We all know that dogs love walks. Whether running errands for treats or a slow night walk with their owner, they wag their tail all the way along. But have you wondered if there could be health benefits to dog walking?
They naturally love exercises, running behind butterflies and walking as they sniff around.
But dog walking has more benefits than a happy pooch hopping around. Explore ten benefits of walking your dog daily and how it can be a game changer for your dog AND YOU!
10 Health Benefits of Dog Walking
For any dog, going for a walk at least 30 minutes a day is essential. This will benefit them and you in the long run. Walking is one of the most straightforward exercises to do with your dogs.
Here are ten benefits of walking your dog every day:
1. Physical health
To walk your dog is one of the best ways to keep your dog physically fit. Especially if a dog has eating problems or is obese, walking helps you tone their bodies and keep the weight. In addition, it also strengthens the bones and makes them flexible.
2. Mental stimulation
When dogs go out, they hear nature’s voices, see vibrant colors, smell different scents, sniff around the bushes, and might even play with your neighbor’s garden. All this helps to stimulate their mind and senses. Such stimulation keeps your doggo mindful and clear-headed.
3. Stress release
If a dog is not involved in any exercises and spends hours lying on the couch, sooner or later, it will start showing signs of frustration and irritation. It is evident that dogs will feel trapped and inactive if there is no stimulation.
Therefore, dog walking will help to release their energy on being productive instead of tearing apart your favorite sneakers.
4. Reduce behavioral issues
Taking your dog regularly on a walk will keep their mind at ease instead of getting distracted by unnecessary stimuli. Behavior issues are common in dogs but can be managed with a productive routine.
If dog owners don’t take them for walks or exercises, dogs can show behavioral issues like- biting, breaking things, barking, humping, aggression, etc.
5. Help with social anxiety
Socialization is a necessity for both you and your pooch. With the help of regular walks outside, your dog can meet new people and new canine friends and build confidence.
If you and your dog shy away from meeting new people, walking and going out will motivate you both bond and exercise with other people and dogs.
Note: If your dog is scared to meet new people, do not force them. It may take time to make them feel comfortable with the outer world. Consult your veterinarian for better advice.
6. Reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases
As dog walking is a low-effort aerobic activity, it helps to pump blood and increase blood circulation in dogs. This keeps your dog far away from cardiovascular diseases and keeps their heart at ease.
However, every dog has different walking requirements; what may work for small dogs might not for big dogs.
7. Better sleep
If you and your dog cannot sleep before counting 579 sheep, here is a way out. Walking your dog or increasing physical activity helps with the sleep cycle. It impacts the quality and length of sleep for both dogs and hoomans (study).
8. Makes a routine
As your dog grows up, a sense of accountability and responsibility is essential. Walking every day at the same time will keep your dog prepared and motivated. A healthy routine constitutes a healthy lifestyle for your dog and you.
A routine will also help you bond and spend time with your dog before you go about your business.
9. Helps with bonding
Walking together, exploring the streets is the most romantic way to spend time with your furry friend. If you have a puppy, they will start feeling comfortable with you as you take them on walks, train or treat them.
10. A chance of training
Walking hours also allow for training your dog with commands and basic reinforcement techniques. For example, you can train your dog to understand “sit,” “heel,” “run,” or stop commands while you walk them.
If they follow the commands, you can give them a cookie or pat them.
Dog walking benefits you too!
Dog walking is a low-effort exercise that helps your dog’s well-being and contributes to your physical and mental health. Being a dog parent can be challenging as it comes with many responsibilities. The positive angle is that it makes you an accountable being.
Moreover, dog walking is always fun. You can run behind your dog, play games, fetch toys, and rest at a nearby coffee shop.
Perfect days do exist!
Walking Requirements for Dogs
Every dog is unique, with their own walking requirements. You cannot make a puppy go hit the gym and do push-ups! With the help of dog walking tips and tricks, you can become a professional dog walker!
Here are the walking requirements for puppies, adults, and seniors.
Little pups can quickly get tired of the everyday fitness grind! They need more pawses than exercising. You can take them on short walks of 15-20 minutes once or twice a day to keep them active and away from the habit of paw-castination.
As your dog grows up, their exercise needs will increase too. An adult dog requires challenging exercises, fun activities, mental stimulation, and a nutritious diet to keep them fit.
You can take your dog out for 30 minutes to 1 hour daily. You can divide it into two slots to make it convenient for you and your dog.
