QUICK GUIDE TO DOG WALKING BASICS
Walking your dog regularly is a given for most pet owners. We know that they need to get outside and do their business a couple of times a day. But walking your dog twice a day for at least 15 minutes goes way beyond just getting them out of the house and letting them use the bathroom. Regular walks are key for your dog’s development and well being.
DOG WALKS FOR BETTER BEHAVIOUR
Giving your dog regular exercise will stop them developing destructive behaviours. Daily walks will also keep them in good physical shape, let their bones fully develop and grow stronger and a walk to the park is often a great way to socialise with other dogs. Simply letting Benji run around the enclosed garden won’t do it. They may have been to the bathroom and got a bit of exercise, but you are depriving him of the freedom and space to meet other dogs, be stimulated by new smells and break up the monotony of life by being in an enclosed space.
DOG WALKS FOR SOCIALISING
Leaving your dogs to exercise themselves on the back lawn also deprived you of a great time to assert your dominance as the alpha and improve your dog’s behaviour. Going on a walk is also a chance for you and your dog to socialise and build a relationship based on activity. You are in control and dog walks are an opportunity to use this time to work on ironing out any obedience issues you are having with your dog. Get them to walk beside you or behind you. This will assert your dominance and show the dog who is in charge.
Beyond your own relationship, you might meet others and that become in regular social meeting in itself. In an age where people are becoming so detached as a result of social media, real social activities can do wonders for you – your dog could really put some life back into your life.
SMALLER DOGS VS BIGGER DOGS
Veterinarians recommend that smaller dogs get walks of between 15 and 20 minutes twice a day, while bigger dogs need 30-40 minutes twice a day. But this also depends on several other factors like age and breed. Some breeds have smaller bladders which may need walking more often. Obviously, as your dog ages, it is unlikely they will have the same energy levels they had when they were a puppy.
OLDER AND MORE FRAIL DOGS
If your dog has mobility issues and is suffering from arthritis or other joint pains, walking on a hard surface like the pavement can be an issue. Taking them to a body of water and allowing them to swim can be a great way to exercise them without putting unnecessary pressure on their joints. You may find your dog is much happier after a swim as it offers can offer some respite for their aching limbs.
The more you see dog walking from the dog’s perspective and the less you see it as a 15 minute chore in your day, the better the experience will be for both of you.
Is there anything you can add to look at dog walking and other ways dog walking can benefit both dog and owner? We’d love you to share your experience and knowledge with the growing community at OnDECK by DINGA Online.