Dog walks are one of the best bits about being a dog owner and also one of the worst. For while on some days the sun will be shining with not a cloud in the sky, on other days it will be chucking it down and yet you are still expected to take them out for a walk by putting their dog leash on along with their dog collar or dog harness.
Hopefully, our list of reasons why walking your dog is so beneficial, it will help reduce those times that you really don’t want to go for a walk.
Keeps Your Dog Fit
Dogs need regular walks to keep fit and healthy. Walking every day may not be possible for some owners, or even necessary for some breeds but walking as often as possible is key. Just like humans, cardiovascular exercise is needed to keep circulation and respiratory organs in the best shape. Exercise on walks gets the blood pumping around the body by increasing the heart rate and gets the lungs working to their optimum capacity. Oxygen is needed for fundamental bodily functions and by optimizing lung capacity, your dog’s ability to carry oxygen around the body to its other organs is enhanced.
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Keeps Your Dog Mentally Stimulated
This is a much-overlooked benefit to walking your dog. Keeping a dog mentally stimulated is just as important to keep their physical exertion up. Luckily, this can be achieved at the same time by taking them on regular walks. Walking allows your dog to sniff and investigate which forces them to use their brains. This is maximized if you are able to take your dog walking in areas where they are allowed off the lead. This is further increased if you are able to change up where you take your dogs to walk them. By changing where you go, dogs will forever find new things to sniff and smell which is the very thing that will tire them out through novel and interesting finds. Tiring them out is a vital result from walking as it allows owners to go about their day without their dog going crazy around them!
Tires Your Dog Out To Eradicate Negative Behavior
While walking may be a fun and easy way to keep your dog entertained, one of the key benefits to it that most owners will admit, is that a walk is essential to tire their dog out so that they are calm for the rest of the day. Going for a walk in the morning is brilliant for ensuring that your dog displays no hyperactivity afterward – especially if the walk is long and stimulating enough. A walk at any time of day, however, will definitely diminish hyperactivity for even the most excitable of dogs. The result is that when dogs are tired, they don’t have the energy to find mischief elsewhere that manifests itself as negative behavior like chewing on things they shouldn’t.
Keeps You, The Owner, Fit
One of the main benefits of having a dog are the positive effects that they have on you as the owner. Walking is one of those daily chores that a dog makes you do that has far-reaching benefits for you too. By walking for half an hour to an hour, every day, you are increasing your cardiovascular exercise too which is great for your own respiratory system and circulation as well. The knock on effect to the rest of your fitness is huge, plus walking is a low impact form of exercise so your joints are protected and remain uninjured. Your lifespan has been clinically proven to be extended with a daily dose of exercise where your heart rate increases.
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Form Of Meditation For You And Your Dog
Another plus to both you and your dog is that walking is one of the best ways to clear your mind. Yoga teachers and mental health specialists advocate walking as a form of meditation as it forces you and your dog to leave the house to get some fresh air with blood pumping faster around your body. This helps your brain as it gives you time to debrief and the natural endorphins that are released are the body’s way of putting you in a good mood. These endorphins will last you for the rest of the day which arms you with the ability to cope with the daily stresses that life throws at you more ably.
Helps With Weight Control (for you both!)
By walking regularly, you will be burning far more calories than you did without your daily dog walks. A half hour walk will burn 150 calories on average while an hour’s walk comes in at twice that. Over the course of a week, that amounts to a great deal more calories burnt than without a dog in your life getting you outdoors every day. The same applies to him or her too. By going for a walk, especially one where he or she is let off the dog leash for a good long while, they will burn so many more calories than a day sat on their bed at home. Burning calories is key to effective weight control and keeping the scales at the right number. If you or your dog is overweight, the ability to fight infection is lower owing to poorer circulation that comes from having furred up arteries.
Helps With Digestion
Your dog’s digestive system is infinitely helped by regular walking. There is a reason that all dogs go to the loo when out on a walk. Moving around at pace gets their intestines working so that they go to the toilet more easily. Having a digestive system that works efficiently is a much overlooked way of maintaining overall health. When working at its optimum, your dog’s energy levels will be higher (though not hyperactive), his or her coat will be sleeker and his or her eyes will be sparklier. This is because the right vitamins and minerals that your dog needs will be distributed around the body more effectively by the gut having broken down food better.
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No More Attention Seeking Behavior
Through walking your dog on a regular, if not daily basis, you will see a marked improvement on any attention seeking behavior they may exhibit. In fact, it will probably reduce to nothing. This is for two reasons. One, they will simply be too tired to even try to get your attention through whining or pawing at you. Secondly, they will have been mentally stimulated so that when they are home, they are ok with resting.
Attention seeking behavior can manifest itself in becoming mischievous as it results in a reaction from you. When they learn that chewing on shoes and chair legs harnesses a reaction from you, some dogs will continue to do so even though you think you have told them off to teach them never to do it again. By being mentally stimulated on walks, you will find that this type of action is not one that your dog performs any longer. To further aid mental stimulation, it’s a good idea to change up where you walk your dog on occasion. This means they will have new sights and sounds to investigate that will get them thinking and using the grey matter.
Helps Improve Your Bond
By spending quality time with them every day, you will improve the bond between you both so that they do not feel the need to play with you once you are home. Plus, you’ll feel closer to your pup too and gain a great deal of enjoyment from seeing them having so much fun when you are out and about.
You dog will see you as the ultimate source of fun and so will want to be with you as much as possible. This is another way that your bond is enhanced. By listening to each other, your connection will be stronger as well as the respect that you hoth have for one another.
One of the best consequences of regularly walking your dog is that the trust between you increases tenfold.
The reason being for this is that the quality time you spend with each other means that you have more time to practice commands as well as having more time to play. When out and about, especially when your dog is let off the dog leash, you will naturally ask him or her to come back to you, to sit or to stay. This will build up your dog’s ability to listen and respond to your commands correctly. The more that you do this, the more you will respect your dog and let him go longer and longer off the lead. In turn, this will make your dog respect you more as they will enjoy your company even more than they already do.
So it is imperative to get up, put your dog in his or her dog harness or dog collar and get them out on their dog leash. Walking has so many benefits to your dog as well as to you, that it is a great shame not to go out together as often as possible.
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