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Health & Wellness

Your dog’s primal need to be walked

Your dog’s primal need to be walked

Walking your dog each day is Canine Care 101. A walk provides your pooch with exercise and, of course, a potty break. But there's another reason why that daily stroll is so important—and it has to do with instinct.

Just as fish need to swim and birds need to fly, dogs need to walk. In the wild, packs of dogs get up in the morning and walk to find food.

While letting your dog run around the backyard or taking them to the dog park can be good exercise, it isn't a substitute for walking. These activities don't offer the same mental stimulation your dog gets by investigating every smell, sight, and sound when you take them for a stroll. As you and your dog walk, they're gathering information about how the territory has changed since the last time they were on that same route.


Walk for desirable behaviour

A walk is also a great opportunity to practice obedience skills with your dog and reinforce your bond with them. When you encounter another dog or person on your route, you can help your dog practice their social skills. Behaviourists believe that dogs who are taken for daily walks are less likely to display problematic behaviours such as be destructive or obsessive.


Length of the walk

The amount of time to walk your dog will depend on a variety of factors including:

  • Breed
  • Age
  • Health
  • Individual personality

While it's essential to meet the exercise and behavioural needs of your dog, bear in mind that exceeding their exercise needs may actually be unhealthy. This is especially the case for dogs with health ceoncerns such as heart, respiratory or joint diseases. If you have any concerns, always seek the guidance of your vet who can help you develop a tailored exercise program for your dog.

Getting your dog out for their walk is one of the most enjoyable aspects of dog parenthood, and it will do both of you the world of good.

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