If you’re a dog owner I’m sure you know very well that you are the center of their world. Your dog relies on you to feed them, to let it outside to go to the bathroom, they cry when you leave and wait hours for you to come home. I think it’s safe to say it is the most exciting part of their day when you put on your tennis shoes, clip the leash to their collar, and head out for a W-A-L-K.
Live Healthy Iowa introduced a new challenge this year, The Dog Days of Summer, which ran throughout the month of August. Ninety-two Iowans and their tail-wagging friends spent a total of 60,720 minutes being active together! Many participants found their dog to be a great accountability partner and enjoyable company for a walk any time of the day.
The Dog Days of Summer Challenge encouraged Iowans to team up with a canine companion and get moving! This challenge was not limited to dog owners. Participants in need of a partner volunteered with their local Humane Society or connected with a friend or neighbor owning a dog. I’m sure all parties involved were grateful for this volunteerism. Participants received a Dog Days of Summer pet bandana (we got some great photos of dogs donning these!), weekly email tips, access to a personal online tracking page, unlimited access to online recipes, workouts and health information. Participants also had the opportunity to win dog friendly incentives and prizes throughout the challenge, like dog treats and pet store gift cards!
Carol Voss shared how the Dog Days of Summer Challenge helped her stay accountable to her exercise routine and to her dog, Augie. “I now walk 2 to 3 days a week and go to the gym on the other days. As soon as I grab my tennis shoes, he [Augie] knows it is HIS day!”
Remember, your dog can be your exercise partner year round. Whenever you’re going for a walk, run or bike ride bring your loyal pet along; it is unlikely they will ever tell you “no”!