We have a five year old mixed breed dog. He gets to go out in our fenced backyard, but mostly stays inside with us. Should we be taking him on regular walks?
Wondering About Walking in Woodland Heights
Dear Wondering About Walking,
Did you know that January is, “Walk Your Dog Month”? This makes your question quite timely indeed! And, the short answer to your question is “yes!” Taking your dog for regular walks is hugely beneficial for both your pet AND you! Not only does regular exercise keep your pet healthy, but it can also stimulate his brain so that he’s less anxious and (overall) better behaved and happier in his daily life. In honor of “Walk Your Dog Month,” here are a few other benefits to walking your dog.
You’ll Both Be More Agile and Limber
As most creatures age, we all become less coordinated and limber, which can result in nasty falls and other health hazards. Simply by walking your pet on a regular basis, you can help keep both yours and his joints, muscles, and tendons in primo shape.
Maintain A Healthy Weight:
These regular walks can help you both keep your weight at a healthy amount as well. Just like yourself, helping your pet to maintain a healthy weight will help take the strain off of his joints and keep his heart and lungs happy and healthy as well.
Helps Behavior Problems
Does your dog ever chew things he shouldn’t or jump up on people? If so, a regular walk might give him an outlet to blow off some steam, added energy, and might help him to remember his manners.
Digestive System Benefits
A regular walk can also help your pooch to get his digestive systems moving (so to speak). A daily walk can aid in alleviating constipation and helping your dog’s digestive system to work at its best.
Dedicated Time For You Too
Don’t think of walking the dog as a chore that you have to do. Think of your daily walk with Fido as your chance to think, reflect, or ponder things that you don’t have time to think about during the hustle and bustle of your day. I’d be willing to bet that, once you get into a dog walking routine, you’ll look forward to it as much as he does.
An Important Bond: By walking your dog, you form an important bond with him. Being outside, observing the world, is very stimulating for both humans and animals, so being his companion during this outside time will help bond you and your dog to one another for a lifetime.
During this season of New Year’s Resolutions, perhaps one of yours was to exercise more or to get healthier. If that’s the case, take your pup along with you on a daily walk around the neighborhood. Start slow and gradually work your way up to longer, more invigorating walks together. By this time next year, you might find that both you and your dog are healthier and happier than ever!
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