Walkin’ the Dog: 10 Reasons Why Their (and Your) Good Health Depends on It

I love my two dogs, Skyla and Izzie — my life just wouldn’t be the same without them. They are the first to greet me when I open my eyes in the morning, and the last ones in our home to lie down before the lights go out for the night. Both of my dear dogs are more excited to see me than every one of my human family members when I return from a road trip. Whether it’s a short and quick shopping spree or an extended overnight stay, they act as though they haven’t seen me in years and find it difficult to contain themselves. It’s no wonder why they add so much to my life; and why I do everything I can to make sure to add to the length of theirs!

If you informed me today of something that would benefit their lives, then I would strive to do it. I wouldn’t allow any excuse to stop me… even if I felt I was too busy or that other things were more important (really?), I’d still make sure to find time for them. They depend on me. I adopted them because I wanted them to feel loved and cared for. I did not adopt them just so I could say I own a dog (some people I know do this). And I surely won’t allow them to feel as if they are in the way. Mine don’t — they know they are wanted and loved.

You see, I do something every single day that benefits them and their good health: I walk them.

Dogs Deserve It

Walking provides health benefits for your your dog and you as well. Often I tell people, “If you don’t walk for your own good health, walk for the health of your dog.” They deserve it, don’t you agree? Would you like to view just a few of the numerous health benefits walking provides for your dog? I hope so:

  1. Helps Keep Your Dog in Good Health  — Like humans, exercise provides many health benefits to dogs, including keeping your canines agile and limber.
  2. Helps You Build Confidence and Trust with Your Dog — If you have a nervous or fearful dog, regular walks can help them build confidence and trust. You will likely be exposing your dog to other humans and dogs, and with you there to provide comfort your dog will most likely learn to feel relaxed and be comfortable around them.
  3. Curbs your Dog’s Rowdiness — Behaviors such as knocking over furniture or jumping on people can be a sign of pent-up energy. Regular walks will most likely help curb this problem.
  4. Lessens Attention-Seeking Behaviors — Barking and whining are just signs that your dog wants some attention from you. Regular walks will help both of you spend more time together; every dog seems to crave this.
  5. Helps to Promote a Special  Bond with your Dog — This is related to the attention-seeking behavior. Spending time with your dog is extremely important because it strengthens the bond between the two of you and leads to a strong, trusting relationship. Walk to strengthen your bond and your bodies as well!
  6. Reduces Hyperactivity — Walks can help to alleviate extra energy your dog might have. Walks have been proven to calm down your dog and reduce any hyperactivity, excitability, and even nighttime activity. A walk can help dog feel more relaxed and sleepy rather than restless at bedtime.
  7. No More Destructive Behavior — Regular walks can help reduce or possibly eliminate any of you dog’s destructive chewing, digging, or scratching. Dogs are almost like children: If you are not giving them something constructive to do, you may not like what they elect to do to stay occupied.
  8. Helps Their Digestive System — Regular walks can be extremely beneficial to your dog’s digestive system, and yes … they can even aid in relieving constipation.
  9. Keeps Your Dog’s Weight Under Control — An overweight dog is not a healthy dog. Want to keep your dog in tip-top shape? Exercise them daily … and the same goes for all of humans!
  10. Helps Your Good Health Too — Walking your canine friend is sometimes regarded as a chore, but it shouldn’t be. Walking is truly beneficial for all involved, both dogs and humans. The health benefits you will gain from walking are as great as for your dog. I can’t stress that last sentence enough: I improved my health when I lost 162 pounds once I began walking daily, 1.5 miles with my dog, Sierra, in 2001. She lived to be 15½ years old, which is amazing for the large-breed dog that she was. I did my part to add to the length of her life – and to mine! We both benefited more than words can describe. Currently my dogs benefit greatly from their daily walks — and so do I, as I have kept my weight off for 10 years because of them. Yay!

Take a moment to check out some of the walking events that include your dog. One that I suggest is called The Mutt March, which is being held Sunday, June 3. It offers a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere and beautiful scenery with break areas along the way. There are water stops provided for dogs and humans too.

Other fun dog events in Michigan are found here.

How do you like to exercise with your dog?

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