Dogs are like people in the sense that they get bored easily. Being stuck inside the house, in a kennel all day, or running around the same backyard all day every day can be very repetitive. This sense of boredom can have negative effects on your dog’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, there are five main reasons you should be walking your dog daily.
Weight and Body Condition
- “Walking your dog every day is a great way to keep them active and in shape. A healthy body condition score is important for every dog. Canines that are overweight or obese are more likely to develop osteoarthritis due to the increased weight and stress on their joints, which may limit their mobility.” – Dr. Jessie, veterinarian at SHS Clinic.
- “Walking dogs daily can help with weight loss, similar to humans, increased exercise (as much as your pet can tolerate) can help them burn calories! In addition, anytime we walk we are ensuring that our joints are maintaining function. For older pets, walking improves mobility and can help strengthen muscles. From my own experience with my older dogs, they loved walking outside. The benefits included new scents, meeting new dogs and people, and getting exercise” – Dr. Megan, veterinarian at SHS Clinic.
- Tuff came to SHS as a young puppy. The SHS clinic team have been treating Tuff for septic arthritis on his left leg. After removing bacteria from the leg, Tuff has been re-learning to walk on all fours. His foster family was directed to walk him slow and steady so that he starts putting pressure on that left leg again. Re-leaning to walk on all fours has helped Tuff’s joints and improved his mobility.
Digestive and Urinary Health
- Daily walks, especially on a schedule, provide your dog with a regular and consistent time to go outside which will prevent constipation.
- According to American Kennel Club, you and your dog share many of the same benefits while going on daily walks together including stress management, alleviating boredom, and an increase of self-esteem.
- Once bonded, dogs love and trust their owner and crave their attention all the time. Spending one-on-one time together will help deepen your pet-owner relationship and reduce attention-seeking behaviors like barking or whining.
Due to these important reasons, and the love we have for our animals, here at SHS we make sure every dog gets time outside every single day. This might be 20-40 minutes outside split between going on a walk and playing in a play yard. Sometimes animals get doggie playdates with their friends which is a great way to get their energy out.
Most dogs at SHS are categorized as energetic, but once they get adopted and have consistent time outside and less time in a kennel, their energy levels usually subside.
Remember: when walking your dogs in the summer, it is best to go in the early morning or late evening due to the high temperatures of pavement.