6 Reasons to Start Walking Your Dog Yesterday!

6 reasons to walk your dog

6 Reasons to Start Walking Your Dog Yesterday

We all want to be great dog parents. We intend to train our dogs, practice learning new tricks every day,  take them out for a walk- no! two walks! a day… but when we get home tired from work, it’s much easier to let them out in the yard to do their business alone then let them back in for Netflix and pets. But dogs don’t create their own exercise routines on their own- they need direction, stimulation- or else they will do it in ways you prefer they not.

As dog walkers we can unequivocally tell you that truly, a tired dog is a much better behaved dog. Just like with children, dogs have active minds and a desire to explore the world with you by their side. They crave time with their parents, and also need to stretch their legs and get in some exercise to maintain their health. It’s a no-brainer that we should all be walking our dogs, but here are a six reasons to inspire action today.
walker walking running Pinecrest dogs
1. Keep your dogs at a healthy weight.
Dog obesity is on the rise. This causes many of the same problems for them as obese humans experience, including joint and muscle pain, chronic inflammation, depression, strain on the heart and other organs, crowding of the lungs, and more.

Exercising with your dog every day, coupled with a great diet appropriate for your dog’s needs, will result in maintaining a good weight for your pet and avoid any weight-related health issues with joints and bones.

How to tell if a dog is at a good weight when you don’t have a scale at home? Here are some quick visual guidelines:

  • Your dog’s ribs should not be showing. Feel the sides; you should feel their ribs after some slight padding, like having a blanket over the ribs.
  • Look at your pet from above: hip bones should not be protruding, but they shouldn’t look like a sausage or a ball with legs. There should be a nice narrowing at the abdomen.
  • Look at your pet from the side: You should see a dip in the abdomen when looking at them from the side. The stomach should not hang below the chest, or be too tight against the back.


2. Prevent premature aging
Exercise like walking your dog prevents premature aging by engaging and maintaining lean muscle condition. Lean muscle mass is important because it strengthens bones and “dramatically increases the availability of protein and constituent amino acids, which availability is tremendously important to maintaining whole-body metabolism and “organ reserve” (the functional capacity of organs to support life).

Whole-body metabolism and organ reserve are absolutely vital to basic bodily life-support but they tend to break down as bodies age,” according to Coach Dan Schulof at Varsity Pets. Take this to heart for yourself, too- get moving at least 20 minutes a day to prevent a slew of issues in your own body. Ah, dogs are a gift that keep on giving!

3. Maintain essential bodily functions:
Daily exercise is also considered one of the first treatments for dog constipation, in addition to adequate water and fiber in the diet. Did you know that lack of muscle use allows muscle to generate? Yeah, we learned about that in school at some point. Exercise such as walking your dog improves insulin health and metabolism, as well.

According to Animal Wellness Magazine, “Physical activity helps jumpstart natural gene systems involved in regenerating and maintaining insulin health, helping to reverse insulin resistance and diabetes. It’s another one of those natural adaptation mechanisms where the body adapts to physical work by improving nutrient absorption by the cells. It consequently improves sugar transport for the energy required by working cells, and helps restore insulin health and correct the diabetic condition. Improvement of insulin resistance literally enhances biological age and general health as well as energy, stamina and strength.”

4. Helps your dog be better behaved.
Are your dogs tearing up furniture, your favorite shoes, or being generally destructive when you’re not around? If you work or travel a lot or simply have a very busy schedule, your animals might be channeling their pent-up energy as best they can. Active dogs who don’t have an outlet for their energy can become destructive and exhibit neurotic behaviors such as chewing, digging, or barking, but you can prevent that!

Get up a little earlier to take your dog out for a morning walk- we promise it’s much cooler these days and it will get you off to a great start as well. Walks, without cell phones to interrupt, are a good time for introspection. And your dogs get to sniff the world around them. Just remember to be zen about the doggy poop pickup.

5. Training and Dog Socialization
Chances are, you’ll be meeting other dogs on your walk. Routine walks are a great way to teach your pets how to interact in a healthy way with other dogs. If it’s been a while since your dog has seen another animal and thinks it’s human (meaning, it doesn’t remember how to “dog”), or it is fearful or anxious, be sure to enlist the help of a great trainer who uses positive reinforcement to help get them over that hump.

6. Strengthen your bond with your pup
Dogs have evolved over thousands of years to please humans. Descended from wolves, their bodies became smaller, from paws to fangs, they became less frightening and less fearful, the first domesticated animal and our constant companions. We bred them to be with us and want to be with us- so bear with them when they crave your attention. Give them quality time, structured as it must be around your schedule- but find time to fulfill this need. Love for you exists naturally, but a bond takes time and small daily commitments to instill.

So take the 30 minutes to an hour to walk with your dog and strengthen your relationship with shared experiences and a chance to reinforce great walking behavior and other commands. Notice whether your dog is checking in with you, making eye contact. When you get home, incorporate a new trick or reinforce old ones. The point is taking the time to build a relationship beyond simply feeding your dog and petting it whenever it’s convenient.

As with anything in life, dogs thrive with care and attention. Daily walks and exercise help give them entertainment, health, and quality time with you or their other favorite humans- including dog walkers like us! We also create bonds with your pups over time, and are happy to step up for you whenever you’re busy working. Email us at info@equipawspetservices.com, or call us at 305.794.3733 to chat about your dog care options!

Six Important Ways Your Dog Benefits from Regular Walks

dogs walking

Six Important Benefits of Daily Dog Walks

How often do you walk your beloved dog (honestly)? Do your dogs bark, whine, chew or dig excessively?  Are they restless or do they misbehave around company?  Pay attention, they may be trying to communicate with you.    Many pet owners underestimate the value of a dog walk. Dog walking can improve your pet’s behavior and help them both mentally and physically.  Benefits beyond the obvious can help you and your dog live a happier and healthier lifestyle.  Listed below are a variety of common reasons pups should be treated to walks regularly.

