Let’s get walking
Published on Wednesday, 10 July 2013
While it might appear to be a mundane activity, the benefits of walking Fido are actually far and beyond. Besides being a great form of exercise for you and Pooch, spending time together also gives you an opportunity to strengthen your human-animal bond. Likewise, a happy, well-exercised dog is less likely to develop behavioural issues such as barking and excessive chewing.
Having an expansive backyard or the whole apartment for a small dog to roam aren’t valid reasons not to walk your canine. Our furkids have natural roaming and exploring instincts that can only be satisfied on a long stroll where they will be exposed to various sights, smells and sounds. In addition, bringing Rover for leisurely walks can provide him with a sense of purpose and direction. In return, that discourages him from running away to fulfil his roaming instincts.
Being on a walk also provides opportunities for social interaction, with other humans and canines alike, and this can help build Fido’s confidence and social skills.
We are well aware that daily walks are good outlets to release mental and physical energy for our furkids. But do you know that pet owners can benefit from dog walking too? Studies have shown that regular dog walkers have a lower body mass index (BMI), fewer chronic conditions and depressive symptoms. In fact, bringing Fido for a stroll a few times a week can also help boost your cardiovascular fitness and lower blood pressure.
Now that we have convinced you to go on a walk with Rover, here are some tips for you to make it an enjoyable experience.
- Using a short leash to ensure that Fido stays beside or behind you during the walk. You will have more control over him and it will be easier to correct him should he attempt to tug or charge ahead.
- The distance and pace of a walk differs from one dog to another. It depends on the individual size, breed, health, fitness and age. For example, an arthritic senior dog will do better with a slower and shorter walk in comparison to an energetic young adult. Hence, remember to cater the walk to the needs of your canine.
- Always ask permission before allowing Fido to approach other dogs as not all of them are friendly and some take time to warm up.
- Bring along extra poop bags, wet wipes (in case Rover gets dirty) and a water bottle (on longer walks).
Photo source: http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com