I had to take my dog to the vet today for her regularly scheduled checkup. She is not a fan of going to either the vet or groomers, both of which she see’s regularly anyway, and as you can see from the photo above, she chose to sit in the backseat pouting the whole way home, refusing to even look at me 🙂
Do you walk your dog daily? Multiple times per day? Just long enough to do their business, or a longer walk around the block? How long do you walk your dog, 5 minutes? 10? 30? Let loose in yard to tend to business?
Dogs, as well as humans, need exercise. Here are my Top 5 Reasons to Walk Your Dog:
- Good Digestive Health – Like humans, sometimes dogs get constipated, and need a little help in getting things moving within their digestive tract. Taking them on regular walks, can help ensure that they stay regular (which is also a BONUS for you to aid predicting when they need to go!).
- Good Weight Control – This is a great form of exercise for both pet and owner. Walking promotes good heart health, and can help keep your weight in check. For humans, if you are walking the neighborhood or park, the dog can serve as an added security layer for you. Our dog loves a good long walk in the neighborhood!
- Constructive Behavior – If your dog has to stay crated while you are out, a nice long walk when you get home will help them stretch their legs and release some energy. When your dog know they have a walk to look forward too, even a dog that isn’t crated is more likely to be less destructive around the house, because they have an outlet and alternative way to use their excess energy when you are on a walk. This doesn’t happen overnight, however, if we see our dog getting into things she shouldn’t, we’ll say, “Want to go for a walk?!” and she’ll stop and run to the door. She sits and waits for her leash, and after the walk (10-15 minutes) she comes in and is well behaved.
- Encourages Socialization – We’ve found that walking her and exposing her to other humans and pets has helped calm her some. She used to become overly excited around others, but when she sees other people and dogs in a regular, controlled situation, she is capable of staying much calmer now. She’s still a diva and wants all of the attention, but she has vastly improved. Regular car rides have helped too, she doesn’t get nervous or scared in the car anymore. She still is VERY protective if anyone comes near the house, and we’ve chosen not to break her of that.
- Strengthens Your Bond – When we first got our dog, we had a specific family member in mind to be the one responsible for the majority of care. From the very first walk, this family member has been the one to walk her at regular intervals, and is the person the dog considers her “master”. Now, when this person is not home and she needs to go out, she knows that I am the one who is most likely to walk her, and she has signals she shows to let me know it’s time. She is willing to go for others too if one of us is ill or unavailable, but it typically takes her longer to do her business than when she’s with her normal walking partner.
“Over 60% of humans in the United States are overweight or obese, and our pets mirror that statistic. Taking our dogs for a walk not only helps them burn calories, build lean muscle mass and relieve stress, it can also provide those same benefits to the two-legger on the other end of the leash.”