By: Emma Nolan | Sep 18, 2019
Did you know that 17 million dogs in the US are considered overweight? Lack of proper exercise and poor diet are the biggest contributors to canine obesity. Thankfully, it’s paw-ssible to help your pooch get back in shape by settling into a 30-minute-a-day walking routine. Here are the top five benefits of walking your dog for both you and your companion.
It’s true that decades of selective breeding may have helped humans alter canine behaviors. But this has not completely removed some of their most basic instincts and intensity which can become heightened by the confines of modern living.
Staying inside all day and rarely being able to interact with the outdoors may lead to aggressive behavior and general hyperactivity as a result of pent-up energy. If you don’t like buying a new couch every other season or don’t want to become your dog’s plaything, walking your pooch will definitely help. The mental and physical stimulation from the outdoors will allow them to channel their energy naturally.
While going for walks on your own can come with its own benefits, taking your dog out for a stroll is a fun and more engaging way to explore the outdoors. Your dog’s natural curiosity may allow you to start noticing things on your regular route that you normally haven’t before.
Not only this but you also get the added benefit of socializing with other dog owners and their dogs in the neighborhood. Aside from all the fun and interaction, you’re assured that your walking buddy is there to keep you safe at all times.
Exercise benefits your dog as much as it benefits you. Walking your pet even for a minimum of 30 minutes a day helps meet the national recommendations for heart health and keeps their weight in control by burning excess calories. Do this every day, and you will see noticeable changes in their behavior and physical vigor.
The same is true for you as the owner. Physical benefits aside, walking your dog also helps you to clear your mind, introspect, and socialize at times.
Your dog walking time is the perfect opportunity for obedience training. But before you can do that, you need to introduce your pup to the leash first. It’s important that your pup associates the leash with positive feelings so they can feel comfortable when you start walking them outside.
Understandably, this will take a fair amount of patience and perhaps with some healthy treats, chews, or toys to get them to feel safe and secure. Once they are, you can start teaching them basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” or “come,” which are important when it comes to deterring unwanted behaviors.
Although dogs are known to be extremely loyal animals, they are also prone to attention-seeking behaviors if their needs are not met. Signs like whining and barking can mean your pooch needs some good old petting and play.
Regularly spending time with your dog through walks builds a foundation of trust and comfort. This forms the basis of positive canine behaviors that lead to fulfilling relationships between dogs and their owners.
As you can see there are a lot of great reasons to start assembling your daily dog-walking routine. Not only are there health benefits for both you and your canine, but it’s also a great opportunity for more bonding and social interaction.