May 15, 2019 TVAH

Take a Hike: The Benefits of Exercising With Your Dog

For most people, pets aren’t just animals that live with you. They’re a part of your family, and you naturally want to include them on group excursions. The good news is that exercising with your pet is good for both them and you, so grab a leash and head outdoors! Whether you walk around the block or hit up a hiking trail, you can both enjoy numerous benefits of exercising together, such as…

Mental stimulation. Imagine if you never left the house (or yard). You would feel pretty bored on a daily basis! Getting out for a walk is a great way to add mental stimulation to your dog’s routine, reduce stress, and prevent anxiety.

Prevent behavior problems. Speaking of mental stimulation, many behavior problems stem from the lack of it. In particular, some larger breeds will develop maladaptive behaviors when they aren’t challenged both physically and mentally. Regular exercise can prevent problems like chewing, hyperactivity, or destruction of personal items.

Social interaction. You’re likely to encounter other dogs on your walk, especially if you head to a nearby dog park. And of course, you might enjoy the interaction with other pet owners as well.

Improved behavior. Leash training is an important skill for dogs to learn, for those times you need to travel with them. Going for a walk offers you an opportunity to work on other types of training, too.

Increased bonding. As with human relationships, you will bond more deeply with your dog when enjoying activities together.

Improved digestion. Going for daily walks can improve your dog’s digestion, and help them eliminate more regularly.

Exercise is good for both of you. This is the most obvious benefit of taking walks with your dog. Regular exercise can prevent your dog from becoming overweight and developing health problems as a result. And of course, the exercise is also good for you!

When you venture out with Fido, just remember to watch for signs of exhaustion or dehydration. Keep a bottle of water and a bowl on hand, so that you can offer water regularly (especially on long hikes). Keep an eye on signs of aggressive behavior, such as growling and lunging, both from your dog and others. Take it easy with introductions and be ready to intervene when necessary.

If your dog develops obvious pain or discomfort during walks, come see us for a checkup. We will assess him for injuries or conditions such as arthritis, and offer treatment when necessary.




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