In this blog post we talk about our top 10 dog walking benefits and how it can have a positive effect on both you and your dog but also what could happen if you don’t take your dog out on daily walkies.
Why is Walking Your Dog so Important? Our Top 10 Dog Walking Benefits…
1. Exercise For Your Dog
Unfortunately, millions of dogs don’t receive the mental or physical stimulation they need, now that both food and shelter is readily provided for them. Countless dogs sit at home all day while their owner(s) works, only to be ignored again once the owner arrives home. In fact, over half of all the domestic dogs are considered overweight or obese, which adds up to several million.
Every dog needs exercise, and dog walking is absolutely fantastic for it! What activity is easier, requires so little effort on your part, makes your pooch so happy, and is always available to you every day you spend together with your pet?
2. Do Their Business
Dogs need to use the ‘bathroom’ just like any other animal and we don’t want them going it in the house. Eliminating on the go comes naturally to our canine friends, and using urination to leave scent markers because it is a very instinctive way of letting other dogs know things about them. Did you ever wonder why your male dog seems to want to pee on absolutely every tree, bin or lamp post?
Taking your dog out on regular daily walks also helps with their gastrointestinal health and reduces the risk of constipation, because it helps to “keep things moving”.
Just remember to be courteous and scoop up the poop!
3. Dog Walking Allows Dogs to Socialise
Building on a dog’s social skills is extremely important, socialisation being possibly one of the very most crucial behavioural adjustments you two will ever endure. A social, care free dog is a happy dog!
Let your pooch greet other people on your walks. Being sure to supervise and use caution, promote peaceful encounters with other dogs. Consider handing strangers you pass a treat, and asking them to offer it up. The more you build strong social skills early on, the more you two will reap the rewards later!
- Socialisation is one of the absolute most important dog skills you’ll ever build on!
- It’s best to begin socialisation early on, when your dog is a growing puppy.
- If your dog is reactive to others on your walk, try diverting his attention by becoming the most entertaining thing around!
4. Sniffing and Marking Alleviates Stress
With their advanced sense of smell, dogs are easily able to discern countless things about other dogs simply through scent. In fact, the act of urinating on standing objects in order to mark (leave scent markers) is an age old instinct spanning tens, or even hundreds of thousands of years – back to early wolves!
Have you ever wondered why your pet seems to want to pee on absolutely everything when you’re dog walking? He’s leaving his scent behind! It isn’t just male dogs who take part in this activity, either.
- Dog’s age
- Dog’s gender
5. Strengthen Your Bond by Walking Your Dog
Dogs absolutely love their time outdoors, relishing in the opportunity to get out of the house, stretch their legs, and experience all the wonders nature has to offer! Dogs enjoy one of the absolute strongest senses of smell in the animal kingdom, and nothing comes more naturally than exercising it.
Because dogs love their time outdoors, cherishing those walks so much, and you are the one taking them for these walks, they are going to form associations between that deep enjoyment and you. Not only are you giving them one of their absolute favourite experiences, you’re strengthening your bond at the same time!
6. Dog Walking is Fun
Make dog walking a game! Reward your dog for walking nicely by your side with treats and impress onlookers with your pup’s fantastic behaviour. What could be more fun than enjoying the wonders all of nature has to offer with your best friend? Not only are you strengthening your pet-owner bond, setting a strong relationship base, and providing great exercise. Dog walking keeps you both healthy and alleviates stress!
7. Dogs Absorb Vitamins from the Sun
Vitamin D is extremely important to heart health, for both dogs and humans! Muscle and nerve function depend highly on calcium regulation in the body, and vitamin D plays a huge role in calcium absorption from the intestines. What better way to expose your dog to sunlight than daily dog walking?
When exposed to ultraviolet rays from sunlight, vitamin D (nicknamed the ‘sunshine’ vitamin) can begin to form in the body. Dogs do still have difficulty producing adequate levels from their skin, which is why dietary nutrition is important.
8. Dog Walking Promotes Mental Stimulation
Not only is it great socialisation, walking your dog stimulates their brains! Through greeting a passersby or using their age old hunting instincts to track small animals, while sifting through the millions of scents available or simply discerning between objects as they pass. Our dogs are always thinking and processing tons of information as they walk.
9. Can you Lose Weight Walking the Dog?
Yes, combined with a healthy diet dog walking isn’t only a great exercise for our dogs but there are many benefits of walking for us as pet owners too! In today’s day and age because of the 8-9 hour work day, too many people don’t get enough exercise. Sometimes, it only takes nothing more than a stroll in the park, or a walk around the block, to get us going!
10. A Tired Dog is a Good Dog
Almost time and time again, you’ll hear professional trainers using the phrase ‘A tired dog is a good dog.’ Tired dogs, or those that get enough exercise, therefore tend to be less anxious and destructive, yet they are calmer and probably more receptive to training and not as easily exhausted!
The main benefits are:
- Decreased anxiety
- Minimises destructive behaviour
- More receptive to training
- Less easily distracted
By helping your dog burn any extra energy it will help reduce the risk of any bad behaviour.
What Happens if you Never Walk your Dog?
There are many effects of not walking your dog:
- Destructive/bad behaviour – They might bite or chew on items in your home.
- They may possibly gain weight.
- Dogs may become unsociable and they may find if hard interacting/socialising with other dogs and humans.
- The may develop hyperactivity, otherwise known as “hyperkinesis” where dogs could display frenetic activity, abnormally short attention spans, or high impulsiveness.
Benefits of a Dog Walking Service
We all have busy lives nowadays and sometimes we find it difficult to fit in long dog walks into our daily schedule. So using a dog walking service can be a great help because they give you peace of mind that your dog has regular walks and it frees up some of your time.
There are many websites and local businesses that provide this service, just a simple Google Search will help you to find you one.
Overview: Top 10 Dog Walking Benefits
- Helps their gastrointestinal health and reduces the risk of constipation
- Allows the dog to socialise with others
- Helps your dog maintain a healthy weight
- Allows the dog to explore their surrounding
- It strengthens the bond and trust between dog and owner
- Dogs absorb vitamins from the sun like us
- Provides mental stimulation for the dog
- Great health benefits for us dog owners
- Regular dog walks burns any extra energy they may have so it helps with their good behaviour
- Most of all make it fun!
Conclusion: Why is Walking your Dog so Important?
In conclusion there are countless dog walking benefits! If only to give your dog an everyday activity, this fantastic form of exercise is essential to any pet-owner experience. Whether it be training, socialisation, stress relief or simple exercise, give your pup the environmental stimuli they deserve through this essential bonding experience!
Your dog will begin to associate these fun experiences during your walk together with you, as a result strengthening your relationship!
Just remember that small and short-legged breeds don’t need to walk as far or as often as larger dog breeds.
We hope that you have enjoyed this article on our top 10 dog walking benefits.
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