Up to 36% of dog owners don’t walk their dogs, despite pets being more and more valued as part of the family and the home. One of the most important aspects of pet ownership is walking your dog.
Talk about killing two birds with one stone, walking your dog has enormous health advantages for both you and your dog. Well-known research from Michigan State University found that dog owners are 34% more likely than non-dog owners to complete the necessary 150 minutes of activity per week.
It has been demonstrated that people who regularly walk their dogs have a lower chance of developing several self-reported illnesses including Type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
Table of Contents
- What are the benefits of walking your dog?
- How often should you walk your dog?
- 6 Great ways to walk your dog
- Frequently asked questions
The blood circulation and calorie-burning benefits of walking your dog make it an essential low-impact workout for both you and your dog. Additionally, it’s a crucial opportunity for building strong bonds with your four-legged buddy.
Did you just adopt a dog? or You’re curious about finding out the best ways to walk your dog? Keep reading as we review some of the best ways to walk your dog and some of the benefits involved.
What are the benefits of walking your dog?
Daily exercise should be a priority in everyone’s life, we also can’t forget about our four-legged furry friends. Below are some of the benefits of walking your dogs.
1. Tackles Obesity
Although obesity is a serious health problem, there is a workable cure: burn more calories than you consume. For both you and your dog, regular activity like walking is a great way to keep the pounds off and burn those extra calories.
Similar to how people gain weight when they sit around all day, so can dogs. Regular dog walks help your canine get the activity needed to burn calories and keep fat from forming. Walking helps avoid diseases like canine diabetes and kidney problems.
2. Healthy Joints
Inactivity is yet another widespread medical issue. Even aged joints need to function. When inactive for too long, people and animals get stiff and keeping joints mobile enhances their functionality.
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Your dog’s joints will be as strong and healthy as possible after a walk. To do that, go for walks each day. Dogs who are inactive and spend a lot of time laying around the home get stiff joints and muscle loss quickly. By taking your dog for a daily stroll, you can keep them active and maintain healthy joints.
3. Stronger bonds
Walking your dog provides it the chance to socialize with nearby residents and canine neighbors. Your dog can socialize with other dogs on daily walks. You can also keep an eye on your dog’s behavior to make sure it interacts appropriately with outsiders.
Spending time walking and appreciating the great outdoors naturally strengthens the bond between you and your dog. You certainly feel better and happier. With the chance to utilize their nose to explore the world, your dog is ecstatic as well. The outcome is an instinctive connectedness which is a magnificent feeling.
4. Training opportunity
Adequate training is necessary for having a well-behaved dog. Utilize your daily walks to fit in those crucial dog training sessions. The outside distractions provide the perfect setting for honing your dog’s heeling techniques or establishing dominance. Long walks with your dog provide you the chance to practice commands like maintaining composure on the leash as opposed to yanking.
5. Reduced risk of Cardiovascular problems
Daily exercise not only keeps your dog’s skeletal and muscular systems in top shape but also keeps the dog’s cardiovascular system healthy. For most dogs, 20 minutes of exercise per day is insufficient.
To make sure your dog is getting the appropriate amount of exercise each day, you’ll need to supplement with a longer walk, jog, or backyard session. Once more, the breed and age of your dog will determine this. To determine how much exercise your dog needs each day, always speak with your veterinarian.
Regular exercise lowers blood pressure and resting heart rate, as well as the chance of developing cardiovascular disease in both you and your pet. The subtle mix of overfeeding and inactivity has brought about an increase in cases of dogs with cardiovascular diseases and Obesity. Walking is one of the best ways to deal with this. Regular walks will maintain the health of your dog’s heart as well as your own.
How often should you walk your dog?
It’s generally advised to take your dog on a walk for at least 15 minutes three to four times every day. However, this may change depending on your dog:
Age is a very important aspect you should think of before walking your dog. Younger dogs require more exercise than middle-aged (5-8 years old) and senior dogs (9 years old and over) since they have greater energy.
Younger dogs also play more than older canines. There are, however, always exceptions to any rule. Remember that middle-aged to elderly dogs may suffer from disorders like hypothyroidism or diabetes that cause their stamina to decline, as well as arthritis, muscle atrophy, and other conditions. They might be eager to move forward mentally, but they might not be able to keep up physically.
The dog’s tolerance level for exercise and other activities is also influenced by the breed. Dogs bred to be lapdogs, like Terriers, may not need as much exercise as working or sporting breeds like Shepherds.
Some dogs are born athletes, while others are mostly lap dogs for the couch. Of course, this could be a result of the dog’s breed or simply a matter of personal preference. Determining how much exercise your dog needs might be aided by considering your dog’s breed.
The size of your dog should also be taken into consideration when determining how often you should walk your dog. Chihuahuas and other small breed dogs are typically less energetic.
Nevertheless, for those small dogs to remain in top health, daily exercise is still necessary. Regular walks may reduce hyperactivity, anxiety, fear, and hostility. The average daily walking time for small dogs is about 30 minutes, which can be into two 15-minute sessions.
Depending on the breed, medium-sized dogs might be energetic or athletic. Medium-sized dogs often require 40 to 80 minutes of daily walking. Unlike smaller breeds, medium-sized dogs should be able to walk along with you at a leisurely pace.
