Family pets make a large contribution to the health and wellbeing of older Australians. COTA Victoria is promoting these benefits through our campaign, A Pat Chat and a Walk a Day Keeps the Doctor Away.
What is A Pat, Chat and a Walk a Day?
A Pat Chat and a Walk a Day highlights the crucial daily role pets play in encouraging millions of older people to exercise. At the same time, pets also provide comfort, happiness, companionship and opportunities to socialise. These activities are vital in preventing anxiety and depression.
Regular physical activity such as walking the dog can also help reduce the risk of conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and dementia, and help with weight management and bone health. Walking can also reduce the risk of falls and fall-related injury for older people, which can affect their ability to live independently.
What are the benefits?
A Pat, Chat and a Walk a Day is more than just a good opportunity to play with your pets. It encourages you to:
- take part in gentle exercise, which can help you stay fit, mobile and independent
- have fun and be active with your children or grandchildren
- socialise with family and friends
- get out for fresh air
- learn about your local environment and its changing seasons
- get to know your neighbours.
How can I join in?
If you are on social media, join our A Pat, Chat and a Walk a Day group on Facebook. In this group, members regularly share walking routes and stories about their pets.
This campaign is all about getting out and about in your community. Take your pet to the local park or go for a walk with your friends. If you have a neighbour without a pet, invite them to join you and enjoy the benefits of A Pat, Chat and a Walk together.