After a long hiatus, The Animal Store Blog is back. It’s May, it’s spring, the weather is getting better (even in Chicago) and we’re all heading outside, right? Well, maybe not. There is new concern that our children may be suffering from Nature-Deficit Disorder.

In his book, Last Child in the Woods, author Richard Louv argues that in one generation, we have moved from long, lazy summers of hiking, swimming and camping, to summer months overbooked with structured indoor activities and marred by electronic addictions that are divorcing our children from the natural world around them. Louv believes that increased awareness of nature can have far-reaching benefits, including improved fitness levels, increased creativity and imagination stimulated by exploration, and a deeper understand of our place in nature’s hierarchy.

Our pets have had a long winter stuck indoors, too. Help your whole family reconnect with nature by making a commitment to taking regular walks. Pay attention to the nature around you; you’ll be amazed at what you might discover right in your own neighborhood.

To get you started, just mention this post for a 20% discount on the purchase of a new leash, harness or collar*. And before you start your regular outdoor activities, check your pet’s tags to make sure they are secured to the collar and have up-to-date information.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @Theanimalstore.

*Offer good on white tags only and valid through May 15, 2010