Get outside and walk your dog for National Walk Your Dog month

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Near the end of January, you may have given up on your New Years Resolution, but animal experts are saying don't give up on them even if it's just for Fito's sake.

January is National Walk Your Dog Month so we went to the experts for details about how much walking and what type of restraints are best for your four legged friends.

Dr. Amanda Korkow, a veterinarian and owner of Tender Hearts Animal Clinic, said the benefits of walking your dog are numerous.

"Things that we can see with walking: we can reduce weights so we don't have obese animals. It can help with arthritic conditions actually, we're moving joints we're building muscle mass. Those animals that are prone to hip dysplasia or have some ankle issues, elbow issues, a short little walk can definitely help them and they're great and I think you get the human and animal bond. When you're walking your pet there's something special about that," said Korkow.

She said it is beneficial for the animal and the owner. "There's benefits for both parties, for both the human and the pets. It's exercise, any walk that you take is exercise for both of them."

When asked what happens if you don't walk your k-9 Korkow said, "So there's a couple of things that we see. Obesity is definitely probably our number one thing, but we can also see some anxiety disorders with them and some destructive disorders. Exercise is amazing with some of these guys with some of those issues."

When you've got your dog ready for a walk, Dr. Korkow said there are few things to consider when choosing a leash and collar and there is one she recommends the most.

"Depending on the medical conditions the pet may have...or the type of breed they are there are better restraints for each of those. My favorite is something called a gentle leader, the gentle leader is a restraint that looks like a horse harness is what I tell people," said Korkow.

She said although the restraint may look intimidating, it's very good for controlling the dog and it doesn't hurt them.

"As long as you let people know they can still open their mouth, they can still bite you if they wanted. It's not cutting off any breathing, it's not painful for them," said Korkow, "dogs just need a little time to get used to it. there is a learning curve with it."

As far as any collars or leashes she says to avoid Korkow said, "Every specific case and everyone is different. I'm not a huge fan of the prong collars although I do think they serve a purpose for certain animals. For the general population I would be inclined to choose something else."

Now that you've got your collar, you've got your leash and you're ready to go, anything else we need to bring?

"You should always bring a pooper scooper bag or something so we're not leaving that all over our community," said Korkow.

Dog owners were outsid with their animals getting exercise and the Marquette's own four dogs, including one with no eyes.

"It's good for us both, getting us out of the house and cardio. It gives them the ability to socialize. They get cabin fever just like people do so they like to get out and go on adventures, so it's very positive for them, said Amanda Marquette.

They said their dogs know whats coming and get excited to get out of the house.

"They're excited and they know what's going on, even the one with no eyes," said Larry Marquette.

Dr. Korkow said if you're walking your dog when it's not light out to wear something reflective or bring a light and to make sure to hydrate your dog when you get home.