Did you know January is National Walk Your Dog Month?

Just like humans, our dogs need regular and consistent exercise to live a long healthy life. An estimated 54% of dogs and cats in the United States are considered obese. In addition to regulating diet, this could easily be prevented with proper exercise to avoid obesity related health problems for your pet.

Exercise is good for all of us. It provides many health benefits that include keeping your pet healthy, agile, and limber. Regular exercise also supports healthy aging by easing chronic symptoms.

A tired dog is a good dog. Walks can help reduce extra energy your pet may have, calming it down and reducing hyperactivity, excitability, and even nighttime activity.  Regular walking helps to lessen excess energy and anxiety resulting in calmer behavior at home. Your dog will be less inclined to bark, chew, and dig with regular, lengthy walks.  Pets are like children: if you are not giving them something constructive to do, you may not like what they choose to do.  Behaviors such as knocking over furniture or jumping on people can be a sign of pent up energy. Regular walks will help curb this. A walk can help your pet feel more relaxed and sleepier, rather than restless at bedtime.

​​​​​​​Walking is not only great physical exercise for your dog, it also stimulates their mind. Your dog gets to see, smell, feel, and hear all types of interesting and new things that are stimulating when out for a walk. We as humans often take these stimuli for granted, and we easily forget that these are frequently the highlight of our dog’s day.

Regular walks can be extremely beneficial to your pet’s digestive system, and can aid in relieving constipation.

Spending time with your pet is very important. It strengthens the bond between you and leads to a strong and trusting relationship.If your dog is timid or fearful, regular walks will help your pet build confidence as they are regularly exposed to unfamiliar sights and sounds. Your dog will likely be discovering other pets, humans and perhaps wildlife on your walks. You will be there to give them comfort and guide them to proper behavior when they encounter new situations resulting in a dog that learns to trust you.