This May Be Your Secret to Getting Healthy

October 31, 2013   53 Comments

Snack Girl has a big announcement to make.

Dog Ownership

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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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!!

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?!

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!!

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!

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!

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)

Cats rule. :P

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!

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

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

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!

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 glad you wrote this because I never looked at it this way...thank you

Yes, dogs are an instant walking 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 :)

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!!

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

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!

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!

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???

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....


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.

I couldn't agree with you more. Studies over the years have shown having a dog or cat actually improves blood pressure, as well as the benefits you mentioned. Not only do I have a dog, but I started a dogsitting business, which has been thriving. What a way to love your work, and get paid for it!!! Love those babydogs and cutekitties!!!

Lori you are a dog lover like me and I too have lost two dogs in the past but bringing a new pup into my home was still the best thing I ever did you will love the new pup just like you loved the other three and your life will not be empty anymore. Dog lovers like you and I are meant to have dogs in our lives. I hope you reconsider.

Congratulations. You have found a new pawpose in life! ;-)

Congratulations! You have discovered another pawpose in life.

Sweet! :)

I grew up with dogs and as a kid I was always playing with them,except for when they were getting older and their limbs were giving out. They are fun animals but as an adult I started just having cats. No matter what pet you have,even if it isn't for exercies,they are great companions and good for the spirit. I still like dogs,but they are a bigger responsibility than cats & I can deal with things better when it is lower maintence,especially when I travel a lot. But seeing that pic of Milo maybe all of that goes into owning a dog would be worth it! That is if my kitty doesn't mind sharing the attention.

I love taking my dog out for walks and it's how I get exercise into my husband's day. There are so many shelters that welcome dog walkers and people who can run with a dog. It's great for you and it's great for the dog. It's also a good way to meet other people.

Funny...I was just thinking about the get a dog/get healthier paradigm yesterday. I was watching two morbidly obese women waddling along with two morbidly obese little dogs. Well, there goes my theory - I thought in that moment. I still want a dog though.

And, I forgot to add, Milo is adorable.

You might find your puppy is actually easier if you adopt a buddy for him! I've always had dogs and find that two keep each other company when we're not home. They're less destructive and less anxious. They get lots more exercise because they roughhouse together, and they just seem happier with a friend. Dogs are pure love! Congrats to you and your adorable Milo!

Welcome to Heaven ! Dogs change your world (as do pets) excersize with him and your weight will go down while your hear t will grow three times it's size, in the best of ways

I am a dog LOVER. Of course my new apartment doesn't allow dogs - and at 23 living on my own I had made the personal choice to wait until I am more responsible. But what I do now is go to my local shelter and walk the dogs. They are always so excited to see me and I feel like I am really helping them by getting them out. Plus the affection from a dog really does make me happy.

We also just rescued an adorable Austrailian Cattle Dog/ Shepherd mix this week! He is 10 weeks old and joins his new brother Ziggy (an ACD) who will not let me forget that he needs his walks every day. We just got back from an hour and a half walk (I carried the puppy for part of it!). It is a great way to meet neighbors and other dog lovers as well!

@Lori I hope you reconsider getting another dog to love! We lost our beloved Collie in May (today is his birthday :) and I thought I could never go through it again either. I could not bring myself to get another Collie, but there are so many puppies and full grown dogs out there that need our love and a safe, nurturing home. Please reconsider you sound like someone that is a great pet parent :)

Love this story - we recently lost our 16 yr old poodle who was queen bee. Now our 14 yr old poodle loves being king. Thankfully, I'm able to work from home so no more day care costs. Enjoy each day with your new little one, they too grow up fast.

How precious is that little guy! Yes, dogs are GREAT for getting up off the couch and walking the neighborhood!

Congratulations on your adoption of Milo! He looks like a wonderful and intelligent dog. Our Weimeraner is about 10 years old. He has been the light of our lives. He is obedient, loving and super smart. He has had to have a couple of operations and may need more. We are happy to be his "parents" and be able to take care of him medically, physically and spiritually. Our dog has a huge back yard, his own house and pool and a crib bed in the house for when the weather is not so good. We don't buy a lot of toys or treats but he gets oodles of love and travels with us when we go out of town!

Until your doggie gets comfortable with you and your family, he will probably make nervous pee in areas of the house. However, when this happened to us in the beginning, we used a spray bottle of alcohol to spray on those areas of wee. This completely gets rid of odors and keeps the pet from going in that spot again. You will come to learn the subtle cues from your doggie when he needs to go potty. Try to get him to go in the same spot all the time if you have a back yard. This way you are not traveling all over your yard picking up after him.

Best of luck and what great big hearts to give the little guy a home!

