What are the benefits of walking the dog?

Many people think that walks are good for their dogs, but in reality, both you and your pup can benefit from this exercise. If you have a little canine friend but don’t take it out for walks quite often, then the below benefits of walking the dog will change your mind.

Benefits for you

Dogs owners are enjoying many benefits of walking their dogs regularly. Benefits include weight loss, increased endurance and muscle tone, improved sleep, improved cardiovascular fitness, lower blood pressure, and decreased stress.

Weight loss and keeping fit

If you can’t stand the harsh workouts in the gym, walking with your dog is a fantastic low-impact activity yet effective for fat burning and weight loss. You might consider walking up extra hills to increase your walking intensity.

the benefits of walking your dog

Improved sleep

Have you ever seen your dog lounging on the floor after a long walk or a long bout of play and fell asleep immediately? Well, this is because exercise is tiring, and the body needs rest to regain its strength. You don’t have to fall asleep right after the walk like your dog, but the quality of your night’s sleep will certainly improve considerably.

Remember to keep your walks during the day because exercising too close to bedtime, even the light ones, can increase your heart rate, raise your body temperature and blood pressure, and stimulate your nervous system which will make it more difficult to sleep. 

Decreased stress and improved mental health

Dogs are cute and their adorable behaviors can help improve your mood. In fact, dogs have been considered as a treatment for patients with depression or mental problems. A study has shown that walking with a dog or spending time around a pup can reduce the output of cortisol – a stress hormone.

The Benefits of Walking Your Dog (For the dog)

Most dogs can benefit from a 30-minutes walk every day. For particularly active dogs, additional exercises such as swimming, running, or fetching are needed. Here are a few top benefits your pups will get if regularly walked with its owner. 

Walking helps the dog stay in shape

benefits of walking the dog

Like humans, dogs can also be obese if they eat too much but don’t exercise. Being overweight increases the risk of bone and joint diseases, diabetes, and many other dangerous diseases that reduce the life of pets. If being walked regularly, the whole body of the dog gets to work, therefore, burning excess fat and calories so that our furry friends can stay at a healthy weight and live a longer life.

Walking reduces destructive behaviors

Dogs usually have destructive behaviors such as chewing everything they found, running and destroying the house, howling or barking. If your dogs have one of these symptoms, they are probably getting bored in the house. Taking your pet outside for a walk helps entertain them and decreases these unwanted behaviors. 

Helps improve mental and emotional health

Dogs instinctively love to explore just like their wild wolf ancestors. When taken out of the fenced-in areas to see wildlife, meet other creatures, discover new paths, sniff, search for things, and so on, they feel alive to their instincts and will feel happier. Walking also reduces the output of the stress hormone cortisol.

Do you believe that dogs have emotion? Yes, they definitely have. Otherwise, why would they make a smiley face every time we feed them, get upset when we go out, or whine when they are bored? Dogs love their owners and want to spend time around you. Walking your pet helps him to feel a sense of social order and develop trust in you as the owner in unfamiliar situations. 

what are the benefits of walking your dog

Improve joint health

The lack of exercise is one of the causes of the reduced function of the musculoskeletal system. When walked regularly, the dog’s joints will work continuously and produce mucus to lubricate the joints and make them more flexible. The same applies to humans.

Improve digestive and urinary health

Gastrointestinal disease due to sedentary often seen in dogs is constipation. When walking, the dog’s belly area works to promote faster digestion, therefore reducing constipation. Urinary tract infections caused by bladder retention can also clear up on their own with regular walks.

How often should you walk your dogs?

At DogCutiesHQ we recommend all dog owners walk their dogs for 30 minutes every day. If you are busier, then try to take your pet out for a walk at least 5 times a week.  With particularly very active dogs, you can extend the walking time to 1 hour or more until the pet shows signs of fatigue such as lying down or panting. 

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References: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/dog-walking-the-health-benefits