Greensboro's African American Community Newspaper since 1967

Dog walkers make a safer community


People who regularly walk their canine companions in their neighborhood provide those pets with canine crime fighting capabilities. Regular dog walkers and their dogs can observe and detect suspicious activity and changes in their walking environment, which helps take a bite out of crime.

There are several sacred tenants of life. One of the very first is to have safety in one’s own home. Afterall, home is where the heart is. When we take blood pressure recordings, we know that the recordings one gets at home will be lower than the ones we get at the office. Why is that so? Home is where one should be totally relaxed and completely at ease. This is why the blood pressure is best and lowest at home.

Some of the characteristics of home are comfort and most important, safety. You know where your belongings are located. You can take off your shoes, clothes and just relax.

In a recent study researchers examined some characteristics of safe communities. They found that communities that had dogs were safer. For those of us who own a dog, we know that they are indeed good for our health. The love and attention they require is considered good human companionship.

Researchers found that the socialization and neighborhood observations made by their owners when walking them gave their canine companions crime fighting capabilities not seen in cats or other pets that do not require walking.

Studies show that neighborhoods with more dogs had lower rates of homicide, robbery and aggravated assaults as compared to areas with fewer dogs.

This is particularly true when the residents of a community trust one another. So, trust among neighbors is a very important part of deterring crime. This is because if you trust someone you feel they will come to your aid in a critical situation.

People who walk their dogs tend to meet up with each other while walking. They also seem to know more about what is going on in the community. They may notice things out of the ordinary since they see the scenery of the community consistently. The dogs and their owners make up an unofficial neighborhood patrol that can deter crime.

Making your home and neighborhood safe is good for your health and the health of your neighbors. The result of this research shows that the act of walking your dog, which is good for your health, and being a concerned and friendly neighbor, who pays attention to what is going on around you, can add to the safety, enjoyment and health of your home environment. Come on Gracie, let’s go for a walk.

Dr. Veita Bland is a board-certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Dr. Bland’s radio show, “It’s a Matter of Your Health,” can be heard live on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. on N.C. A&T State University’s WNAA, 90.1 FM. Listeners may call in and ask questions. The show is replayed on Sirius 142 at 5 p.m. on Wed. Email Dr. Bland at