You’ve probably heard it before: to be happy, your dog needs to get out and discover the world, and walks are essential to his well-being. You only have to see him wiggle when you take out the leash to guess how happy he is! In addition to making him happy, taking your dog for a daily walk is an action that will ensure better physical and mental health. The good news is that walking has just as many benefits for you!
At the Clinique Vétérinaire Beaubien, your Montreal veterinary clinic in the heart of Rosemont–La-Petite-Patrie, we give you all the advice you need to offer your pet a healthy lifestyle.
Walking, an activity that feels good!
Let’s start with a few numbers: it has been revealed that dog owners walk and run an average of 42 minutes more per week than those who don’t have a dog, and therefore have a less sedentary lifestyle. Similarly, a study published in 2016 by The Gerontologist showed that people aged 60 and older who have a dog suffered from fewer health issues than those without.
Walking, when done for at least 30 minutes a day, is a physical activity like any other sport. As such, it helps maintain a healthy weight or reduce excess weight. For your overweight dog, physical activity must absolutely be part of the treatment.
More than an aesthetic consideration, you obviously know that obesity favors the development of hypertension, liver disease and diabetes. This is true for you, but it’s also true for your pet!
Pets can suffer from diabetes too, and walking helps regulate blood sugar levels in affected individuals. Walking for 30 minutes a day also helps reduce the risk of developing diabetes in both humans and dogs. Note that the recommended walking time varies depending on your dog’s breed and condition: if in doubt, ask your veterinarian!
Even a slow-speed walk is also an excellent cardiovascular exercise. An active lifestyle significantly reduces the risk of heart disease in humans. In dogs, it also helps prevent the onset of diseases such as heart failure.
It goes without saying that working the muscles helps them grow, and working the joints keeps them from getting “rusty”. For both you and your dog, adopting an active lifestyle will keep you in shape longer. Thus, the life expectancy of your pet, but also yours, is extended: walking allows you to live longer, but especially more beautiful years.
We’re talking about physical benefits, but walking also reduces your stress and releases tension. For your dog, it improves his mood and allows him to expend his energy: he will therefore be calmer and develop fewer behavioral problems at home.
Note that recommendations for dogs with certain conditions, such as osteoarthritis or heart failure, may affect activity recommendations. Consult the Clinique Vétérinaire Beaubien to find out what type of physical activity and duration is recommended for your dog.
Even if you have a large yard, don’t keep your dog locked up at home: knowing that walking is as beneficial for him as it is for you, you have no excuse! For the love of your dog, take him out into the world; you’ll see, you’ll enjoy it too.
The best care for your pets
The professionals at the Clinique Vétérinaire Beaubien are here to listen to your concerns and provide you with the best advice on how to give your pets a long and healthy life. In case of illness or injury, or simply for a routine appointment, we take care of your pets and treat them as if they were our own.