6 Scientific Benefits of Dog Walking: Your Dog Will Thank You
Most people think that dogs and walks go hand in hand, but a recent study revealed that only around half of owners actually walk their dog at least once each day. Poor weather, busy schedules, and their dog not wanting to go out are the most common reasons given for not taking their canine pals out on daily walks, with most of these opting to let their dogs run around the backyard instead. While we all know that sometimes life really does get in the way, making the time and effort to take our dogs out daily really is crucial. Here are 6 scientific reasons why.
Walking keeps your dog’s weight under control
Pet obesity is rising, with an estimated 40-45% of dogs in the United States weighing more than is healthy. Regular walks will help your dog to burn excess calories, which in turn can help them to maintain a healthy weight. If your dog is already overweight, your vet may suggest increasing your walking frequency and/or distance with them to help them to lose the extra pounds.
Walking can reduce your dog’s stress levels
If you have recently moved home, changed routine, introduced a new pet or family member, it may have affected your dog more than you know. Dogs can also pick up on your stress levels, so if you have been particularly strung-out, you can bet your canine pal knows it and feels it too. Signs of stress in dogs include whining/barking, tucked ears or tail, panting, hiding, and revealing the whites of their eyes. Walking has been scientifically proven to help lower stress levels in dogs and humans alike.
Walking can help support your dog’s urinary and digestive health too
Your usual walk with your dog is the ideal time for them to empty their bladder and bowels. Most dogs prefer to do their business on a fairly regular schedule and being presented with the opportunity to do so will help keep their body systems working properly, preventing problems like constipation and urinary tract infections.
Walking can improve your dog’s mental health
It isn’t just your dog’s physical health that can benefit from regular walks. Your canine best friend needs mental stimulation too, and walks are a perfect time for them to experience a change of scene and enjoy some different sights, sounds, and smells. They may even come across some other dogs to interact with. Walking in all weathers teaches your dog how to adapt to their environment more successfully too, and once they are used to heading out in the cold, rain, or snow, they will be less fearful or anxious about doing so in the future. This helps them to become much more well-rounded companions.
Walking can help to mitigate unwanted canine behaviors
Even the most socialized and well-trained dog can sometimes develop behaviors that are less than ideal. In most instances, things like excessive barking or whining, attention-seeking, begging, and chewing/clawing are caused by excess energy and boredom. Taking your dog out for a decent daily walk will help to curb their energy and any bad behaviors that have a negative impact on day-to-day life.
Walking gives you time to bond with your dog
To get the most from dog ownership, it’s crucial that you nurture your relationship with your furbaby. Taking your dog for daily walks is an ideal opportunity for you to spend some one-to-one time together, strengthening your bond. Your dog is more likely to be obedient and well-behaved if you have a strong bond.
For more benefits of dog walking, don’t hesitate to speak to our friendly and knowledgeable veterinary team at (858) 842-5600.