Licks, Cuddles & Tail wags for FREE
Volunteer to Walk a Shelter Dog
October is Adopt-A-Shelter Dog Month and we wanted to share with you some of the benefits of these four-legged friends. Several of us on the ONIE team are the proud owners of shelter dogs. Dog ownership has a lot of perks. According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, dog ownership is associated with being more physically active. These researchers say dog owners are 57% to 77% more likely to get the recommended amount of physical activity each week.1
My own dog, Beju, helped me become active and lose almost 25lbs. I originally didn’t plan to lose weight or become more active, but a friend showed me a picture of Beju online and I immediately knew I was going to be his forever home. He has a lot of energy and loves food. Being active with him was the only way to help him maintain a healthy weight and get all his energy out. We started walking, then jog/walking, and now we are jogging regularly. This morning we jogged 4 miles, which is something I would have never thought possible before Beju. We built up our endurance together. This is just my personal story, but beyond fitness and weight loss there are many other benefits too—interacting with animals is good for your mental health and well-being.2
While owning a dog can be a wonderful experience, dog ownership is not for everyone. It is a big commitment and requires time, attention, and money. If you like dogs but are not ready to adopt, you can still receive the benefits of dog ownership by volunteering at a local shelter. Shelters need volunteers to help with dog care, including exercising and grooming. The Oklahoma City Animal Shelter describes volunteers as the life-blood of the shelter. In addition, spending time with these dogs helps socialize them. You are improving your own health and their chances to find a forever home.
You can start volunteering at a local shelter anytime, helping each other have a better life. Tons of licks, tail wags, and cuddles can be yours for FREE with just a day of volunteering! Marley, Olive, Junior, and Kiva are waiting for you! Below is a list of local city-ran shelters:
For a complete listing of shelters outside of the Oklahoma City Metro click HERE.
1. Cutt, H., Giles-Corti, B., Knuiman, M., Timperio, A., & Bull, F. (2008). Understanding dog owners’ increased levels of physical activity: Results from RESIDE. American Journal of Public Health, 98(1), 66–69.
2. Shoda, T. M., Stayton, L. E., & Martin, C. E. (2011). Friends with benefits: On the positive consequences of pet ownership. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101(6), 1239-1252.