Can you name 7 reasons to walk your dog? I came up with about a million, but narrowed that down to 7. Today is the first day of National Walk Your Dog Week, which has been celebrated since 2010. Our family is big on walking, but that is not the case for everyone out there. I thought I would share my favorite reasons for walking with you all today.
7 Reasons To Walk Your Dog
1. Fun and Happiness
Who doesn’t love to go for a walk with their best furry friend or friends? It’s rare to find a dog who doesn’t want to go for a walk whenever asked. Walking a dog is a fun way to explore for both humans and dogs. There’s nothing to compare to getting out in the fresh air with your dog. Speaking of manners, leave your cellphone in your pocket. Attention should be on your dog and the walk, not on your phone.
Walking is a form of low impact exercise that can be done just about anywhere you are. It will get your heart rate up, work your muscles, and build some endurance if you go for long walks or hikes. Young and old dogs should take shorter, slower walks, but everyone else can do some good tempo walking.
Dogs are perfect exercise buddies as most of us will gladly accompany our human on walks in any weather. Burn those calories with walking, to keep the weight off, or to make room for a few extra treats. Did you now just a couple extra pounds will shorten a dog’s life by one or more years?
One great way to bond with your dog is through activities. Walking is something you can do together, normally connected by the leash. It teaches both of you to work with each other at an activity you both enjoy. Humans teach us canines some manners, and we teach our humans how to spot critters like squirrels and wabbits. My mom learned quickly from us, and is able to spot critters before we even do most of the time!
4. Creating a Routine
Dogs love routine. At our house, we walk together every morning, 365 days a year, rain or shine. We also walk every evening at dinnertime. Our feeding schedule is set so we always eat after our walks, which has us thinking we have to work for our food. Food doesn’t ever appear, nor do treats, without us doing something to earn it. It is our routine and we are completely happy with it.
5. Confidence Building
Fearfulness in dogs has many causes, but one contributor to fear is the lack of exposure. Taking your dog for walks not only around your home, but in many places, and new places will help your dog develop confidence. Learning to be in new areas can be scary if you are not used to it. For the human, walking with a dog also gives confidence in the form of not being alone in a new place, or in the dark. It is a win/win situation.
6. Stress Management
Walking is a great way to relieve stress because it boosts endorphins, which reduces stress hormones. I know my mom always goes for a walk or run if she is stressed out. Walking makes dogs and humans happy, and takes away a lot of the worries we might have at the moment.
A nice workout of any kind results in contentment. Your body and brain feel good from having exercised. Your dog will be mentally and physically at ease, and less wild in the house. All the sniffing and environmental stimulants on a walk will help tire out a pup. Remember, a tired dog, is a well behaved, good dog!
Those are my 7 reasons to walk a dog, the chosen reasons from the millions I have. Do you walk your dog, or do you have any good reasons to add to my list? Get out and walk your dog every day, but especially during National Walk Your Dog Week. We’ll have a couple more posts on walking in the dark, and our favorite walking accessories coming up this week for you.