The mental health benefits of walking your dog

It's very rare to come back from a dog walk, even a cold and rainy one, and not feel better than you did before.

We know that dogs love walking. They thrive on it as it addresses so many of the things in life that are most important to them - read more here. And it's well documented, too, that us humans get enourmous benefits from walking. From time away from a busy family or job, to being in nature, to exercise and making friends - there are few things in life guaranteed to make us feel better than getting out for a walk.

And this September, walking has an added benefit! Simply by walking your dog, sharing a photo of them with us and donating a minimum of £5 to dog rescue, we will make an additonal donation of £5 to them! The Agria Dog Walk takes place all month, and we're aiming to raise thousands of pounds to help dogs in rescue, while highlighting just how amazing dog walking is! To find out more, and get involved, visit our event page.

Meditation and mindfulness expert, Andy Puddicombe, well-known as the voice of mindfulness app, Headspace, said to us: “Going for a brisk walk is one of the best things we can do for our mental health. It not only helps improve our physical fitness, but in being more present in the body, it also helps us to step out of all the inner chatter in the mind. So, it's perhaps no surprise that we might feel less tense, less stressed, and more optimistic after a good walk. And if we can do all that while helping to raise money for an important cause like this, then that's even more reason to step outside and get some fresh air.”

Dr Carri Westgarth, Lecturer in Human-Animal Interaction at University of Liverpool, says, The Agria Dog Walk is a great opportunity to remind ourselves of just how beneficial getting out and walking is, while raising money for some very good causes. Research shows that walking with your dog not only has a huge impact on your physical activity levels, it makes you feel better too! It’s also been shown that watching your dog having a good time is a huge stress reliever; while walking also helps us connect with nature and with other people out walking – other factors well-known to bolster positive mental wellbeing.”

So, by taking part, you’ll not only be directly helping dogs without a home – but you'll also be doing wonders for your mental health – all while you spend time with your four-legged friend! What could be better?

The Agria Dog Walk 2021 is running between 1st and 30th September!
For the whole of September, all of us, together with our amazing dogs, can change the lives of dogs in need. Visit the Agria Dog Walk page by clicking the button below, and choose one of the amazing rescue charities to help, donate £5 or more and we'll add another £5 too!