Why dogs need to be walked
Some people find that a spacious front yard is enough for their dog to frolic and feel happy and healthy.
However, there are several reasons why dogs need to be walked. For your dog, a walk is not only a physical activity, but also an opportunity to socialize with other dogs and explore new alluring scents outside of the home. Walking also allows dogs to spend more time with their owners.
Without enough physical activity, dogs can develop health problems such as muscle, cardiovascular, or metabolic diseases, as well as behavioral problems.
How often should you walk your dog
The exact amount of time your dog needs depends on his age, breed, and size. Studies show that it is not necessary to walk sick and old dogs, as well as dogs of small breeds, often. However, all dogs need to leave the house at least for a while every day.
It is advisable to walk the dogs twice a day for 30 minutes – in the morning and in the evening. If you can’t do it yourself, it might be worth asking someone in your family to help you.
Luckily, dogs don’t always need very long walks. If your dog has health problems or is elderly, just a 20-minute walk will suffice.
If your dog has any special needs or has not been active enough in the past, it’s worth checking with your veterinarian to set up an exercise plan. Remember that just like humans, dogs need to warm up before physical activity. As a warm-up, a simple walk from home to the park will be enough – there your dog will be ready to play “fetch the stick”.
What can interfere with walking
It also happens that dogs do not enjoy walking. Most often this happens with dogs that lacked socialization when they were puppies. Also, some dogs may feel that the leash is restricting their movement and feel helpless because of this.
It is also worth noting that although many dogs enjoy playing with other dogs, there are those who do not enjoy interacting with their fellow dogs. As dogs age, prejudices or physiological changes can develop that prevent them from playing with other dogs. In such cases, dogs should not be walked in parks, but in more secluded places.
If your dog doesn’t like interacting with other dogs, try walking him late at night. This way you will be less likely to run into other dogs and your pet will experience less stress.
The people around you on your walk are another possible barrier. Sometimes your dog’s behavior can provoke a negative reaction from others, so it’s important to teach your dog to obey you both at home and outside.
Finally, the weather can get in the way, but don’t let that stop you! You can wait out the rain, and in case of summer heat, walk the dog early in the morning or late in the evening.
Benefits of dog walking for people
Thus, the benefits of walking for the dogs themselves are clear. But there are benefits to people too!
Walking with your pet is an easy and enjoyable way to move more. Walking can be good for your mental health and increase your social connections.
According to studies, dog walking can not only increase the physical activity of the population, but also prevent up to 5% of deaths from heart disease and stroke and up to 10% of cases of colon and breast cancer.
The more often you walk, the more benefits you will have. So, isn’t it time for you to walk your dog?