The Importance of Walking your Dog
With the colder months upon us, it can be harder to motivate ourselves to get our dogs out and active. While, of course, on the extra chilly days, you want to mind your dog’s exposure to the weather, it’s still important to incorporate regular walks into your dog’s weekly routine. It will benefit you and your dog in your journey together through life.
The immediate benefit that comes to mind is the overall physical need for exercise. All pets need daily exercise to keep bodies fit and healthy. Dogs might get activity inside, but there still needs to be other outlets for energy that walking easily provides. Younger dogs need at least one hour of exercise every day to keep their energy levels under control. Dogs bred for sport will need even more play and exercise to keep them happy and healthy. Regular walking maintains agility, mobility, and weight for your dog and helps to prevent health complications brought on by canine obesity.
Outside activity also makes a dog less bored. When a dog’s cooped up inside all of the time, boredom sets in and tends to lead to more destructive behavior. Dogs need mental stimulation just like children. If left in a stale environment, dogs will make their own fun at the cost of your couch or your rug. Digging, scratching, and chewing can all be reduced by a nice, enriching walk outside. Varying where you walk can lead them to new sights, smells and sounds that will stimulate their desire to learn more about the environment around them. Walking is a great way to get them out there, get them stimulated and get them tuckered out, especially when walking your dog in the evening. If you want a dog with less hyperactivity and better behavior, walking will be a big help towards your goal.
Taking a nice walk with your dog can also reduce attention-seeking behaviors. Whining, barking and jumping on people is a dog’s way to request attention from their family. By taking a walk with your dog, you are giving them the ‘us’ time that they want with you. This strengthens their trust and bond with you while helping you feel closer to your dog. A stronger bond can alleviate anxious behaviors in your dog and makes training easier.
Walks are a great opportunity to train your dog as you build your relationship with them. Dogs aren’t born knowing how to be leash-lead, so you will have to take the time to teach them to follow your command and to recognize that you are walking them, not the other way around. While walking, take treats along for your outing with your buddy and start teaching them commands like “sit” and “stay”. Taking advantage of your time together to get your dog on the path to good behavior is a great way to get more out of your walks for you and your dog.
But remember: taking your dog outside means you are potentially exposing them to other dogs and animals. Talk to your veterinarian about potential health risks that await in your neighborhood and learn what precautions to take before you start your routine. Using the Shot Spot’s mobile services to keep your pet vaccinations up-to-date can prevent many of the diseases that can be picked up outdoors. We also provide preventative medications and flea and tick products to further protect your pup against worms, parasites and other nasty critters out in the big, wide world. The Shot Spot will give your pet the protection it needs so you can spend time your walks together knowing they are safe and sound.