Our Riley is turning out to be a pretty good pupper, but he is a lot of work. He’s a social guy and loves to play and take walks. Thankfully, he’s not the ‘devil dog’ he was when he was little (3-4 months) … although he still has his moments.
Over 70% of Americans have a pet of some sort – mostly dogs (60% of households) and cats (40%). A much smaller % of households have pets like fish or birds.
I’ve written about the cost of having our pup – especially the initially exorbitant cost of his haircuts. My wife suggested I now write about the positive ‘payoff’ of having him in our lives, in terms of health & exercise.
Riley gets at least 3 walks a day, which is about 1-1.5 miles total. That’s an extra 2K-3K steps, which my wife and I split. We also chase him around the house, play ball, and pick him up a dozen times a day, which adds some more informal exercise in our routine.
As far as mental health, Riley makes a difference too. He’s a happy guy and that makes us happy. Research published in Psychology Today estimates that pets add 2 years to their owner’s lives. I’d say that whether he is being an angel or devil, cute little Riley certainly keeps us thinking. Watching him go definitely keeps your brain active.
How do you assess the healthiness of being a pet owner?
Image Credit: Riley at the Pumpkin Patch (c) MrFireStation.com
5 thoughts on “Healthy Pupper, Riley”
My neighbors see me out walking my two dogs almost everyday and I refer to them as my personal trainers. We typically average around 2.5 miles and 5,000 steps per day. They also go on errands with me and get to go in Home Depot.
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What kind of dogs are they?
A female Rottweiler and a male Rotterman (Rottweiler – Doberman mix). Both were adoptions.
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Those sound like retry big dogs compared to our 15# Riley. They need a lot of exercise, I’m sure!
On days they get two walks, we get in 5 – 6 miles. They also love going for rides in my van to run errands and go into Home Depot with me.
Being able to walk them through Home Depot with one hand holding the leash for both of them and pushing a cart with the other is my trick for teaching dogs to follow instead of pull. You simply go up and down the aisles looking for items and stopping and starting. Throw in lots of people and other dogs and you have a place to Socialize.
Do you ever take Riley in shops? Looks like he could ride in the cart?