Did you realize there are benefits to walking your dog other than just the benefit of getting out of your house? Walking your dog can be both beneficial to you and your pet. It is so beneficial in fact, for dogs, a daily walk can be crucial. However, because of our hectic lives, some of us tend to see walking our best friends as more of a chore than an enjoyable experience. This post is dedicated to reminding you all of the benefits of a walk so you can push yourself out of the door every day.
1. Keep Your Dogs Weight Under Control
Obesity is a major issue, not just in humans, but in dogs as well. Obesity can cause a variety of health issues. What most pet owners don’t realize is that obesity can be easy to combat, especially if your dog doesn’t suffer from metabolic or thyroid issues.
What’s the solution: a simple walk!
Letting obesity get out of control can cause a variety of health issues such as diabetes, cardiac problems, and even joint degeneration. Taking your dog on a daily 30 to 60-minute walk can help keep those excess pounds away, encourage the body to burn more calories and increase their stamina with regular cardio work.
2. Allow Your Dog to Socialize
One of the most overlooked benefits to walking your dog is giving them the chance to socialize. Think about it: every time your dog goes out, they are most likely to encounter another dog or even another person other than you. This can be a great way to teach your dog the correct way to socially interact with other canines and humans. It can even help dogs who are typically shy of other animals to overcome their fear in a controlled environment. This invaluable stimulus is a great way to expose them to a different situation and different animals in a situation where they will be safe.
3. Give Your Dog the Mental Stimulation They Need to Thrive
While your dog will be able to get the social stimulation they need, a walk is a great way to stimulate their mind as well. Dogs naturally aren’t couch potatoes like some of us humans are. They have evolved over thousands of years to work for us as herding dogs, protection dogs, and hunting dogs. Naturally, dogs love to move around and explore the area around them just as much as they love to spend their day working. Without the proper mental stimulation, dogs are prone to developing destructive behaviors such as licking themselves constantly, chewing on furniture or eating things they aren’t supposed to eat. If left to their own devices, dogs can even develop separation anxiety.
By walking your dog daily, you can help give them the stimulation they crave which can help them prevent developing these issues in the first place. A stimulated mind is a tired mind and when left alone after a walk, your dog is more likely to sleep than do anything they aren’t supposed to.
4. Improve Digestive and Joint Health
Just like it is in us, walking your dog daily can help improve poor digestive health and keep joints healthy. Why is this? It is because walking helps to keep things moving regularly. For your dog’s joints, walking regularly is a great way to keep their joints lubricated with regular use. For their digestive system, it helps to stimulate their digestive tract and ensure it keeps pushing food and waste where it is supposed to go.
5. Improve your Bond
Walking your dog can be just as therapeutic for you as it is for them. Taking a walk with your best friend is a great way to strengthen your bond. This strengthening can help your dog to develop good behaviors and can also increase the trust your dog has in you. This also gives you the chance to build trust with your own dog by seeing how they interact with their surroundings in an unfamiliar setting.
6. Decrease Your Dog’s Loneliness
While solitary walks may be perfect for us, for dogs it can have the opposite effect. Dogs crave human interaction and without it, they can develop some dangerous behaviors. For your dogs, it is just plain lonely. Taking a daily walk with you can help your dog feel less lonely as they will look forward to your walk the moment you get home for work.
7. It’s Great for You Too!
As great as a daily walk can be for your dog, it can be pretty great for you as well. There are plenty of benefits to taking your dog for a walk such as reducing your blood pressure, lowering your heart rate and reducing anxiety symptoms. You can read a guest post I wrote on the benefits of taking Fido for a walk over at this blog by clicking here.
How Long Should You Walk Your Dog For?
According to WHO, or the World Health Organization, it is recommended you get a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous walking exercise a day. The same holds true for your dog. If you can’t take your dog for a 1-hour walk daily, try to aim for no less than 40 minutes to satisfy their exercise needs.
Learn more about how to properly walk your dog with the help of this eBook by clicking here.
Benefits to Walking Your Dog: The Bottomline
Remember, don’t look at walking your dog as a chore. There are plenty of benefits to walking your dog that could be beneficial for him or her as much as it can be for you. Once you keep these benefits in mind, don’t hesitate to grab your dog’s leash and bond over an evening stroll with your best friend.