Today is not only the last Saturday in March but it’s also National Take A Walk in The Park Day. We got Coconut in October when the temperatures were not too hot, not too cold. We were just learning our way around this part of Wisconsin and learning the joys of walking together. The first winter wasn’t too bad and we continued to walk and enjoy nature. And then came winter 2018-2019 and the outside walks became more potty breaks versus an enjoyable bonding time.

Even though today is a bit chillier than the average it’s still walkable and a great day to not only take a walk with your dog but to start planning new parks to explore.

After a long busy day, a calming and therapeutic way to relax would be a nice, leisurely walk in the park. Whether you arrange your weekend around a park you’ve never been to that is dog-friendly or one close to home after a long day of work bringing your dog has many benefits.

I don’t know about you but I know I’m carrying more winter weight than I care to admit. I’m thinking my dog could also stand to lose a pound or two and walking together is the perfect way to start the weight loss. Whether human or dog, walking is good for hearts, muscles, joints, waistline. I love walking with my dog because he is such an enthusiastic partner. I love to see that happy expression on his face to match the wagging tail. No matter how stressful a day I might have had or how bad my headache even a short walk is a mental health walk for both of us.

Walking in our neighborhood is fun and we love getting to know the neighbors. But taking a walk in the park is an all-new experience. We see new types of nature and wildlife I’m not used to at home. We don’t have squirrels in Hawaii! We have met some other dogs and their people and had great conversations on our walks which is another benefit to walking in the park.

The thing I’ve learned about my dog is that he is smart. He likes to change up the routine and so choosing one of our many parks makes him happy and stimulates him. Our trainer told us as soon as we went there that a tired dog is a good dog. I am convinced that the mental stimulation he gets from varying the route tires him out and it that is great for keeping him out of trouble when he’s back home.

Have I sold you on the idea of taking a walk in the park today? It’s cooler than most of us wish. Guess what? You can celebrate this day every day you choose. Here are a few tips if you want to walk with your dog.

Make sure your dog is on a leash. Most communities have a leash law and even if they don’t, even if you trust your dog to come when called, there is always the possibility of an aggressive dog on the path. Or a squirrel. Those darned squirrels.

Always have a collar with your dog’s identification and dog license.

Always, always, always have poop bags and clean up after your dog. Come prepared to pick up after other dogs, too.

If you are going on a long walk always have clean water and a bowl for your dog and for you. Dehydration is not fun and kind of sneaks up on you.

Don’t have a dog to celebrate National Take a Walk in the Park Day? No problem! We have lots of active dogs just waiting for you to leash up as one of your first enjoyable tasks after adoption. Come in and we’ll help you find the right dog for your activity level.