When you welcome a dog into your home, you accept certain responsibilities, one of which is taking him or her for regular walks. Dog walking should not be seen as a chore, however. The daily opportunity to get some fresh air and decompress with your best friend can be a blessing.
Walking your dog daily has many benefits for both you and your fur buddy. Since January is “Walk Your Dog Month,” it’s the perfect time to make a resolution and hit the pavement with renewed dedication.
What’s in it for Rover?
Dogs benefit from the walk in multiple ways. Many people think the object of the game is to walk until your buddy does his business, but this can shortchange your pet.
Like humans, dogs need plenty of exercise in order to be healthy. One or two walks a day help them maintain overall health by building muscle and keeping joints mobile and pain-free as they age.
Brisk walks are great exercise for your dog and help him burn off excess energy, but long, slow rambles punctuated by plenty of leisurely sniffing benefits your pet in a different way. Mentally stimulating, such walks are particularly enjoyable for your dog. It may be hard for you to be patient while your buddy thoroughly sniffs the base of a sign, but it’s important to let your pet take her time exploring the world.
Finally, walking your dog helps strengthen the bond between you. It’s a chance to give your dog the precious gift of your one-on-one attention.
What’s in it for You?
Walking has many proven physical benefits for humans. For that reason, your dog may be the best “exercise equipment” you could ever have because, unlike that expensive rowing machine you bought, it can’t be shoved under the bed and forgotten. Dog owners tend to want to make their pets happy, and walks make dogs happy. Happy dog; happy owner!
Walking helps you physically by improving heart health, lowering blood pressure, and building stronger muscles and bones. As time passes, you might be surprised at your increase in stamina and how much easier it is to climb hills.
Dog walking also works wonders for your mental health. Getting outside in nature with your dog can significantly improve your mood and relieve stress. For people with depression, regular walks with your dog can be just what the doctor ordered. Fatigue often accompanies depression, making it easy to skip exercising. Having a dog that needs walking can be motivating, and the act of walking can boost your mood and energize you.
Never Let Your Dog Walk You
Taking your dog for a walk should be a pleasant experience for both of you, but all too often overzealous dogs pull at the leash or wind themselves around their owners’ legs. Being dragged around the block is no one’s idea of a good time, but fortunately there is a fix for the problem.
Fun fact: January is also National Train Your Dog Month!
Polite leash walking is a huge part of dog obedience training. Helping dogs learn to behave on leash helps them live better lives. Better leash behavior means less frustration for dog owners, making it more likely that they will walk their dogs more often.
Dog Obedience Training Makes for Happier Walks
If you want to help dogs become ideal walk buddies and model citizens, think about becoming a certified dog trainer. It’s an exceptionally rewarding career for an animal lover because training truly improves the lives of dogs.
Animal Behavior College has a long history of certifying dog trainers. Founded in 1998, the school has an excellent reputation for teaching people how to become dog trainers. ABC graduates well-prepared trainers schooled in positive reinforcement methods.
ABC’s online program succeeds so well because after completion of coursework, students apply what they’ve learned to real life by volunteering at least 10 hours in a local shelter, training dogs (and saving lives) and are then required to complete an externship with a local mentor.
Enrolling in Animal Behavior College is a great way to launch a training career. Call 800-795-3294 to talk to an admissions counselor today!