Why Walking Your Dog Is Important
It’s healthy for every pooch and owner to get out and about frequently on long rambles or shorter strolls. Walking your dog is an extremely important and rewarding activity. If you need motivation, here are some reasons to begin this crucial daily activity.
In these sedentary times of working behind a desk, many of us just don’t move our bodies enough. Stiffness, injuries from sitting incorrectly, restricted blood flow to the extremities, and obesity are just part of the price we pay to have kibble in the bowl and keep the wolf from the door. Our pups also suffer because they could be staying at home with minimal space to exercise and insufficient mental and physical stimulation. Like us, they get bored, which can lead to undesirable and possibly destructive behaviours. Even worse, your dog may get depressed and lose vigour.
Signs that your dog may be depressed (many even apply to us):
- Loss of interest in normal activities
- Change in appetite or eating habits
- Change in sleep patterns
- Self-destructive behaviours
- Increased or decreased activity levels
- Whining or barking more than usual
- Withdrawal from social interaction
- Excessive grooming or chewing
No matter what the breed, all dogs require a walk every day. Very active dogs could be walked twice a day.
Exercise in both humans and dogs lowers blood pressure and improves cardiovascular strength, which reduces stress in both owner and pet. It burns those extra calories, which day by day contribute to obesity. In both dogs and humans, being severely overweight affects the liver, can cause insulin resistance, exposes one to cardiovascular disease, and increases the chances of osteoarthritis.
2. Bonding and Enrichment
Not just a physically healthy habit, walking with our canine companion also cultivates emotional bonds. Getting to know each other’s foibles out in the wider world builds trust in the relationship and in each other. This provides a sense of security and well-being that recharges one’s physical, spiritual, and mental batteries.
Almost unavoidably, many dogs are kept inside, behind high walls, or solid fences, and can’t identify the sources of the sounds and smells surrounding them. Fortunately, a daily walk outside keeps them oriented, and aware of natural stimuli. This stops them being frightened of strange sounds, and their alarmed barking at the slightest provocation. Since you and your dog form a pack, with you as the leader, your confidence in all areas of life is reassuring to them. There is no better opportunity to practice your calm and steady demeanour than out where life is full of thrilling new experiences.
Taking dog treats with you to help train your dog to walk calmly next to you will provide faster results. Teaching new tricks makes the outing more stimulating than a simple stroll.
Companion dogs that spend a lot of time alone may either be lonely, fearful, and timid or hyperactive and destructive. Getting out on a walk frequently involves meeting other mutts and such socialising could help them shake off these behaviours and form friendships. Being pack animals, dogs learn acceptable conduct from other dogs. Properly managed, this can make the activity especially fun and reassuring for your canine chum. Regularly sharing a greeting, a smile, and a word or two with other dog walkers or cheerful neighbours also benefits the owner’s sense of community.
5. Mental Health
A relaxing walk improves the mental health of dogs and owners. People with balanced healthy lifestyles are less likely to suffer from serotonin deficiencies meaning that overall, their happiness levels are higher. The same applies to your pooch. Dogs become bored at home and walking provides vital stimulation for all their senses, particularly hearing, smell, and sight.
As many studies and personal experiences confirm, our mental health is improved by being out and exercising a bit with our furry friends. In response, we earn their unconditional devotion, which is known to have many positive influences on us and is a reward in itself.