Cavalier king Charles spaniel dog on a leash.

For some it may seem like another chore to check off the list, but Conrad Weiser Animal Hospital understands that taking Fido for a stroll can be so much more. Keep reading to learn the often forgotten benefits of walking the dog.

Walks are Great for Dogs

Getting your dog out for regular walks has some really wonderful benefits for your pup. We are always supportive of anything that helps to bolster overall pet wellness care, and we think walks are a great way to do so.

Walking the dog can help your pet:

  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Tone and stretch muscles
  • Have better digestive function
  • Socialize with other pets and people
  • Have a healthy outlet for anxiety and energy
  • Be more mentally stimulated
  • Be better behaved overall
  • Strengthen their bond with you

Be sure to use a well-fitted leash or harness and appropriate length of leash (Flexi-leads are generally not recommended as they offer little control and break easily). While walks can occur in most weather, use caution in extreme conditions that may not be safe and be mindful that hot surfaces and ice and salt can affect paws. 

But Walking the Dog Is Also Great for You 

Walking the dog carries some great benefits for your faithful friend, they are not the only ones to reap the rewards! Getting out regularly is really good for you as well. 

Regular dog walks can:

  • Help to increase your physical fitness
  • Improve mood and decrease depression
  • Reduce loneliness
  • Improve your sleep 
  • Decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease

There is quite a bit of research out there to support the fact that regular interaction with animals has some pretty remarkable benefits!

Walking is low-impact, easily accessible, and a great activity you can share with man’s best friend.

Mix it up by exploring new locations or asking a friend to join you. Pets tend to thrive on routine, so make a point to commit to regular walks and not disappoint. 

Maximize health benefits by choosing a brisk pace that is comfortable for you and your pet. Take breaks, though, to allow mental stimulation. Letting your pet have time to sniff and explore and taking the time to view some pretty scenery can be equally as beneficial. 

When venturing outdoors with your pet, it is even more important to be sure that they are up on preventive care. You may encounter other pets and parasites in the environment, so things like vaccinations and parasite prevention become vital. Please contact us if you are unsure whether your pet is up to date. 

It is also wise to be sure that your pet has proper identification and their microchip information is up to date in case they become separated from you.

Dog walking is a great activity that we hope you have a renewed interest in pursuing. With so many benefits on both sides of the leash, we can’t see why not!