want to jog with your dog, make sure they are big and fit enough to keep up (and vice versa).
- Check your dog’s paws for wear and tear at the end of each walk, especially when the pavements are hot or if you walk through bad terrain – watch out for thorns and debris on their paws.
We’re really keen to keep adding to the walks in the app, so please do let us know of any walks you would like to share in your local area – the more walks the better! Don’t forget you can send us your local walks and images here.
With the new lockdown restrictions in place, K9 Nation pack and community are here to help and support each other. Our recent newsletter gave useful tips and advice on how to stay active with your dog during this time – if you haven’t seen or signed up to the newsletter you can do so by signing up at the bottom of this page.