But even before COVID-19 entered our lives, my dog walks were among the highlights of my day.
So, I was surprised to see the results of a survey that found only half of dog owners walk their pup at least once a day. HALF!
And, another third admitted to walking their dog rarely.
This just about blew my mind.
I simply can’t imagine life without regular dog walks.
Pandemic aside, there are numerous perks for taking your pup for regular walks.
For one, it strengthens the bond between the two of you.
Your dog needs quality time with you, just like a spouse.
And regular walks provide that needed time together.
The more minutes together, the stronger the bond you will develop with your dog.
Regular dog walks also help control weight – for both you and your dog.
In fact, a 30-minute walk, three times per week can lower your weight by 5% and your dog’s weight by 15%.
Regular walking provides other health perks, as well.
Research shows that consistent dog walking can have a positive effect on your blood pressure, joint health and flexibility, energy levels, and overall sense of well-being.
Dog walks can also help improve your balance and protect against injury by building lower-body strength.
(They can build arm strength, too, if your pup is a fan of chasing squirrels and bunnies.)
If your dog doesn’t get to spend much time around other dogs during the day, a dog walk is a great way to get your pup socialized.
Ellie has many dog friends in our neighborhood and will actively look for her buddies when we pass their houses.
Walks are also a wonderful way for you to meet new people.
I didn’t really know anyone in our neighborhood when we first moved to Florida.
That all changed as soon as I started walking with Ellie.
People, and especially other dog owners, are drawn to folks walking dogs.
Look, I get that when it’s raining or you’ve had a really long day, letting your pup out in the yard to do his business is easier.
And that’s fine to do, occasionally.
But the perks of walks – for both you and your dog – are certainly worth the time and effort for getting out.
And once you get into a routine, you may just find that you look forward to your daily outings.
Stay safe out there.