Walking is good exercise whether you have two legs or four. But you wouldn’t be happy to trot around your backyard, and dogs aren’t, either, veterinarians say. Dogs are tens of thousands of times as sensitive to smell as humans are, so a long, sniffy walk stimulates their brains, gives them opportunities to socialize with people and other dogs and helps them keep the pounds off.
It can also help prevent behavior problems, according to A Modern Dog’s LIfe, by University of Sydney veterinarian Paul McGreevy.
“The first step onto the grass in a park reminds owners of how exciting a walk is for a dog,” McGreevey writes. “There is a great urgency for the dog to be off the lead and do all the things that have to be done: sniffing, marking, socialising, rolling and running. We get confirmation of their importance, but do we really know why these activities are so important to dogs? We can imagine that rolling, especially after swimming, is akin to rubbing oneself dry with a luxurious towel. But in a world of smells, it is an activity that may be critical in spreading odours. So, it’s worth reminding ourselves that dogs find many activities intrinsically rewarding in ways that we will never understand.”
Some dogs, especially working breeds and sporting dogs, would be happier with multiple walks a day. Now, we know what you’re probably thinking: “This is a dog walking company just trying to sell me on their service!” You caught us! But whether you choose to have one of our walkers take your pet for a spin, or take the lead yourself, get it out there. Your dog will be happier, less prone to obesity and other health problems and more relaxed around the house.