We all know that when you get a dog, you have to commit to walking Fido at least once per day. The obvious reason for this is to allow your pup to alleviate his bladder/bowels. But what you probably don’t know is that there are several reasons why you should walk your pet daily, even if you have a backyard and don’t actually “need” to do that for bathroom purposes.
We’re going to explore a few reasons why you should walk your dog daily here, so get your notepad and a pen (or, better yet, get your shoes and leash ready for a walk).
We’re starting off with a pretty obvious one - Working out. Just like you, your dog also needs to work out in order for him to remain in tip-top shape. Walking your dog daily allows him to burn off some calories, as well as giving him a chance to strengthen their muscles and joints.
Keep in mind that a dog that doesn’t get enough exercise is at risk of becoming obese, which comes with a wide “selection” of added health problems. If not taken care of properly, your dog may even die from it. Walking your dog daily, even just for 30 minutes, helps avoid the development of diseases that could potentially shorten your pet’s life.
Stress Relief & Mental Health
Dogs can have mental health problems too, which can be caused by different factors (past trauma, separation anxiety, etc.). Plus, they’re social creatures, which means they thrive on interactions with other dogs. Taking your dog on a walk helps with that, especially if the walk is a visit to the dog park.
Interacting with other dogs, or simply getting outside of the same space can work wonders on a dog’s psyche. Your pooch will be happier and more interested in interacting with you, as well as be less likely to destroy your favorite pair of shoes.
It’s an adventure
Dogs can be very nosy (pun intended). In the wild, canines use their sniffer a lot to find their way or inspecting the area to make sure it’s safe. Your puppies have the same instincts, even though they are domesticated now.
They love investigating new territory and walks can become the adventure they need to do so. For this to work, it’s important to keep switching up your walking trails every once in a while. That way, you’ll keep things interesting for your dog.
It provides a routine
Walking can be an adventure, but it is also a sign of stability for your dog. It basically provides your dog with a routine activity he or she can look forward to...just like you look forward to getting off work every day.
A well-established routine will boost your dog’s confidence levels and provide some stability to his life. It will make a fearful or shy dog more willing to interact with others or explore.
It provides a training opportunity
Some of the basic commands every dog should know are how to heel (walking by your side) stay or sit. You can now use your daily walks as practice. This is especially useful if you’re the proud owner of a young puppy or a dog that tugs on the leash. Get abungee training leash and start working on it.
You’ll see your dog be able to sit on command or walk beside you without tugging in no time with all this practice.
What happens if you don’t walk your dog daily?
Well, nothing out of the ordinary will happen if you skip a day or two of walking your dog (unless there’s a potty need and nowhere to relieve themselves). That being said, the effects will become visible in the long term when your dog will get bored of being stuck indoors and become destructive as a way to entertain himself. Or when your dog will become obese and get joint problems at an older age, which would shorten his life as well.
As you can probably tell by now, walking your dog on a daily basis is a habit we highly support, as it can bring a lot of benefits to your puppy. Plus, if you think about it, you also get some exercise, plus some 1-on-1 time with your pooch. So here’s a bonus reason why you should walk your dog daily.
It’s a bonding experience
Walking your dog on a daily basis is a bonding experience. We’ve mentioned the importance of bonding with your dog in our previous articles, and this puts an even bigger emphasis on it.
That walk is your “you” time with your dog. The moment when he or she gets all your attention and interact with them while doing a fun activity.
Keep in mind that you should be walking your dog, and not the other way around, so your walk needs to walk beside you, not in front of you. Also, make sure you give your dog at least a 30-minute walk alongside other fun activities throughout the day, to keep him happy and healthy.