3 Reasons Why You Should Walk Your Dog


Dog Dog Walk Dog Health


  • Why you should walk your dog
If you’re a pup parent or have even considered becoming one, you’ve likely read enough articles that stress the importance of going on a dog walk. It’s a universally accepted basic need of your furry companion. Instead of researching if you need to walk your dog, chances are you’ve more likely looked up how long they need to walk for every day. Dogs differ in their needs based on what they’re bred to do. You could walk a working breed like a border collie or a malinois for two hours and they’ll still be looking for things to do when they get home. If you walk a chihuahua or a greyhound for two hours, you probably won’t see them for the rest of the day while they sleep it off.
While it seems to be a given that your dog needs a walk, a recent survey by the dog food brand, Forthglade showed that a startling number of parents didn’t walk their dogs every day, especially in bad weather.

Why you should walk your dog

Come rain or shine, your dog is still going to need their daily dose of walkies. There’s rarely weather in the UK that truly permits not walking your pooch. It can sometimes mean waiting for the rain to subside a little but your furry friends can even enjoy short strolls in the snow. Our canine companions rely on us for everything from their meals to their cuddles and even their social interaction. Unless you have a multi dog household then even interactions with their own species is managed by you. While it’s not a negative thing at all and most pet parents take care of their dogs like an extra member of the family, it’s important to remember that when you skip a walk, it’s often your choice and not your pup’s.

Dog being walked in a field.
You may be home from work later than usual or it could be getting dark out too early; there are plenty of reasons why you might want to put off a walk. In some cases, your pooch may even be reluctant to go if it’s too cold or wet but even then with some coaxing, they’re usually willing to go out for a gentle stroll that will be good for you both.

Dogs need routine

Our furry friends are not known for taking changes in their day to day routines very well. Dogs thrive on routine, they enjoy knowing when to expect food or when you’re going to be coming home and all of this plays into their welfare. If you’re home late one day, you might notice that your pup is more unsettled that evening than usual. After all, you’re a member of their family and if you’re not home when they expect you to be, you might find them pacing or waiting at the front door. The same can be said for if you have guests over, it can unsettle them and take them days to relax back into their usual routine.
This isn’t to say that you need to pick a routine and stick to it forever, it just means that you can take into consideration that changes could upset your fur baby. Dogs are happier when they know when meals are coming or when you get home from work, so anything you can keep to a routine helps to make other changes less jarring like having guests over or travelling somewhere on holiday. If you stick to walking your dog once or twice a day then they know what to expect and will often start to look forward to it. Your canine companion is always learning and they probably already get excited when you pull out their collar and harness. If you stick to a routine of walking them at a certain time of day like right after breakfast or when you get home from work, you might even start to find them waiting by their lead to go out!

Keeping your dog physically fit

Just like people, dogs need to stay physically fit too. A big part of being a good pup parent is making sure they stay fit and healthy. A healthy dog will live a longer, happier life so you get more time with them and fewer trips to the vet. If they live a sedentary life, they’re more likely to struggle with joint health and muscle strains when they’re older. The more exercise they get while they’re still young, the better their soft tissue will be at repairing and it will have better flexibility.

Labrador being walked on lead.
Regular exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight and partnered with a good diet that fulfils all of their nutritional requirements, they can keep a healthy body weight. Overweight dogs are more likely to suffer from joint issues, develop cancer, and suffer from heart disease. Walks help to slow down the ageing process as well and will save you from both the financial strain of lots of vet visits and having to say goodbye to your beloved pet too soon.

Mental enrichment

Moving muscles keeps the body fit but it also keeps the mind fit and healthy. You would go absolutely stir crazy if you spent your whole life stuck inside your house, no matter how nice that house is. The same thing goes for your furry friend, you may have a nice big garden but going outside to the same space multiple times a day will get tiresome. A dog needs mental stimulation as well as physical to keep happy and healthy. Mental enrichment can even tire them out much more than just a walk. If you go for a walk and do just that, you can spend twenty minutes walking and not tire your pup out in the slightest. When they’re sniffing and exploring the world around them at their own pace, you may not get as far but they take in so much information during this time, it’s much more mentally tiring.
Even if you’re only doing lead walks with your pooch, you can still tire them out mentally by teaching them something new like automatically sitting when they come to a curb or doing some nice loose lead walking. Walks are also when your furry friend has access to meet and greet other dogs and make friends. It’s an important part of socializing, especially while your pooch is young to teach them all about the world around them. They’ll learn how to interact with other dogs, which things are and aren’t scary. Just going on a walk can introduce your pooch to so many new things without doing a structured training session. You could be walking past bins, signposts, skips, all things that your pup may be intimidated by when they first encounter them but after a few walks, they’ll realise they’re nothing to be scared of.
Walks help to get your beloved pet used to the world around them along with keeping them fit and healthy. They’re a great time to bond and develop an even closer friendship. You can find all the dog walking essentials you need in store and online.