Dog walking is a great way for you and your dog to bond and to maintain good health. Dogs are happiest when they are exploring the wilds. They absolutely love to sniff all the scents that their surroundings have to offer and they never seem to tire of it. It’s their way of socializing with their surroundings and learning the nuances of the world outside of their home. When this is such a happy occasion, one should not deprive them of it.
Walking the dog is something you must do every day. Not just for potty breaks, but to give them and yourself an opportunity to explore together and create an opportunity for behavioural training. Lack of exercise also leads to unwanted diseases like obesity which can be a real dampener when they grow older. Did you know that dogs that are highly energetic need at least two hours of walking time in a day! Let’s look at the benefits of taking the dog for a walk and also learn about a few tips to help you walk your dog the right way.
How often should you walk your dog?
A minimum of 30 to 40 minute walk every day should be ideal for most large breed canines. However if you have smaller breed canines, you can split the walk time into shorter durations only because their strides are shorter and it often takes them more effort to catch up with your pace.
Why is walking the dog important?
Just like humans, dog walking provides overall exercise to our canine companions and also keeps their boredom at bay. If they are well exercised, their excess energies are expended and their destructive behaviour is under control. A good walk that will satisfy the cravings of sniffing and exploring will keep your dog’s mental health at peace, which is equally important to keep them happy and healthy.
Benefits of walking your dog daily?
Walking the dog has many more benefits and these benefits can be extended to you too. After all, as humans, we need to keep our good health too. So why not walk regularly and keep both your dog and yourself healthy. Walking also helps your dog make friends with other dogs and humans and understand how to interact with the outside world. It will boost their confidence and help decrease social anxiety.
Dog walking also keeps your dog’s joints in optimum condition. It is important to keep the joints and muscles supple and fit to avoid old age immobility. This is quite common with obese dogs and therefore should be avoided consciously. A good walk will also improve your pooch’s digestive system and help empty his urinary bladder as well. If you have an open space, you can also use walking as a training session by teaching your dog how to follow walking rules like stay, sit, slow down, stop or run. You can also carry yummy training treats to make the whole ritual more fun and exciting. Learn a few quick ways on how to use dog training treats for rewards and reinforcements.
Is exercise for puppies necessary too?
Exercise for puppies should be started slowly and moderately. Since young puppies have tender joints and bones, a pet parent should ensure that they do not go overboard while walking a puppy. Your puppy might trick you to believe that it has enough energy to carry on walking but it's best to keep them more active at home than taking them on a two mile walk. Again, it also depends on the canine breed so it’s best to check with your local vet before you decide on an exercise regimen for your little pup.
Tips on how to walk a dog?
a) Taking the dog for a walk can be a little tiresome if your dog is constantly pulling on the leash and moving faster than your own pace. It can even lead to injuries, not just to your shoulders but also to your pooch’s trachea and neck. Sudden jerks that occur when you pull your dog’s leash to stop them may even lead to injuries to their vertebrae and can cause irreversible damage or paralysis.
Therefore, as pet parents you really need to get past the tug of war during walks and learn how to leash train your dog. You can start by rewarding them with healthy and yummy treats every time they obey your command while on a walk. Sometimes, they might just refuse to move and stay put in one place. This can be because they are nervous about something or they just don’t want to take that route. In such situations, you can break into a sprint and urge them to do the same. Dogs enjoy a little enthusiasm and will be quick to follow your lead.
b) You can play a quick “go fetch” game with your dog inside your yard right before you begin walking your dog. This way, you are helping them spend their excess energy which otherwise will usually make them break into a leash-pulling run as soon as you open your gates.
c) You can help them pay attention to you and make eye contact by using rewards such as treats which can be a motivating factor for your dog to follow your command. A practice before you leave your home should remind them of how they should behave on the streets while walking.
Dog walking can be a wonderful experience and can be extremely beneficial in many different ways. A good walk can cheer you up, boost your heart health, lighten your mood and keep you trim and fit. All it takes is a little time and patience to help the both of you to fall into a walking rhythm and regimen.