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It’s common knowledge that dog walking is good for us and is a great joy for both us and our four-legged companions. But why is dog walking so beneficial? Let’s discover 10 truths of dog walking.

Dr Margit Gabriele Muller, leading vet and award winning author

Truth # 1 Bonding time

Bonding with your dog makes all the difference – for you and your canine friend. The daily walk is the best time for you and your furry friend to interact as a team and bond even closer. Escaping the daily routine, boredom and problems – walking together focuses attention on each other and you share new experiences. The two of you rely on each other in the best way, creating a strong bond that strengthens you and your dog’s confidence, trust, and relationship.

Truth #2 Who is the boss?

Dog walks are the best way to establish a clear leadership structure with your furry friend. Dogs live in a hierarchical order in their dog packs. They need a clear understanding that you are the big boss. Your pooch will love you even more if this relationship is reinforced during your daily walks. By learning to concentrate on you, to walk properly on a leash and not be sniffing around, to follow your pace and direction and to heel, your dog accepts you as the boss. This helps both of you to create a healthy mutual relationship and bond even more. 

Truth #3 Socialising time

One day lockdown and the covid-19 pandemic will end. Then, it will be time to socialise again. The best treat to combat loneliness is meeting new people and other dogs. People are more inclined to talk to other people when they have dogs as ice breakers. Therefore, your daily dog walks are an amazing way to become socially active and interact with others. People communicate more with you because of your dog and this helps to make new human and furry friends which is fun for both of you!

Truth #4 Mental health enhancement

According to the UK’s Royal College of Psychiatrists, the world is entering a “mental health tsunami” due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Strong mental health is vital for you but also your dog. Daily walks bring new experiences and new sights because no two walks are the same. This creates beautiful lasting memories – and stimulates both your brains. Doing something different on each walk keeps that stimulation high and makes the walks even more interesting.

Truth #5 Emotional booster

When was the last time you had real fun and enjoyed yourself? Walking daily helps you and your pooch to enjoy fun games and play time in the park and gets rid of any excess energy. Enjoying yourself in the moment and living in the present is one of the secrets for real happiness. This will enhance your emotional health tremendously and alleviate mood swings.

Truth #6 Well-being boost

Interacting with your dog leads to the excretion of love, happy and wellbeing hormones. Therefore, daily walks are a perfect way to gain happiness and well-being for you and your dog. And, as an additional benefit, it enhances both of your immune systems.

Truth #7 Stress antidote

Feeling stressed out?

The best stress antidote is your dog. Daily walks are a perfect way to get rid of stress. Being in a different environment with your best friend helps reduce your stress. And interacting with your four-legged companion leads to a decrease of the stress hormone cortisol– for you and your dog.

Truth #8 Fantastic physical health

Daily walking is the perfect exercise to lower triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood pressure. By improving cardiovascular health, research found that dog owners live longer after a heart attack than non-dog owners. Walking is one of the best exercises for the whole body because your heart and lungs are strengthened. And this doesn’t just apply to you – it applies to you and your dog, too!

Truth #9 Best joint and muscle remedy

When we get older, we sometimes feel aches in our muscles, joints, and tendons. Sometimes we even develop arthritis which can greatly impact our daily lives. The same applies to older dogs. In such cases the natural reaction is to move as little as possible to reduce the pain. But the contrary is true. Moving during daily walks is the best remedy for muscle and joint pain, for humans and canines alike.  It’s a great way to increaseflexibility of your muscles and in addition, it keeps you, and your dog’s, bone and cartilage tissue healthy and strong.

Truth #10 Great for weight loss

More than 60% of adults and 50% of dogs are obese in UK. The perfect weight loss plan is your daily walk. Just twenty minutes of daily walking helps you to lose 14,4 pounds per year alone without any dietary change. Your dog will also benefit from a slimmer waist!

So even if you have the winter blues, you feel under the weather or you’re just not in the mood to go out – get over it and walk, walk, walk! It’s the best thing that you can do for yourself and for your canine partner. With all these amazing benefits, dog walking is the best remedy for whatever plagues you. So, get out there and enjoy the endless unconditional love of your dog!

Article by Dr Margit Gabriele Muller, leading vet and award winning author of Your Pet, Your Pill: 101 Inspirational Stories About How Pets Lead You to A Happy, Healthy and Successful Life, out now, available on Amazon.