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January is Walk Your Pet Month

Wednesday, December 30, 2015  
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PHOENIX – December 30, 2015 – Pet owners can make a New Year’s resolution that is good for themselves and their pets – take a walk together daily.  The Arizona Veterinary Medical Association (AzVMA) encourages pet owners to celebrate the benefits of fresh air and exercise in January during Walk Your Pet Month, and to keep the momentum going throughout the year.

     “Nothing makes a pet happier than going out for a walk.  It gives them a nice change of scenery, the opportunity to interact with other pets, and boosts their overall health.  Naturally, exercise judgement in group play environments where pets are off leash, to avoid altercation or injuries,” says Dr. Adriana Stinnett, DVM, of Cave Creek.

     Increased physical health for both owners and pets is a significant benefit of walking together, but there are other reasons to get out with a favorite animal companion.  Walking stimulates your pet’s senses, provides a positive outlet for energy, and generally contributes to an improvement in their mental well-being.  In addition, outings are an opportunity to provide training, strengthen pet/owner relationships, and allow pets to safely interact with the outside world.

     Pet strollers are ideal for enjoying walks with smaller elderly or vulnerable pets.  While dogs make up the majority of pets being walked, other pets such as cats, ferrets and goats can sometimes become accustomed to walking on a leash.  Bring along water, treats and pick-up bags to make your experience the best it can be.

    The significance of pet walking is affirmed by US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy’s inclusion of pets in his Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities, recognizing the health benefits of regularly walking pets.

    Call the AzVMA at 602-242-7936 for more information.  The Arizona Veterinary Medical Association is a membership organization representing over 2,000 veterinary professionals in the state of Arizona.

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