You might be wondering: Do I really need to walk my dog every day?
In short: Yep! Barring any physical restriction–say, your dog has an injury–or severe weather, most dogs thrive with a daily walk. Here’s why:
Just like people, dogs need physical exercise. Especially for dogs who are home alone for long stretches, burning off extra energy is crucial. A walk gets them that physical exertion, while exercising other faculties.
Walking, at least in the urban sense, requires concentration. Your dog learns to pay attention to you, to navigate the world on a leash, to mind his surroundings. Mix up structured walking time with more “free-range” walking–while still on leash, of course–to maximize your dog’s mental exercise.
The sights! The smells! The sounds! Whatever your dog’s natural instincts, a walk lets him explore and express those. Varying your route keeps things interesting for your pup so that he’s always seeing, hearing, and smelling new things.
A lot of on-walk pottying behavior is in the form of marking, aka “checking the pee-mail.” It’s a social behavior that dogs need to express. It also helps empty them out. If you come home from work to find accidents in the house, the first thing to do (after checking with your vet) is elongate your morning walks!
A walk is for all those things, but maybe even better than all that? A walk is a phenomenal way for you to bond with your dog. You’ll enjoy exploring your world together; plus, the physical and mental exercise you expend on a dog walk is a proven stress-buster. So, lace up those sneakers and get out there! You and your pup will feel better for it!