Tuesday, May 10, 2011

To Walk or not to Walk? Is It Really Even a Question?


One of the most important things dog owners neglect is a daily leashed walk with their canine companions.  I am not talking about walking two blocks, letting them defecate, and then taking them back inside. I am talking about taking your dog on an adventure around the city, and sharing an exploration with your pup.  It is not only important for them to see and smell new things, it makes you, the owner, feel better as well.  It also helps you and your dog form a closer bond, in a way to where you are not just their owner, but the leader of their pack who provides them protection and guidance throughout the walk, and eventually always leads them home.  This builds trust as well as helps prevent dogs from becoming “dominant” over their owners.  I try to take my dogs on about 3 mile walks each day and in return, my dogs are happy, content, and tired.


In my experience, many people will not get a dog because “they do not have a yard to run in.”  Well this is definitely not a reason to ever keep from getting a dog.  I do not have a yard, however daily walks can provide a dog with all of the exercise and mental stimulation they need.  Owning a dog is not about being lazy, and honestly one of the best rewards a dog can provide a human with is the motivation to get up off the couch and get outside to walk just for the sake of walking. As well as general leashed walks, off leash dog parks are a great outlet to let your dog exercise as well as become better socialized towards people and other dogs.  You would be surprised how many dog parks are around the city and probably just a few blocks away from your location.  I know that many people in my building do not even take their dogs to the building dog park, but instead will walk to dog parks nearby. The most important thing to remember is that dogs have been domesticated to be the companions of humans and live where we live, so please don’t ever let “not having a yard” stop you from enjoying the love and companionship that comes from dog ownership, because in the end the dog who is walked daily will be better mentally and physically balanced than the dog who is left in a big back yard on their own all day. 

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