What happens when you ask your dog if they want to go for a walk? Do they get excited? Do they start to prance around and run for the leash? That excitement tells you all you need to know about how your dog feels about walks.
But have you ever wondered why dogs get so excited about going for a walk? What is it about walks that are so enriching for dogs? Today we’ll take a look at the daily dog walk, and why it’s such a crucial part of your dog’s routine. Here’s 5 reasons to walk your dog every day.
You Dog Needs Physical Exercise
First and foremost, walking your dog every day is a great way to help your dog stay fit & active. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of your dog developing a number of health related conditions such as hypertension, liver disease and diabetes. And one of the easiest ways to keep your dog fit is by walking them every day.
Walking helps preserve your dog’s muscles and joints, and it’s a great way to help shed some extra pounds if your dog is overweight. And the regular cardio that a daily walk provides can improve mood and energy levels.
Walking is Great Mental Exercise
The benefits of walking your dog every day go well beyond just physical too — it’s important for their mental health as well. The daily walk is the one time a day your dog gets a chance to explore the neighborhood and find out what’s going on in the world around them.
And since dogs explore with their nose don’t forget to give them a chance to use it. When you’re out on your walk give them some time to sniff around for some extra mental stimulation and enrichment.
I always set aside a few designated “sniff breaks” for Laika on our walks. I give her the cue “go sniff” and let her do her thing. When it’s time to head back I use the “let’s go” cue and we’re back on the trail.
To keep your dog walks fun remember to switch up your routine once in a while by going to a different neighborhood, or checking out a new park or trail. Once a week I like to take Laika to a local park or trail to explore; it helps keep things exciting for the both of us.
Walking Can Help Boost Your Dog’s Confidence
Another reason to walk your dog every day is that it’s a great for building confidence. Having a daily routine will help boost your dog’s confidence, and your daily walk is a big part of that structure.
A daily routine will give your dog structure and stability, and that level of predictability goes a long way to boosting confidence, especially in shy or fearful dogs. One of the best ways to keep your dog happy and confident is by creating a daily routine for your dog that includes fun activities such as the daily walk and interactive play.
Tip: If you’re looking for more activities to add into your dog’s daily routine be sure to check out 33 ways to keep your dog busy indoors & 26 boredom busters for dogs.
It Helps With Socialization
Walking with your dog will help with also help with socialization by exposing them to different people, dogs and situations. Although the majority of socialization happens when your dog is a pup it’s important to keep up on those skills by continually introducing your dog to new people and situations.
Switching up your route, such as going to a different neighborhood, trail or park, will give your dog a chance to experience a variety of environments and situations. For shy or fearful dogs remember to take it slow to avoid over arousal.
Walking With Your Dog Strengthens Your Bond
Another reason to walk your dog every day is that it’s a great way to reinforce the bond you have with your dog. It’s one relatively easy thing you can do each day that brings your dog so much joy.
Spending quality time with your dog makes that bond stronger, and the daily walk is one of the most rewarding activities around. Trust is a big part of the bonding process, and by walking your dog every day you’re showing them that you’re someone they can depend on and trust for their daily needs.
Tip: Be sure to check out 10 ways to bond with your dog if you’re looking for more tips on creating a strong bond with your dog.
What Is Your Daily Walking Routine?
Do you walk your dog every day? How often do you switch up your route? Do you let your dog take sniff breaks? Let me know in the comments below.