5 Reasons To Walk Your Dog That Benefit Both of You

Spring has been in the air, and summer is coming soon. While devoted dog lovers walk their dogs year round in all weather, the frequency and lengths of walks usually increase this time of year. Dog walking is one of my favorite daily routines. In addition to longer morning and evening walks, my dogs remind me about the importance of taking a break from sitting at my desk during the work day. Here’s how these walks benefitmy mind, body and soul:

1. Socialization

Dogs need to be socialized in a manner that isn’t overwhelming. Taking your young pup to the dog park may be too stimulating for him and actually cause anxiety issues. But making a date to walk with a friend who has a friendly dog about the same size as your pup will help build his social skills gradually. And the socialization doesn’t stop with the dogs. In fact, dogs are also a great way for you to meet other people. It’s just easier to start up a conversation with a stranger when you have dogs in common. Trust your dog to lead you to the right people you’ll want to meet. They are often more intuitive than we realize.

Beautiful woman with a dog

2. Human-Animal Bond

Walks not only provide exercise for all of us, but a way to strengthen our human-animal bond. I use every walk as a training opportunity. We practice recalls with distractions. I’m not sure if anything makes me happier than my dogGina running to me at full speed with a smile on her face. She’s rewarded well for this and it couldn’t make her happier either. Sanchez, her older brother, couldn’t run any more in his senior years, but he was still so happy to be paid for a job well done when he responded to “Sanchez Here” and was given a yummy treat.

BWP_SanchezHike

3. Connection with Nature

Dogs are masters at enjoying nature. No lesson needed. Despite a new outdoor dog bed, Gina just loves to go outside and lay in the earth. It reminds me that she’s a dog and connecting with the earth feeds her soul. When we’re hiking a trail together, watching her delight at running, sniffing, and playing reminds me how much better I feelafter being in nature.

4. Stress Reduction

This is yet another benefit for both canine and human. We all know by now the health benefits of walking dogs, including reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure while lowering cholesterol. There are too many health benefits for dogs to mention here, but reducing obesity is at the top of the list. I live in an area where my dogs can enjoy off-leash hikes regularly. When I’m conditioning Gina for agility, I often have her sit and stay at the bottom of a big hill (with a soft surface, not concrete), and call her to me. She happily runs full speed ahead up a large incline. Of course, this is an age appropriate trick.

The dog of the smile and flowers

5.Change of Pace

Alexandra Horowitz, author of Inside of a Dog and assistant professor of psychology at Barnard College, tells us that dogs see with their noses. Even in his younger years, Sanchez was constantly stopping to sniff everything. I set various intentions for different walks. Sometimes the intention was to get in some good exercise and raise our heart rates. Sometimes it was to enjoy a silent walk together. Other times, it was all about allowing him to sniff everything. It made him so happy, and it was a reminder for me to slow down and enjoy my surroundings. Looking back, I’m so glad that I gave both of us that time.

If the temperatures escalate where you live during the warmer months, it’s always best to walk your dog early morning and later in the day, when the temperature cools down.

Have you found any additional benefits for your dog walks? Thanks for sharing in a comment below.

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55 comments

Jess B
Jess B5 months ago

thanks

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Denise Simpson
Denise Simpson5 months ago

exercise for both....

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Margie F
Margie FOURIE5 months ago

I agree with Jinny below. My dogs walk me.

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iloshechka A
iloshechka A5 months ago

thank u

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JinnySITEISSUES L
JinnySITEISSUES L5 months ago

My rescue dog Boomer walks me......that said, I truly get my exercise and we have basically a good time together. Lead the way Boomer! I love the adventure wherever you lead me. Thanks for posting.

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Leo C
Leo C5 months ago

thank you for sharing!

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Danuta W
Danuta W5 months ago

thank you for sharing

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Elaine W
Elaine W5 months ago

I like the photographs with this post. Thanks.

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Philippa P
Philippa Powers5 months ago

Zoe and I love our walks together. Seeing her enjoying herself so much makes the walk so much more enjoyable for both of us.

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Amy Pearson
Amy Pearson5 months ago

Thanks

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