Although certain huge breeds are more relaxed, the majority are usually active. Due to their high levels of activity, hunting, sporting, and working dogs require longer and more demanding exercise. These dogs may prefer a long walk over a few short neighborhood strolls because they were developed to cover a lot of ground.
The health condition of your pet will go a long way in determining its exercise tolerance. When it comes to going for walks, dogs with diseases like arthritis or obesity should use the “Little and Often” strategy.
Instead of taking them on one long stroll, it could be best to take them on several shorter ones throughout the day. Keep their exercise schedule as consistent as you can by avoiding taking them on short walks during the week and extensive ones on the weekends.
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6 Great ways to walk your dog
Going on walks is something that most dogs truly like. It allows them to leave the house with their owners and explore their surroundings. Your dog should enjoy and benefit from the walks they take. Additionally, your furry friend must behave properly on a leash when out in public. Below are ways that you should walk your dog.
1. Walk in front of your dog
You can establish yourself as the pack leader by walking in front of your dog. On the other hand, your dog is the pack leader if he leads you when out for a stroll. You ought to be the first person in and the first person out of the house.
During the stroll, your dog should be by your side or in your rear. Because the leader always walks in front, if you let your dog follow you while on a lead, you’re teaching him that he is superior to you. When your dog takes command over, it can cause a variety of behavioral issues that some people mistakenly attribute to a “breed trait” or “personality.”
When your dog walks in front, it sees itself as the pack leader. Given its significant responsibilities as the pack leader, the dog is not at ease. A dog may experience escalating mental distress.
2. Use a good Leash
You want to be able to control your dog while out for walks. During your walk, a strong leash that is 4–6 feet in length will be helpful. Any leash that is comfortable for you is perfect.
The best leashes for lengthy walks are those made of leather or nylon rope with a short grip so you can quickly take control of your dog in uncomfortable circumstances.
An easy-to-hold retractable leash is perfect for potty breaks or letting your dog walk free while on a leash. For dogs that pull a lot, these are not ideal. A “no-pull harness” or body harness may be a helpful choice if you suffer from your dog dragging you when you’re out for a walk. You get more control with these harnesses and a strong leash.
3. Reward your dog with treats
Having a treat with you is one of the best ways to walk your dog. Since most dogs are driven by food, taking dog treats when walking your dog will encourage conversation with your pet and reenergize the walk.
By rewarding your dog when they walk politely, you may not only incorporate some training into your walk, but you can also utilize treats to maintain your dog’s concentration in the face of distractions.
There will always be distractions while walking. Keep your dog’s attention by keeping some high-value goodies nearby if they are easily distracted by animals like squirrels. Most dogs will certainly pay attention to some chopped-up meat.
4. Stop for bathroom breaks
It’s crucial to consider where dogs decide to relieve themselves. It involves connecting with other dogs as well as relieving themselves. A dog may learn all there is to know about other dogs in the neighborhood, including their gender, age, and state of health, by sniffing their pee.
Dogs may scrape the ground with their feet to accentuate their signal if their pee or excrement isn’t clear enough. Scraping the ground with their feet is to accentuate their signal if their pee or excrement isn’t clear enough. In addition to providing an additional visual clue, they employ unique glands between their toes to leave extra odors on the ground when they scratch, enhancing the scent mark’s effect.
It takes focus and time to do all this sniffing and scraping. Your dog will benefit from his walks more if you let him explore and take his restroom breaks. Consider teaching your dog bathroom signals if you want to shorten your stroll or restrict the places where he relieves himself. By doing this, you’ll be able to tell him when and where he is allowed to relieve himself.
5. Go for walks with water for your dog
Bring plenty of water for your dog if you want to walk for longer than 30 minutes or in hot weather. Dogs can easily become overheated because they have a harder time controlling their body temperature than humans do.
Moreover, dogs are prone to dehydration when exercising, especially in warm weather, as they sweat via panting. You can use a container that you already own or purchase a collapsible water bottle which is available at pet stores.
6. Always ask before approaching other dogs
Asking first before approaching other dogs on a walk is one of the most crucial pieces of dog walking advice to remember. Not every encounter between dogs will be friendly just because your dog is nice.
Before allowing your dog to approach another dog, be sure there are no unnecessary risks. Many dogs dislike being approached while on a leash, and not all dogs are dog-friendly. So be sure to get permission before approaching anybody else you see walking their dog.
Frequently asked questions
- How many days per week should you walk your dog?
You should aim to walk your dog at least 2-3 times a week, for about 15 mins.
- Can my dog exhibit bad behaviors due to not going on walks?
Yes, when you don’t walk your dog for some time they get bored and resort to bad behaviors.
- What should I take with me while taking my dogs on walks?
Collar or harness, poop bags, leash, water, and small treats are some things you should take when walking your dog.
- How do I know if I’m walking my dog too much?
You’ll notice wear and tear on Paw pads, Sore muscles, and heat sickness if you’re taking your dog on too many walks.
- Should I allow my dog to sniff things when we go on walks?
Yes, you can allow your dog to engage in his instinct by sniffing things around him.
Walking your dog comes with great health benefits not just for your dog but also for you as the owner. You’ll have the opportunity of building strong bonds with your furry friend while also putting in some exercise. This article has lived to its purpose of reviewing everything you need to know about walking your dog and some of the best ways you can walk your dog.