Four Health Benefits of Walks with Your Dog

If you do not walk your canine friend regularly, you are doing him or her a disservice. You may even be shortening your dog’s life by one or more years. Regularly walking with your dog is good for his or her health and yours as well, in addition to being fun. Nothing is more motivating than having an exercise partner who is always waiting for you by the door, eager to get going.


Dogs love going for regular walks no matter what the condition. Whether it is hot, cold, rainy, or snowing, some pooches will still want to go out. Some are so eager that their owners avoid using the word “walk” to keep their dogs from getting too excited.


Unfortunately, some dog owners often do not feel like heading out for a walk with their dog, especially when the weather is bad. Some simply prefer to spend a few more hours in bed or in front of the television. Others do it grudgingly and get it done as fast as possible.


By doing so, however, they deny their canine friends some much-needed exercise to keep them happy, healthy, and fit. They equally deny themselves a fun activity that comes with tons of benefits for human health. Therefore, it is important to understand the benefits of taking walks with your dog. They include:


Increased Physical Fitness


As everyone knows, the secret to getting fitter is to work out regularly. Much of the challenge with most exercise programs, however, is sticking with it. Many people give up even before they start seeing the benefits. Your dog will always be ready, tail wagging, to go for a walk with you. This eliminates the challenge of a lack of motivation.


Essentially, your dog will be your training partner as well as your coach. He or she will not let you slack off. Furthermore, walking is an excellent low-impact workout that you can do anywhere. It will help strengthen your joints, muscles, and bones. Over time, you may find yourself taking longer and more challenging walks.


The distance you walk with your dog will depend on his or her age and breed. An older pug, for example, will have less endurance than a young border collie. Therefore, you need to tailor your walks to your pooch’s abilities and needs. If you choose to go for a walk on a hot day, remember to bring a bowl and cool water for your dog.


Walking Helps to Reduce Blood Pressure


Daily walks with your dog can help lower high blood pressure and related health problems such as stroke and heart disease. Fortunately, you do not need to take marathon walks to gain this benefit. Thirty or so minutes of regular moderate-intensity walking can help improve your overall cardiovascular health, as well as your dog’s health.


Improved Sleep


Often, when dogs get home from a walk, they stretch out on the floor and go to sleep. This is because walking is tiring. According to studies, regular exercise can help improve your quality and amount of sleep. Though you might not pass out upon arriving home from a walk like your dog, you will likely enjoy better sleep. This will help you avoid sleep deprivation and related conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.


Improved Mental Health


There is a good reason why dogs make for effective service animals for people living with PTSD and veterans. Walking a dog can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, in addition to improving your mood. According to research findings, simply spending time with a dog can help reduce the output of cortisol, which is a stress hormone.


Learn more about the health benefits of walking your dog, contact Elizabeth Veterinary Clinic in Roselle, New Jersey at (908) 245-7853.