The 5 Amazing Benefits of One Simple Habit: Walking Your Dog
Facing the great outdoors is often the last thing that dog-owners want to do after a long day at work, or after driving home in the wind, hail, and rain. Only half of dog owners take their dogs for daily walks, instead relying on a few jaunts in the backyard for daily doggy exercise. The next time you feel like laying on the couch instead of grabbing Fido’s leash, remember these five amazing benefits of one simple habit: walking your dog.
Promotes a Healthy Pooch
Even the most relaxed breeds of dogs benefit from at least thirty minutes of exercise each day while high-energy breeds may need up to two hours. Just like humans, daily walks help dogs keep their muscles toned, their weight under control, and their mind sharp. Overweight dogs are at risk for diseases like obesity, heart disease, and hip dysplasia, decreasing their lifespan by an average of 2.5 years.
Strengthens Your Bond
You might be able to tell from your pup’s excited face when you grab that leash: dogs love spending time with their humans. The Human-Canine bond has been developing for thousands of years, and our camaraderie with these creatures will likely only continue to grow. By spending time with your dog on a daily basis, you cultivate this connection, creating a companion out of your pet.
Presents an Opportunity to Teach
As you expose your dog to fellow dog friends and people, you can teach him to behave calmly and appropriately (using lots of positive reinforcement and treats). This exposure works especially well with puppies, but all dogs can benefit from learning how to become better pets. Dogs don’t always know instinctively how to behave on leashes or around children: they need to be taught proper behavior and have that behavior reinforced through daily walks.
Stimulates Your Dog in Positive Ways
Dogs love to explore every smell, feel, and sound on their walks. The more new smells they get to experience each day on their walk, the less likely they’ll be to search for stimulation while at home (and it’s very stimulating to chew through a pair of brand-new leather loafers). It’s amazing how much destructive behavior can be improved with a little exercise. Make an effort to allow your dog the chance to experience new stimuli on walks: check out local dog parks, find a new jogging trail, or explore a new pond.
Keeps You Healthy, Too!
Humans also enjoy numerous health benefits from thirty minutes of exercise daily. Reduced stress, improved circulation, and deeper sleep are just a few of the gains that humans make from committing to a daily exercise regimen. The best part is that you don’t have to spend money on a gym membership or a treadmill: just lace up your shoes and spend a few minutes walking your pet. The begging eyes of your favorite companion may be just the motivation needed to reap the benefits of improved wellness.
To keep you and your pets healthy and happy, commit to a once-daily walk. You won’t regret the abundant benefits, and your pooch will love you even more.