Updated: Jan 9
If you're reading this article, chances are you already love your dog and want to make sure he or she has the best care possible.
Daily dog walks provide numerous physical and mental benefits for your pup. Dog walks are an important part of keeping your pup healthy and happy.
Do you know why you should walk your dog? Well, I'm here to tell you!
Here are the top 7 benefits of daily dog walks:
1. Increases Social Interactions
Dog walks provide your pup with the opportunity to meet and interact with other dogs, people, and new environments. This helps to reduce your pup’s fear of the unknown and encourages socialization with other dogs and people.
Properly socializing your dog means they’ll be less likely to become aggressive and fearful of strangers as they age. Walking your dog on a regular basis gets them familiar with encountering new people and dogs, as well as different environments.
2. Can Make Your Dog Smarter
Taking your dog for regular walks can help to keep their mind stimulated. When you walk with your dog, you’re exercising their body as well as giving your dog a mental workout. Going on frequent dog walks will expose them to new sights, smells, and sounds which can help them learn and become more intelligent, especially as they age.
3. Decreases Anxiety in Your Dog
Taking your dog for a walk can help to reduce their anxiety in unfamiliar or stressful situations. The stimulation from the new environment, people, and other dogs can help your pup relax and feel safe and secure. Dogs need the same human interaction and socialization as we do. A dog that feels isolated or stressed can develop behavioral problems.
When it comes to anxiety, many pet owners may feel that they have to rely on drugs to help their animals overcome their fears. However, many studies suggest that dog walking can reduce stress levels in both animals and humans, and the benefits of walking a dog are even greater when the dog is anxious or fearful. By simply providing a secure environment for your dog to walk you can help calm your furry friend and encourage them to become more confident.
4. Provides Mental Stimulation and Improves Memory
Dogs need mental stimulation just like humans do. Regular walks provide your pup with an opportunity to experience new smells, sights, and sounds – the mental stimulation that dogs crave. With regular daily walks, your pup will be able to recall the sights, sounds, and smells they encounter.
Dogs also love to explore new places and try new things, so exploring different areas around your neighborhood or checking out different neighborhoods and seeing what your dog can discover can bring a lot of fun and joy to both of you. The stimulation of new sights, smells, and sounds can help to improve your dog’s memory.
Taking walks with your dog can help keep their brain active and curious as well as help them become more confident and comfortable with new situations. By providing them with the mental stimulation they need to thrive you also help to reduce boredom and any destructive behavior that may result from boredom.
5. Keeps Your Dog Active and Provides Physical Exercise
Just like humans, dogs need regular physical exercise to stay healthy and fit, maintain strong muscles and bones, and keep their digestive system running smoothly. A good daily walk provides your dog with the necessary physical activity they need to stay in shape and expend some of their energy, so they have less pent-up energy around the house. Walking your dog regularly will help them to feel good about themselves and keep their body active, which is important for their overall health and wellbeing. It gives them the opportunity to explore the outdoors, which can help reduce boredom and stimulate their minds. Regular dog walks can also help to prevent obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes as well as high blood pressure and joint problems.
6. Bonding Time
Dogs are naturally social animals. Taking your dog out for daily walks gives you the opportunity to bond with them and strengthen your relationship. This shared time together will help your dog learn to trust and love you even more.
If you work outside the home or just want a change of pace for your dog, a dog walker can help by coming by midday to ensure your dog gets regular exercise and mental stimulation while forming new social bonds with other humans.
7. Helps You Stay Physically and Mentally Healthy
Walking your dog also has many positive effects on your health. Regular exercise can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke as well as other health problems while also burning calories. Walking with your dog is also a great way to relax and reduce stress after a long workday. Even a short walk with your pup can help improve your mood and mental health. Studies have found that spending time with animals can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and can lead to an overall improvement in your mental wellbeing.
Don’t have a dog? Check with your local shelter as many of them have Dog’s Day Out programs where you can take one of the shelter dogs out for a walk, a day trip, or even a sleepover to give them a much-needed break and get some exercise and health benefits for yourself. Who knows…..? You may end up falling in love and giving a special dog their forever home!
Photo courtesy of Charleston Animal Society Paws Around Town Foster Program
Overall, daily dog walks are a great way to keep your pup both mentally and physically healthy. Not only will it help to reduce anxiety and boredom, but it can also help them live a longer, happier life and to feel more secure and confident. So don’t forget to take your dog for a daily walk – it’s good for them and for you!
Don’t have enough time to get your dog a daily walk? Book a local dog walker to take them out for you and ensure they get the exercise and mental stimulation they need.
If you're looking for a reliable and trustworthy dog walking service in the Charleston area, you’ve come to the right place. We offer daily dog walks in North Charleston, Park Circle, Hanahan, Goose Creek, and West Ashley. Click to SIGN UP
Frequently asked questions about dog walking
Why do I need to walk my dog if I have a fenced in yard?
A big yard is ideal for letting your pup go potty or to get some fresh air, or even play a game of fetch, but it shouldn't replace regular walks. Running around in your fenced back yard will get them some physical exercise but it is not mentally stimulating like a dog walk.
Don't dogs get tired of walking in the same neighborhood all the time?
Dogs get tired of walking the same route, but that doesn't mean you need to change up their route every day. Dogs can find comfort in walking through familiar territory as they come to recognize the scents and sounds in the environment.
At the same time, dogs enjoy new sights and smells, so changing up their walking route from time to time is important to prevent boredom. If you walk the same path every day, try something simple, like changing direction or walking down a different side street. Drive you pups to a different neighborhood and walk them around. We also try to take our dogs for a special adventure once a month to the beach, a new park, or even downtown to give them something different to explore. Check out our article on local dog-friendly places in Charleston for some ideas.
What are some of your best tips for dog walking?
If you have a dog that is prone to pull on walks, use a harness that has a martingale hook on the dog’s chest and attach the leash there. This will not only prevent your dog from potentially choking but helps to minimize pulling because if they try to pull you the leash will redirect their focus back to you.
Use a shorter leash (4’ – 6’ in length) to maintain better control but walk with a loose leash whenever possible.
Use your dog walks as an opportunity to train your dog. Bring some training treats along for the walk and use them to reward your pup for their excellent listening skills.
Explore a new neighborhood or try a different route in your own neighborhood. Dogs love to explore new surroundings.
Invite a friend to walk with you, especially if they have a friendly canine who can socialize with your pup!