Don’t let a little wind, snow and cold temperatures keep you from getting out and exercising your dog. Sure, January may be one of the coldest months of the year. But it is also National Walk Your Dog Month!

Exercising your dog daily is essential to both their happiness and yours. Here are a few insights into why daily walks for your dog is a healthy habit:

Benefits of walking your dog:

  1. Elimination – daily walks can help keep your pup from having accidents in the house.
  2. Mental stimulation – the mental stimulation that a dog gains from going on a walk can be equally as tiring and the physical walk itself.
  3. Exercise – walks help to keep your pup in good shape.
  4. Training – take treats with you on your walk to help implement elements of training good behavior.
  5. Improve their behavior – a walk serves as an outlet to get energy out so they will better behave at home.
  6. Boost their mood – movement makes both your pup and you happy.
  7. Socialization – the more interaction your dog gets with other humans and animals, the better behaved they will be in a wide variety of social situations.

Types of walks:

  1. The Purposeful Walk is a habitual walk to the same spot where your dog knows he or she can relive themselves and go to the bathroom. The Purposeful Walk helps to instill positive routines in our pups who are creatures of habit!
  2. The Mentally Stimulating Walk is an adventurous walk that allows your dog to sniff, stop, investigate, and mark a spot. This style of walking your dog is most effective when done off-leash.

Who is walking who?

If your pup is not used to going on walks, sometimes it can feel like they are walking you instead. Pulling on the leash, running away, barking or simply refusing to move can be signs that your dog needs more training and habitual walks. In order to overcome these behaviors, start up the healthy habit of walking them at the same time each day. Keep treats in your pocket to use positive motivation and encourage good behavior.

With so many benefits to walking your dog, perhaps you should consider it your New Year’s resolution. Bundle up, grab that leash and commit to carving time out of every day to get your pup out and moving!