Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Importance of Walking your Dog….

Here’s an irritant. 
With the cold front finally sweeping through the city, it is becoming somewhat difficult to motivate myself to leave my comfortable, cozy nest of a home and venture out into the frigid wind.   But all I need to do is look into Bear’s eager face the second he sees me shift reluctantly in the direction of the door and I can swallow my shivers for a little while.  And honestly, once we’ve been outside for a while it really isn’t all that difficult to acclimatize yourself to the cold (for a little while at least). 
In my rather humble opinion, taking the time out of your day to walk your dog at least twice a day is one of the most important things that you, as a good pet parent, can do.  Of course, there’s the necessary shelter, food and affection – but walking provides a chance to strengthen your bond with your pet while simultaneously stimulating his senses. 
It bothers me to the point of anger when I hear my fellow dog owners blather on about how cold it is, or how hot it is, or how they’re much too busy to take their dogs out for a daily walk….and then they wonder why their dogs goes nuts on the leash when they finally do manage to take him out.  It’s incredible to me that a person would attach themselves to a dog and then not take the time to care for it properly.
 There is something to be said for play and affection, but owners – especially city owners – need to take their care a step further.  Dogs need to walk with their pet parent just as much as they need to play with them.


Daily walks provide your dog with a chance to gain positive attention from you and a chance to be with you doing something he loves. Dogs do not self-entertain. If you put your dog outside in your fenced-in yard, he will not exercise himself (unless there is another dog to play with). More likely, he will resort to boredom barking, trying to escape the yard or do some creative landscaping instead! As his pet parent, it is your job to provide your dog with enough stimulation. If he spends 10 hours a day alone in the yard or in a crate while you work, do not expect him to be a well-mannered member of the family when you come home in the evening.
A dog, as an animal, is a walker/traveler by instinct. Packs of dogs get up in the morning and walk. Simply having a large back yard or taking your dog to the dog park is not going to satisfy this instinct in your dog, not does it satisfy his need for exercise or his desire to be close to you.

Walking your dog should be one of the joys of being an owner – not a chore that makes you cringe and drag your feet. 
 Some points referenced from Seize the Leash

Keep your Tails Wagging
Bear's P4ws

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