As humans, we constantly are told the values of exercise: lose weight, lower blood pressure, decrease cholesterol levels and promote a healthy heart. These benefits are also true for our pets, and are just some of the benefits of exercise for their well-being!
The most obvious health benefit to regular exercise is, of course, weight control. An inadequately exercised dog can quickly become overweight, and leads to all the health problems that come along with it. Even if your dog is energetic in the house (chasing toys and barking at the delivery men!), they still will need an outlet for their excess energy. On average, a young healthy dog needs at least an hour of physical activity daily. Allowing a physical release for their energy not only creates a better-behaved dog, but also a physically fit canine companion!
Walking your dog around the neighborhood or on the NCR trail is not only great physical activity for you and your pet, but it also helps to strengthen the owner/pet bond between the two of you. Every walk with your dog is a valuable training opportunity! Dogs aren’t born knowing how to walk on a leash (and some are quite resistant to the concept), so it will require work and patience to teach your dog how to walk appropriately. Appropriate leash manners, as well as sit, stay and heel, can all be practiced and learned while getting in that physical energy requirement.
In addition to walks creating a more positive bond between you and your pet, they are also an excellent opportunity for your dog to socialize with others! Typically there are other adults, children and dogs that you encounter on a walk on the trail, which can be a great opportunity for your dog to learn how to approach others while on a leash. Appropriate socialization exposure helps to create happy, more confident dogs. For those dogs that are more reserved, exposing them to appropriate stimuli in a controlled environment can help reduce their fear and increase their coping abilities.
In addition to the physical stimulation when exercising outside, there is also a great deal of mental stimulation for your dog as well. Dogs have a naturally curious nature, and outside there are lots of sights, smells and sounds for them to explore. This increase in physical and mental stimulation helps to decrease destructive behaviors in the house that are secondary to boredom or anxiety.
October 1st-7th is National Walk Your Dog Week! In honor of this important week of the year, here at Mt. Carmel we are offering 25% off all collars, leashes, poop bags/holders, and leash lights. Come by to see our selection to stylize your dog for the perfect outdoor fall walks!