Every dog owner knows the basic reasons why walking your dog is a must, but I would like to point out just five reasons as to why you should be doing this regularly. When you acknowledge what is really happening each time you go for walks, the ways it benefits both you and your dog, you will start to enjoy it even more.
There are endless advantages to exercising, not just physical benefits but mental ones too, so it was a bit of a challenge to narrow it down to just five for you.
Walking your dog regularly is good for both the health of your dog and yourself.
A clinical survey was conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention and released in 2017, which revealed that ‘an estimated 56% of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese’. That is over half of America’s dogs that are at greater risk of health problems like high blood pressure, difficulty breathing, diabetes, and cancer.
So, walking is extremely important for your dog’s health and weight management. Let’s not forget that it’s great for your own health, either. Walking might not seem like it does much, but it does. Taking it one step further by jogging with your dog too is a fantastic idea.
Always make sure you are letting your dog stop to sniff every now and then, for extra mental stimulation and enrichment.
Mental Health Benefits
Different breeds require different amounts of daily exercise to keep them mentally stimulated and happy.
Jack Russell Terriers and Border Collies, for example, are known as high-drive breeds, which thrive when they are mentally and physically active.
Often, when a dog is misbehaving, such as chewing shoes or the couch, it is an indicator that they aren’t stimulated enough, and they are bored.
Make time to take your dog out for a walk before you have to leave for many hours to go to work.
Walking your dog more can even boost your dog’s confidence! This is because of routine, providing your dog with structure and stability, which boosts confidence even in shy or fearful dogs.
Make sure to fill the day with other fun activities such as interactive play as well.
Let’s not forget how walking is great for your dog’s socialization, too. On walks, they get exposed to all sorts of different people, dogs, and situations.
It’s also a great way to relieve stress and anxiety for both you and your dog. It seems that walking has endless benefits for you and your dog.
A lot of our time is spent working or trying to relax when we’re not working. Each time you take your dog out for a walk, that is precious bonding time spent.
According to Cesar Millan, a well-known dog trainer with over 25 years of canine experience, dog walking helps establish the owner’s role as ‘pack leader’. He goes on to add, if you’re a calm, assertive pack leader on walks, then you will be one everywhere else with your dog because you have earned their trust, respect, and love. It’s like taking the pack out for a hunt, and then safely returned to your den, which your dog appreciates very much.
Walking time is the perfect time to practice training, by making sure your dog is learning how to kneel properly, sit, and stay and wait to cross the road.
It’s also a great time to teach your dog how to fetch. That’s why it’s good to always take a couple of dog treats along with you on walks. Why not go ahead and take a healthy snack for yourself too!
If your dog should ever find itself lost, it can find the way back home. By taking your dog out for walks regularly, both in the streets around your house and further. The further you take them, the more you expand their knowledge of their home and get yourselves some exercise.
I’m sure you’ve noticed how your dog would rather pee multiple times, in different places, than to just relieve themselves all in one go. By doing this, your dog will know its way from its own markings.
Other than that, dogs have a good enough visual memory to recognize familiar locations and landmarks. On walks, dogs often take a moment just to make a mental note of their surroundings.