Caitlin UltimoHealth / Pet Fitness

10 Reasons to Walk Your Dog Daily

February 22 is National Walking the Dog Day, and people around the country are encouraged to take their furry companion out for a walk. What a great way to celebrate the special bond between you and your dog, while experiencing all the benefits of exercise.

Walking your dog daily has so many wonderful benefits, not only for your beloved pet, but for you too. No wonder there’s a national holiday to recognize the importance of walking your dog. Here are some reasons why you should celebrate this awesome day with your pet, and take her for a nice long walk:

1. Physical exercise. Exercise and staying in shape are imperative to the overall health and well-being of your pet, and yours too!

2. Health benefits. Walking helps to keep your pet at the recommended weight, more agile and limber. Walking also helps prevent constipation and keeps your pet’s gastrointestinal tract healthy.

3. Alleviate extra energy. Walks can help calm your pet and reduce hyperactivity and excitability. They can also help your pet feel more relaxed at bedtime.

4. Behavioral improvements. Behaviors such as jumping on people or knocking over furniture can be signs of pent-up energy. Regular walks may help to alleviate some of these behaviors. Barking and whining may be some signs that your pet wants some attention from you, and regular walking may help reduce these behaviors.

5. Monitoring daily exercise. With our busy lives, it is easy to lose track of your dog getting the proper exercise. Walking is a great way to keep track and make sure your pet is getting the daily exercise requirements that they need.

6. Stimulus and excitement. Remember that most pets do not get out of the house like we do. Walking is a great way to introduce new sights, sounds and smells, and bring some excitement into their lives. For walking small breed dogs, try a dog harness to avoid placing too much pressure on their airways (the Puppia Soft Dog Harness is a favorite).

7. Socialization. Walking is a fabulous way to keep your pet friendly and socialized with other dogs and people.

8. Training and obedience. Walking with your dog is a great way to work on training and obedience with your pet. For training, use a shorter dog leash for more control (the ZippyPaws Climbers Mountain Original Climbing Rope Dog Leash is great) and/or a head collar like the PetSafe Premier Gentle Leader Quick Release Dog Headcollar. You can also try the PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness to discourage your dog from pulling while on a stroll.

9. Establishing trust. For our timid or fearful pets, regular walks can help build confidence and trust. If you are walking your dog during the evening, make sure to place a reflector or light on her dog collar or harness, like the Nite Ize PetLit LED Collar Light.

10. Quality time. Walking with your pet is a wonderful way to bond with her and have some quality alone time. Spending time with your dog is extremely important. It strengthens the bond and leads to a strong, trusting and happy relationship.

The bond between dogs and their pet parents is a special one that is difficult to describe or replicate. Dogs bring us such joy, companionship, selfless loyalty and love. All they need from us is to know how much we love them and want to care for them. Walking with your pet is not only a great way to keep your pet healthy and strong, but also a wonderful way to bond and show them how much you care. So enjoy National Walk Your Dog Day and celebrate this wonderful bond. Happy National Walk Your Dog Day!

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