Are you up for the challenge?

Let’s start walking for health and wellness

People across the globe are living healthier than a couple of years ago – people realise the benefits of regular exercise and healthy eating. Pet owners have also realised the benefits of their pets exercising regularly, and you will most probably not hear the dogs complaining when they are taken for a daily stroll.

With this in mind, we have launched the #AnimaltalkWalk300 to encourage pet owners to take up the challenge, do the right thing and take their dogs for regular walks for their health and wellness. The idea is to complete 300km in a year at a pace that suits you best. You will be rewarded with a badge at certain intervals. Now, 300km might seem very far, but when you break it down over 52 weeks, it suddenly seems achievable.

We encourage you to take pictures along the way and share your progress with us on Facebook, keep tabs of your progress on a downloadable track sheet, and get rewarded. Your dog will love you for it.

How it is done

All you need is a harness or collar and proper lead for your dog, something to measure the distance you walk, such as a fitness watch or Google maps, poop bags to clean up after your dog, some treats and water. You decide how far you want to walk and you walk at your own pace. If your dog is not used to walking, start at a slow pace and with short walks, and build it up slowly. You can even team up with friends and neighbours. Don’t forget to take pictures of yourself and your doggies along the way.

Once you have downloaded and printed the track sheet, fill in the details after every walk. When you reach a goal, you will receive a badge. Collect all the badges and be as competitive as you want to be.

The benefits

There are quite a few benefits when you and your dog partake in the #AnimaltalkWalk300.

  1. You get to spend quality time with your dog/s.
  2. Both you and your dog get some exercise and fresh air. How many kilojoules you burn will depend on how far and how fast you walk.
  3. By doing exercise and getting fresh air, both you and your dog will be healthier.
  4. This is also an ideal training opportunity for your dog to walk on a lead. (But don’t forget to allow him some fun time to sniff and use his nose!)
  5. It has socialisation potential for both you and your dog – you get to meet other pet owners along the way, and your dog learns how to behave around other people and animals.
  6. Keeping track of the distances will help you monitor your progress, as you might want to walk further, or even faster, to burn some more energy.
  7. Taking part in the #AnimaltalkWalk300 is free.

Safety tips

Whenever you go out for a walk with your dog, there are a few things that you have to keep in mind to keep both of you safe against the elements and potential harm.

  1. Apply sunscreen to both yourself and your dog, especially if your dog has white fur and a light-coloured or pink nose and ears. You can also wear a hat.
  2. Take lots of water with you and a collapsible water bowl.
  3. Don’t walk in the heat of the day; rather walk early in the morning or late in the afternoon when it is cooler. You don’t want your dog to suffer from heatstroke.
  4. Don’t overexert yourself or your dog just to get to the 300km mark. Keep your health and your dog’s health in mind. If you are worried about your dog’s health, consult a vet.
  5. Don’t forget the poop bags. The idea is to leave the area as clean as you would like to find it.
  6. Ensure that your dog’s collar or harness and lead are in good condition. You don’t want it to snap when you are in a strange situation.
  7. Be mindful of where you take your dog for a walk and carry pepper spray (learn how to use it first), or something similar, to protect both you and your dog. Also remember your cellphone.

“What are you waiting for?

More information about the #AnimaltalkWalk300 will be available in the January edition of Animaltalk, but in the meanwhile, put on those tekkies, round up your dog, and start walking.