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Health Benefits of Walking Dogs: Ten Steps for Pups and Pet OwnersKelli Rascoe | January 15, 2019
The health benefits of walking dogs are positive for you and your furry friend. Whether you are a professional dog walker or pound the pavement with your pups as part of being a responsible pet owner, the importance of dog walking has emotional, mental, and physical health benefits for all. Fortunately, we sat down with the Trupanion pet program team to learn more about the health benefits of walking dogs and how it can create a one-of-a-kind experience with your furry friends.
Health benefits of walking dogs: pups and pet owners bond together
1) Bonding experience
The human-pet bond is such a unique relationship. When you take the time to get out and walk your best mate, it is a time to bond and experience a new environment. Naturally, this may be a chance to explore, adventure, and see something new which fun for you and your furry friend.
2) No screen time
With so much day-to-day activity in front of a screen, a mental break is needed and gives your pup a chance to stretch its legs. Definitely, the lack of screen take gives you the chance to focus on what is important during the walk. There’s value in being connected, including safety while on your walk. However, consider keeping your phone on you, but not using it, unless absolutely necessary, like taking that selfie with your pup!
3) Emotional connection
By taking the time to experience the outside world with your pups, without distraction, it can create an emotional connection and a bond with your best friend. Also, the dedicated time and shared activity builds trust within your relationship and provides one-on-one playtime.
4) 100% focus
The health benefits of walking dogs provide the opportunity for 100% focus for you and your pups. For instance, if you’re in an unfamiliar area, like a new hiking trail, you can focus 100% on your pet’s well-being and safety. In addition, the dog walk can be used to focus on new training opportunities. In a distracted world, 100% focus is something we can all improve on.
5) Mental stimulation
New experiences, beyond your front door or your backyard, are filled with mental stimulation for your pup. For example, a walk to a nearby park is filled with new scenery, smells, and obstacles to explore. Certainly, one of the health benefits of walking dogs provides is the versatile amount of mental stimulation for dogs.
6) Fresh air and exercise
There’s nothing quite like getting outside and getting moving with your pets. Exercise and fresh air have a physical health benefit, as well as an emotional benefit. Consider, starting your walk short and keep track of how you and your pup feel after each walk. Every time you take a walk, it’s a new adventure, and a new opportunity to get moving to new places. Push yourself and your best friend for longer walk times and places to explore.
7) Training opportunity
Your dog walk could be used as a training opportunity. For instance, if you have a new puppy you may have the chance to work on basic leash skills. Also, if you find your dog is being particularly leash-reactive, this extra time may give you the opportunity to retrain. Also, you could use this time to focus on hand signals and commands with lights.
8) Track and measure success
Creating new goals and becoming your best selves, can be an exciting new adventure for you and your pet. By jumpstarting this health journey with your furry friends, you can start small goals, track and measure your success with your daily walks. After all, you have a workout partner that will always be with you every step of the way.
9) Keep tabs on pup’s health
An additional health benefit of walking dogs is the opportunity to help keep tabs on your pup’s health. By walking your furry friends each day, you may spot a new behavior or something abnormal. Consider keeping a journal to track any unusual findings so you can follow up with your veterinarian with any concerns.
10) Ability to study your pup in a versatile environment
Every new environment is a clean slate for your puppy. So with that being said, every new environment could spark new behaviors. By taking the opportunity to walk your pup, you may study any new behaviors or reactivity to different environments. Every walk provides a new learning opportunity.
Health benefits of walking dogs: a one-of-a-kind experience
From a hiking adventure to an afternoon family stroll the health benefits of walking dogs can help provide emotional, physical, and mental stimulation for the entire family. It can help provide connection, bonding, and versatile training environments that may provide rich fulfillment for your furry friends.
For more on pet care, read Pain Relief in Dogs.
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This blog is designed to be a community where pet owners can learn and share. The views expressed in each post are the opinion of the author and not necessarily endorsed by Trupanion. Always consult your veterinarian for professional advice.