Why you should walk your dog on the school run
For families with dogs, the school run is a great opportunity to ensure your pet gets some much-needed exercise.
For a lot of families, busy mornings including the school run and getting ready for work means dogs sometimes miss out on a morning walk.
So take the lead (literally) and bring your dog along on the walk to school.
How much exercise do dogs need?
The answer will very much depend on your dog. Breed, size, age and health with be the biggest factors.
As a rule, most dogs will need a least an hour of daily exercise. Working dogs and dogs bred for hunting, however, will need more.
Bigger and young dogs, also tend to need more exercise. Your walks don’t necessarily have to be one long outing.
Consider two or three shorter walks a day if its more suited to your lifestyle or working patterns.
Walking isn’t the only form of exercise, of course. Playing games such as fetch or taking your dog to a stretch of water for a swim are both ideal.
It also means you don’t get as tired out.
Why it’s important to walk your dog
Just like with people, exercise helps prevent weight gain and keep the body healthy, particularly the heart and lungs.
Dogs who exercise regularly are likely to live longer and be far happier. They’re also likely to look better.
If your dog is overweight, walking is the best way to help him or her fight the fat and return to a healthy build.
Walking also give you the opportunity to train younger dogs. Commands such as “sit”, “heel” and “stay” can be practised, for example when crossing roads.
Exploring the world
Dogs love the company of going for walks with their owners and it will helps build a bond.
But walks are also the best way for dogs to explore the wider world and build up confidence.
Give him or her time to sniff around and, if you encounter other dogs, allow them to meet.
Particularly in younger dogs, this helps them socialise and get used to being around other animals.
Top tips for walking your dog
- Ask a friend for help – if you walk during the day, see if someone else would walk your dog for you or consider using a professional dog-walker.
- Don’t take a car – if you often drive to a place where you walk your dog, consider walking there if it’s not too far or choosing a different route that doesn’t need you to use the car.
- Buy a ball thrower – A plastic extension that allows you to throw a ball further with help tire your dog out.
- Vary the route – because dogs love to explore, try to change where you go for walks. Dogs love the sights, sounds and smells of new environments.
- Little and often – If you can’t spare, say, an hour in the mornings, split your walking route into shorter, more intensive walks. If you work close to home, perhaps take your dog out at lunch time and then again in the evening.