Professional midday dog walks are designed to help busy families with their pets while they are at work and in extracurricular activities. Pro dog walks are about more than just pee and poop, however. Professional dog walking benefits our dogs in many ways. To start, they provide much-needed exercise and enrichment, which leads to happier, more relaxed, and more fulfilled canine companions.
According to PETMD, “Big or small, young or old, dogs need to exercise daily. While the age and breed of your dog may affect your dog’s ability to exercise, all dogs still need to take part in some form of daily physical activity.”
Exercise prevents obesity, tones dogs’ muscles, builds strong bones, and helps the body function properly. How long and how often a dog needs exercise depends on its breed and age. It’s generally recommended, however, that dogs get between thirty minutes to two hours of activity per day.
As you might imagine, most families are not able to give their dogs enough daily exercise. Between the demands of career, school, errands, etc. many pet parents struggle to adequately look after themselves, let alone meet all of their pets’ needs. Unfortunately, Banfield Pet Hospital® estimates a 108% increase in overweight or obese dogs over the past ten years. Surprisingly, the pandemic has not helped, even with pet parents working from home.
Without adequate exercise, our dogs’ bodies, as well as their minds, suffer. The number of dogs diagnosed with generalized anxiety is rising. Many dog trainers think that our dogs’ sedentary lifestyle, among other things like species-inappropriate diet, is to blame.
Dogs that are walked receive a healthy dose of enrichment while out sniffing and exploring their environment. Holistic Dog Trainer, Roman Gottfried, believes that, to a dog, sniffing on a walk is like reading the newspaper. Walks allow dogs to receive information from and interact with their environment, turning the pages of the newspaper as they go from one place to another, he says.
Walking is only one way in which dogs enjoy enrichment during dog walking visits. Shoreline Happy Paw’s care providers also provide enrichment inside the home, encourage socialization, and provide a welcome change to otherwise sedentary and/or bored dogs.
Socialization is a huge benefit of hiring a team-based operation like ours. We will discuss those benefits in our next post. In addition to socialization, however, our service providers bring unfamiliar yet interesting smells with them on each visit. Because dogs have such powerful noses and are naturally curious, they receive enrichment similar to nose work every time we walk through the door.
Plus, our walkers bring a different energy, engagement style, and enthusiasm to our work, which dogs can recognize. It’s not the same to take a walk with someone that’s rushing or hurried to check a box on the to-do list as it is to walk with someone that has a whole 20+ minutes to dedicate solely to their enjoyment. Dogs pick up on our energy and rushed walks, while physically stimulating, can leave our dogs feeling our stress rather than feeling at ease.