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If you’re one of those who keep quiet while out walking with your dog you’re part of a small minority, at least according to a recent RSPCA online poll. Over 90 per cent of the owners interviewed said that they talk to their dogs while out on a walk, while one in six goes a step further by singing to their pet.

Dr Samantha Gaines, the RSPCA’s dog welfare expert, said, “One of the best things about walking your dog is the opportunities it offers to form a strong bond. There is something very therapeutic about walking your dog and watching them enjoying being dogs. Having a conversation or singing to your dog shows how relaxing an experience it can be and how many of us consider dogs to be our family and friends.

“There are also the added benefits of improving your own happiness and fitness levels and keeping your dog active and their minds stimulated.”

The fact dogs cannot beg you to stop singing is probably a big factor as well, because let’s face it – few of us could make a living as singers. One of these few is dog-loving singer Peter Andre, who is backing the RSPCA’s My Big Walkies challenge, which will take place throughout October, with participants pledging to take 10,000 steps a day and being sponsored to do so. The steps can be taken with or without a four-legged companion, although of course having one makes it far more enjoyable, allowing you to sing without shame if you feel like it.

Peter said, “It’s important to remember how much happiness dogs bring to our lives. Sadly there are many dogs which are ill-treated every day and the RSPCA works incredibly hard to combat animal cruelty.

“I encourage dog-owners to sign up for My Big Walkies. Taking part will help raise money which will enable the RSPCA to carry out this vital work.

“It’s also a fantastic opportunity to get out and about with your dog, while helping less fortunate dogs at the same time. It’ll be fun, great for your health and fitness, great for your dog and it’s all for a fantastic cause – the RSPCA.”

You can find out more and sign up for the challenge on the RSPCA’s website.

Images courtesy of RSPCA.

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