Have you ever heard the experts say how wonderful a simple walk is for your overall health? The same is true for your dog’s health! There are vital health benefits your dog can only get from a daily walk, so it’s very important to be aware of what these are and use them as motivation to take those little daily adventures together!
Probably the most obvious benefit is the exercise component of the walk. Some dogs never leave the couch except to quickly do their business in the same small patch of grass only to hurry back inside to veg out on the couch. Daily exercise is vital to your dog’s health because it prolongs her life and improves her overall health and mental wellbeing. All dogs, no matter how big or small, should get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Bigger dogs require more, but taking a 30 minute walk every day is a great way to get some exercise in.
Dogs strongly desire to learn their surroundings and become familiar with their environment. If your dog rarely leaves the back yard to learn the smells and sounds of the neighborhood, this can cause behavioral and psychological issues and confusion. Imagine your dog seeing the mailman drive by or neighbor kids playing outside and you hear her bark excitedly because she is familiar with their involvement in the neighborhood dynamics rather than aggressively lashing out at them because they’ve encroached on “her territory.” Familiarizing your dog with the people, places, and interactions in your neighborhood provides her with a sense of security and improves overall behavior toward these previous unknowns.
How many of us have been guilty of saying “my dogs is much more of a people lover than a dog lover.” This shift in socialization is not a good thing. Dogs need to be able to socialize with other dogs without aggression just like we socialize with other people on a regular basis.
Your dog should have friends too! Daily walks are a great way for your dog to meet other dogs that she would have never come in contact with otherwise. This socialization makes her a much friendlier dog overall and teaches her that meeting new dogs is a positive thing. When she is put into a situation in the future where she needs to socialize, she will do so in a positive way rather than fearing the interaction.
You may think that staying inside on a rainy day watching Netflix and cuddling on the couch with your pup is the ultimate bonding experience, but dogs can actually begin to feel depressed or unimportant when they’re cooped up inside all the time. You have plenty of tasks and chores to keep you busy around the house, but your dog lacks excitement when she remains stagnant day after day. A walk is a one-on-one “date” for the two of you that shows your dog that you have taken the time to put your undivided attention onto her and expresses to her that she’s important and not forgotten.
As you can see in the video, Jem and Zoey light up when I say “do you want to go for a walk?!” We bond so much on our walks that I can’t imagine what our relationship would be like without our little daily excursions!
Imagine only seeing the same 4 rooms of a house and the same 500 ft of back yard for your entire life. Feeling a little depressed just thinking about it? It’s in your dog’s nature is to explore, and walks are a great way to discover new smells, sights, and experiences every day that your dog craves. Exploration is so important for mental health and well-being.
Your dog has mastered “no, sit, stay, down” and all of the other indoor commands. But there is so much more! Training your dog not to bark and chase people on bikes, not to eat those mysterious plants that could make her sick, or even just how to react to a car entering her personal space is extremely important. Training your dog to understand how to conduct herself outside of the home makes for a much more well-rounded, street-smart, and better behaved pip.
We all can agree that we hate seeing our dogs feeling scared, timid, confused, or unsafe. If your dog doesn’t experience other places outside of the home, she lacks the confidence and ability to face any changes when they occur. You want your dog to feel safe, secure, and confident going anywhere with you. Daily walks create a sense of trust in you that your dog will carry with her in everything you do together.
Being bored is one of the most frustrating feelings. You never want your dog to lose her spunk or feel like each day is just another empty one that lacks excitement and change. Mixing up the routine with a walk releases so much boredom, pent up energy, and sadness that your dog may have stored inside.
9. Brain Stimulation
Your dog’s mind needs stimulation to stay healthy and sharp. Daily walks provide the opportunity for your dog to continuously learn new things and different experiences that keep her brain healthy.
10. Enjoy The Nature Of Your Surroundings
Whether you live near the beach with palm trees, mountains and streams, or desert with a slight breeze, there’s something to appreciate about each and every environment around us. Your dog is meant to experience and appreciate the great outdoors, and a daily walk provides that opportunity for the both of you.