This May Be Your Secret to Getting Healthy

Dog Ownership

October 31, 2013   53 Comments

Snack Girl has a big announcement to make.

My family has adopted a puppy. I realize that this is a shock to most of you because I am clearly not the type to own a pet - but there he is.

This rescue pup was my daughter’s idea. After answering the question for an entire year – Mom, when can I have a dog? – we decided that she wasn’t going to stop and relented.

We have had Milo for a month now and I have noticed a few things about my health. First of all, he, while small, takes up some space on the couch where I like to sit. Since he is a puppy, he tends to chew on me so I get up quickly.

Also, I am going outside more to ensure he doesn’t ruin my floors with his frequent bathroom habit. I have been known to RUN outside with him to ensure I don’t have to clean up yet another puppy mess (you know what I speak of).

Finally, I find myself smiling more. Everyone in the family is loved by Milo. He greets me in the morning, when I come home from work, when I go out to take out the trash….he is always excited to see me.

The conclusion is, I am:

  1. Sitting less.
  2. Exercising more.
  3. Happier.

In a Weight Watchers meeting, I heard a story about a widower who lost control of her eating after the death of her husband. After a year, she got a dog and lost the weight — and while I am sure the dog didn’t replace her partner — something about owning a dog comforted her.

If you want to get maximum exercise benefit from having a dog, set a daily routine that involves him. Try to walk at the same time each day and on those days that you don’t feel like moving, your dog will nudge, pull, and whine to get his daily exercise. Who needs a personal trainer? (I do :)

Obviously, not everyone can own a dog because they may live in a place that doesn't allow them — or they can't afford them (you have to feed it, take it to the vet, etc.) — or they just don't like dogs.

If you are interested in this pet-to-healthy method with limited dog access perhaps you can help out at a shelter or start a dog walking part-time business? I'm sure we can come up with something.

Do you have a dog? Does he/she help you get healthier?


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First 20 Comments: [ see all 53 ]

WELCOME to the world of dogs! It's a wonderful world to live in! We have a chocolate lab and she is such a joy, and yes, does get us moving a lot! We HAVE to get out and walk her or she will destroy our house one shoe at a time. She loves us so much and we adore her. I can't imagine life without our girl. Enjoy!!

on October 31, 2013

Don't have a dog now but had one in the past and he was wonderful. He knew when I was happy, feeling sad or sick and wouldn't leave my side. My kids loved him too, especially my son. They worked together on learning to howl (the dog, not my son). He was a delight and although he was supposed to be the kids' dog guess who took him to the vet, groomer and for walks?!

on October 31, 2013

I love dogs so much that I own three of them. I've never NOT had a dog in my entire life and I can't imagine doing so. They are great walking partners. They make me happy (most of the time LOL) and they are GREAT company. And one of those dogs is a puppy (about the same age as yours, it sounds like) and I'm doing "hurry up and run to the door to get out dance" just like you which is great sprinting exercise LOL!!

on October 31, 2013

Having been involved with dogs (AKC show) for over 20+ years, I can attest to the fact that by owning a dog, a person is less sedentary -- more exercise and duties are required in caring for one.

Dog ownership is a big responsibility -- like raising and caring for another child. But they love unconditionally and can add joyful embellishments to everyday life. Enjoy your Milo!

on October 31, 2013

That puppy will never let you down - there are days I just don't want to move and "Cruiser" my yellow lab needs it (the exercise - getting outside, etc.etc.). I, somewhat similiar to you, have to be motivated to exercise. Cruiser is my motivation. Enjoy your new bundle of joy!

on October 31, 2013

I love dogs, it has been 2 years now since my last 3 are gone, they all went within7 months of each other (they were 2 girls and 1 boy from 1 and only litter of their mother who I also owned) Life feels so empty without them (i don't have kids) and i miss them every day, just can't bring myself to attempt to love another as much as I loved them. Dogs are a wonderful gift from god. Enjoy Milo he is beautiful! Also good luck with him, he has that little gleam in his eye ( like a little trouble maker, LOL)

on October 31, 2013

Cats rule. :P

on October 31, 2013

I agree 100%. Dogs are a big commitment in time and resources but they will get you up and moving and love you like nobody else. I walk with one of our dogs and my husband gets on the bike and rides with the other running beside him. It changes the exercise conversation from "Ugh, I really need to get out and walk" to "Lilli needs to get out and walk" and I find that makes a difference for me. Congratulations on your new family member!

on October 31, 2013

Congratulations on the new member of the family! Pets really add so much to our lives :-)

on October 31, 2013

Thanks so much to your family for rescuing Milo. Not only are you healthier and happier, you are an angel for adopting from a rescue or shelter. Dogs are the best walking buddies- they will remind you about your daily exercise, and you will see so many things you would probably not have noticed without their company, especially squirrels

on October 31, 2013

Ahhhhh Congratulations! You are going to love having a dog! I never used to be a dog person, then my Husband got one and it became my best friend! I think I like my dog more than my Husband! lol! You will have the best time and I can't wait to read your dog stories! Oh and yes, lots of exercise! Especially chasing them when they grab something of yours!

on October 31, 2013

This is so true. I just got one about a week ago and I have been up and down my stairs a million times and off this chair as well. Plus hoping over gates too. This 9 week old is getting my butt in gear....so glad you wrote this because I never looked at it this way...thank you

on October 31, 2013

Yes, dogs are an instant walking partner....as long as they walk and don't stop and sniff every 10 feet :) Our puppy's first year, I walked every day (and in MN, that can be tough). However, after having him for about 14 months, my husband installed one of those in-ground fences so we didn't have to take him to the dog park (got sick alot from other dogs) to throw the ball. Now I just do that and don't walk :( But he still does bring me joy...a plus when you have teenagers :)

on October 31, 2013

Wish I could post a photo of the love of my life. Don't tell anyone but sometimes I think I live my doggie more than my teenage kids! He's just so much less demanding. Snack girl, have you tried using piddle pads for emergencies, it's really not bad. And by the way, I am so impressed that you maintain this fabulous blog, with an enormous following, with a family, a dog and a job!!

on October 31, 2013

Pets do amazing things for the soul. Happiness factor definitely goes up when you have a pet, cat or dog.

on October 31, 2013

I lost 20 pounds (and have kept it off!) when I brought home my new puppy 3 yrs ago. Unfortunately I still need to lose another 30 - hmmm? maybe I need another puppy! ? I am a dog trainer and do competitive dog agility - look it up and you'll see why I'd like to lose another 30 pounds - ya gotta move. Milo looks like she has a bit of terrier in her - so yeah - you probably have yourself an active one there. Find yourself a good positive trainer - there are great online resources now too - and then just Enjoy! Dogs are the best!

on October 31, 2013

Awesome! Welcome to the wonderful world of dogs! We have Ozzy, a 7 year old pug. He is my walking hero! He is always ready to go for a walk, and his energy keeps me going!

on October 31, 2013

There is no companion like a dog! We have to walk our Jack Russel every day( which I track on Map My Walk) and it is phenomenal exercise! Is anything more fun than a puppy???

on October 31, 2013

Unconditional love...
Extra excersize..
A new reason to get up in the morning...
Training of the dog and you....
Someone to talk to that doesn't talk back....
Love...

on October 31, 2013

We had a wonderful dog named baby for almost 17 years before she passed away. I want another dog very badly however we are gone to work at least 8 hrs. a day and I don't want our dog to spend her whole life in a crate. I wish there was another way. We don't make much money and we cannot hire a walker and all the family is working.

on October 31, 2013

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