We know that by walking our dogs, we both get the physical benefits of lowering stress, improving weight management, and heart health. Did you know that walking your dog for at least 20 minutes a day can make you both happier?
1) Dog Walking Improves Your Happiness
Research has proven that simply being around a dog lowers cortisol, the stress hormone. Take that face and add in physical activity. Physical activity releases endorphins responsible for increasing feelings of happiness and our mental energy! That is a powerful combination!
2) Socialization Plays A Role For Our Mental Health
How does socialization play a role in our mental health when walking our dogs? First, it is companionship. Did you know that your bond with your dog becomes stronger when you walk together? Keep in mind this is a companion who is also non-judgemental. A decrease in loneliness proves to be another huge benefit! Think of all of the interactions you and your dog may have on a walk. People may smile, say hello, or engage in a conversation. It also nurtures a sense of community as you begin to explore more, see new things, meet other people walking their dogs, etc.
3) Sources of Motivation to Walk Your Dog
To reap the health benefits of exercise, we need to get 150 minutes per week. Walking your dog for at least 20 minutes a day makes it easy for your to reach that target!
Another motivation may be the app Wolftrax. You will be walking with your dog and FOR a dog! The app will track you on your walk, and you will begin to build toward donations sent to the charity or dog shelter of your choice.
4) Get 7 Tips for a Happier Dog Walk
Know how long your dog can walk every day. Different breeds have different needs. For example, our husky, Special Agent Gibbs, enjoys his 4-5 mile daily walks.
Get a standard leash. Toss the retractable.
Take fresh water for your dog. Hydration is important.
Pack plenty of poop bags. Someone may need you to spare a square so they can clean up after their dog.
Pay attention to the weather. You may have to take shorter walks if it is too hot or cold. We walk Gibbs very early in the summer as Florida summer heat is intense. We want to protect his paws from hot pavement and his health from overheating.
Don't be a bore; explore! Dogs get just as bored as we do with usual walking routes. Check out websites like Bring Fido or Find Blue Dog for suggestions on what is around you or perhaps a short drive away to walk somewhere new!
Get started with giving back in your community and try the Wooftrax app.
Dog owners are not the only ones who reap the health benefits from daily walking. Consistent walks help decrease stress, fear, anxiety, and boredom, which can be destructive behavior. It helps their digestive system, urinary & heart health, plus weight management. They, too, are happier.
Although one day a year is National Walk Your Dog Day, every day is an opportunity to celebrate it with your dog!