Everyone needs a little fresh air, especially your pups! At least twenty minutes of focused exercise is what it take for a dog’s mind to be at ease. I know when I stop moving, I become more anxious and unsettled. Exercise helps me think more clearly and boosts my self-esteem. Your dog isn’t any different. Daily walks help curb the need to roam and reduce tendencies toward destructive behaviors.
Many dog owners think letting their pet run off the leash for hours is a good way to exercise them. It may be fun, but for many dogs, it’s just not enough. The mind needs exercise too. Leash walking at a steady pace while controlling your pet on a leash may actually tire your dog out faster than you think.
Just ponder this. When a task is both mentally and physically demanding, we tend to get tired quicker, sleep better, and over all feel better. There’s no difference for your pet. Leash walking forces your pet to be engaged at all times. I’m not say that going on a fun off leash hike won’t tucker them out, it will. But the focus needed to walk on a leash also works them mentally.
Find the right walking/running collar for your pet.
- I never walk our dogs in a flat buckle collar. I’ve seen too many dogs slip their heads right out and run away. There are several options out there. Gentle Leader, Halti, Martingale, and choke chains. PLEASE be sure collars fit properly in a confined area before heading out the door. NEVER LEAVE A TRAINING COLLAR ON YOUR DOG WHILE UNSUPERVISED!! I only put my dogs’ collars on when we leave the house. Even flat collars pose a choking risk.
Try basic obedience course.
- If you’re having trouble controlling you dog when it’s on the leash, you’ll both benefit from professional guidance.
Be patient with your pet.
- They can sense your anxiety and frustration. Be calm yet assertive so they know you are in charge. Remember walking with your pet is building a bond for life.
- Don’t overdo it the first day. We all know how that first day back at the gym feels. Pets get sore too.
Check with your vet.
- Be sure your pet is healthy enough for daily walking or a new exercise routine.
I’m not fat, just fluffy.
- Obese dogs need the physical activity too. Joints may suffer from the added weight. Obese dogs may have difficulty breathing. Don’t push it! Work up to a faster pace and longer distances with advice of your vet.
Hire a dog walker.
- If you can’t do it yourself, utilize someone else’s talents. It’s rewarding to know you can provide that support for your pet. I operate a very small side business exercising dogs, Canine Cardio. I run or walk dogs for those who can’t physically exercise or don’t have the time to.
Reduce stress and create balance in your pet’s life. Take the time to get your dogs out daily. They will love you for it. I’m sure you’ll find yourself loving it too!