For many good pet parents, walking their pet dog is something that they do automatically, come rain or shine, and most appreciate the importance of such an activity for the dog.
Walks are so much more than just exercise for your dog, especially if your pet is given an opportunity to socialise with other dogs or humans, and it’s a great way of further strengthening the bond between the two of you (or however many dogs you happen to have!).
For those of you not in the know, or those who may need reminding, here are a few reasons why a daily walk is so important for your furry friend:
Walks help them to maintain a healthy weight:
A pet that doesn’t get regular exercise, can quickly become overweight, which can in turn lead to many other health issues. Even if your dog has space to move around and play inside your home, they still need to get out in the fresh air and have a large enough area to vent their pent-up energy, and this is particularly pertinent for younger dogs and pups. The younger the dog, the more energy they may have, meaning that an energetic walk or run of at least an hour a day is needed, and the same may be said for dogs which are bred for sport, who may require even more daily exercise.
Walks allow you to further train your pet:
We often take it for granted that some dogs seem to take to walking on a leash, but remember that they aren’t born understanding how to walk on a leash, and it certainly isn’t an activity that they would be familiar with in the wild! Patiently teach your dog to heel and follow various other commands when on the leash, and you’ll help your pet to become more obedient in other aspects of their life, too.
Walks help your pet to learn socially acceptable behaviour:
It’s quite likely that you will encounter other dogs while out walking yours, and so try to use it as an opportunity to teach your dog what kinds of behaviour are socially acceptable, and which ones are not. Done correctly, your pet will also gain confidence around other dogs, but if you encounter problems with your dog when out that you don’t feel equipped to handle, you could consider taking your dog to a training class. These are a great way of helping to remove any anxieties that they may be experiencing, in a safe and controlled environment.
Walks can reduce or stop destructive behaviour:
Dogs love to explore the world around them, and if they are confined for hours on end with no form of entertainment, they are highly likely to begin displaying destructive behaviour to keep themselves amused. Regular walk or play sessions can help reduce this behaviour, or if done often enough, put a stop to it altogether. Toys may keep them entertained for shorter periods of time, but there is no substitute for the great outdoors and the myriad opportunities for exploring and frolicking on offer.
Daily walks are vital for your pets’ health and happiness, and provided you have taught your pooch to behave well when out on the leash, it should always be a positive experience for both dog and owner.