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National Dog Walking Week - October 1 to 7

Dr Chris Brown urges Aussies to take the lead on more dog walking during National Dog Walking Week (1-7 October) 

As a fitness-obsessed nation, we are letting our pooches down as:
  • 50% of dog owners don’t walk their pooches on a regular basis* 
  • 59% of all pet dogs are overweight** 
Australia’s fitness culture continues to explode, yet there is a growing increase in dog obesity, with over three-quarters of Australia’s pet owners claiming that their dogs are pushing the weight boundaries. 

To celebrate National Dog Walking Week (1-7 October 2018)Dr Chris Brown has joined forces with Mars Petcare to urge Aussies to get out and about more with their furry friends - and to make the most of having a pet as a personal trainer.

“It’s a win-win solution - just walking 20 minutes a day, three times a week will keep you and your dog in shape

Dog walking is essential for your dog’s wellbeing, and can also lower your blood pressure, reduce stress, increase your energy levels, boost mental health - and help you both shed unwanted weight.”  

“As a nation, we spend a lot of time focusing on our own health regimes, but we need to remember that every dog has specific health and well-being needs too

Just like kickstarting our own personal weight loss journeys, we can take small steps and see great improvements in a short period of time – and the best part is that it also helps us keep in shape too,” says Dr Chris Brown. 

With busy lives, it’s not always possible to get out and exercise our pets as much as we’d like, which is where organisations like Dogtrax Australia come in. “We are here to help dogs get the exercise and social interaction they need to thrive,” says Charlie Veitch from Dogtrax Australia, which not only offers dog walking services, but also organises community dog walking events.

Dr Chris Brown has shared his expert thoughts on how you can exercise the right way with your furry mate:


For at least 20 minutes, twice a day is ideal. This is perfect for older, arthritic or obese pets and people as it limits impact on the already inflamed joints and allows for a gentle introduction to exercise.”


For at least 20 minutes a day, although active dogs will crave much more. Try and plan your jogs to be in the morning or evening as it limits heat stress especially on those pets with flat noses or that are dark in colour and struggle with the heat in summer. This is ideal for fit and active breeds – working dogs (Kelpies, Border Collies, Blue Heelers) will run more than 20km a day when on farms so they thrive and almost ‘need’ at least 30 – 60 minutes of strong exercise a day.” 


Ideally 10-20 minutes swimming with small rests in between per day is about right. This is probably the best exercise for all pets and people (provided they like the water). It’s especially beneficial for those pets that find walking or running painful due to join complaints. It takes the stress off the common problem areas such as the hips, knees and elbows and builds muscle mass.”

A Warning on Sticks and Balls

“Pets love it, but it can be bad news for joints. The stop-start and twisting nature of a chasing game puts strain and wear on the joints. If the dog is overweight, the strain is even more substantial. More than 5 minutes a day can result in premature ageing and degeneration of joints leading to early onset arthritis.”

Australian pet advocate Mars Petcare Australia recognises that keeping on top of your pet’s health can be a challenging task and has created a wealth of dedicated resources and programs to make life easier for pet owners. 

For details, visit,


About Mars Petcare

Mars Petcare is a diverse and growing business with 75,000 Associates across 50+ countries dedicated to one purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS.

With 75 years of experience, our portfolio of almost 50 brands serves the health and nutrition needs of almost half the world’s pets – including brands PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, ROYAL CANIN®, NUTRO™, GREENIES™, DINE®, MY DOG®, IAMS™ and EUKANUBA™ as well as The WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition which has advanced research in the nutrition and health of pets for over 50 years.

Mars Petcare is also the world’s largest veterinary health provider through a network of over 2,000 pet hospitals including BANFIELD™, BLUE PEARL™, PET PARTNERS™, and VCA™. We’re also at the forefront of emerging innovation and technology for pets, pet owners and veterinarians, with WISDOM PANEL genetic health screening and DNA testing for dogs, the WHISTLE™ GPS dog tracker, and LEAP VENTURE STUDIO accelerator and COMPANION FUND™ programs that drive innovation and disruption in the pet care industry.
As a family business and guided by our principles of mutuality and freedom, we are privileged with the flexibility to fight for what we believe in – and we choose to fight for: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS.

MEDIA RELEASE, 1st October 2018

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