January – National Walk your Dog Month

You Tell your kids or your spouse I’m going to take the dog for a “Trip around the block”, or an ”adventure in the neighborhood”. And then you spell out the word W-A-L-K versus saying it, but then you grab the leash and your dog knows. The tail wags, they’re automatically jumping up and down and they get excited. They love going for their stroll, especially with you. This is the highlight of their day! 

There is a lot more to walking your dog then getting them exercise too. A lot of people argue their dog can get enough exercise by just running around the backyard.  Well, as they get exercise on a walk around the block they also get a lot of stimulation. Dogs can get bored smelling the same things over and over again. They need enrichment, they need something different, and they need the new scenery to stimulate their brains. 

Let’s start with all of the physical benefits to walking your dog…… By taking them on a daily stroll, you are keeping them exercised and it helps keep their weight in control and their body conditioned. Walking them also keeps their joints moving and in better health and also benefits urinary track and digestive movement. By keeping them moving, you keep them moving longer in their lives. Dogs that are overweight and get less exercise tend to have more health issues and earlier in life as well. They get compounded the less and less they move. By walking them daily or at least 3-4 times per week, you are keeping their circulation moving more vigorously and it improves their heart health as well.

Along with all the physical benefit, there is so much more mental benefit to your pets as well. Dogs don’t like to be bored and if you give them something constructive to do, like take a stroll, they are much less likely to do something destructive (like chew the your $400 jimmy choo heels…. yes, that did happen). Walking exercises their mind as much as their body. Seeing neighborhood wildlife, other pets out with their owners, exploring new walking paths and finding that new spot to pee that you know is actually not new but seems new to them is all great mental stimulation. Walking the same space over and over in a fenced in area may leave your dogs to be bored or even cause anxiety them anxiety. Waking in new areas also releases excess energy and helps dogs sleep better at night. 

Okay, I know for some of you, you just don’t have time. You want to get your dog walked every day, but work, children, events ALL get in the way. I understand this completely. There are numerous dog walking services out there though that can help with this. There’s also a huge benefit to utilizing dog walkers during the day while you’re at work. A lot of times dog walking services will pick up your dog along with several others and walk them all together. This is a great advantage in socializing your dog especially if they normally stay home by themselves a lot. Socializing is also great in stimulating your dogs brain and keeping them less bored and less likely to chew your couch. 

For a listing of pet walkers/sitters in Michigan, visit the Michigan Canine Resource Guide©. You are able to access their online version at: 
Michigan Canine Resource Guide © Electronic Version/PDF

Pet sitters and walkers are listed on page 30-32. The Michigan Canine Resource Guide© is an excellent tool to find pet vendors in the state of Michigan, not just limited to pet sitting and walking.

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