Walking is one of the best exercises for you as well as your canine friend!
Going for a morning walk all alone can be boring, but when you take your dog along with you, the joy and benefit doubles up.
It won’t seem like exercise. In fact, it will turn out to be one of the best parts of the day, when you get to spend some quality time with your pet.
But the daily walk is important. It’s highly beneficial for your pet’s health, both physically and mentally.
Here are some of the reasons why you should take your dog for a walk every day.
1. Keeps Weight under Control
An overweight pet is not a healthy pet. Obesity is a big problem in dogs, and it can be prevented with regular exercise like walking.
Extra body weight and extra body fat tend to go hand in hand. This can cause lasting damage to your pet’s internal organs, bones and joints. Excess body weight can cause low stamina, respiratory problems, heat intolerance, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, liver disease, osteoarthritis, lowered immune system functioning and much more.
In addition to diet control, to keep your pet in tip-top shape, you should start taking your dog for a walk daily. It will help burn fat and keep your pet in good health.
2. Improves Digestive Health
Constipation in dogs is common and should be treated right away.
Prolonged constipation can allow the colon to become packed with an uncomfortably large amount of feces. This can cause unproductive straining, lethargy, appetite loss and vomiting.
In fact, constipation and poor digestion are common problems in dogs who do not exercise. But a regular walk of 20 to 30 minutes daily can be extremely beneficial to your pet’s digestive system. This simple habit can aid in relieving occasional constipation, get the digestive system moving and keep the system regular.
3. Alleviates Destructive Behavior
Regular walks can have a positive impact on your dog’s behavior. It will help reduce or eliminate any kind of destructive behavior, which can include chewing, digging, biting, barking or scratching.
Walking serves as something constructive for your dog to concentrate on, which in turn makes him less destructive in nature.
Some destructive behaviors also develop out of boredom and pent up energy. A daily walk will help relieve both of those issues.
Also, walking brings a healthy break for your dog from the home life, where he can see, smell, feel and hear the great outdoors, just as humans do.
4. Helps with Hyperactivity
A hyperactive dog can be hard to deal with, but if you take your hyperactive dog for a walk daily it can help a lot.
A long walk amidst nature can help alleviate extra energy your pet may have. Being in a new environment and getting time to explore the surroundings also will help your dog calm down. This in turn can help reduce any hyperactivity, excitability and even nighttime activity.
Moreover, a walk will make your dog feel more relaxed and sleepy rather than restless at bedtime.
Walking even prevents attention-seeking behaviors like barking and whining.
5. Aids Toilet Training
A potty break is a must for a dog, and for a pet owner, one of the biggest tasks is toilet training – or else you have to deal with toilet accidents more often. Walking can help in toilet training.
When a dog gets regular walks, he learns that it’s a good time for a bathroom break. Puppies need much more frequent potty breaks than adult dogs. So, you need to take your puppy for shorter walks more often.
Once your dog learns to potty outside, he will give signals when he needs to go out. All you need to do is put on the leash, take a plastic bag and go for a walk outside with your canine friend.
6. Strengthens Your Bond and Trust
Dogs share a special bond with their owner, but to build this bond, you need to spend time together.
When you take your dog for a walk, you get to spend some quality time with your pet. This helps promote the shared bond and leads to a strong, trusting relationship.
Apart from a strong bond between you and your pet, regular walks can help your pet build confidence and trust.
7. Encourages Socialization
Walking is especially beneficial for dogs that are timid or fearful.
Strolling around the neighborhood allows your pet to come in contact with other humans and animals. Gradually, this can help your pet adapt to new or intimidating situations.
This will encourage socialization and help your dog learn new things. Also, walking will teach him how to behave in public places.
8. Boosts Your Health Too
Last but not least, taking your dog for a daily walk is beneficial for your health, too. When your dog is walking, you are also walking.
Walking is a good exercise for people of all ages. It improves the health of your feet, benefits your heart, fights obesity, keeps your bones strong, staves off depression, fights stress and the list goes on.
Also, when you are enjoying a walk outside, you get to spend time amidst nature. Nature has tremendous psychological and physical benefits and can increase your overall sense of well-being.
So, whenever the outdoor is suitable for walking, grab a leash and go for a long walk with your beloved furry friend by your side.
Tips for Walking with Your Dog
- Those who are new to walking should start out slow to avoid injuries and gradually work your way up to 30–minute daily walks.
- Aim for a 30-minute walk at least 5 times every week.
- Prepare for dog walking as you would prepare for any exercise, with stretches and the right footwear.
- When walking your dog, always keep him on a leash, unless you are in designated off-leash parks.
- Keep a close eye on your pet around children and other dogs.
- Always have plastic bags handy for those potty breaks and do not forget to clean up after your pet.
- Avoid going out for a walk in extreme cold or heat.
- Don’t forget to bring cool, fresh water for you as well as your pet to drink.