It can be challenging for senior dogs to run around the streets and exercise, so taking them on a walk for 15-20 minutes a day should be enough. If your dog can stretch more, you can allow them after consulting with your veterinarian.
Essentials for Dog Walking
Getting your pooch to walk is the cheapest and most effective way to get them off the couch daily.
While you plan to walk your dog, remember to prepare yourself beforehand. Here are the essentials you need to know before taking your dog on a long walk.
1. A kit
A bag or a kit with all their needs– treats, treats, and treats.
Ay NO! WE ARE KIDDING!
If you want to be a dog walker, carry these things in your bag whenever taking your pooch out for dog walking.
- Poop bags
- First aid kit
- Toys to fetch
- An extra leash
- Water bottle
- Identification tags
- And obviously, treats.
Carry these items to have your kit ready to be a super mom or dad in case things don’t go as planned.
2. Road safety (PS: better to be paranoid than sorry)
Firstly, taking your dog anywhere near roads or vehicles is dangerous. Secondly, even if you take them to such an area, follow the sidewalk rule.
This means keeping your dog on the inner side beside you while you are on the side closer to cars.
You will also need to ensure that there are no vehicles at fast speeds.
Or, for the safest option (still risky), grab your doggo in your arms and cross the roads.
3. Make and learn commands
Sit and write if you want to.
For this training, make a list of commands that you want your dog to follow.
You can use “Sit” to point toward the ground.
You can use “Come” with a gesture of your hands, calling them.
You can point somewhere (on their eye level) and ask them to “GO FETCH.”
You can also teach them “Yes” and “No” for good and bad behavior.
4. Consistency is key
It is a long journey. Just like a human baby takes time to learn, doggos do too.
Every dog owner and their pooch has a different pace of growing their bond, which is okay.
Being consistent and having patience will make you have many memories, and your pooch will also get comfortable with you. (Enough to throw you off your own bed. LOL.)
5. Their joints are weak
You know how excited doggos get, right? Banging themselves on the table and falling from bed is like their hobby!
So you must wear a cape and be ready 24/7 to protect your pet from injuries. No matter how grown up they act, their joints are fragile.
Moreover, as it has been scientifically proven, you can improve their overall health by taking them on walks regularly! (study)
6. Be a guardian, not a clinger
Do you like when someone keeps clinging to you or peeping inside your phone, not giving you space to breathe?
The same happens with doggos; By clinging to them in all their activities, you can hinder their natural growth, while by being a guardian, you can protect them, supervise and ensure your dog is safe.
7. Let them sniff around (safely)
Their nostrils are like tiny detectives, sniffing out scents with unmatched zeal! As per studies, their noses even communicate with their surroundings! (study) They will fight the leash if they smell a cookie from 20 miles away.
And the motive is not to stop them from sniffing around but to ensure that your dog is not around trashcans.
They can catch harmful bacteria and feel sick, or in the worst case– they might even ingest garbage. (And you don’t want that!)
Dog walking is an effective way to make a noticeable difference in your dog’s and your life. There are several benefits of dog walking as it helps with physical health and stimulates your dog mentally and sensorily.
You can always motivate your furry friend with yummy treats and cuddles. Moreover, before you take your dog for a walk, you need to be prepared with the essentials like- a dog kit, knowing your commands, and being aware of your dog’s needs. This helps not only the dog but also the dog walker as well.
Once your pooch has an everyday walking routine, they will get you off your bed every morning!
Frequently Asked Questions
On average, walking your dog for a walk at least 30 minutes a day is essential. It can vary in different breeds and sizes. Small dogs can go up to 20-30 minutes, while large dogs can extend it to 1 hour daily. By walking them regularly, you will learn the capacity of your dog and can fix walking goals accordingly.
Yes. Dogs love to go out, play and sniff around different scents. By not involving them in dog walking, you can abrupt their instincts, which makes them frustrated or depressed, and even promote behavioral problems like biting, barking, breaking things, etc. Hence, taking them out in the world, walking them, and keeping the dog active is essential as there are several benefits of dog walking.
Let the dog explore themselves when taking them on a walk for the first time. Keep the dog walking session short and let the dog walk at their own pace. Moreover, always carry treats to reward them whenever they achieve a milestone or show positive behavior.
There is no such hard and fast rule for taking your dog out in the morning or at night. You can take them out whenever there is enough space and peace for them to enjoy their walking time. However, feed them for at least 1 hour before taking them on a walk. Many dog owners prefer taking dogs out in the evening, but it is more important to keep a fixed scheduled time for dog walking.