Ask any pet parent and he or she will tell you that walking the dog has become even more a part of their daily routine during the coronavirus pandemic. Your dog, we bet, loves it! Because October has the celebrations of “National Walk the Dog Week” and “Pet Health Wellness” and “Pet Obesity Awareness Day” we have put together our top 7 reasons to walk your dog.
Grab your leashes and call your pups after you’ve read this article and let us know the reasons you love to walk your dog!
7 Reasons To Walk Your Dog
After I’ve given you these dog-walking reasons, why not take your pup to a new and different location. Give him time to sniff the grass and revel in the new scents. He will thank you for it!
- Health matters. Getting up and getting moving is just plain good sense for you and your pup(s). It’s easy to become a couch potato. I know — I live in Northern NY and it’s already been frosty and the sun does nothing to heat up the day. Bundle up. Put a jacket on your dog if the cold bothers her and enjoy the crisp autumn air.
- Burn off excess energy. My poodle puppy, Archie, is a bundle of energy. I’d forgotten how much energy a puppy has — especially a poodle. He needs long walks and games of fetch in the house; if he doesn’t get exercised he will “exercise” himself by chewing the corner of my desk or our shoes. A tired puppy is a happy puppy (that goes for you and him!)
- It’s a great way to bond. I don’t know about you, but when I am working from home, or even when I am done work and am “relaxing” I am usually on my phone or reading a book. I am not paying enough attention to my pups. When we are out on a walk, I do carry my phone in case there is an opportunity to take an adorable photo, but I am not texting nor am I checking email. When I am outside with the dogs, I am fully present. I talk with them. I work on some training with them. Right now I am teaching them to sit when we stop walking. Hazel is getting it, Archie is too wound up by being outside that he can’t contain his energy long enough to sit. We sometimes stop so I can give them a treat, or we sit by the creek that runs in the woods behind the house. Everyone benefits, I think, mentally from the fresh air, the sounds of nature and the lack of electronics.
- Stimulate their senses. Our dogs experience life through their noses and they love to be exposed to new smells. When we walk I always give them time to sniff the ground and to follow a scent. Sometimes I will toss their treats into the grass and let them snuffle around to find them. At times, one or both of them will stop, tilt their noses toward the sky, sniff excitedly and tug me forward. Because not every walk has to be a training excursion I follow them and let them enjoy the world and its smells.
- Socialization. I work from home and that means my dogs don’t get to interact too much with the outside world. I also live in the country and we don’t encounter too many other people or dogs. If you live in an area where your dog can safely and in a socially-distanced way “greet” other humans and dogs, it’s a great way to introduce them to others.
- Better behavior. This goes along with burning off excess energy, but if your dog jumps on people or barks a lot and for no reason, taking walks could help calm him down and curb some of his behavior issues.
- Alleviate anxiety. If you have a dog who paces or who always seems to jump at sounds she hears (I know my Hazel does just that) taking a walk might help her be less anxious or stressed. The walk will show her that the world around isn’t so scary. Being outdoors and exposing her to different sights, sounds and surfaces under her paws can alleviate anxiety and make her not so afraid of the world. If your dog sees something in the road that she appears afraid of, don’t force her toward it, let her explore it on her own. You can move toward the object she’s afraid of and show her it’s all right.
After you get home from your walk, or before you’re going to bed after a day of exercise and exploration, turn on some DOGTV and you can both relax to the unique, scientifically-developed programming.
Rebecca Sanchez of The Pet Lifestyle Guru says, ” I love to walk my dog, Mookie, because I get to see the wonder and joy in his eyes and face as he explores the world around him. And, since he has fear-aggression, our walks have helped him build trust in my capabilities to keep him feeling safe!”
Share a photo of you and your dog on a walk on our DOGTV Facebook page.