Keep Moving Forward: The Benefits of Walking With Your Pet
Pet ownership is a big responsibility, but we sign up for the opportunity because of the enormous payoffs we receive from this special relationship. Indeed, owning a pet is a type of insurance against loneliness, isolation, and possible boredom. They keep us engaged, connected, and best of all, active. Walking with your pet is one of the best assets of the relationship – for both you and your pet!
Broadening the Horizons
An owner of a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed dog knows that going out for walks is the best part of the day for their four-legged friend. It’s fun, mentally and physically stimulating, and has the potential to deepen the bond between you.
When your dog is properly trained to walk on-leash, you work together toward a positive and rewarding experience. And if they still need a little extra help learning not to pull on the leash, walking with them every day gives you ample opportunities to train them. Walking with your pet is a great reward for understanding how you want them to behave.
Walking your pet is one of the best ways to grant them safe exposure to various stimuli, such as traffic, other people, pets, and wild animals. Being present with them during possible interactions and reinforcing their sense of security is a great way to ensure that future experiences will be happily accepted (or at least generally tolerated). Also:
- Your pet’s world grows bigger and richer when you walk in new or unfamiliar areas.
- They learn how to interact with others while out and about (yay for social skills!).
- They prove the many ways they understand your expectations; don’t forget to reward them for their efforts.
- Exercising together builds trust and strengthens your bond.
- Regular walking assists with your dog’s digestive system and their poop habits.
- Exercise reduces boredom and destructive behaviors.
Walking With Your Pet Is Good For You, Too!
Evidence supports daily walking as a means to reduce heart disease and other illnesses related to a sedentary lifestyle. Lowered blood pressure, weight loss, more energy and mobility are great ingredients for happiness!
Plus, when you get outside with your pet on a routine basis, stress and anxiety are relieved and you get the chance to meet new people, building on a sense of community.
A Great Addition
Walking with your pet is an easy solution to many life challenges, and the result is a happier, healthier lifestyle for both of you. However, many pets also enjoy hiking, swimming, agility, fetch, hide-n-seek, and other outdoor activities. Be sure to integrate all of your pet’s interests into one great exercise routine.
Lastly, when walking with your pet take care to watch for any signs of exhaustion, stress, fear, or discomfort. Guide them away from loud traffic until you know they’re not bothered by it, and stop frequently for water, rest and reassurance. Check the paws every so often for wear and tear or injuries.