We all know how much our dogs look forward to going on walks, but according to a 2019 PDSA Animal Wellbeing report, thousands of dogs in the UK are never walked at all.
Exercise is crucial to the wellbeing of our four-legged friends, both physically and mentally, and research has even shown that a lack of regular walks can shorten a dog’s life by up to a year.
Every pooch is unique, and the exact amount of exercise a dog requires can depend on a number of factors, such as the breed, age and personality of the dog. Puppies and senior dogs may not require quite as much exercise, but as a general rule of thumb, most dogs will benefit from two to three 20 minute walks each day. Here are a few points to consider when it comes to your furry friend’s exercise routine:
Much like an active child, dogs need consistent mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy, and gain satisfaction from exploring the world, taking in all of the sights, smells and sounds around them. If you notice your pooch is displaying unwanted behaviours like excessive chewing or barking, aggression, or destructive tendencies, it is likely due to boredom and a lack of stimulation.
Even dogs that are active while around the house or in the garden require the excitement and adventure of going on walks and getting a chance to sniff and explore, which helps to keep their brains active and reduce stress. Dogs that get adequate exercise tend to be calmer and more relaxed while at home, which is good news if you are out at work during the day.
Health and wellbeing
A 2021 report from Burgess Pet Care indicated that nearly 51% of dogs in the UK are obese, while 600,000 more are overweight. Obesity in dogs can lead to a host of problems, including cardiovascular and liver disorders, and even osteoarthritis.
Consistent exercise is necessary for dogs to lead long and healthy lives, and walking is vital to give your pooch a chance to release pent-up energy and avoid any unnecessary weight gain. Regular walks can also benefit your dog’s digestive and urinary health, as walking promotes digestion which avoids constipation problems, while having a set schedule for your dog to “go”, means fewer issues with bladder retention.
Dogs are highly social creatures, and enjoy meeting new people and other pets. Just as our wellbeing would take a nosedive if we were often isolated, dogs too require plenty of opportunities for social interaction, especially if they are alone for most of the day.
Going for walks allows your dog to become comfortable around other pets, and learn appropriate ways to interact socially. This is a great way to build your dog’s confidence, and makes them less fearful of new situations, people and pets, allowing them to learn the limits of play with other dogs, which makes injuries as a result of rough-and-tumble play far less likely.
Dog walker benefits
Long, rewarding walks for your dog can be difficult to fit into a busy schedule, especially as more people return to work. Hiring a dog walker is the way to go if you are concerned your dog’s needs may not be adequately taken care of while you’re at the office, or worried that you may not have time to give your dog a walk due to working late.
The GoWalkies app allows you to search and view dog walkers’ profiles in your area and arrange same-day or future bookings, in just a few simple clicks. Each of our dog walkers have been comprehensively screened and verified to put your mind at ease and to provide you with the best service possible, while providing your furry friend with all the exercise and attention they need to thrive, so you can come back home to a calmer, happier pooch.