When you own a dog, you have the opportunity to exercise every day by taking him for a brisk walk. Unfortunately, many people don’t have the time or desire to provide their dog with this much-needed outlet to burn both energy and calories. When your dog doesn’t get his daily walk, it can lead to unwanted and destructive behavior that frustrates you. Although finding the time for a daily walk can be challenging, the benefits it offers are well worth your efforts.
Walking Gives Your Dog Purpose and Helps Fight Obesity
According to the website Slim Doggy, walking your dog just 30 minutes a day is one of the easiest ways to combat the growing obesity epidemic in pets. Sadly, almost half of all dogs in the United States are overweight or clinically obese. This simple activity also satisfies your dog’s natural instinct to roam and explore while providing her with mental stimulation.
Here are several other benefits your dog will experience when you take her for a walk each day:
• Prevents the development of certain diseases and helps add years to the lifespan.
• Walking provides your dog with your full attention, the thing he desires the most.
• When you walk multiple dogs together, it helps them bond as a pack.
• Regular walks provide your dog with social interaction.
• Walking exposes your dog to a wide variety of situations and weather conditions, which helps to increase his confidence.
Be sure to pay attention to the signals your dog sends you that she’s had enough of walking and the cooler weather. These could include whining, fatigue, disorientation, or extreme anxiety. If your dog displays any of this behavior, cut the walk short and head home.
Walking Benefits You as Well
Regular exercise helps to alleviate depression and the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, the latter of which is common in Minnesota due to our long, cold winters. It also helps to burn calories and reduces your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Perhaps most importantly, walking your dog every day gives him something to look forward to and helps to strengthen the bond between the two of you.
Please contact us at Chaska Valley Veterinary Clinic with questions about choosing the right leash, how to handle it when your dog tries to pull you, or other common dog walking concerns. Happy trails to you!
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