Exercise is an important part of giving your dog a happy, healthy life. Taking your dog on regular walks is a great way to give him the exercise he needs everyday. There are many benefits to walking your dog and I have outlined many of these benefits below.
Physical Health Benefits
- Taking your dog on regular walks will help to prevent obesity. Most dogs love to eat and without the appropriate burning of calories, food can turn into extra pounds. Extra pounds on your dog puts them at risk for health issues such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, cardiovascular disease, liver disease etc.
- Regular walks help to improve your dog’s joint health. Exercise helps to build stronger muscles and bones. This will improve joint stability.
- Walking your dog will improve his digestive health and aid in relieving constipation.
Mental Health Benefits
- Walking will help to keep your dog mentally stimulated to prevent boredom.
- Dogs are trained how to walk well on a leash. They are constantly being mentally stimulated to perform good behaviour, such as loose leash walking or heeling, in the chance that they will be rewarded with a treat.
- Dogs love to go on walks, sniff and explore around outdoors. Walks make most dogs very happy!
- Regular walks can help reduce or eliminate any of your pet’s destructive chewing, digging, or scratching by giving them something else to do to relieve their boredom.
- Regular walks can help to alleviate extra energy your dog may have thereby reducing any hyperactivity, excitability, and even nighttime activity. Your dog will be more relaxed and tired at bedtime especially if he has had a nice long evening walk.
- Behaviours such as jumping on people and all over the furniture can be a sign of pent up energy. Regular walks will help to stop these behaviours from occurring as your dog will be able to expel his energy in a positive way through exercise.
- Depending where you chose to walk your dog, you may encounter lots of opportunities for socialization. He will likely see and meet lots of different people, dogs and other animals.
- Walking your dog early on when he is a puppy is very important and may help to prevent behavioural issues as he grows up. Under-socialized puppies often become fearful, shy, unconfident, anxious, unhappy, unstable and sometimes even fear-aggressive.
Improved Bond Between Dog and Owner
- Walking your dog regularly helps to improve the bond you have with him. He will love you for taking him on the walk and both of you will enjoy the time you spend together.
- Your dog will likely whine at you to play at home less often if he is exercised by going on walks more often. You will therefore be a lot more happier with him and want to reward him for being a good dog.
- Walking strengthens the trust and respect your dog has for you (the owner) which will strengthen the bond between you and your dog.
Now that you know the reasons why you should walk your dog, get out there and give your dog a nice long walk to show him how much you care for him!
Safety is just as important as the health benefits that walking provides your dog so make sure you have all the correct equipment before you head out on your walk by reading one of our other blogs 8 Dog Walking Equipment Essentials.