Let's face it, we're busy. There's dinner to be made, laundry to get done and walking the dog seems to be the least urgent thing demanding our attention. Or, is it? A quick 15-minute loop around the neighborhood may still seem like a lot of time to the average American pet owner, but those 15 minutes could be one of the best things you do – and not just for your dog, but for you as well.
If you remember just one thing, remember this: a tired dog is a well-behaved dog. Ever wonder why your dog may be constantly getting into things or constantly bothering you while you're trying to get work done? Chances are he probably has some energy he needs to burn. Spending even as little as 10-15 minutes walking your dog can make a huge difference in his energy level inside the house. If he decides to lie down for the rest of the evening when you get home, I'd call that time well spent.
Chances are, along your route, you and your dog will encounter other people and possibly other dogs as well. The more your dog is introduced to new faces, the better he will respond to any visitors (human or canine) you may wish to have over. We all know those people we hate to visit because we don't like their pets… If you value any kind of a social life, don't become one of those people.
Another thing to keep in mind is that over half of American dogs are overweight. Even just a couple of pounds of extra weight can be a lot for a little dog. Those extra pounds also carry a lot of the same problems for dogs as they do for humans – heart disease, diabetes, cancer – all of which could result in rather hefty vet bills. Plus, keeping your dog at an ideal weight and overall health will also give the two of you the maximum number of quality years together.
Let's not forget that walking your dog gets you moving too. If you'd like to exercise more yourself, you've got a great walking buddy to help motivate you! If you're struggling to get into a routine, your dog will become your best coach. Even after just a few days of walking he will start to anticipate – and expect – a walk – and he won't let you do anything else until you guys do just that. 😉
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