This week we celebrate “Walking the Dog Day”! No kidding… it really is a holiday!
Sometimes it’s hard to carve time out of your busy schedule to take your dog for a walk. We tend to try and justify reasons for NOT walking the dog… “He’s been out in the back yard all morning…that should be enough exercise”, or “He’s asleep on the couch…I don’t think he wants to go for a walk”, etc.. Unfortunately, dogs have adjusted very well to our sedentary lifestyles. Most are quite happy to be couch potatoes! So, is it REALLY necessary to walk your dog?
The answer is yes, yes, and YES! There are so many reasons for walking your dog and assuring he gets proper exercise.
Strong as an Ox!
First of all, walking does so much for your dog’s health. It keeps his muscles strong and keeps his joints limber. It helps with his digestion! It will help him sleep better at night and will help to keep his weight under control.
Sharp as a Tack!
Regular walking can improve your dog’s mental health too! Exploring a new trail…picking up on new scents is great mental stimulation! Exercise in general can ease canine depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive behavior.
Our Trainer, Amanda, says, “I totally agree with Caesar Milan’s philosophy that “A tired dog is a good dog!” Proper exercise can be a great training tool as well as a great bonding experience for you and your dog(s). With a nutritious diet and exercise, your dog will be healthier and happier which makes training easier.”
Always check with your vet!
So how far should we walk? It’s more about how “long” than how “far”. Exactly how long the walk or how much exercise your dog needs depends on your dog’s age, breed, and health. Generally, most dogs need 30 – 60 minutes of higher intensity aerobic exercise each day. Let your dog be your guide. If he is tired, stop. If he acts like he could keep going, push it out, but don’t overdo it! If you’re unsure, ask your vet. He/She will be able to give you an educated guide for your particular dog. If walking is new to your dog, it’s always best to get your vet’s opinion first!
As pack leader (yes, that’s you…at least we hope it’s you), it’s up to you to “rally the troops” and lead the pack on a walk! No time for a walk today? Make sure your dog gets his exercise by coming to Camp Holiday Barn to play, and tonight you can “bond” over dinner.