If you have a dog, there's a pretty good chance it has a-lot of energy. Even the calmest dog can get restless when cooped up in your house for too long. The good news is that there's an easy solution: walking your dog! Walking provides many benefits for both you and your pooch, which is why it's one of my favourite activities to do with my pups. Here are six reasons why we think all dog owners should take their dogs on walks:
1. IT'S ACTUALLY GOOD FOR BOTH OF YOU
Walking your dog is a great way to get some exercise, which is good for both of you. You'll get the chance to spend time together and bond, whether it's a quick walk around the block or an ambitious hike. If you're in need of some inspiration to get out there more often, here are just a few reasons why it's worth taking the time:
It can help with weight loss and improve cardiovascular health, for both humans and dogs.
Getting outdoors and having a routine every day is great for everyone’s mental health.
The release of endorphins from light exercise also reduces anxiety and depression.
2. IMPROVES HEALTH + MANAGES WEIGHT
Pack the poop bags, because the most obvious benefit of getting your dog out on a walk, is for their toilet breaks. Stopping to pee on just about every pole and tree is my dog’s favourite past time, but it’s also about communication too. Besides marking their territories, dogs use urine or faeces as calling cards… to let the other dogs in the neighbourhood know where they’ve been.
It’s no secret that if you don’t give your dog enough exercise, he may become overweight and develop health problems as a result. If you do walk with your dog regularly, this can help prevent him from putting on excess weight and keep him fit so that he enjoys life more as he gets older.
Regular walking is good for maintaining a strong immune system, which in turn keeps our pets healthy and happy throughout their lives (and ours).
Exercise helps dogs maintain a healthy heart. As we already know from the last point, regular exercise can help keep our canine companions happy and healthy by strengthening their hearts—but did you know it can also prevent them from developing heart disease? That’s right: keeping their bodies moving regularly can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as arrhythmia or congestive heart failure later in life.
3. GIVES THEM MENTAL STIMULATION
One of the most important things you can do for your dog is provide mental stimulation. Dogs are intelligent creatures and need to be challenged, trained, socialised, and kept busy. When they're not getting enough of these things, they get bored—and that leads to destructive behaviour (like chewing up your couch or ruining your favourite pair of Nikes). A walk provides an opportunity for you and your pup to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of the outdoors together. Plus, it's low-key physical activity that's good for both body and mind!
4. STRENGTHENS YOUR BOND
Dog walking is a great way to spend time together, and regular one-on-one time will help strengthen the bond between you and your best mate. If your dog is timid or fearful, a walk everyday will give them a comforting level of predictability, structure, and routine.
Keep things interesting for your pet and try surprising them every now and then -they'll discover they need to stay in tune with you. Instead of walking the same route every day... mix it up with new footpaths and vary your walk lengths. If Saturday is your designated “Walk to the dog park”, go on - rock your dog’s world and go on Saturday and Sunday, or even get to the dog beach if you can.
5. LET'S GET SOCIAL!
In addition to providing mental stimulation, walking is a great way for your dog to socialise with other dogs. Dogs are social animals who need interaction with other dogs (and people). Taking your pup out on walks gives him or her an opportunity to socialise with other pooches in the neighbourhood. This can be beneficial for both the health of your dog as well as his mental well-being—it allows him to play and run around without worrying about being alone in the house all day long!
It's a common misconception that if you don't let your pup interact with other pups, he won't become aggressive. The truth is just the opposite: If you don't let him meet new people or get out of his shell in any way at all (even around humans!) then he'll become very clingy and reserved. So, get out there... you might make a new friend with a likeminded dog owner too!
6. GREAT FOR TRAINING
Walks are the perfect opportunity to practice your obedience commands and curb any bad behaviour. Stopping at street corners and traffic lights to perfect the ‘Sit’, ‘Stay’ and ‘Wait’ commands will do wonders for your dog's confidence and teach them that anywhere, anytime, can be training time.
If you have a dog, chances are you’ve seen them get along with other dogs just fine. You may even have watched them play together in your yard or at the dog park. This is great! But did you know that walking your dog frequently can help teach them how to play more gently and patiently with other dogs?
It’s true! Even though we often think of playing as being in the realm of puppies, young adult dogs can learn how to be better friends too. By taking them on walks where they meet new friends on a regular basis, they will learn what it means to be patient while also reinforcing their ability to play gently and politely (even if they do really want to grab that ball).
Walking your dog can help you to stay fit and healthy, while also having fun in the fresh air. It also provides a great way for you to bond with your dog. Dogs are great companions, they're loyal, playful and bring joy into our lives! So go on... Grab their lead and get out there today!