Have you considered walking your dog lately? It's Walk Your Pet Month! Walk your dog this month to show them how much you love them, and get yourself out of the house for some exercise. There are many benefits of walking your pet. Not only does it give both you and your furry friend a great excuse to get outside, but it also helps with weight management, stress relief, socialization skills, and more! We'll discuss the many reasons why walking your pet is worth every moment!
Dogs Need Exercise Just Like Humans Do
We all know the saying, “New Year, New You,” right? January is Walk Your Pet Month, so start walking with your pet daily. Many people want to get healthy in the new year, and what better way than with your pup. You both will be thankful you did.
Walking Helps Keeps them Calm
Walking your dog can help keep them calm. With daily walks, you can help decrease anxiety in your dog, which will help them be well-behaved inside and outside the house. Dogs need the stimulation of new sights, sounds, and smells to keep them from getting bored or anxious. This also allows them to be social with other people and dogs.
Walks are good for mental health for you both. You'll be less likely to think about work or other problems when you're outside with your pet. It's an excellent way to get some fresh air and Vitamin D, which is essential for both humans and dogs.
Vitamin D is critical for a dog’s health. It aids bone development and helps maintain joint health. It also helps to prevent heart disease and kidney failure in dogs.
Dogs' most common health issues are coat problems, vision problems, inflammatory bowel disease, joint inflammation, dental problems, and hyperthyroidism. Vitamin D, also known as sunshine, plays a crucial role in preventing all the above mentioned canine illnesses. If your pup isn’t receiving enough Vitamin D from the sun, your vet may recommend a supplement.
Helps with Training
Walks are a perfect time to practice training commands with your pup. An unruly dog is an unhappy dog, which leads to an unhappy dog parent. It is essential that you start walking on a leash and training early!
By walking your pup daily on a leash, they will learn how to be polite, not pull, and recognize that you are the pack leader, not them.
You’ll want them to master the “sit” command first. Just because they are on a leash doesn’t mean you get to yank on their leash; it just means that they can’t run from you. Start with positive reinforcements, like a small treat. Check out this video from Chewy.
Now that you have mastered “sit,” get them on their leash and go for a walk. Make sure you have a short leash, 4 - 6 foot length, because they are easier to manage and less likely to get tangled.
Choose which side you want your pup to walk on and keep them in the “heel position,” right there on your heels. This helps them be safe in case of any unpredictable elements and make them recognize that you are the boss, not them.
Best Time to Walk with Your Furry Friend
When you walk your dog will be determined by you and your pup! Knowing their personality is essential in deciding when to walk your dog daily. We will discuss the pros and cons of the different times of day to walk your dog.
Morning walks are best for puppies and senior dogs. They will need to potty first thing in the morning to help prevent accidents from happening. Morning walks will also allow puppies to get out some of that burnt-up energy they’ve kept in all night, which will help with the behavior throughout the day, especially if you have to leave for work.
The morning activity also helps to increase your pup’s metabolism, along with your own! The walk will help increase blood circulation, which will help both of you boost your energy level for the rest of the day.
You’ll want to make sure that you have a set schedule and get up early enough to take care of yourself before work and still have time for a walk with your dog. Dogs love having a routine and consistency.
Your dog will be so excited to see you after a long day without you. This makes afternoons or evenings a great time for the two of you to go on a nice walk and bond. They’ve held in their energy while you were gone and now they’re able to get out, get the blood circulating, and get their joints moving.
Evening walks also allow them to sleep and rest more peacefully. After the walk, they will want to “veg” out on the couch with you and continue bonding some more.
Both Morning and Evening
Keeping all of that in mind, there is no reason you can’t walk your pup several times a day. Experts recommend walking 30 minutes to 2 hours a day to help your dog with mobility and keeping their weight under control.
When you walk your dog at the beginning and end of the day, you’ll reap the advantages of both timelines. You’ll get to kickstart your metabolisms to remain active for the rest of the day and sleep well due to the before-bed activity.
It's easier on your wallet than paying for doggy daycare all the time! Not to mention, it's healthier for both of you!
And finally, there are so many fun things that dogs love about being outside! They love sniffing around, leaping into puddles, chasing squirrels-or just running!
We all know how important it is to get out of the house and take a walk with our pets. There really isn't one perfect time of day to go on a walk - just make sure you do it regularly, so everyone gets their exercise!
What are some reasons you enjoy taking walks with your pup? Share with us on social media and tag us @vitalpetlife and use the hashtag #walkyourpetmonth