• Rachel Doran

A Walk A Day Keeps the Doctor Away

The primary concern for all pet owners is the health and wellbeing of their pets. Our pets are our family. While it is inevitable that we will have to take our pets to the vet from time to time, there is a simple everyday activity that you can do to keep your pet at the peak of health. And the best part is, it’s simple and good for both you and your pets. It’s a ……. drumroll please ….. walk.


Daily walks can benefit their health in many different ways - from things as simple as weight control to as nuanced as mental wellness. We all know the importance of walking our dogs, but only 33% of dog parents say they make a habit of it. Walking your dog doesn’t have to be complicated either. A simple 30 minutes three times a week is enough to reap all the benefits of walking your dog. But what are the benefits, exactly?


Weight Control


Carrying excess weight can be dangerous for our pets. 56% dogs are overweight or obese. This can perpetuate several health issues including cancer, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and bladder stones.



Just like regular activity can help us humans to manage our weight, the same is true for our pups. Daily walks are the easiest way to incorporate daily exercise. Walking activates all the muscle groups in your pup’s body. This burns calories and tones muscles making your pet more physically fit.


Joint Health


As our dogs age, they become much more likely to experience joint problems such as arthritis. Osteoarthritis is one of the most common health problems in dogs with up to 50% of all dogs experiencing the condition. Walking can help to prevent this.


Excessive sitting and lying around encourages joint decay and increases a dog’s likelihood of developing arthritis. Walking lubricates the joints in our dog’s body. Keeping them healthy and flexible. This can help stave off the onset of arthritis or even treat the condition in its early stages.


Mental Health


The benefits of walking our dogs are not limited to the physical; there are countless mental benefits as well. Some of the ways we can promote mental wellness in our dogs include providing them with play, affection, activity, and mental stimulation.


Boredom is a huge concern for dog owners because bored dogs can become mischievous dogs. Getting your dog outside for a walk a few times a week not only gives them something to look forward to but also allows them to explore the world. When they have the mental stimulation of people and animal watching on a walk, they are less likely to seek entertainment in your favorite shoes.


Socialization


Socialization is another important aspect of a healthy pet. Walking your pup can help contribute to this in a few different ways.


Walking with your dog can strengthen your bond. If you have ever picked up a leash or said “walk” around a dog, you’ve surely witnessed their excitement. Your dog appreciates that you take the time to engage in an activity they love.



Socialization doesn’t just happen between you and your pup on your walk though. Unless you live in the middle of absolutely nowhere, you are likely encountering other animals and humans on your daily walks. Dogs who spend time with other humans and animals are less likely to exhibit aggression.



Even if you’re best friends with your vet, you probably don’t want to visit for more than just a yearly checkup. A walk is an easy and effective way to improve the lives of both you and your dog. A walk is great exercise and can help maintain a healthy weight; but walking is more than just great exercise. It can also promote socialization, mental wellness and joint health earning you a gold star from your vet during your yearly well check.

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