Six Important Benefits of Daily Dog Walks
How often do you walk your beloved dog (honestly)? Do your dogs bark, whine, chew or dig excessively? Are they restless or do they misbehave around company? Pay attention, they may be trying to communicate with you. Many pet owners underestimate the value of a dog walk. Dog walking can improve your pet’s behavior and help them both mentally and physically. Benefits beyond the obvious can help you and your dog live a happier and healthier lifestyle. Listed below are a variety of common reasons pups should be treated to walks regularly.
1. Dog walking promotes health, weight control, and digestive systems.
Pets, just as humans, need regular and consistent exercise to live long, healthy, and happy lives. Obese dogs have a higher risk for many health problems. According to betterhealth.com, “Obesity in pets is associated with medical complaints including osteoarthritis, cardiovascular disease, liver disease and insulin resistance.” Moving helps the body’s digestion and occasional constipation and helps your pet stay limber, agile, and fit.
2. Walking alleviates destructive behavior.
Are you noticing a corner of the couch being chewed away? Are your shoes being destroyed one by one? Lack of exercise can increase undesirable and destructive behaviors such as chewing, digging, scratching, biting and barking. Pets are like our children; if they are bored they will come up with something to do on their own… and you usually won’t like it. What if you or your children were cooped up all day in a crate at home? You’d go crazy without a good book, your favorite Netflix series, or comfort food. Everyone, including animals, needs stimulus. Dogs need to see, smell, feel, and hear just as humans do. A walk around the block, sniffing the neighbor’s grass, or being rewarded with a treat could keep them from acting out in negative ways.
3. Daily walks also help with hyperactivity.
Some dogs have an endless amount of energy which translates to hyperactivity, an abnormally short attention span, frantic activity, or high impulsiveness. Pent-up energy can cause inappropriate behavior such as jumping on people, knocking over furniture, running recklessly through the house, garbage raiding, etc. With longer or more frequent walks our canine friends can be more relaxed at bedtime and less restless in the home. A calmer animal creates a better day and quiet night’s sleep for both owner and pet.
4. Daily dog walks address attention-seeking behaviors.
Dogs who are continuously barking or whining are seeking attention. This is one way they can communicate. Take this as a hint for more exercise and outdoor activity if they’ve already eaten, had water, are not ill, or have relieved themselves. It allows the pet to receive the attention they desire and get out excess energy.
5. Walking around the neighborhood encourages socialization
Walking your dog can build trust and promote socialization. If your pets are timid or fearful this will help them feel more comfortable around strangers, other animals, and new sounds. If your pup is fearful and exhibits extreme shyness or aggression when facing something new, be sure to work with a great trainer who specializes in positive reinforcement training, such as Applause Your Paws here in Miami.
6. Dog walks provide relief!
Of course all animals need a potty break to relieve themselves. Bathroom breaks are needed for obvious physical reasons, as accidents can happen. Your dog does not need to be punished for something they physically could not help. The frequency of breaks depends on breed, age, energy level, needs, routine, or backyard access. Typically a full grown dog can go 4 to 6 hours without a break whereas a puppy needs to go out once an hour on average. Your silver senior might also need extra outings!
If you don’t have the energy or time, pet sitters or dog walkers are always an excellent option in giving your dog the care it deserves. Our dog walkers would be happy to help! You beloved dog should never go without a walk. Walking benefits both owner and pet in more ways than one; enjoy your next stroll through the neighborhood!
A founding member of the Equipaws family, Frankie can mostly be found working behind the scenes, helping co-create online branding, managing several social media accounts, designing brand collateral, writing copy, and managing events. She also fills in for pet sitters and dog walkers when needed in Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, and South Miami. Her own small pack consists of Boots the Shih Tzu mix and Nutmeg the Chiweenie.