Physical movement is important for dogs just as it is for human beings. Taking your dog out for walks encourages health and social benefits that they can enjoy. Dog owners are encouraged to set a schedule for when pets experience the outdoors as this can contribute to their animals living a quality life. Here are the reasons why it’s important to walk your dog every day.
Walking your dog every day means that you create teachable moments for your dog. You can train your dog to understand and listen to instructions during a walk. For example, throwing a stick and instructing your dog to fetch it and bring it back to you is an exercise that you can implement on your walk. The routine and exercise encourage listening skills that can be applied to other instruction areas such as sitting and sleeping.
There have been situations where dogs have rescued owners in an emergency by calling or help from others outside the household. Taking walks means your dog becomes familiar with various paths and people that they encounter. Taking walks can be a means of training dogs to communicate with the external space in moments where assistance is needed or in a case where your dog gets lost.
You need to ensure that your dog is on a leash when in public areas to avoid harming others. Games such as fetch can only be enjoyed in designated areas such as a dog park. High-quality leashes such as those from mybestbark.com are recommended for walking safety.
Social interaction with other dogs is facilitated during walks. Taking your dog for a walk in a dog park, for instance, means your dog can interact with other breeds and get involved in play. Being exposed to playmates other than you may give your dog socialization confidence. You can also teach your dog how to gently play with others if they have difficulty in relating to other breeds or in unfamiliar territory.
- Depression and Anxiety
Being constantly confined in a similar space may lead to depression and anxiety in dogs. Symptoms of depression in dogs may include paw licking, loss of interests in hobbies, difficulties falling asleep, and loss of appetite.
If a dog has been traumatized or neglected, they may experience symptoms of anxiety which can lead to difficulty in trusting their surroundings. You may notice this particularly if you adopted a dog from a shelter. The dog’s past may have been one of trauma. Taking walks promotes health and wellness, facilitates a building of trust through familiarization of the surroundings, as well as the bonding that takes place with you as you interact with each other.
If you notice your dog experiencing these symptoms, you must visit your vet for guidance.
- Mental Stimulation
Mental stimulation in dogs can be encouraged by letting your dog off its leash and exploring its environment. The various scents, textures, and sounds of their surroundings may enhance your dog’s mental alertness. Ensure that your dog is within calling distance and closely monitor them when they are interacting with young children.
The physical health benefits that are a result of walking your dog every day include bone strength, heart health, weight control, aided digestion, blood pressure control, and muscle strengthening.
As your dog benefits from the physical health benefits of the walk, so do you. Walking can reduce stress by enjoying the environment such as nature, regulates blood flow through movement, and exercises your joints. Together you become healthier and enjoy quality time spent by walking together.
If you notice that your dog may be displaying negative behaviour at home, such as scratching others and destroying furniture, it may be a sign of boredom. When a dog is bored, they may become destructive in the household. You may find that your dog barks excessively and growls at any visitors or those passing by your property. Taking a walk can distract your dog because the change of environment is entertaining. Just as humans can become restless when bored, dogs also experience restlessness that can lead to destructive behaviour.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to overtire your dog. Breeds experience different levels of stamina, and you have to be mindful to look out for signs that your dog needs to rest. The benefits of walking your dog include training, socializing, possible alleviation of depression and anxiety, mental stimulation, exercise which has health benefits for you as well, and is a solution to boredom.
If you notice your dog showing characteristics that seem amiss from its regular disposition, make sure to contact your vet. Walks are meant to encourage health and wellness – however, don’t replace any medical attention that may be required.