Walk to School Week begins today and runs from 18th to 25th May, championing the health benefits of walking for all the family. With a quarter of children in the UK either overweight or obese, according to the NHS, it’s clearly important.
But there’s another group that could benefit even more says online pet retailer MedicAnimal. Almost two million dogs don't get enough exercise, which has led to almost half (45%) of the nation's dogs being overweight or obese.
So could including the family dog in Walk to School Week be a great incentive for all the family to adopt a regular walking routine?
According to new research being active may be more important than controlling weight gain and just 20 minutes brisk walking each day could be enough to make a difference. The average walk to a primary school is about 1.5 miles, which should take just over 20 minutes – just enough to make an impact on health on those with two or four legs.
Vet, Andrew Bucher is MedicAnimal’s founder and is backing the company’s Smiles4Pets campaign, “We are encouraging all dog owners to ‘think dog’ during Walk to School Week. Regular walking can help keep your dog both healthy and happy and is a fun way to exercise and make new friends.”
Dogs are not generally allowed within school grounds and MedicAnimal vets say that a few sensible precautions should be taken, including making sure dogs are wormed regularly against roundworm (Toxocara), always having a poo bag available to pick up after the pet, rewarding good behaviour and always supervising the pet at all times.
Do you take your dog with you on the school run (or walk)? Let us know - we'd love to hear from you!
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