Hi Everyone! February 22, 2017 is National Walk Your Dog Day! Everyone around the country is encouraged to take their furry companion out for a walk. Who knew this day existed?! What a great way to celebrate the special bond between you and your dog, while experiencing all the benefits of exercise.
Walking your dog has so many wonderful benefits, not only your beloved pet, but for you too. No wonder they created a national holiday to recognize the importance of walking your dog. So, why should you celebrate this awesome day with your pet, and take them for a nice long walk?
- Physical exercise. Exercise and staying in shape is imperative to the overall health and wellbeing of your pet, and for yours too!
- Health benefits. Walking helps to keep your pet at the recommended weight, more agile, and limber. Walking also helps prevent constipation and keeps your pet’s gastrointestinal tract healthy.
- Alleviate extra energy. Walks can help calm your pet, and reduce hyperactivity and excitability. It can also help your pet feel more relaxed at bedtime.
- Behavioral improvements. Behaviors such as jumping on people, or knocking over furniture, can be a sign of pent up energy. Regular walks may help to alleviate some of these behaviors. Barking and whining may be some signs that your pet wants some attention from you, and regular walking may help reduce these signs.
- Monitoring. With our busy lives, it is easy to lose track of your dog getting the proper exercise. Walking is a great way to keep track and make sure your pet is getting the daily exercise requirements that they need.
- Stimulus and excitement. Remember most pets do not get out of the house like we do. Walking is a great way to introduce new sites, sounds, smells, and excitement into their lives. For walking small breed dogs I always recommend a harness to avoid placing too much pressure on their airways
- Socialization. Walking is a fabulous way to keep your pet friendly and socialized with other dogs and people.
- Training and Obedience. Walking with your dog is a great way to work on training and obedience with your pet. For training I recommend a shorter leash for more control and/or a gentle leader.
- Trust. For our timid or fearful pets, regular walks can help build confidence and trust. If you are walking your dog during the evening make sure to place a reflector or light on their collar or harness
- Bonding. Walking with your pet is a wonderful way to bond with them and have some quality alone time. Spending time with your dog is extremely important. It strengthens the bond and leads to a strong, trusting, and happy relationship.
The bond between dogs and their pet parents is a special one that is difficult to describe or replicate. Dogs bring us such joy, companionship, selfless loyalty, and love. All they need from us is to know how much we love them and want to care for them. Walking with your pet is not only a great way to keep your pet healthy and strong, but also a wonderful way to bond and show them how much we care. I hope everyone who is lucky enough to be a pet parent goes out on National Walk Your Dog Day and celebrates this wonderful message. Maybe this one day of celebration will lead to many more walks with your dog during the year. Happy National Walk Your Dog Day!