Many people assume that all dog owners take their furry friends out for a walk every single day. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. In fact, for many dogs, the only exercise they get is when they are let loose to run around their yard. While this may seem enough, it’s rarely the case. In fact, walking should be considered a fundamental part of responsible dog ownership.
Here are 6 scientific reasons why walking your dog is good for their health and wellbeing.
Walking is Good for Your Dog’s Mental Health
Even the most balanced and well-socialized dogs can be affected by changes in their usual day to day routine. This could be something as simple as you are spending less time at home, altering their walk time, or introducing a new animal or person to the household. These types of changes can cause dogs to become stressed or anxious. Not only is this unpleasant for your canine pal, but it can also cause them to develop undesirable behaviors too. For example, if you are no longer spending as much time at home, your dog may develop separation anxiety that causes them to whine, howl and do their toilet business inside. Animals are extremely good at picking up on our emotional climate too, and this means that if you feel anxious or stressed, you can bet your last dollar that your dog will notice and imitate these behaviors too.
Fortunately, studies have shown that as many as 93% of dog owners have found that walking helps their dog to feel less stressed.
Walking Could Improve Your Dog’s Digestive and Urinary Health
Most dog owners would prefer it if their four-legged friend does their bathroom business away from the home. Walkies provides a perfect opportunity for this to happen and since the majority of owners tend to walk their dogs as part of a fairly solid daytime routine, they can empty them with the regularity that they need to avoid problems like constipation and urinary tract infections which can be painful and unpleasant.
Regular Walking Can Help to Keep Your Dog a Healthy Weight
Just like us, our animals are more likely to develop health problems if they put on too much weight. These include arthritis and other joint issues, high blood pressure, heart problems, and more. Being obese can even shorten your pet’s lifespan. One of the best ways of ensuring that your pet maintains a healthy weight is to take them for regular walks. This low impact exercise is free and fairly easy to fit into your daily schedule. You can change up your routes to keep things interesting too. If your pet is currently overweight, combining walking with a calorie-controlled diet recommended by your vet can help to bring their weight under control.
Walking Will Help to Prevent Boredom and Associated Behaviors
Dogs are very intelligent creatures, and they need a good deal of mental stimulation to prevent them from becoming bored. Bored dogs are more likely to develop destructive behavior problems, like scratching and chewing things. They can also become much more vocal. Neither of these is particularly good for a harmonious home. Walking provides as much mental stimulation as it does physical, with lots of new sights to see, smell and explore. Ensuring that you take your canine pal for plenty of fresh air will help to wear out their body as well as their mind.
Want to Strengthen Your Bond with Your Dog? Try Daily Walking.
Sitting at home all day long can quickly lead to your furbaby becoming lonely. You are the most important person in your dog’s life and more than anything else they want to spend time with you. Walking is the perfect time to build on your existing bond as you exercise and play together, explore new territory and enjoy quality time with one another.
Walking Helps with Your Dog’s Socialization
Although the best time to socialize your dog is during the first few months of their life, you can use every new opportunity to build on their confidence when meeting new animals and people and handling strange places and situations. The better socialized a dog is, the more confident and secure they will feel in any given situation – something which will make them happier and your life easier. Walking is a great way to help your dog learn acceptable ways of interacting with new people and animals, and to accept different environments and situations. Change up your walking routes, times and head out in different weathers to build your dog into a strong, capable canine.
Find out more about the benefits of dog walking for your dog, contact Mokena Animal Clinic in Mokena, IL at (708) 479-2811 to request an appointment.