We all know that exercise is important for our health and that daily exercise is essential for our best health. The same is true for dogs! Daily exercise has many benefits, some beyond just improved health, for our canine friends. A daily dog walk is one of the best things you can do for your pet!
1. It keeps dogs healthy: Dogs need daily exercise to maintain their health, just like we humans do! A daily dog walk provides your dog with the physical activity he/she needs to stay limber, healthy and physically fit. It also aids in maintaining a healthy weight for your pet- because we all know that an overweight pet is not a healthy pet!
2. It provides cognitive stimulation: Pets need cognitive stimulation throughout their lives to prevent cognitive decline as they age. Providing a daily walk opens your dogs world up. They are greeted with new smells, sounds, and situations-all providing the needed cognitive stimulation. Playing with your dog in the home or in your back yard is great for physical activity, but it cannot replicate the cognitive stimulation that a daily walk provides your pet.
3. It reduces depression, anxiety and destructive behavior: Pets get bored, they can also suffer from depression, anxiety or restlessness, just like humans. A daily walk can help alleviate this! The physical activity, coupled with the cognitive stimulation and bonding time with their human work together to help alleviate boredom, restlessness and depression/anxiety.
4. It aides in digestion: A daily walk with your dog aides in reducing digestive issues. Regular walks can also help with constipation.
5. It builds confidence: some pets are fearful or timid. Regular walks with these dogs provides them a chance to encounter new situations in a safe manner and provide them with the confidence that comes from overcoming their fears. If your pets fears are extreme and you worry that they may hurt themselves or another pet, seek the advice of a professional trainer. Most pets benefit from the confidence they get as a result of daily walks.
6. It promotes bonding with your dog: Time spent walking with your dog is time you. are bonding with them! Dogs enjoy the time walking with their owners very much. The important thing to remember is to walk at a pace that is comfortable for your dog, be observant and ensure that they have enough water, rest breaks and are not overdoing it. Older or less active dogs do not require as long of a walk as more active, or younger dogs do. Even 15 minutes a day can be beneficial for some dogs, while others may require up to 90 minutes a day.