The Importance of Walking Your Dog
Everyone knows that once you say those magic words, it’s a done deal. All it really takes is the “Want to go—” in “Want to go for a walk?” to get the tails racing, butts wiggling, and the happy hops going. Then, if you don’t take the dog for a walk, you risk ending up in the doghouse.
However, the benefits are greater than that, and your dog gets so much more from a daily walk than just the satisfaction of being outside.
Benefits of Dog Walking:
Better Health: Dogs need regular exercise to stay fit and active and maintain a healthy weight (just like humans!). It also helps prevent health-related conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and liver disease and preserve your dog’s muscles and joints. Additionally, your pet’s mental health will thrive if regularly exposed to fresh air and new surroundings.
Socialization: Walking your dog in the neighborhood presents an opportunity to meet new pups and people and explore new surroundings. These experiences are crucial for your pet’s growth and will promote friendly behavior rather than fearfulness when facing new people or environments in the future.
Behavior Control: One of the greatest benefits of dog walking is the ability to control or correct negative behaviors. If your pet is constantly chewing your shoes or barking up a storm in the house, this is likely attention-getting behavior. They are bored and have some pent-up energy that a 30-minute walk could easily relieve. If done regularly, these behaviors will quickly dissipate.
Training: In addition to controlling behaviors at home, walking your dog serves as an excellent opportunity to adjust behavior on leash. If your pup is an excessive barker or tends to turn around and chomp on the leash out of excitement from seeing a friend across the street, take this time to train these habits out. Walk and work with your pet. Let them follow your lead and they will soon learn what is, and is not, acceptable.
Bond Strengthening: When discussing the importance of walking your dog, bond strengthening is perhaps the biggest benefit. Walking your dog is an excellent way to reinforce the bond you share and serves as an excellent reward for being such a good dog each day. Walking daily also promotes trust as you’re showing your dog that you’re someone they can depend on for their daily needs.
As if you needed any more reasons to get out and get walking, National Walk Your Dog Week is October 1st through the 7th so, we’re challenging you to get outside and get active with your four-legged friend for seven days in honor of the holiday. Feel free to snap some pictures, videos, or boomerangs and share on your social media with the hashtags #AZPetVet and #NationalWalkYourDogWeek. We’d love to see!
For questions or to schedule your pet for an appointment, contact us at any one of our 22 AZPetVet today!