Getting daily exercise is important for your dog’s body and mind. While playing in the backyard or indulging in a game of fetch is always beneficial, regular walks are a great idea. Consider it an easy way to stay healthy – and something you can both do together.
So, as you work to get your steps in, why not make your best fur friend your workout partner? After all, your pup needs to get his steps in, too.
How Walking Benefits Your Dog
Even though dogs sure do love a good nap, most will jump at the chance to head out on a walk. Thankfully so, since it brings with it plenty of benefits for your dog.
Regular walks can lead to:
- Improved joint health
- Muscle strength
- Healthy weight maintenance
- Regular digestive and urinary health
- Increased sociability
- Enhanced mental health
All of this is part of raising one happy pup with a good, quality life.
How Much Should Your Dog Be Walking?
It is absolutely fine to take your dog on a walk at least once every day for about 15 to 30 minutes. While there is no rule book to follow, the idea is to give your dog some exercise and fresh air.
Most veterinarians recommend that owners take their dogs for a walk 3 to 5 times per week for an average of 30 minutes. Some dogs that are above average in their health and ability may be able to go on long walks or challenging hikes for an hour or two before getting tired.
Pay attention to your dog when you head out for a walk. If he starts to slow down, he could be tired. You don’t want him to overdo it. Instead, take your time working him up to an average 30-minute walk or so – just as you would condition yourself to go a little further.
Make Walks More Fun
Imagine going for a walk on the same street, by the same houses, in the same neighborhood every single day – maybe even a couple of times per day. Sounds exciting? We didn’t think so.
Just as humans need to be mentally stimulated by the things they see around them, canines do, too. Next time you pull out the leash, ask your pup one of his favorite questions: Who wants to go for a walk? When your pup jumps for joy, treat him to some place extra special.
Below are a few ideas to make walks more fun so that you both enjoy racking up your steps.
Let your pup sniff. Dogs love to sniff around and discover new things. Let them. You are still going for a walk and getting those steps in so you don’t have to be in a rush.
Check out local parks. Many communities have parks with walking paths and hiking trails. You don’t have to go the distance, but it is always great to see different scenery.
Bring a friend. Walking is always more fun with a buddy. Why not invite a friend and their pup, too?
Walk a different route. If you must stay in your neighborhood, consider changing up the route you walk. This is an easy way to keep things exciting.
Get social. Walks are a great way to help build social skills. And since everyone loves to pet a cute pup, take advantage of this opportunity.
The Wrap Up
You and your dog both need to get your steps in. Heading out into the community and making those walks fun and stimulating can be great for both of you – in so many ways. Plan for these walks and make them a priority. You’re sure to be repaid in snuggles and wet-nosed dog kisses.
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