Like most dog parents, you may look out at the weather and have the internal debate to walk the dog or not. We have all been there. Especially if we have a backyard we can let them out in.

February 22, 2020 is National Walking Your Dog Day.

To celebrate we thought it would be a great time to discuss the benefits of walking your dog regularily.

  1. Canine Weight and Body Condition. Obesity in pet dogs is a major health issue, but barring any ongoing medical complications, it has a reasonable solution: burn more calories than consumed. Regular exercise, like walking, is a good way to burn those excess calories for both you and your pup. “It is estimated that about 50% of dogs in the United States are overweight and 25-30% of dogs are obese.”

    Joint Health. Immobility is another common health problem. Joints, even old ones, need to work. People and pets get stiff when sedentary for too long, and keeping joints in motion improves their function.

    Digestive and Urinary Health. Regular walking helps regulate the digestive tract. Some dogs, like some people, prefer to “go” on a schedule, and providing your dog with routine trips outdoors prevents constipation. Also, when urine sits in the bladder for long periods of time, bladder infections are more likely to occur, so regular emptying keeps this part of the anatomy happy as well.

    Mental Health. Dogs much like children, do not like to be bored. Without something constructive to do, like taking a walk, they may be more likely to do something destructive. Walking exercises the mind as well as the body. Watching wildlife, smelling new scents, seeing other people with their pets, and so on, are great mental stimulation for your dog that he just cannot get in the same fenced area all the time. 

    Emotional Health. You are the center of your dog’s universe and he craves your attention. What better way to spend quality time with your dog than taking a walk? Spending this valuable one-on-one time with your dog will deepen your bond and help deter annoying, attention- seeking behaviors such as excessive barking, nudging, scratching or whining.

If you are concerned about your dog’s weight, diet, or overall health be sure to schedule an appointment with one of our vets today. There are many different treatment plans and behavior modifications that are available to you. 

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