Part of being a dog owner comes with taking your dog on walks. While some pet owners may think of this routine as a chore, it is really a bonding experience that can bring you and your pup closer together, as well as actually make your dog become better-behaved.
Taking your dog on regular walks has been proven to result in happier, healthier dogs who are less anxious and less destructive. Here are just a few reasons to take your dog on regular walks:
If your dog is cooped up inside for too long, chances are, he'll get bored and look for something else to do. Lacking any physical activity, he might turn to chewing up your shoes and rug. Instead of scolding him when you get home and sending him to his crate, try going out with him to release some of that bored energy! Even if you have a big yard that your dog can use to run around in, he may still not utilize it.
Especially if he has a certain part of the yard he likes to do his business in, he may just go relieve himself and then come back inside. The yard may have lost its novelty. It is still important to take your dog on regular walks so that you can make sure he is getting his exercise. If you notice that your pup is chewing on things he shouldn't, or being overly rambunctious in the house, taking him on walks will help to calm that type of behavior. Like they say, 'a tired dog is a well-behaved dog."
Walks are great for dogs because they help your dog maintain a healthy weight, keep their digestive system regular, and keep their bodies limber. As important as exercise is to help us as humans maintain a healthy weight, the same goes for dogs! If your dog eats two to three times a day and then gets treats and table scraps (it's okay, everyone does it) on top of that, he needs a way to burn those extra calories, or they'll just accumulate as unnecessary weight on your pup.
Just a short 15-20 minute walk every day can do wonders for your pup's health! If your dog suffers from constipation issues, it may be because he's not getting enough exercise. Simply getting your dog up and moving can help her to get regular again.
Additionally, dehydration is a very common cause of constipation, so if your dog is outside working up a "sweat," she'll be more likely to drink more water after getting tuckered out. Lastly, regular exercise will keep your dog more limber and agile, making them less prone to injuries such as ligament tears, which are common in dogs who typically get adequate exercise once a week or less.
Getting your dog outside of the backyard and into a different environment is great, but it also means the possibility to meet new friends! If your dog is nervous around strangers or other animals, taking him on walks can be a good way to ease his anxiety.
Meeting a neighbor and their dog outside for a brief interaction is a great start. Or try walking with a friend and their doggo. The key to this method is that both dogs will be on a leash. So if one is getting territorial or aggressive, both owners can pull their respective dogs back without anyone getting hurt. Verbal corrections and making sure your dog respects the leash are vital when teaching your dog social skills.
If not for any of the health benefits mentioned above, take your dog on walks because it's time for you two to spend together and grow closer as a pair! If you're at work all day and come home just to let your dog run around outside, then make dinner and go to bed, are you actually spending any time with your dog?
Going on walks has not only been shown to improve health in humans, but it also decreases anxiety. Your dog will also appreciate these health benefits! Take time to decompress from a stressful day and get some fresh air with Fido for 15-20 minutes.
Taking your dogs on regular walks has been shown to transform unruly and misbehaved into calm and obedient. The crucial part about this is making sure you're in charge during the walk.
You can have walks where your dog sniffs every bush and tree, but taking your dog from rowdy to misbehaved requires strict guidance on your part to keep them focused on you and the walk. Read more about structured walks here. So start that New Year's Resolution out strong and go out there to walk your dog! Fido will thank you later!