Milo is just adorable Lisa! Thank you so much for adopting a pet who needed a home. We did the same thing 7 yrs ago, when our amazing Max came into our lives! At that point, he was already 3 and had a rough life. But now he's got it made! Warm cushy home, a mom & dad who love him to pieces, lots of vacations to the lake, a bit of a pudge since dad won't stop giving too many treats, and daily walks no matter what. In fact, we've become so regular that he won't do his business in our yard, but only on a walk ... who says dogs have pea-brains? He's no dummy, and the "pressure" he exudes if one of us even thinks about missing the walk, is enough to keep my waistline in check! For both the puppie chewing & pottying, I'd suggest lots of walks ... (don't worry Milo, I've got your back)! Enjoy!

All the hard work in teaching Milo to be clean indoors and to obey commands will be oh so worthwhile. No one likes a disobediant dog that is why so many end up in rescue.

Enjoy your puppy as they grow so quickly. They are great at making new friends for you and it is amazing how much fitter and slimmer you get by exercising one. Since adopting our beautiful Japanese Akita, Thorn, we are all slimmer and lighter except him. 3 years he's been with us and never a regret.

Yes, they are the key to MOVING!!!! I do a long potty walk in the AM and an excersize walk in the PM. Of course, they have outside time in between... our office has pedometer contests and those with dogs are always the winners!!!!

We got our first dog (lab puppy) 6 years ago. He forced us to get him out for a walk every single night otherwise he would destroy our home! It became tedious at times but it made us much healthier.

To the owner if Baby :(. I noticed lots of quiet elderly dogs looking for a home when I brought one of our three dogs home from the shelter who might not really mind a crate. Snack-girl, I just browsed through a book by a professor in ecology talking about the amazing things animals have to teach us, especially pets. We adore our dogs and think they are great for our children.

Nice story! I love my 2 dogs and the benefits of dog ownership are great - exercise, companionship as well as meeting lots of new people!

He is soooooooo cute!!!!!!!!

Smiling because I tell people who hate exercise to GET A DOG! My two bostons have helped me lose 70lbs. Puppy hugs to you for getting your daughter a rescue.

I've always had dogs all my life. I suffer from depression and they have for sure kept me alive. Now I am a mite older shall we say, so now have 2 cats as I am unable to properly care for a dog. However, my cats are as much my little babies as my dogs were. And yes, I am still alive and living for them.

Awww, he's so cute! You're going to love having a pup, and I never miss a day of walking with my two staring at me and following me around all morning.

Congratulations on adopting a rescue pup! Milo is just adorable! I too, rescued a puppy, a pit mix, who gave my whole family so much love, was so smart, only chewed 1 slipper and never had an accident! She lived 12 yrs and I miss her so much. I swear she knew english and was learning up until her last breath. I personally worked with her about 15 mins twice/day for 2 years in addition to her walks. Her manners were impeccable, no jumping on people, responded to ''no lick'', all the normal commands.

I loved our time together, we were inseparable.

Enjoy Milo, he looks like a sweet addition to your family and is a very lucky fella!

Yes, we have a 2 yr old american cocker spaniel named Taylor. He is a handful. We love him though, take him for walks .. he's me 'child' since we don't have children.

I think dogs really enrich our lives. Your puppy is adorable .. congrats on adopting a dog.


Congrats! Unconditional love.

I have two little dogs. If I don't take them out for their nightly looooooooong walk, they tap their feet on the floor like two little tap dancers until I get up, at times put my bathrobe on, and take them out for their walk. I love them like their my kids! : )

Adopted a dog nearly two years ago. Lost forty pounds the first six months I had him from walking him.

Dogs are wonderful for your health'

He's a cutie! Dogs are the best! Two tips no greenies (see CNN report) ! And NATURES MIRACLE for those puppy accidents. It's great stuff! Good luck!

I just rescued a dog on September 22, after my other rescue dog, Magy Mathilda, passed away. I had her for 14 years old and she was adorable. I was hesistant to get another dog so quickly, but I fell in love with Lexi Lulubell when I first saw her on the SPCA website. She's only 1-1/2 yrs old, she was a stray they found wandering around the streets with another dog, and we are working on the housetraining thing -- although she's pretty good at letting me know when she needs to go out. Right now, I'm crate training her, but I have piddle pads in my pantry area for her to use when she's not in her crate. She goes to Doggy Day Camp once a week to play and she's pooped when she gets home. Good exercise for her and she gets to play with other dogs. I love this dog so much. My other dog was a "girly girl" dog, but Lexi is a girl, but borderline "tomboy" LOL. She has her own personality, she loves to cuddle, and has her spot on my sofa. Rescuing a dog is so cool. Congrats! on your new puppy. They bring so much joy into your life.

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