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Benefits of Dog Walking

Updated on March 18, 2013

Walking the dog is one of those requirements every person includes on his/her initial list of dog owning responsibilities. Most people in the process of picking a canine companion promise themselves they will walk the dog at least once a day. If this was you and now you find yourself slacking on that promise, it is time to remind yourself why you committed to walking the pooch in the first place.

Dog walking has many benefits for both pet and owner. Aside from the obvious fresh air for you, walks can also make dear Frodo more well rounded. Take a look at these reasons why walking the dog is important, grab that leash and get your fur baby moving.

Provides an outlet for energy

Dogs with excess energy need a way to let it out. If a positive outlet is not provided, they will go with what they consider the next best thing - chewing up furniture, ripping up walls, digging holes, and bounding around indoors until their owners are driven crazy. Especially for young dogs and athletic breeds, providing a non-destructive means of releasing energy is extremely important for both the dog's and the owner's sanity.

Walking satisfies a dog's need to explore.
Walking satisfies a dog's need to explore. | Source

Fulfills exploring instincts

Wild dog packs roam considerable distances in search of food and water (wolves travel 10-40 miles per day). While this is not a necessity for house pets, domesticated dogs maintain a natural instinct to roam and explore. Taking a dog on walks can help to satisfy this drive, giving your pup some satisfying exploration.

Exposure to new sights, smells and sounds

Dogs who have not had exposure to a vast array of sights, smells, and sounds will find the world a frightening place. Walks let a dog experience all sorts of things, from bicycles to runners to loud traffic noises. The more that a dog experiences and learns these things are not a threat, the more confident and stable he will be. The mental stimulation also fights boredom.

Walks are a great way to socialize dogs on neutral territory.
Walks are a great way to socialize dogs on neutral territory. | Source

Provides needed socialization

Walks are an excellent opportunity for letting your pup meet new friends on neutral ground. Dogs who have not been socialized may become timid or aggressive, so introduction to friendly strangers (both human and canine) from a young age is extremely important. Make sure you check with an unknown dog's owner to be sure their dog is friendly before letting the sniffing commence.

Opportunity for training

Walks provide the perfect opportunity for training your dog. Not only can you work on "heel" but you can also work on making your dog sit each time you stop. You can teach him not to bark at other dogs, not to jump on passers by, and not to take off after moving vehicles. Training a dog during walks teaches him to focus on you and obey even while surrounded by distractions.

Exercise benefits

Obesity is a huge problem in pet dogs (pun intended). In the same way that exercise helps to keep humans fit, walks can help to keep your dog more healthy. Shrink your pooch's pooch and give him some lean muscle tone with regular walking. Once around the block is not sufficient for most breeds, so walk until your dog starts looking tired. Doing so can help stave of a myriad of canine health problems.

Bonding experience

Any time you give special attention to your dog, whether in training, playing, or exploring, you are creating a bonding experience. When the proper authority and training techniques are used during walks, a dog is able to feel more secure in his place under his owner. This can be powerfully bonding. Walks can also provide a connection between multiple dogs within one home. In the same way that wild dogs roam in packs together, domesticated dogs can feel more like a pack when walked together.

Walks introduce dogs to a variety of sights, smells, and sounds.
Walks introduce dogs to a variety of sights, smells, and sounds. | Source

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    • Faith A Mullen profile image
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      Faith A Mullen 4 years ago

      Thanks for the comment, wetnosedog! I agree that dog walks are fun. My dogs never turn down a chance to go on one either :)

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

      Dog walks are great fun. They have so much energy, then it is time for naps after a great drink of water.

    • Faith A Mullen profile image
      Author

      Faith A Mullen 4 years ago

      Thanks for the comment and the votes, Peggy! My family used to have a pug who could not make it far in his later years. Like your Pomeranian, he would still get so excited to go we just couldn't leave him, so we started bringing a wagon for him to ride in. Glad you enjoyed the hub :)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      My husband and I just came in from our walk. Our older little Pomeranian does not like to go far...so we first take him...return to the house and then go out for a longer walk without him. He gets so excited when we ask him if he wants to go on his walk. Good hub! Up and useful votes.

    • Faith A Mullen profile image
      Author

      Faith A Mullen 4 years ago

      Thanks, savingkathy! I feel more motivated to take mine out for a walk too after writing this one :)

    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great article! Thanks for motivating me to go take our dogs for a walk. (They thank you too!)