Walking your dog is a task all dog owners have to do on a daily basis unless otherwise advised by a veterinarian. Most dog breeds require walks to help maintain their weight, burn off energy and maintain their overall health. While the advantages for your dog are off the charts the benefits of walking your pet are also numerous.
The main benefits of walking your dog are related to physical, mental, and emotional health as well as improved social skills and opportunities. As a pet owner who walks your dog regularly, you will easily come into contact with neighbors and other pet parents along the way.
This allows you to have social interaction, make new friends, and become part of a local pet parent family.
Also, physical exercise will help keep you in good shape, maintain a healthy weight and help you lose a few pounds. The benefits of walking your dog have a positive effect on each pet parent differently. Continue reading to find out how walking your dog can benefit you!
Why Walking Your Dog is Good for You
Benefits of Walking Your Dog
- Improved physical fitness – Your overall physical fitness improves due to walking at a slow, brisk, or fast pace. Walking is an excellent exercise that allows you to move a wide range of muscles in your body and improve circulation.
- Better sleep – Walking is known to be a stress reliever. It burns off the adrenaline that is stored up in your body due to chronic stress and anxiety. The adrenaline is often what keeps people awake at night. A brisk walk with your dog helps improve your quality of sleep.
- Improved mental health – Walking your dog outdoors is a great way to get fresh air and connect with nature. It helps clear your mind and find a balance between daily stressors and calm tranquility that being in nature allows.
- Healthier heart – Daily exercise helps maintain a healthy and strong heart.
- Strong muscles – You gradually build strong healthy muscles every time you walk your dog.
- Lower blood pressure – Walking your dog helps lower blood pressure and maintains a healthy heart rate.
- Maintain a healthy weight – Daily walks with your dog help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight for your specific body type.
- Manage stress better – Walking your dog is great exercise but it also allows you to bond with your dog and feel playful which helps lower your stress levels.
Why It’s Important to Walk Your Dog
Potty breaks are the main reason most pet parents walk their dogs but it also provides physical exercise and mental stimulation for you and your dog. Walking your dog is important for the following reasons.
- It provides exercise for you and your dog
- Improves your health as well as your pets
- It provides socialization opportunities for you and your dog
- It helps your dog with obedient training
- It relieves stress and anxiety for you and your dog
Is it Good to Walk Your Dog Every Day?
There are a variety of different dog breeds that require specific exercise requirements. If you aren’t sure how much you should walk your dog, ask a veterinarian for further guidance. However, most dogs require a daily walk for about 30 minutes.
Here are some helpful tips for walking your dog:
- Aim for walking your dog on a daily basis according to their breed, size, and age.
- Always use a leash in public areas to prevent your dog from running away.
- Always make sure your dog has updated information on their identification tags.
- Avoid walking in severely hot weather.
- Carry fresh water for you and your dog to drink along the way.
- Wear workout clothes or loose-fitting clothes that allow you to walk comfortably.
How Far Should I Walk My Dog Every Day?
Your walking style with your dog is personal and you have the power to adjust to your needs. Generally, most breeds require 30 minutes or more of physical exercise per day. As a pet parent, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian to determine the exact amount of exercise that is ideal for your specific dog.
You can choose to walk the full 30 minutes at one time or you can split it up into two or more walks per day. For example, you can take your dog on a 30-minute walk in the morning or after work. Or, you can take your dog for a walk for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon or evening. You can even split it up into smaller segments throughout the day.
Are Dog Walkers Healthier?
Pet parents who walk their dogs experience a wide range of benefits that improve their overall health compared to those who don’t walk their dogs. In addition to the health benefits mentioned above, walking your dog also does the following:
- Boosts mood – Walking is a form of exercise that releases endorphins which are known for boosting the mood and making people feel happier.
- Improves balance – Walking your dog is especially helpful for adults who are 65 years old or more because it builds lower body strength and helps improve balance which prevents falls.
- Controls blood-sugar levels – Walking is a low-impact exercise that helps control blood sugar levels for up to 24 hours afterward. Walking your dog on a regular basis helps manage type 2 diabetes.
- Manage muscle and joint pain – Individuals of any age can experience muscle and joint pain for one reason or another. Walking helps improve muscle flexibility and keeps cartilage tissues and bones healthy and strong.
How to Choose the Right Dog Breed
If you already have a dog, you need to make sure you provide the proper amount of exercise for their breed, size, age, and current health status. Sometimes a dog’s activity level exceeds the owners. If your dog requires more exercise than you can physically provide, it’s best to hire a dog walker to help.
Soon-to-be pet parents should consider the amount of exercise required for the specific breed you are interested in adopting before making your final decision. If you have your heart set on a specific dog but can’t meet the demand for exercise for the breed, you should consider asking a family member to help you care for the dog or hire a dog walker.
Some pet parents have friendly neighbors who help them walk their dogs on a daily basis and split the responsibility. For example, if you are able to walk your dog for 15 minutes per day but can’t fulfill the rest of the required walking time, you can ask a neighbor, family member, friend, or dog walker to complete the rest of the walking duties.
Most pet parents are happily surprised when they start out walking their dog 15 minutes per day and gradually work their way up to 30 minutes or more. You can improve your fitness level gradually when you stick to daily walks with your dog.
Another major reason walking your dog is good for you is the bond you create with your pet. Walking together involves trust, friendship, and enjoying the present moment. This companionship builds over time and connects you and your dog emotionally.
You might be wondering how to get started walking your dog if you haven’t done so already. Invest in a high-quality dog collar or harness and leash. Some dogs have sensitive paws so if it’s extremely hot or cold outdoors make sure you protect your pet with doggie footwear.
You can make walking more interesting by taking a different route every day. The goal is to get the exercise you both need while enjoying the scenery and outdoors. You can walk to different destinations within your neighborhood or drive to a new area and get out and walk around.
Hiking with your dog is great because it allows you to get away from the busy and noisy city streets and enjoy peace and quiet while being surrounded by nature. If you choose to go hiking with your dog, bring along plenty of water and snacks.
It’s also important to take breaks during long hikes and walks to allow your muscles to rest for a few minutes. Now that you know the benefits of walking your dog you can get started today!