4 reasons to grab the leash and get moving
Nothing makes me more excited than when I see Rose pick up my leash – it means walk time, my favorite time of the day. Not only is it fun to exercise, explore and enjoy the great outdoors, but I get to socialize with the dogs in the neighborhood.
Here are four reasons why you should walk your dog:
1. A good opportunity for teaching and learning
Walking is not only physically beneficial for your dog, but it’s also mentally stimulating. If your dog is pulling too much or misbehaving, it’s a good time to work on basic obedience. Teach your dog how to follow your lead.
Dr Karen B London, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer, explains: “Well-trained dogs are allowed greater freedom. If they come when called, they get to spend more time off leash. Training also reduces frustration because when you ask your dog to do something he’s been taught to do, he knows what you want.”
2. Strengthens the bond between the two of you
The more time you spend with you dog, the stronger your relationship will be.
“Spending time together builds trust, confidence, and love, and creates a feeling of familial belonging—the roots of the bond,” Modern Dog Magazine reports. “Activities—walking, hiking, training, playing—these are things which pull you both closer into each other, nurturing that intimacy.”
3. Walking benefits your health too
Your dog can be the best personal trainer you’ve ever had.
According to a study at the University of Western Australia, seven out of 10 adult dog owners exercise at least 150 minutes per week, compared to only four out of every 10 people who don’t own dogs.
4. Teaches your dog important social skills
When your dog is surrounded by people and other dogs on a regular basis, they get to practice socializing, which is important for both their physical and mental health. Failure to socialize your dog can lead to stress-related health conditions.
“Poorly socialized dogs are fearful of unusual or new circumstances,” according to Dr Ken Tudor, animal medical practitioner and Veterinary Medical Officer for both the United States Department of Agriculture and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. “This sets off neurological signals that result in hormone secretion by various glands in the body. Adrenalin hormones increase heart and respiration rates and blood pressure in anticipation of ‘fight or flight.’”
Corticosteroid hormones also affect heart rate and blood pressure, and can cause muscle deterioration, and damage your dog’s immune system.
What’s your favorite part about walking your dog? The exercise? Emotional bonding? Socializing? All of the above? Share your thoughts in the comments!