The Importance of Walking Your Dog

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A task like walking your dog can be daunting at first glance, especially if you have a particularly unruly dog. Walking your dog is important because of the benefits that occur for you and your dog during a short time period of your day. Here are three ways that show you how important walking your dog is.

Why Walking Your Dog is Important

1. Improves Health

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Not only does walking your dog benefit your health, but it also benefits your pet's health. Your pet could be actively strengthening its muscles and heart just by walking and regular exercise. This benefits your dog's life by preparing it to live a long, happy life in the long run. No pun intended. Walking also improves your dog's digestive health. The movement helps prevent constipation and promote digestion.

2. Prevents Pet From Misbehaving

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From constantly bugging you to pet him to wanting to go in and out all the time, dog walking can help prevent pet misbehavior. The main reason for why your pet it always getting on your nerves is because they simply want your attention and want to move around. A dog walk is the perfect solution to this! Not only does your pet get your undivided attention, but they are also able to walk off all of that energy that they have been storing up. This then results in them acting up less and being more relaxed in their demeanor.

3. Promotes a Stronger Bond Between Owner and Pet

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Just like spending time with friends, spending time with your pets helps build the bond between the two of you. Especially if you have a more timid, quiet pet, the consistent activity of going on a walk can help build trust. Also, the activity of walking your dog can help your dog become less aggressive when meeting new people. With the repetitive exposure to new people and environments your dog adapts and becomes more accepting of new people. This can lead to less barking.

How to Walk a Dog

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Now that you know how important walking you are probably wondering how to start walking your dog. Here are some tips from dog guru Cesar Millan on how to walk the dog and Mastering the Dog Walk :

Walk In front of Your Dog

By walking in front of your dog you are showing that you are the leader. This then shows the dog that you are the one leading the walk instead of your dog leading the walk. As long as your dog is walking in back of or beside you your the one controlling the walk.

Use a Short Dog Leash

By using a short leash, you have greater control of guiding and controlling your dog throughout the walk. The short leash helps you walk your dog by minimizing pulling. This is especially useful when you are in a more crowded area or a small space because it prevents your dog from venturing off and causing a scene. Heres a quick lesson on how to train a dog to walk on a leash:

Be patient

Walking your dog is not something that will happen instantaneously. You need to be prepared to be patient and help your dog develop the skill over time

Pick the correct leash and collar

By having a good fitting collar and leash, your dog will be more comfortable on the walk and more apt to behave.

Associate the leash with playtime

Some dogs see the leash as a restriction. This can change by after putting the leash on the dog, allowing the dog to run around and if possible, interact with other dogs.

Encourage

By encouraging your dog while walking your dog is able to decipher walking as a good thing. It is going to take them some time to learn how to walk, so encourage them whenever they do something right.

Give Yourself Enough Time for the Dog Walk

The most ideal time to walk your dog is in the morning for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. This of course depends on your dog and their specific needs. If you have a more lethargic dog your walks can probably be around 30 minutes, but if your dog is hyperactive, an hour might best fit their needs.

Reward Your Dog During the Walk

Rewarding your dog to sniff around and deviate should only be when your dog has been walking consistently and behaving itself. This allows your dog to see that their good behavior has been rewarded.

Keep Leading, Even After the Walk

As you continue to walk your dog, you should begin to keep leading after the walk. A way to do this is to have your dog wait as you put away their leash. This constant leading keeps the dog in the mindset that you are the boss. This mindset prevents the dog from leading on your future walks.

Reward Your Dog After the Walk

Your dog should be rewarded after all of its hard work and good behavior. By giving your dog a treat or a meal after the walk the dog develops a sense of give and take when going on walks.

Dog Walking Rates

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If you do not have adequate time to walking your dog there are many dog walking services out there you can hire to do so. Plenty of websites offer their services for pet walking and care such as care.com, rover.com, and dogwalker.com just to name a few. The average dog walking rates depend on the town you live in. So when debating what to pay a dog walker, if they do not give you their rate, do some research in your area to see what other dog walkers are charging.  This can range from 5-10 dollars for 15 minutes to 10-20 dollars for 30 minutes.

Walk for a Dog

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A cool thing that can help motivate you to walk your dog is a fundraising opportunity called “Walk for a Dog” that is offered through an app. Through this app you are able to track the time and ground covered when walking your dog and turn it into raising money for an animal organization of your choice. There has so far been over 5,500,000 walks that have been taken for 6,000 shelters in all 50 states in the United States. This is a great tool for not only seeing growth in the health and relationship between you and your dog, but also growth in the funds raised for your favorite organization!

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