We frequently write about the importance of exercise for your dogs. Not only does it help keep their weight in check (yours too!) but it helps keep their minds alert and attentive. A daily walk should be a requirement for every dog, no matter what size of dog, big or small, short or tall.Just a few of the many benefits of a daily walk are:
- General health and weight control: A daily walk helps keep your dog healthy just as activity and exercise help you keep healthy. It’s good for their cardiovascular health, controlling blood pressure, and building strong bones and muscles. There is a serious canine obesity problem in this country so it’s important you get on a regular program of exercise to help control your dog’s weight.
- Mental alertness: A daily walk offers your dog a variety of opportunities to exercise their brain by exposing them to new and different sights and sounds. Each experience helps keep them alert whether it is smelling flowers, tracking who’s passed this way before him or simply observing nature by watching a squirrel climb a tree.
- Training: The daily walk is an excellent time for some additional training for your dog. The first training goal is learning to walk gently on a lead without pulling, but once that is mastered, you can move on to teaching them to heel and then to sit, stay, down all while on your walk. It’s a real challenge for them to stay attuned to you when there are so many interesting distractions.
- Socialization: A daily walk provides many opportunities for your dog to meet and greet other humans and dogs. Learning to interact with others while on lead on a walk is an important skill for a dog. It can both help them get over any fears they might have of new situations or new people, as well as increase their confidence and sociability. Obviously, before you greet other people or dogs, make sure YOUR dog is ready for those interactions and ASK the people you are about to greet if their dog is ready. Avoiding unwanted confrontations is critical for responsible pet owner.
- Releases energy: If you have an active dog, a daily walk helps channel that energy into something productive. There’s an old saying heard in dog training circles: “a tired dog is a well-behaved dog” and it’s true, if you release excess energy through a walk, then Fido is less likely to get bored and tear up your shoes or dig in your garden.
- Build your bond: A daily walk is typically the highlight of your dog’s day providing them with all of the benefits listed above. In addition, because YOU are associated with all those benefits it helps build and strengthen the bond between you and your dog. Yes, they will love you even more I you take them for a walk every day!
I’m sure after reading about all these wonderful benefits, you are ready to commit to that daily walk. But, we recognize that some of you may have jobs or family commitments that limit the ability to schedule that daily chunk of time.
That’s where Dog Walkers come in. Dog walking services are a booming business and provide a valuable service. Come back next week to read our upcoming post: “Should I Get a Dog Walker” where we will cover the ins and outs of dog walking services.