The Walking Cure: 3 Tips For Creating The Perfect Dog Walking Routine

Posted: Mar 20 2012

Looking for a way to improve your mood, your health and your relationship with your dog? Take a walk. Walking your dog regularly provides benefits to the dog and owner.

A recent study conducted at the George Washington University School of Public Health & Health Services and reported in Arthritis Today found that pet owners who walked with their dog regularly had an overall lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than those that did not, fewer chronic health problems and a lower incidence of depression. The study's author, Cindy Lentino, says her results indicate dog walking is something medical and health professionals should include when talking about activities that promote a healthy and active lifestyle. 
“There’s definitely something special about dogs. They are inherently active animals,” Lentino says. “Dogs give owners a sense of purpose in that they need to be walked and humans need exercise, so I think that is the key. “

3 Tips For Creating The Perfect Dog Walking Routine

1) Pick a time that works for your schedule. Morning, noon or night: your dog will be there when you are ready! It's important to pick a time slot you can stick to with some regularity otherwise it's hard to make it a permanent habit.
2) Get the right equipment. Luckily walking is one of those activities that does not require a lot of expensive equipment but you want to make sure you and your dog are comfortable. It's important to have a pair of supportive shoes and a well fitting collar with tags and leash for your dog. If your dog is a puller, consider investing in a no-pull training harness to make your walks more enjoyable. 

3) Choose the right location. It might be right out your front door and down the street, but if you don't happen to live in a neighborhood with sidewalks or you live in an area with lots of noisy traffic consider talking your walks in a more serene location. You want the experience to be pleasurable for you and your dog so pick a quiet park or nature preserve. 

It's easy to make something a habit when you look forward to doing it. With just a few minor considerations, you can implement your walking routine immediately.


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