January is walk your pet month. But this does not mean that this is the only time of the year you should make it a point to walk your dog in Manitoba. Here at Henderson Animal Hospital, we want to encourage all dog owners to try to take their dog for a walk at least a few times a week, if not daily. This is because there are many health benefits associated with walking your dog. Learning about these benefits may help you to realize why it is so important. Here are a few of the top benefits of walking your dog regularly.
Helps Maintain Pet’s Weight By Walking
One of the biggest benefits associated with walking your dog is that it helps your pet to maintain a healthy weight. Pets who do not get enough exercise are at higher risk of becoming overweight or obese than pets that do exercise regularly. Being overweight carries many health risks for your pet, including joint problems, diabetes, and a shortened life. By regularly walking your dog, you can ensure they get the exercise they need to stay at a healthy weight and live a healthier life.
Walking Keeps Your Dog Agile and Limber
The second benefit associated with regularly taking your dog for a walk is that it helps your dog to stay agile and limber. If your dog lays around all day, their muscles and joints are not getting the exercise that they need in order to maintain their strength and flexibility. When you take your dog for a walk, you are ensuring that the muscles and limbs in their body are getting worked. And if you have an older dog, don’t forego walking simply due to age. Simply decrease the distance you walk to help keep older pets limber.
Walking Improves Your Dogs’ Socialization Skills
One of the more overlooked benefits of walking your dog is that it helps to improve your dogs’ socialization skills. When you take a dog for a walk, they are seeing other dogs, cats, people, cars, and bicyclists. This allows them to get used to all of this behavior and activity. If you have a dog that barks at people, dogs or other elements, taking them on walks in a controlled environment can help them become accustomed to them.
Minimizes Boredom and Destructive Behavior
The last benefit of walking your dog is that it minimizes boredom and destructive behavior in dogs. If your dog whines, barks, howls, chews or destroys your house while you are away, they could be bored. Taking them on regular walks helps to cure this boredom and decrease these behaviors.
Walking your dog regularly can help them to maintain their weight, keep them agile and limber, improve their socialization skills and minimize boredom. All in all, walking helps your dog to live a healthier, longer and happier life. In addition to regular walks, your dog also needs routine vet care to live a long, happy and healthy life. If it has been a year or longer since their last appointment, now is the time to have them seen again.