Enjoying sport with your dog is paw-some!
Melton is aiming to become the UK’s number one pet-friendly town in a bid to make residents happier and healthier.
It’s a winning idea so Melton Sports was quick to sign up, fill a bowl with fresh water and buy some dog treats for our four-legged visitors so all our customers get the best welcome.
There are clear proven health benefits of pet ownership in terms of exercise, reducing stress and anxiety and so on and that chimes with what Melton Sports is all about, too.
Taking your four-legged friend to work can improve mood and output while dogs can give therapeutic aid to care home residents and encourage schoolchildren to read aloud and develop a love of books.
The campaign could also benefit the local environment by promoting responsible pet ownership, helping (hopefully) to tackle issues such as dog fouling.
The campaign, led by Mars Petcare and Melton Council, also got me thinking about the sporting aspects of the initiative.
There are plenty of riding stables locally, Pony Club events and a full Eventing calendar but what about activities you can do with your dog?
Did you know, for instance, there are two dog agility obstacle courses (designed, funded and installed by Mars) within Melton Country Park?
Melton Agility Club, meanwhile, offers excellent agility training classes throughout the week for you and your dog from its base at Waltham. As owner Claire Mason says: “Agility is a great way to have fun with your dog. It helps your dog’s physical and mental well-being and strengthens the bond between dog and handler.” For more information call Claire on 0781 387 7892 email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.meltonagility.wordpress.com
Melton also has a flyball team called Wuff n Ready which trains on Friday evenings at a farm on Melton Spinney Road. In flyball dogs race against each other, often in relay, over a line of hurdles to a box that releases a tennis ball. The dogs press a spring-loaded pad, catch the ball and then carry it back to their handlers. For more information contact team captain Gill Simmons on (01664) 822067 or email email@example.com
And finally there is the sport of cross-country running with dogs – canicross – (or if you’re on two wheels it’s called bikejoring). Canicross can be run with one or two dogs, always attached to the runner. The runner typically wears a waist belt, the dog a harness, and the two are joined by a bungee cord that reduces shock to both human and dog when the dog pulls. Canicross Leicestershire is based at Ashby-de-la-Zouch. For more visit www.canicrossmidlands.co.uk or search Canicross Leicestershire on Facebook.