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Why You Should Take Your Pet on a Hike


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It's time to get outdoors and enjoy the nice fall weather for National Take a Hike Day—and what better way to celebrate than to include your animal companion? Not only is this good for your pet, it's great for you!

According to at least two studies, including one published this year by the BMC Public Health, dog owners walk more than people who don't own a dog. BMC reported that dog owners walk an average of 22 minutes more per day, taking almost 2,800 more steps.

A 2015 report commissioned by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) found similar results. People who walk their dog five or more times per week saved the U.S. health care system $419 million a year simply because they were out walking more.

Of course, National Take a Hike Day isn't limited to dog owners. Taking any pet with you to enjoy the great outdoors will improve your personal human-animal bond. And that relationship will, in turn, deliver the myriad benefits of pet ownership.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the national physical activity guidelines call for 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise. Yet a CDC analysis found that only about 50 percent of Americans get that much exercise every week.

National Take a Hike Day occurs annually on Nov. 17. To find a trail near you, visit alltrails.com, a site that makes it easy for people to find pet-friendly trails in their area.


Mike Bober is president and CEO of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC). PIJAC members include retailers, companion animal suppliers, manufacturers, wholesale distributors, manufacturers’ representatives, pet hobbyists and other trade organizations.

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