With our New Year’s resolutions just around the corner, now is the perfect time to add exercising with your dog to your list. Not only is walking important to our well being, it also helps our canine companions get some fresh air and time with the ones they love.

Walking helps your furry best friend maintain a healthy weight which is beneficial for their bones and joints. Weight on dogs is similar to ours. They are susceptible to all the same side effects that being overweight can have on us so it is vital to their health to keep them in a healthy weight zone.

Regular walks also burn off lots of their energy. Dogs are by nature pack animals. When their owner leaves, dogs often feel lonely. However, if they have gotten their exercise, they typically do much better at home because they can rest and relax while their owner is away. Then, once their owner is home, they are ready to go again! If your dog is destructive to items around your house, exercise may be something that could help.

Walking your dog regularly gives bonding time between you and them. A dog’s favorite place to be is with their owner. Giving your undivided time to your dog by going on a hike in the park or a walk in your neighborhood is beneficial to your relationship together. Sharing this time together makes a closer tight knit bond that will last their lifetime.

An overlooked benefit of walking is your dog is the mental stimulation they derive from sniffing. Dogs communicate through feces and urine, which is why on walks they often get distracted by spots we may find random. In reality, they are smelling these excrements to discover a dog’s gender, health and emotional state. Although the contact isn’t direct, dogs enjoy communicating on whatever level they may find, much like the way we do through texting and emailing.

Before You Go
Before walking it’s important to always ensure his and your safety. A collar with your name and number should always be worn by your dog and microchipping is extremely beneficial just to be prepared for anything. If your dog pulls or is much larger, a harness may be useful and is typically more comfortable than attaching his leash to the collar. If your dog enjoys running far ahead, or you are somewhere like a park or hiking a trail, an adjustable leash may work well.

Training your dog to walk is actually quite a common thing. Dogs can be trained to leave give on their leash so their owner is not struggling to keep up with them. Starting out when a dog is a puppy is generally easier than when they are an adult but leash training can be done with most as long as the trainer is patient.

Taking a walk with you dog is an incredibly easy and enjoyable way to get outside, get some exercise and spend time with you furry friend. Make walking your dog a goal for 2020.

Pet owners who would like additional resources in fulfilling a New Year’s Resolution of walking their dog can speak to one of our pet specialists here at Family Pet Health by calling 615-907-8387.

About Family Pet Health, PLLC
Family Pet Health is located at 3307 Manchester Pike in Murfreesboro. The practice, owned by Dr. Amy Shirley and her husband Michael, is a small and exotics animal veterinary hospital. They provide a full range of veterinary services including exams and vaccinations, lab work and diagnostics, surgeries, referral services and overnight lodging. All of their staff members are Fear Free certified and have undergone extensive training on recognizing signs of fear, anxiety and stress in their patients. Learn more at www.familypethealth.com.