Sometimes our dogs become so important to us that we spoil them. This can look like giving them more treats than they really need or carrying them all the time. Allowing more lazy days can feel like a reward for your pup but may be more damaging than anything.
As innocent as these actions seem, they can lead to a significant threat to your dog’s health — obesity. Obesity can shave two years off your dog’s life and lead to many other health problems.
Helping your dog stave off obesity and other health issues requires a few things. But at the top of that list is daily walks. Here’s why.
Your Pup Needs a Daily Walk
First and foremost, daily walks ensure your dog stays active and controls its weight. It’s a low-impact activity that strengthens your dog’s bones, joints, and muscles at a surprising rate. Their gut health, digestive system, and heart function improve. And so does their sleep.
In addition, daily walks can improve your dog’s mental and emotional health. They won’t fall into a sedentary lifestyle that often triggers depression, boredom, and behavioral issues. Instead, they’ll get the socialization, mental stimulation, and enrichment your dog needs to feel good.
Lastly, don’t forget about what daily walks can do for you. The health benefits of walking daily include:
- Increased strength
- Elevated energy levels
- Less digital eye strain
- Boosting your immune system
- A better functioning cardiovascular system
- Getting your daily dose of Vitamin D
- Reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety
Simply put, your dog needs their daily walk. And you can benefit significantly from them too.
Here’s How To Ensure They Get It
Having to do something daily makes us all a bit nervous and unwilling. It’s probably the commitment it takes to be consistent. But you can’t skimp on your dog’s daily walk. Here’s how to ensure you never miss it.
Feed Them Well
Getting your dog to go on a daily walk when they’re out of shape will be hard because you haven’t been fueling their bodies with the right foods. Feeding your pet well is crucial.
A good diet will prepare them physically, and your dog will be much more energetic and enthusiastic about walks. Your dog’s diet should include lots of water and a mix of healthy proteins, fats, carbs, vitamins, and minerals.
If you can find a dog food brand that works well for your dog and has the health values you do, even better.
Make It Fun
The same old walking route won’t make you or your dog want to rush to the door every day. But bringing some fun and excitement into your walks might change that.
If you can, switch up your route daily to see new sights, experience nature, and meet new people and their pets. Other ways to make your walks more fun include:
- Play dog walking games
- Incorporate trails and hikes into your routine
- Bring treats and reward them along the way
- End each walk with a stop at the dog park
- Bring toys and find an open field on your walk to play
- Allow a dog walker to walk your dog with others a couple of times a week
Think of It as Your Exercise
Walking can be your exercise routine as much as your dog’s. And, honestly, we need daily physical activity as much as they do. Thinking of your dog’s daily walk as your exercise can help you stick with it.
Consider bringing a mat with you to get some yoga in when you stop at the park. You could wear ankle weights to make the walk more challenging. Throw some dumbbells in your backpack and do a short routine while your dog plays at the dog park. And don’t forget your headphones to listen to your favorite tunes or podcast.
Safely enjoying the outdoors with your dog can be something you both look forward to every day. Daily walks are a perfect way to make this happen. Ensure you never miss a walk with the tips above. Yours and their overall health will thank you.