Walking your dog doesn’t have to mean a huge expedition that involves a 6-mile hike over moors and through woodland. Personally I mix it up with our dogs Dottie and Duke. From local walks around the streets of our town to getting up on the moors and the middle of nowhere. Variety is key for both me and the dogs.
Making time for walking your dog
Sometimes, as much of a dog lover that I am, I do get lazy and put off a walk with them. But the majority of the times I’ve felt like that I remember that they need a walk for their own physical and mental health as much as I probably do.
It might just be a half-mile trot around the town but at least we got out there.
Other times I get myself ready for a good old walk on the moors with them where were get properly out into the glorious countryside we are lucky to live within.
Just this past weekend we went to Countryfile Live at Castle Howard. I considered taking the dogs but after the reports about traffic and the length of time people were spending in their cars I decided it would be best not to take them. As it turned out we had no traffic issue so could have taken them in the end – shame. Once home, despite being whacked, I ran an errand and then took them on a good off-lead walk through an area I know.
It was Duke’s first time off his lead for a week and a half as he was on light walks following his castration. He loved it.
Why dogs (and you) need a daily walk
Walking your dog on a daily basis is absolutely vital to them for many reasons:
- It provides them with much-needed exercise. This is for both your dog and you. Studies have shown that for overweight people and dogs, a 30-minute walk, three times or more per week can increase energy, reduce blood pressure, improve the sense of well-being, and lower your weight by 5% and your dog’s by 15%. We’ve certainly seen this in our Dalmatian Dottie.
- It helps them to release both physical and mental energy. A dog kept inside will undoubtedly build up physical and mental energy and become frustrated, just like humans. Getting out for exercise helps to release this energy and improve their well-being.
- It strengthens your bond. Walks with your dog provide quality time with each other which is important for the behavioural development of your dog and the foundation of a trusting relationship.
- It allows them to go to the toilet. An obvious, but crucial benefit. Dogs learn by habit and they recognise that they will have the opportunity to go to the toilet on their daily walks and this is vital in house training your pooch.
- It provides you with a training opportunity. Dog training isn’t something you do for a few weeks or months when you get a puppy and then forget about. Training your dog is an on-going process throughout their lives and a daily walk provides you with opportunities to strengthen that training.
- It’s good to socialise your dog. Dogs need to socialise and understand the world around them. By nature, they are pack animals and hence the domestic way of life is not natural to them. Leading your dog, as the pack leader, in the world will help them understand it. Being around other humans and dogs and behaving as you would like is important. With our Dalmatian we know she dislikes other dogs, likely born out of a number of attacks she has suffered during her life. But, we still want her to be out there and be around other dogs.
Lace-up your boots and get out
It’s easy to procrastinate and avoid getting outside sometimes. But making that time for you and your dog is vital.
- If you’re struggling to find the time, is the set your morning alarm 30 minutes earlier so you can lace up those boots and get out.
- Get into a routine. This will help you and your dog.
- Walk with a friend who also has dogs. Arranging to meet a friend for a walk means you’re less likley to duck out of going.
Happy dog walking.
Thanks for reading