Every year, the beginning of October marks the start of National Walk Your Dog Week, a pet holiday week meant to spread awareness of the health benefits walking your dog. And health benefits are abound, not only in burned calories and steps taken. Walking your dog is probably one of the healthiest things you can do for both your and your pooch’s health.
These are four reasons we recommend getting out every day to walk your dog:
It’s Good For Your Dog’s Physical Health
This is the most obvious benefit of the walk. Walking not only gets your pooch’s blood flowing, the heart pumping and the calories burning, but also can aid in getting the digestive system moving—great if your dog’s been experiencing any, ahem, digestive backup (this is NOT a time to forget your waste bags!). However, if your dog is prone to hip or joint problems, you might want to look into a hip + joint supplement to promote cartilage growth and joint mobility.
Physical health isn’t the only benefit though;
It’s Great For Your Dog’s Mental Health
Often overlooked is just how beneficial walks can also be for your dog’s mental health. If your dog’s hyperactive, destructive or seeks attention through barking or whining frequently, there’s a good chance he’s bored and just wants something to do. A walk is an incredible boredom destroyer, providing your pooch the opportunity to socialize with other people and dogs, sniff and identify various scents and to see new environments around him.
As it also turns out, running releases chemicals in both human and dog brains called endocannabinoids, sometimes called the “bliss molecule,” which produces a runner’s high. So exercise can literally change a dog’s mood for the better!
It’s Good For Your Physical Health
Unless this is your dog, you’re still going to tie on your trainers and get walking with your pooch. Walking with a dog has been shown to almost double time spent walking per week, which has been linked to many benefits from lower blood pressure to sustained weight loss to even a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease! That’s a huge physical benefit for just 30 minutes to an hour per day.
It’s Actually Great For Your Mental Health, Too!
Had a stressful day? Walk your dog. Are you in sort of a glum mood? Walk your dog. Feeling kind of antisocial today? You know the answer.
Just being with your dog can make you feel more relaxed and calm, and getting out with them can help you make more friends and social interactions. And for kids with attention disorders where exercise might help, what could be better than a dog that requires daily exercise?
Yes, walking your dog really provides real benefits not only to your pooch, but also to you and your family. So we say, “Get out there and walk” not only because it’s National Walk Your Dog Week, but also because it’s incredibly healthy and beneficial. Happy tails to you and your four-legged family members!