Hey you, snuggled up on the couch. Remember that New Year’s resolution that you made? The one that promised to stay healthier and live happier? We do, and so does your dog. If you find yourself losing a little motivation to stay active, think about how your fur baby feels. Although this time of the year is typically gross weather, he still needs exercise and adventure. And of course he wants to do it with his favorite person- you!
January is National Walk Your Dog Month, and if you haven’t taken advantage of this holiday yet, we are here to remind you. Since your dog is not spending as much time outside as he does in the warmer months, he will need some extra exercise and you’ll see the benefits for yourself as well. We have outlined 10 reasons why you should create a dog walking habit this month.
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1) It gets you both moving
A body in motion stays in motion. We have heard this many times. There is no better motivation to exercise than those sweet brown eyes staring at you and the tail wagging to go with it. Dogs build up a lot of energy during the day, especially when they are home alone and taking frequent naps. Although you may be tired and sluggish from the gray weather, your pup wants to go expend some of that energy. It is proven that exercise and movement is healthy for both the body and mind, so even if you take him on a quick walk outside, it will help him settle indoors. Plus, walking will help keep those extra pounds off of him.
2) Mental Stimulation
It can be boring for your pup to be stuck inside all day. Much like humans, dogs need mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. Going for walks outside gives him an array of sights and smells that he simply cannot get while being stuck indoors. Dogs’ natural instinct is to walk and roam many miles a day to hunt for food and water. Although he no longer need to do these things, it still is a sense of accomplishment and happiness for him. Being able to go outside and explore will fulfill his hunting and exploring instincts, and he will feel very satisfied napping on the couch later.
3) Bonding experience
When you take her outside on a walk, it is truly a bonding and trusting time. This activity is just you and her, and she has all of your attention and time. Going on walks is a great way to get to know her better. You can see how she interacts with other people and dogs, as well as what she does when she sees a (gasp!) squirrel. All of this helps you get to know her personality and little quirks that only you two know about each other.
4) A less stressed dog
Think about it, exercise helps you sleep better and reduces stress. Well, the same goes for your pup. Walking daily with him will lower both of your stress levels and can even help manage some of his bad behaviors. Many times, when dogs misbehave or act out, it can mean he is not getting enough attention or exercise. A daily walk can help ease his separation anxiety and destructive behavior that comes from boredom.
5) A healthier dog
Walking is so good for your dog’s body in countless ways. Getting his heart pumping gives him fresh oxygenated blood and a rush of energy, and will keep it healthy for many years to come. Walking also lubricates his joints, speeds up his metabolism and burns calories. If he needs to lose a couple pounds, or you just want to keep him in shape and healthy, daily walks for even 30 minutes will achieve this goal. What better gift can you give your dog other than a longer and higher quality of life?
6) Work on his training
Leash manners and obedience are big factors in your relationship with your dog. Yes, they are our companions and best friends, but there needs to be rules and training in order to keep him safe and comfortable. Leash training is one of the most important manners your dog can learn. Usually, when on a leash, you are outside with him or in an unfamiliar area. To keep him safe from roaming into the street or chasing a bunny into the woods, having appropriate training is key. Every time you go on a walk with him, you can work on leash skills. Whether it’s asking him to sit at a cross stop or telling him to heel when he sees another dog approaching, he is becoming more knowledgeable about what you want from him. Remember, that you are both a team with a goal of enjoying each others company and staying safe.
7) Get some fresh winter air
Even though it’s a bit chilly this time of year, it is still good to get outside and get fresh air. The dry, stuffy air inside can often make feel you and your doggie confined and claustrophobic. If it’s not too cold outside, getting some cool natural air in your dog’s lungs will allow him to feel refreshed and ready to take on the new day.
8) Because your dog enjoys it
And why wouldn’t you want to include something so simple, yet so enjoyable for him in his day. Our doggies don’t ask for much, just some love, attention and yummy food. So giving him time in his day where he gets to just do what he loves, will ultimately lead to a very happy dog.
We know our beloved fur babies enjoy spending time with us, allowing them 30 minutes of enjoyment and exercise each day is the least we can do to keep them healthy and at their best. Even calm dogs gets excited when you grab the leash and start putting on your shoes. Be sure you have your TruDog Scoop Me when you go on your adventure. This cute and convenient holder contains 15 poop bags to clean up those less than adorable messes they might leave.
So go for a walk, for the love of dog!