I just came across a post on the Kaiser Permanente web site that says having a dog in the house makes it far more likely that you’ll get out and take a walk with your four-legged friend. That might be a big, fat “duh” for most of us, but KP points out two other lesser-known benefits that come with walking the dog:
- People who walk regularly tend to live longer
- People who walk are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s
Having a dog — whether it’s a super-active Coach Danny or a slower, older Basset hound — means you’re far more likely to walk at least once a day for at least 30 minutes. That number will make you and the dog happy and healthy for a long time to come.
My totally inexpert recommendation for potential adopters? Look for a dog who’s in the same shape you are. If you’re a little out of shape but want help getting out the door, find a happy tail-wagger who could stand to lose a few pounds himself. You’ll be on the same page, which is less frustrating for both human and canine than a marathoner adopting a Lab who’s been, let’s say, living large. Very large. Or a couch potato adopting a sleek Catahoula who could run circles around a race car. All day. Every day.