Dog Walking Benefits
Exercising with a companion is a fun way to get healthy and who can be better than man’s best friend. Roaming the highways and byways will do you both good. As your dog is enjoying sniffing his way along, all sorts of good things will happen to you and your body. Here are some of the benefits you can gain from walking your dog although if you talk with a dog walker there’ll be many more.
1. Lowers Blood Pressure
Moderate intensity workouts and exercises like dog walking lower high blood pressure which improves cardiovascular health. Lower blood pressure reduces the risk of developing many heart diseases and eliminates the chances of death due to a sudden heart attack. Dog walking for half an hour a day has positive impacts on overall health.
2. Elevates Mood
Walking is an excellent way to lift dark moods. This time for quiet reflection reduces stress levels and helps clear your mind. Dog walking in natural and peaceful surroundings and your dog enjoying itself freshens up your day and elevates your whole mood. Walking activates the secretion of serotonin in the brain which is one of the four natural mood-boosting chemicals. It increases the levels of tryptophan, an amino acid which is used in the production of the mood-enhancing chemicals in the brain.
3. Improves Body Balance
Your body balance deteriorates with time and the likelihood of tripping incidents increases as you enter old age. After the age of 65 years, the risk of injuries due to falling or tripping increases significantly as the body is unable to maintain or recover balance. This often due to issues with eyesight, the ears or lower limb disabilities or even TIA, transient ischaemic attack known as mini strokes. Frequent falls in later life can lead to more serious consequences from long term physical disability as the result of slow or poor healing to blood clots that can prove fatal once they enter the circulatory system. Walking your dog on a regular basis reduces these risks.
4. Social Benefits
Dog walking not only benefits the individual’s personal health but it also has several social benefits. Pets make good company and are the perfect reason to be out and about just walking. At this slower pace you see more of what is around you and you meet more people. It turns out the local dog park is a great place to meet all kinds of people but even walking along many people find it just too hard to not to say hi to your dog and give you smile.
Are You Ready For Dog Walk?
Here are some key points to keep in mind while preparing for dog walking.
Stretch your legs and arms to get your muscles ready for a walk. This is will alert your dog you’re about to go walkies.
For dog walking you can keep things simple. You’ll need a willing dog and its leash and your supply of doggy doo doo bags along with your stout walking sandals.
Make Arrangements For Dealing With Heat
Dogs regulate their internal temperature by panting but this will only cool them down so far. Therefore it is essential to make proper arrangements to protect yourself and dog from the excessive heat while out walking. The easiest and kindest way is to not bother. Hot sidewalks and tarmac burn their feet. The general rule of thumb is if it is too hot for you, it’s way too hot and dangerous for them. Instead choose the cooler part of the day for dog walking and even on a warm day take water for you both and make sure you wear a hat and sunglasses.
Tips For Dog Walking
1. A Sensible Winter Rain Jacket
Any dog walker worth their salt is out with their dog in all weather, so a good winter coat reserved for dog walking is an essential. It should have a high zipped collar to keep out the wind and cuffs you can pull on over gloves. The longer, the better. Go for padded, waterproof and washable with a couple of deep easy to get at pockets. There’s nothing worse than ferreting around for your keys in the rain when you have a wet dog bouncing around happy because he’s home again.
2. Use Front Clip Harness
For the safety of your dog use front clip harness. As well as being safer if you do part of your dog walk by car since they usually come with a seat belt, it keeps you in control of your dog when out in public. Like horses pushing into the tackle to pull a cart, a dog pushes against the collar and leash when it gets excited out walking. Positioning the leash away from the neck and onto the harness, with the clip on the front of the chest or at the back between the shoulder blades, removes much of their pushing power leaving you with greater control. It’s also more comfortable for the dog.
3. Select Comfortable Walking Belt
A walking belt is another essential for dog walking. It should be comfortable for the dog as well as convenient for you. In case your dog is a curious one and loves to sneak here and there, the belt must be a secured. A hands-free belt is the most convenient as it allows you to pick up the calls and do other stuff as you are walking with your dog.
4. Keep Treats With You
Your dog is your partner in walking and it’s good to reward it with a treat. A few treats in your pocket for both of you, are a good way to top your energy levels to get you that bit further along with your dog walk. They also come in handy when you meet fellow dog walkers. Sharing treats is a great way to make friends, whether you are a dog or its human.
5. Dog Walking Shoes
An appropriate pair of shoes is essential for walking comfortably. Your shoes must be rainproof and capable of going well in harsh weather conditions, including ice and snow. They must be supportive and provide a firm grip so that you don’t lose balance but can steady yourself quickly and securely if your dog suddenly decided to chase a cat.
Check the size carefully. Too close fitted shoes will irritate you during your walk and make your feet uncomfortable as they swell whilst loose shoes lead to muscular imbalance and a weak grip on the ground. Walking in wrongly sized shoes is bad for your feet and will result in aches and sores during and after the walk, particularly if your feet should get wet. Invest time and good money when choosing your walking shoes and select the best fit for your feet.
6. Care For The Environment
Being a responsible citizen it is your duty to take care of the environment while walking with your dog. Here are some points that you must consider while dog walking.
- Not all public parks and neighborhoods are pet-friendly and dogs are not permitted in many public places.
- Only well-controlled dogs are allowed in state forests.
- Many beaches are not dog-friendly but then again many are. Check online for dog-friendly beaches in your area.
- Respect private property and do not allow your dog the opportunity to play, sniff around or foul where they shouldn’t.
Spending time with your dog is a great leveler anytime but for the ardent dog walker, the time spend on a walk is shared quality time. It’s worth getting a dog just to experience it. As you are both trotting along taking in the air, both of you are doing your body and mind good. For you, it’s calming and health giving cardio but for your dog, it’s the most exciting thing that’s happened. Ever. Everyday you and dog will get healthier and fitter without hardly noticing the effort. Instead of hitting the gym, grab a dog and start walking. For a simple anytime, anywhere exercise walking the dog doesn’t get better.