The moment you take his leash in your hand, he looks at you with eagerness. As soon as you ask him, “do you want to go for a walk?” he starts jumping in excitement.
Undeniably, dogs love to go for a walk. It’s their only escape from home to explore their surroundings. And guess what? Walking your dog has tons of health benefits. In fact, every physical activity helps them to improve their overall health and well-being.
If you’re wondering how walking your dog can help him, you’re in the right spot! Read on to know the health benefits of taking your dog for a walk!
How Much Walking Does a Dog Need?
Simply put, there is no hard and fast rule that defines how many hours of activity your dog needs on a daily basis. It depends heavily on the breed and the age of your dog. For instance, a german shepherd may need more strenuous physical activity than a basset hound.
However, indulging your dog in physical exercises for at least 30 minutes and a maximum of 2 hours on a daily basis is usually considered a good habit.
8 Health Benefits of Walking Your Dog
Builds Stronger Physique and Prevents Obesity- Walking has a bunch of health benefits for your dogs, including better bone health, stronger muscles and prevention of obesity. Taking your dog for a walk on a daily basis will help in strengthening his bones, which will prevent osteoporosis (loss of bone density), and joint pain and keep him healthy and active.
Similarly, canine obesity is a growing concern among pet parents. It has severe implications for your dog’s health. Osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, and insulin resistance are some of the health concerns arising out of dog obesity. But, these complications can be prevented and eased by taking your dog on walks on a daily basis.
Improves Cardiovascular Health- Walking daily can be a great aerobic exercise for both of you! Just like strengthening other muscles of his body, walking would strengthen his heart, making it more efficient to pump blood and promote blood circulation. This improved blood circulation will prevent blood clots from forming and reduce the chances of getting a cardiovascular disease such as coronary artery disease, heart stroke, heart failure, and more.
Lowers Blood Pressure and Decreases Stress- Several studies indicate that walking your dog on a daily basis for at least 15 minutes can help in lowering his blood pressure and thereby decrease his stress levels. Getting outdoors for a long walk and playing in the garden can help him get fresh air, a natural dose of Vitamin D, feel calm, and be more energetic.
Has a Positive Impact on Mental Health- It’s a well-known fact that animals can have a positive impact on our mental health. How? They offer non-judgemental companionship and unconditional love. Having them can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support and have a positive impact on our mood. Similarly, taking them for a walk offers you a great opportunity to play, relax, bond with your fido and reduce stress.
Although you might not realise it, walking your dog can have a good impact on your dog’s mental health too! Strolling through new and unexplored areas gives them a constructive task to process the various smells, sounds and sights around them. This acts as a great mental stimulation for them.
Helps in Socialisation- Going for a walk is a great way to socialize your dog. Taking your dog for a stroll offers us an opportunity to meet and greet new people.
Similarly, walking your dog exposes him to other objects, people, and animals around him. This will allow him to learn appropriate social manners and etiquette for a suitable social environment.
Prevents Unnatural and Bad Behaviour – If always left at home, dogs can get bored and lethargic. This will lead them to develop destructive behaviour such as chewing, licking excessively, etc.
Similarly, if your dog spends too much time in the four walls of the house, it can make them too attached to their surroundings and leaving it (even for a walk) can make them react unnaturally in the form of excessive whining and barking.
That’s why taking your dog for walks from a small age is necessary as it helps them get out of their comfort zone and get adjusted to new environments.
Offers a Great Opportunity for Training and Bonding- Another benefit of taking your dog for a walk is that it strengthens your fido’s digestive and urinary systems. That is to say, it eases their bowel movements. Further, it helps them to practice using the bathroom outside.
Similarly, it also offers you an opportunity to train your dog and work on his command and recall skills.
Helps in Inculcating Healthy Habits- Several studies and surveys have concluded that dog owners are more likely to walk for unwinding as compared to non-dog owners. Going for a walk daily will keep both of you healthy and active.
Further, dog walking can also help in developing healthy co-disciplines in you. For instance, waking up early so that you can take him out for a morning walk.
Tips for Walking With Your Dog
- To make dog walking interesting and fun, change the routes and try out newer places. Take a walk to the nearest park or beaches where your dog can run around, play and enjoy his time. If possible, take a few of his toys such as a ball or a bouncy toy, and play around with him.
- To motivate yourself (and your dog) for going on walks regularly, keep his walking gear within your reach. This way every time you plan to go for a walk, you don’t have to bear the hassle of creating a bag. You can keep a few of his favourite treats, his toys, water, and poop bags in the bag and get ready to hit the roads! .
- Also, walking your dog is essential for his overall well-being. That’s why make walking your dog a priority and keep this activity at the top of your to-do list. If you’re pressed for time and are unable to take your dog for daily walks, you can avail professional dog walking services to not miss this important activity.