The Benefits of Walking Your Dog

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walkingthedog2Dogs are great at providing strong motivation to maintain their owner’s exercise program – who can resist a happy dog, panting with excitement at the front door? They make great walking companions and can serve as the perfect social support. So if you are having difficulty sticking to your fitness program, why don’t you try doing your routines with your dog? Unlike your human buddies who are likely to skip exercise sessions due to appointments or bad weather, dogs will not give you any excuse to miss out on your daily exercise.

What Owners Gain from Regular Exercise

The World Health Organization indicates that the extent of adequate exercise necessary for promoting good health consists of 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise five days every week, plus strengthening workouts twice a week for adults ages 18 to 65 years old.  If owners can stick to this standard, they can benefit from the following:

·         Reduced risk of breast cancer by 75%
·         Reduced risk of diabetes by 49%
·         Reduced risk of heart disease by 35%
·         Reduced risk of colon cancer by 22%

With the non-judgmental nature and unconditional love from pets, owners can also obtain various mental health benefits such as self-esteem from the support provided by their dogs. As a matter of fact, research has shown that stroking and petting your adorable fur ball can help lessen physiological signs of stress like high blood pressure.

What Dogs Get from Exercising With You

· Physical and Mental Well-being. Because many dog breeds have the potential for numerous health concerns, regular exercise can contribute immeasurably to their well-being. In addition, it’s through sufficient physical stimulation that they also get to expend their excess energy which will help them stay happy and out of trouble.
· Socializing and Training Opportunities. Socialization is one of the keys to helping dogs become well-rounded pets. Through regular exercise with them, you can expose your pooch to new people, settings, and experiences which is crucial for his growth. Aside from this, your dog will get the chance to learn new things and bond with you.
· Reduction of Behavior Issues and Longevity. Destructive canine behaviors like excessive barking and digging are often caused by boredom. By taking Fido out for a walk, you give him opportunities to do something positive instead. Also, since your pooch gets fitter and healthier as he exercises with you regularly, you’ll both live happier, longer lives.

Dog-walking Tips

1.       Aim for a 30-minute walk, five times every week.
2.       Always keep your dog on a leash, unless in designated off-leash parks.
3.       Supervise your dog around children and other dogs.
4.       Bring plastic bags to clean up after your pet.
5.       Ensure that your dog wears his ID tag all the time.
6.       Avoid going out in extreme cold or heat.
7.       Don’t forget to bring cool, fresh water for you both to drink.

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When I adopted my shepherd mix, Molly, from a local shelter 12 years ago, I had no idea the impact she would have on my life. Through Molly, I've learned to be more patient, experienced unconditional love, been alerted to the mailman and every squirrel within a block radius of the house, and ingested enough fur to build 3 or 4 more dogs! When I lost Molly to cancer just a few months ago, I adopted Olive, a 13 week old Golden Retriever. Together, we smile at least a hundred times a day!


  1. Walking the dog is a great way to meet people. Once you establish a routine, which may only take 3 days, your dog will hound you to get up and go. I encourage people who have dogs with very high energy to run them on a bicycle using a K-9 Cruiser attachment. The gets a great work out in a minimum of time.

  2. Wow, great article. Things we take for granted. How easy is it to go on a walk with your dog! If they are an indoor dog like ours, it will benefit them as well as us! Thanks for sharing!