A recent survey found that only half of dog parents walk their dog at least once a day – A whopping 33% even admitted they rarely walk their dogs! With National Walk Your Dog Week from October 1st – 7th, now is the perfect time to talk about several benefits of walks.
Walking has many benefits for both humans and dogs. Studies have shown that for overweight people/dogs, a 30 minute walk, three times per week can reduce blood pressure, increase energy, improve sense of well-being, and lower your weight by 5% and your dog’s by 15%. Here are 5 reasons you and your dog can benefit from daily walks.
- Strengthens Your Bond. Daily walks provide much needed quality time for you and your pooch. This time is extremely important to your dog’s behavioral development and will provide the foundation for a trusting relationship.
- Helps with Weight Control. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that the holidays are just around the corner and that means extra indulging – for you and your pet. Heading out on a nice, long walk can help keep those extra pounds away for year-long health.
- Improves Socialization. Walks are a great way for you and your dog to experience the world together. Adventure to new places; take in the sights and smells around you. You’ll be surprised at what you’ve been missing.
- Increases Physical and Mental Health. Humans and dogs have several health issues that can be prevented or treated by regular exercise and a healthy diet. Not to mention the extra activity is great for overcoming dog boredom. Your pup will be happy and you’ll be thankful for the improved behaviors around the house.
- Decreases loneliness. Solitary walks (for the humans) or sitting in the backyard (for the dogs) can get pretty lonely. Quality walks with your four-legged pal can reduce feelings of loneliness for you and your dog.
New to walking? Start out slow to avoid injuries and gradually work your way up to 30-60 minute daily walks. Remember to keep your dog leashed and always have bags handy for those potty breaks. Also, avoid walking in the extreme cold or heat always make sure you have fresh water on hand.
Don’t have a dog? Did you know many shelters allow you to volunteer to take their dogs for walks? It’s a great way to get out of the house, get some exercise, and give shelter dogs (and you) a chance to get out and have a little fun. Contact your local shelters for more information!