Health Benefits of Walking the Dog

Dog owners enjoy numerous health and social benefits by walking their dog a few times a week. Benefits include improved cardiovascular fitness, lower blood pressure, stronger muscles and bones (built up by walking regularly), and decreased stress levels.

A regular walk is vitally important for your pet's health also. Obesity in pets is associated with various medical complaints including osteoarthritis, cardiovascular disease, liver disease and insulin resistance.

Most dogs need to be walked at least once a day, though some dogs, particularly very active dogs, may require more. The breed of dog you have, as well as its level of fitness and age, will also determine how long and how vigorous your walk should be. A walk can make a dog very happy. They love to check out the sights and smells and will really look forward to spending time with you. A dog that doesn't receive sufficient exercise can easily become bored and destructive.

All dog owners must supervise thier dog at all times and ensure it is kept within calling distance and under control. It is in your best interest to provide him with obedience training and socialisation skills necessary to become a well-mannered and socially well-adjusted dog.

If you’re not very active, owning a dog could give you a very good reason to walk regularly. But before you rush out and buy a dog, plan your purchase. Make sure you choose a breed that’s appropriate to your lifestyle. For example, don’t buy a large active dog if you live in a small apartment or have limited mobility.

Dog Walking Tips

When you walk your dog:

  • Aim for 30 minute walks, five times per week.
  • Keep your dog on its leash in public areas, unless it’s an ‘off leash’ areas. Click here for locations.
  • Supervise your dog around young children.
  • Take a plastic bag or scoop to clean up your dog’s poo.
  • Make sure your dog is properly identified.
  • Make sure your dog is desexed.
  • Avoid walking in extreme heat.
  • Take fresh water for you and your dog to drink.

It is also important to remember to:

  • Always keep your dog under control, and carry plastic bags or scoops so that you can clean up after it.
  • Prepare for dog walking like you would prepare for any exercise, with stretches and the right equipment.
  • Always supervise dogs around young children.

Get out and walk the dog today!