Mind Man’s Best Friend
There is possibly no better motivator for getting outdoors and staying active than having a pair of puppy eyes silently staring up at you each day just begging for walkies. How could you possibly resist?
Come wind, rain or sunshine our four legged friends get us off our sofas and into our raincoats and walking shoes. Any dog owner will tell you that dogs don’t ask for a lot and they will give you unlimited love, companionship and the occasional laugh as they goof about, hunt imaginary squirrels and do tricks for treats.
We’re an Island of Dog Lovers
Ireland’s love affair with dogs has exploded over recent decades. According to fora.ie, there are close to half a million pet dogs in Ireland. Our relationships with dogs have changed dramatically too. Gone are the days when dogs were just for working on farms and keeping our homes safe. Gone too are the days when a kennel in the yard was considered a luxury. Now, we welcome our fur babies into our homes as fully fledged members of the family.
Our furry family additions come in all shapes and sizes. It seems we’re not too fussy in Ireland when it comes to our pick of pooch. On a walk around any local park you are guaranteed to encounter a whole host of canine breeds, from smaller schnauzers and pugs to bigger collies and akitas.
Interestingly enough, since March this year, dogs trust Ireland has received an extraordinary number of people volunteering to foster dogs in their homes. Up from an average of 10 volunteers a month to 700 in the weeks between March and April alone. The influx of availability is thought to have come from the increase of people working from home. Having a four legged friend to go for walks with is a great way to make sure you break up the work day and get out of the house for some exercise.
The Benefits of Dog Walking
Dog walking has benefits for you and for your dog alike.
Dogs are similar to humans in that they need exercise, mental stimulation and routine for good health. A walk for your dog is an opportunity to get all of these things. Just like us, after a brisk walk and some fresh air dogs sleep better. They also tend to behave better (no chewing shoes) as they have released any anxieties through playing and running.
There is also a learning element to walkies. By meeting other dogs and their humans, your dog learns how to behave correctly around others.
The social connection that you experience with other dog walkers is of benefit to you too. According to Bupa, this gives you a sense of wellbeing and connectedness.
Having a dog that needs regular walks means that you are most likely more active than someone without a dog. You are after all being convinced by those puppy eyes to go out in all types of weather. So, not only is your dog a great companion but good for your overall health and wellbeing too. Dog owners enjoy numerous health and social benefits by walking their dog a few times a week.
Regular Brisk Walking Can Help You:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve your mood
- Improve your balance and coordination
The faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits. Here at Foot Solutions, we encourage exercise and movement for overall health and wellbeing.
How Often Should You Walk Your Dog?
How often you need to walk your dog depends on a few factors. A larger or younger dog may need a longer and more energetic walk. On the other hand, those with little legs or more than a few dog years behind them may be content with a shorter stroll.
The breed is an important factor too. Collies, hounds and huskies are all breeds traditionally used as working dogs. With years of hard work in their bloodline, these dogs have a large amount of energy to use up each day. If you’re a fan of hiking or exploring Ireland’s many walking trails, these breeds are a good companion as they thrive on long walks.
Only the Best for Our Best Friends
Like any member of our families, only the best is good enough for our pet dogs. We pamper them with trips to the groomers and make sure they get their vitamins by only eating the best food. Some families even send their pooches to deluxe vacation care whilst they are out of the country.
There really seems to be no limit to the level of comfort and care we lay on for pets.
Only the Best for You Too
Despite the luxuries we afford our dogs, a surprising amount of us become used to living with a certain amount of discomfort or pain ourselves. Often, leaving it unchecked for months, if not years. You wouldn’t let your fur baby hobble around in pain without a trip to the vet so make sure you stay injury free too.
To keep up your daily dog walking duties it’s important to look after yourself.
Take steps to keeping in step with your furry friend:
- Use the correct foot support
- Wear well fitting shoes that are specifically for walking
- Stay hydrated (it’s good for your joints as well as a host of health benefits)
- Let your feet recover after your walk
- Get pains and niggles checked out sooner rather than later
Get A Free Foot Assessment
At any of our stores around the country, you will receive the same top quality service. We start with a full, free and none obligation, assessment of your feet. No two feet are the same and our fully trained pedorthists know this better than anyone. Your foot assessment will take approximately 30 minutes as we go through our steps.
We will talk to you about your history and what problems and pains you are experiencing. Then we take detailed measurements including arch length. Flexibility and gait come next. This helps us understand how your walk is being affected. Finally, we use the latest technology to scan your foot pressure points and create a 3D contour map of your foot.
With the details they have collected in our assessment, your Foot Solutions pedorthist will advise on what solution they would recommend. They will help you understand how different solutions work and choose the best for you. You will be up and running – well walking your dog – again in no time. For your free assessment, book online today.
Foot Solutions for the Whole Family
At Foot Solutions we meet customers of all ages and with all types of activity levels. For some, the dream is being pain free at work. Whilst for others it is to be active with their family again. For Cosmas O’Donnell it was both.
As manager and head colourist of a busy hair salon in Blackrock, Dublin, Cosmas spends 12 hours a day on his feet. Understandably this took its toll and the father of four started to experience knee pain.
“I love what I do, but the run up to Christmas can mean 14 hour days on my feet. The pain has been so bad that I’ve spent evenings with my feet up and an ice-pack on my knee. Can you imagine the scene? Four young kids running around, excited about Santa, and Dad unable to join in!
I have fallen arches so my knees tend to take the strain. A good friend suggested I visit Foot Solutions, so I popped into the Stillorgan store.
I was invited to go through the complimentary Foot-Assessment, which included a questionnaire, an assessment of how I walk and a scan of my feet to understand pressure points. I was recommended a set of custom made arch supports and cushioned shoes. The result has been amazing, honestly it was like getting my life back!
A few months later and the pain is almost gone. It’s so important for me, I’ve been a Martial Arts instructor for years, and I genuinely thought I was going to have to give it up. Of course, MA is something you do in your bare feet but this was starting to become really painful. The arch supports affected the muscle memory in my feet, so I’m experiencing a lot less strain after a two hour session of karate. I was recommended a knee support too, which really helps.
Being pain-free is extremely important. I work hard and I have a young family. Any spare time I have I spend with them, mucking around with the kids, out walking or kicking a ball. I’d hate to have had to cut back on that.
Foot Solutions also helped my son. He loves playing soccer, and has big dreams about being the next Ronaldo, but he has fallen arches like his Dad. He’d be in a lot of pain after a game. Foot Solutions had a look at his feet too and recommended a set of suitable OTC arch-supports for his boots. He’s delighted, the pain went away, it’s fantastic for him”
For ultimate foot comfort and to stay injury free so you can look after your best friend and keep up with them in the doggy park, Book an appointment online now.