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Dog Walking Is More Important Than You Think

What comes to your mind when you think of the activities required of a dog owner? Feeding? Petting? Grooming? Walking? Walking your dog is one of the responsibilities of being a dog owner, but it may be much more important than you think. Those daily walks provide your dog with exercise and mental stimulation, both of which are crucial to a happy, healthy dog.
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Get Fit Together

Daily walks prevent your dog from packing on pounds that can be detrimental to his health. Astonishingly,  over half of the U.S. dog population is categorized as obese, but 90 percent of owners didn’t realized their dog was carrying around more weight than he should. This extra weight is more than just cute rolls or a chubby frame – the strain from carrying extra pounds can cause further  health issues such as arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure, fatty tumors, and skin disease. 
You may notice that your dog tires easily and has a hard time getting up and down. Whether your dog is overweight or just in need of a regular exercise routine, walking is a great way to get things started. However, it is important that you don’t forget about safety when you venture out together. If it’s a scorcher, bring along plenty of water for both of you, and protect those paws from the heat with petroleum jelly or booties. Cold days pose a risk too, as the salt and chemicals used to treat roads can be dangerous to ingest. To stay prepared, pack a doggy backpack with the essentials, and maybe a  treat or two for good behavior.

Work Out the Brain

 Like you, your dog needs  mental stimulation in addition to exercise. Without it, you may have a bored dog at your hands, and this can lead to behavioral issues. Your dog isn’t misbehaving on purpose, but when he doesn’t have an outlet, he turns to ways to fill the gap whether it is constant barking, chewing, digging, etc. Even the most well-trained dogs may exhibit destructive behavior from time to time, which points to a bored dog. 
 The good news is that walking provides plenty of opportunities to engage your dog in some  brain games. Rather than walk the straight and narrow, switch things up by walking in nature. Weave in and out of the trees, jump over small logs, run down the hill, or take the stairs. If your dog has already mastered basic commands, play the childhood classic game, Red Light, Green Light. The stop command will also come in handy should you encounter other people, dogs, or a busy street.

Find Alternatives

Some days you barely have time to catch your breath, let alone take your dog out for a walk. Rather than put it off again and again, bring in a professional dog walker. With a trustworthy  dog walker, you can be sure your dog is getting the exercise he needs no matter what.
 Another option is letting your pup run around in your backyard, but you’ll need to secure it with a fence first to prevent escapes and intrusions into your neighbors’ properties. Visit sites like  Angi to locate fence installers in your area and review feedback from past customers. Installing a fence averages $4,500, but you can save if you opt to build your fences using cheaper materials like wood. 
Dog walking is a natural part of dog ownership, but it provides lasting benefits too. Daily walks prevent health issues, provide physical and mental stimulation, and strengthen the dog-human bond. 
- Jessica Brody of
Image by Christel SAGNIEZ from Pixabay