“Walking is man’s best medicine.”
Spring is in the air. It’s a great time to get up off the couch, shake out the winter, and get outside for longer walks. Walking is great for you, and it’s also great for your dog. Even a half hour walk per night will offer noticeable benefits to you both.
Both you and your pet will improve circulation and cardiovascular function and digestion. Regular exercise will increase your metabolism, and that of your pet, and of course burn calories. If you or your pet has put on a couple of pounds over the winter, now’s a great time to breathe deep and commit to a regular walking program with your pup.
Dogs that have a lot of energy will find a way to use it. By burning it off in the park, you can often avoid destructive behaviours like chewing, barking, and scratching. As well, a walk can help your pet be less excitable, and less active and restless in the evening and night.
Socialization and Training
Walks will expose your dog to new experiences, new settings and other people and pets. It’s an opportunity for your pet to become more confident in new situations and for you to reinforce his or her training.
Strengthen your Bond
Who doesn’t love an owner that takes you out for exciting walks, full of good smells and activity, and maybe even throws a ball for you? Socialization with your dog is a key part of his or her development and well-being. Spending active time with your dog builds an increasingly close and trusting relationship between you.
To help you find a great place to walk you dog, we’ve created an interactive map of Walks, Parks and Off-Leash Areas in Toronto. Check it out, maybe try a new park, and send us a picture of your pup having fun.
Tips for Walking Your Dog
- Try and set a regular schedule. Thirty minutes, five times a week will give significant health benefits.
- Always keep your dog on a leash, unless you are designated off-leash areas.
- Supervise your dog carefully around children and other dogs. Also be aware of your dog’s reaction to runners and cyclists.
- Always have plastic bags to pick up after your pet.
- Ensure that your dog wears an ID tag all the time, and that he or she is microchipped.
- If your walk is going to be very active or of a significant length, don’t forget to provide fresh water for you both to drink.