 1. Dog walking promotes health, weight control, and digestive systems.

Pets, just as humans, need regular and consistent exercise to live long, healthy, and happy lives.  Obese dogs have a higher risk for many health problems.  According to betterhealth.com, “Obesity in pets is associated with medical complaints including osteoarthritis, cardiovascular disease, liver disease and insulin resistance.”  Moving helps the body’s digestion and occasional constipation and helps your pet stay limber, agile, and fit.

 2. Walking alleviates destructive behavior.

Are you noticing a corner of the couch being chewed away?  Are your shoes being destroyed one by one?  Lack of exercise can increase undesirable and destructive behaviors such as chewing, digging, scratching, biting and barking.  Pets are like our children; if they are bored they will come up with something to do on their own… and you usually won’t like it.  What if you or your children were cooped up all day in a crate at home? You’d go crazy without a good book, your favorite Netflix series, or comfort food.  Everyone, including animals, needs stimulus.  Dogs need to see, smell, feel, and hear just as humans do.  A walk around the block, sniffing the neighbor’s grass, or being rewarded with a treat could keep them from acting out in negative ways.

 3. Daily walks also help with hyperactivity.

Some dogs have an endless amount of energy which translates to hyperactivity, an abnormally short attention span, frantic activity, or high impulsiveness.  Pent-up energy can cause inappropriate behavior such as jumping on people, knocking over furniture, running recklessly through the house, garbage raiding, etc.  With longer or more frequent walks our canine friends can be more relaxed at bedtime and less restless in the home.  A calmer animal creates a better day and quiet night’s sleep for both owner and pet.

 4. Daily dog walks address attention-seeking behaviors.

Dogs who are continuously barking or whining are seeking attention.  This is one way they can communicate.  Take this as a hint for more exercise and outdoor activity if they’ve already eaten, had water, are not ill, or have relieved themselves.  It allows the pet to receive the attention they desire and get out excess energy.

5. Walking around the neighborhood encourages socialization

Walking your dog can build trust and promote socialization.  If your pets are timid or fearful this will help them feel more comfortable around strangers, other animals, and new sounds. If your pup is fearful and exhibits extreme shyness or aggression when facing something new, be sure to work with a great trainer who specializes in positive reinforcement training, such as Applause Your Paws here in Miami.

6. Dog walks provide relief!

Of course all animals need a potty break to relieve themselves.  Bathroom breaks are needed for obvious physical reasons, as accidents can happen.  Your dog does not need to be punished for something they physically could not help.  The frequency of breaks depends on breed, age, energy level, needs, routine, or backyard access.  Typically a full grown dog can go 4 to 6 hours without a break whereas a puppy needs to go out once an hour on average. Your silver senior might also need extra outings!

If you don’t have the energy or time, pet sitters or dog walkers are always an excellent option in giving your dog the care it deserves.  Our dog walkers would be happy to help! You beloved dog should never go without a walk.  Walking benefits both owner and pet in more ways than one; enjoy your next stroll through the neighborhood!

Does Your Dog Really Need Daily Walks?

walkers dog runner Miami

Call us biased as dog walkers, but yes! (And this applies to our senior buddies, too!)

 

Dogs are animals that work by nature; whatever their breed (or mix!), every dog was bred with a working purpose! Because the majority of dogs are naturally active, it’s important that they get the appropriate amount of exercise or be given work. Even those cute lap dogs who make great couch potato companions need to exercise if we want them to stay fit, healthy, and happy for years to come. You owe it to your pals to provide exercise and a sense of purpose!

More Good Reasons to Walk Your Dog

Dogs that are left indoors for too long without exercise often take up destructive behaviors – whether they chew on themselves or furniture in the home, or take to breaking years of potty training. Trust us, frustrated dogs will find an outlet to distract themselves and let you know that they’re unhappy- usually with something you treasure. Spending time exercising your dog- whether brisk evening walks, a morning run, or Frisbee in the park a few days a week – will fortify the bond you and your companion already have. You will also avoid costly and painful health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

walker walking running Pinecrest dogs

Don’t believe us? Try it. Exercise your dog a bit more than what you ordinarily do as an experiment – we guarantee that your dog will show a change in behavior within a week (maybe even the same day, depending on how much fun you have!). They will be grateful and you will be able to tell.

But I Don’t Have Time to Walk My Dog…

Many people don’t have the time to dedicate, especially those who travel frequently or work long hours (hello, everyone in Miami!). We love our furry friends’ companionship, but are unable to give them the exercise they need. That’s why Equipaws Pet Services exists! Our pet sitters, dog walkers, and runners play with, walk with, and run with your pets, giving them that much-needed outlet and attention while you’re away…and we tailor our services to your dog’s needs. For example, our German Short-Haired Pointer friends get fast-paced bike rides in the shade; our senior friends get a more sedate version.

An exercised dog is a happy and calm dog that will not fuss over your every step. Dedicate an hour or so a day or at least a few hours a week to giving your pup a good workout, and you will see that their downtime truly is a relaxed and happy time. S/he will curl up on the couch right next to you and doze happily while you relax in your way, knowing that a good run or romp in the dog park is in the near future. Think of children – furry kids are much the same! They need sports and activity! No child is relegated to staying indoors all the time, laying inactive in their bed. Don’t do that to your pup!

Give us a call today if you need advice on what kind of exercise your dog craves. We are also happy to set up a complimentary in-home consultation to work out the best exercise options for your pet if you simply don’t have the time to work out with your dog. Just fill out the contact form below. We’re looking forward to hearing from you! Remember… a dog was born to run!

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