When a Walk is More Than Just a Walk
You may be shortening your dog's life by a year or more by not walking him/her regularly. It has been shown that only half of all dog owners walk their dogs at least once per day. If you think that walking your dog is more trouble than it's worth, or that just putting your dog in the yard is enough exercise for him/her, or maybe you believe your dog doesn't enjoy walking (especially in the cold, heat, rain and/or snow). You couldn't be more mistaken or misinformed.
The benefits of walking your dog regularly far outweigh the drawbacks of inconvenience in your eyes and/or the possibility of your dog's laziness or dislike of walking in the heat (even if it is just a short walk during the least hottest point of the day).
The physical exertion of a walk can do wonders for reducing your dog's stress levels.
Lack of physical exercise can lead to obesity which ultimately can then lead to cardiovascular and liver disease, osteoarthritis, and insulin resistance. Regular walks can help dogs to lose weight and in turn paint a rosier picture when it comes to their aging more gracefully in a physical sense.
Dogs thrive on routine and that includes when they go "potty" outside. Keeping a schedule of routine walks allows for regular elimination thus preventing constipation since walking helps with digestion and urinary tract infections since emptying the bladder when full is key to good health and happiness.
Without the opportunity to explore new sights and smells such as on a walk you may be contributing to your dog's boredom, and boredom in a dog can lead to destruction. Walks can help your dog adapt to different environmental factors like rain, snow, heat, and/or cold because they will eventually associate walks (a good thing) with these weather factors. Keep your dog safe during extreme conditions and go at their pace without forcing them. Bring treats along as needed to help create a positive association with walks.
Walks help build your dog's trust in you (and/or your pet sitter) as well as help build the dog's confidence with interacting with the outside world. They also aid in boosting emotional health and alleviating unwanted behaviors like pawing, jumping, whining, and barking. Regular walks help your pup release extra energy and allow for spending time with your pup in a positive manner.
So help lengthen the life of your dog (and yours) by getting up off the couch and going for a walk routinely (at least once per day for about 30mins.) and see what benefits you reap including a stronger bond with your pooch!