The first week in October is National Walk Your Dog Week! Taking our furry friends on daily walks is so beneficial. It helps prevent pet obesity, and it’s good for you too!

The Benefits of Daily Walks

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), 55.8% of dogs in the United States are classified as overweight or obese. Exercise helps keep your pet at a healthy weight, plus it helps prevent obesity, which can place a lot of stress on the body and lead to further health issues.

As a general recommendation, most dogs need at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. This physical activity doesn’t just help manage your pet’s weight. It also helps with digestion, builds muscle, provides mental stimulation, and helps with arthritis.

Exercise provides mental stimulation for your dog through a variety of smells, sights, and sounds. Regular exercise is also important for releasing energy. If dogs don’t have a proper outlet for energy, they can become bored and start developing destructive habits like digging or chewing. Have you ever heard the saying that a tired dog is a good dog? Well, there’s some truth to that!

And there are so many benefits for you, as well. Did you know that regular brisk walking can improve your mood, help you maintain a healthy weight, and reduce your risk of chronic diseases? Plus, it boosts your immunity!

Tips for Walking Your Dog

Although taking your dog on a walk sounds relatively straightforward, there are a few things to keep in mind for the safety of your dog, yourself, and others. Here are a few tips!

  1. Ensure your dog stays hydrated! Dehydration in dogs is a serious issue, and it can happen quickly. Although dehydration is more likely to occur in the hot summer months, it can still happen during the cooler months. You can make sure your dog stays hydrated by ensuring he always has access to fresh water, walking during the cooler parts of the day, and giving him an electrolyte solution.
  2. Don’t forget a plastic bag to clean up any poo! No one wants to step in dog poop, and they also don’t want it on their lawn. Make sure to keep an eye on your dog, and pick up any poop he might leave behind.
  3. Making sure your dog is properly identified is important. Although you don’t expect to be separated from your dog while on a walk, anything can happen. Something as simple as a squirrel might grab your dog’s attention and before you know it, he’s gone. Microchipping your dog can help increase the chances of being reunited.
  4. It’s also a good idea to keep your dog on a leash, unless you’re in an enclosed area. You never know what might spook your dog, and other people may not be comfortable around dogs, especially young children.
  5. If your dog is overweight, exercise is a great way to help manage his weight. However, it’s important to start slow to give your dog time to adjust. Slowly increasing the distance and pace of your walks is best!

Does your dog love going on walks? Well then, what are you waiting for? Grab the leash and go get some fresh air! If your dog isn’t a big fan of walks, there are other forms of exercise that he might like. Maybe a game of fetch, a refreshing swim, or an obstacle course is more his style. Whatever you decide, make sure he is getting plenty of exercise!