It goes without saying that just like us humans, no two dogs are the same. However, it’s common knowledge that all dogs love their walkies! From physical exercise and promoting mental wellbeing to behaviour training and encouraging your dog to socialise, there are multiple benefits of heading outside for a regular walk with your pooch.
For pet parents across the world, the first week in October is celebrated as National Walk Your Dog Week. To mark the occasion, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best dog walking destinations to inspire you and your four-legged friend to get out and about this October!
What is National Walk Your Dog Week?
National Walk Your Dog Week is an annual awareness week which takes place during the first week of October (1st-7th). Founded in 2010 by Celebrity Pet Lifestyle Expert and Animal Advocate, Colleen Paige, the holiday was designed to raise awareness of canine obesity and highlight the importance of exercising your dog and the benefits that this can have on their overall health and wellbeing. What began as a day holiday turned into a week-long event, to allow more time for pets and their owners to change their lifestyles and settle into a new, healthier, routine.
Here are just some of the benefits of walking your dog...
We all know that regular exercise is good for us, and the same goes for our pets! But there are many more benefits of walking your dog which both you and your pup can reap.
Allowing your dog to socialise
Just like us, dogs are inquisitive and social creatures who require lots of attention and social interaction. Whilst dogs will bond and develop a relationship with their humans, it’s important that they also get to socialise with others. A lack of socialisation outside the home and learning to interact with other humans and animals, could result in anxious or aggressive behaviour. Taking your dog on regular walks and allowing them to explore their surroundings will prevent them from feeling anxious, confused, or threatened when they visit a new place or meet someone new.
More bonding time
One of the key ideas being National Walk Your Dog Week is nurturing your dog with the love and attention that they deserve. Dogs are renowned for being loyal creatures and although they love their walkies, they love their best friend even more! By walking your dog regularly, you are providing them with the one-on-one attention and social interaction that they require to be happy, bouncy puppers. Whether you spend this time walking side by side, playing fetch or running off-leash, this is a great way for you to really bond with your dog.
Providing mental stimulation
Mental stimulation is important to us as humans. Not only does it prevent us from being bored but it also plays a huge part in our overall health and happiness. Our canine friends also need to exercise their minds in order to be happy and healthy! By exploring the great outdoors and being introduced to new sights, smells and sounds, you are providing your dog with mental stimulation which will, in turn, make for a much more relaxed and happy pup.
Regular physical exercise
Whether you have a playful pup or fully-grown pooch, it’s important to keep them active and keep their joints moving. Although your dog's age and overall health may play a part in how much exercise they require, every dog will benefit from going on regular walks. Not only will this help your dog blow off some steam and release some energy, but walks can also help to prevent unnecessary weight gain, obesity and helps to keep the joints moving.
How to celebrate National Walk Your Dog Week
Go for more walks with your pooch
The whole idea behind National Walk Your Dog Week is to, well, walk your dog! If you and your dog have a favourite walking route, be it walking through the park or a trail near your home, why not try upping the number of walks you go on together for one whole week?
Switch up your walking route
One of the reasons your dog loves their daily walkies is because they are inquisitive by nature. Your dog loves exploring, so why not switch up your usual walking route to keep them curious and to provide extra mental stimulation? The UK is blessed with miles of open countryside, parks and green space. This makes for some stunning scenic walking routes which both you and your dog will love. For some doggy-approved scenic walking routes, take a look at this comprehensive list from the National Trust.
Add an element of walking to playtime
Why not add an element of walking to other areas of your dog’s life, such as within play? As well as going on walks outside and exploring the world around you, you and your dog can also get your steps in by creating an obstacle course at home which encourages your pooch to weave through objects or pass through tunnels. Here’s how to create your own obstacle at home.
Make a day of it
Whilst there are many walking routes and parks to choose from wherever you are in the UK, there is something special about watching your pooch run along the beach. If you’re looking to make a day of it, then we have a list of some of the top dog friendly beaches in the UK for you to choose from.
So there you have it, some of the key benefits of walking your dog, along with some of our top tips for adding more walkies to your routine in order to celebrate National Walk Your Dog Week!
In addition to regular exercise, you may also consider using a joint supplement such as YuMOVE, which can help with joint stiffness, aid recovery after exercise and promote healthy joints no matter what stage of life your dog is at.