Are you walking your dog enough?
Benefits of walking your dog
There are so many benefits of taking your dog out for a walk. This includes:
- Exercise – walking your dog regularly helps to prevent them from developing muscular diseases, gaining too much weight, metabolic problems and showing signs of destructive behaviour. It can also help to boost their mood which makes them happier pets in general, much in the same way humans benefit from exercise both physically and mentally.
- Socialisation – walks are the perfect time for your dog to meet other dogs and humans. The more exposure they have to other people and pets means they will learn how to be around them which will really help to develop their behaviours and make sure they are friendly with other dogs and humans going forwards.
- Exposure – taking your dog for a walk on the beach or around the local park exposes them to so many sights, smells and sounds they haven’t experienced before. Walks are a really sensory experience for dogs and bring them lots of happiness which will make them more content in the home.
Is walking your dog daily enough exercise?
Generally all dogs, no matter what their breed or size, need at least one walk per day for at least half an hour. But, the larger your dog is, the more exercise they will need. It’s important to avoid the hottest times of the day as dogs can very easily overheat and sometimes die in hot conditions. For this reason, we’d advise early morning walks and heading out later at night when it’s cooler in the summer months. After a walk it’s always important to make sure your dog has enough water too to keep them hydrated.
Dogs exercise needs
Larger dogs need much more exercise and may need anything from one hour to three hours to keep them happy, depending on their breed. More athletic breeds like Hungarian Vizslas often need to be able to run free off the lead to burn off their heaps of energy, whereas less energic breeds like Basset Hounds for example, may be suited to a gentle stroll around the block every morning.
Elderly dogs, puppies and small breeds
Older dogs, puppies and small breeds need far less exercise and may be suited to a short walk each day to get them out of the house. It’s important to not walk older dogs or small breeds too far as they can easily become injured. While your dog is still a puppy, no matter what their breed is, their muscles and bone structure is still developing so you’ll need to slowly build them up to longer walks as they grow and not push them to walk too far initially.
Many mid-size breeds, like spaniels, tend to be full of energy and can benefit from two short walks a day to burn off all their energy. It’s important to work out a routine that works for you and your dog. Some dogs are fine with one walk per day, but others may need more if you’re out at work for long periods of time when they start to bark, howl or act destructive. For this reason, some people choose to hire a dog walker to take their dog out while they are at work.
Benefits of walking your dog for humans
While there are stacks of reasons to walk your dog for his or her benefit, it can also be great for you too. Not only does walking your dog everyday encourage you to do some gentle exercise, it also can help to boost your mood to get out and about in nature.
There are many mental health benefits gained from taking a walk every day, as well as the break from screens which is a welcome change for office workers. For families it can be a great time to bond and will also take you to new places and on new adventures and for single people it can be a great way to meet other dog walkers in the park or on the beach.
We’ve covered all the reasons why you should walk your dog now, but it’s also important to make sure that your dog is comfortable when out on walks or they won’t want to go. Some owners find it easier to use a dog harness than a traditional collar and leash. This is because a harness gives you more control and is much better suited for short nosed dogs who can sometimes struggle to breath with a collar pulling on their neck. Other breeds seem to prefer a collar and are more obedient on the leash this way. It’s all about finding out what works best for you and your dog.
So, come rain or shine, with so many benefits to getting out and about together, there’s no reason to not get out for walkies every day.