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When we talk about the well-being of a dog, many times we insist on the importance of it going for a daily walk, since sharing quality time with your dog, as well as having it exercise, is of vital importance for its proper development and well-being..
On the contrary, and as you will read in this AnimalWised article, there are many consequences of not taking a dog for a walk. And unfortunately, these have a great negative impact on their health, character and coexistence with them, since by not doing this activity, your dog will not receive all the benefits that walking brings..You may also be interested in: How many times do you have to walk a dog? Index
- Is it necessary to take the dog for a walk?
- How many times to take the dog out a day?
- What if a dog does not go out on the street?
Is it necessary to take the dog for a walk?
First of all, we must bear in mind that the routine of a dog's walk is not a whim of it, but a necessity, since dogs, like many other animals, they are not made to stand still. In nature, it is normal for most animals to move around and explore their environment in search of water and food..
However, by welcoming a dog at home, it has at its disposal the sustenance it needs to survive, but to have a happy and healthy dog, this need stimulation and exercise at diary through the walk. Let's see then, what are the benefits that going for a walk brings to your dog:
In the same way that we do, dogs need daily exercise to stay fit and not suffer health problems long-term, especially if your dog is hyperactive.
The dog needs explore your surroundings through your senses, that gives you a mental stimulation that keeps you active, whether through smell, sight, hearing, touch and palate. As well as the proprioception works if you have the opportunity to walk through different terrain and obstacles.
Wrongly, many people believe that having a house with a large plot or garden, the dog already has this need covered. However, no matter how much space the animal has, if it is always the same, it will not have the need to go out to explore it because the stimuli will always be the same, and it will not have the need to move to look for food. Taking the dog for a walk is necessary so that it knows new elements every day.
When going for a walk, the dog encounters new situations to deal with. It is in these circumstances that we can guide you on how you should behave by using the positive reinforcement, so that the next times you find yourself in the same situation, you will be safe, since you will have a few clear guidelines about what it can or cannot do.
For example, if when you go out for a walk you see a cat for the first time, you should maintain a calm and indifferent attitude, let it smell you from afar and reward him if he does not alter. In this way, it is quite likely that the next time you see a feline he will be calm and reliable, although that does not mean that you can let him go, because you do not know how he will react if he approaches..
Similarly, walking your dog gives him the opportunity to meet other people and dogs of the most varied. This will give you the opportunity to learn to relate appropriately with other individuals and to have a dog with a safe character towards strangers.
Now, we must always make sure in advance that the other dog knows how to relate in a friendly way to avoid bad experiences, as some dogs have difficulties in relating to their species due to bad past experiences or poor puppies socialization.
Strengthen the bond with the owner
Although your dog surely adores you, going for a walk with it is vitally important to strengthen a bond with it. This is because, as we have commented, you establish a basic obedience and, therefore, a form of communication between both, as well as your dog associates you with a most pleasant activity, as we explain in 10 reasons to walk your dog.
How many times to take the dog out a day?
Now that you know why it is vitally important that you take your dog for a walk, it will be necessary for you to know how the walk routine that you establish with your dog.
First of all, it should be emphasized that each individual is unique And, for this reason, there is no routine that is standardized for all dogs, but depending on factors such as breed, age or physical condition, each dog will have its specific needs, which it is necessary to know..
However, whatever the characteristics of your dog, they should all go out daily between 2 and 3 times distributed throughout the day, depending on the duration of the ride. Regarding the recommended walking time, this should be between 20 and 30 minutes Depending on the number of rides or, if due to specific circumstances, we can only take it out once a day, it should last at least one hour. In the same way, as the most common thing is for the dog to go outside to relieve itself, obviously, a single walk will not be enough, because it will have to endure too long and it will end up doing it inside the house.
As we have commented, you should inform yourself about the individual needs of your dog or your future dog, if you are thinking of hosting one and want to know which one will best suit your lifestyle. That is, if it is of a rather active breed, we will not be able to limit ourselves to taking it out once a day. In the same way, a dog young person should go out more often than an older one, because it has more energy, in addition to socialization, stimulation and learning will be key for it to form a reliable and stable character in the future.
For more information, you can consult this other article about ¿How many times do you have to walk a dog?
What if a dog does not go out on the street?
It is a reality that not taking a dog for a walk directly harms its physical and mental health, as well as it harms the coexistence with this in the home. For this reason, before welcoming a dog into our family, it is necessary consider whether you can be properly cared for, Well, unfortunately, there are people who have not become aware of this responsibility before taking in a puppy, which often leads to abandonment once it is an adult and has begun to manifest behavior problems. For this reason, let's see what the most common consequences are:
Physical exercise is necessary to take care of the body and mind. On the contrary, if a dog does not go for a walk easily, it can start to gain excess weight, as it will eat more than necessary due to anxiety or boredom and will not burn these extra calories, leading to problems such as:
- Muscular weakness.
- Joint pain.
To avoid this situation, we recommend you read this other AnimalWised article on Exercises for obese dogs..
Hyperactivity and irritable mood
Not meeting the physical needs of your dog will end up seriously affecting his character, since being locked in a space without being able to get tired, implies that the dog ends up with a excess energy which cannot lead to any activity to be exhausted, therefore, you will find yourself frustrated, boring and easily alterable to exciting stimuli, such as moving objects, noises, or people and dogs walking down the street.
For more information, see this other article on Anxiety in Dogs - Symptoms and Solutions.
This is undoubtedly the most easily observable consequence in the short term, because related to the previous point, due to this excess energy which cannot be redirected in any physical activity, the dog will begin to develop multiple behavioral problems, such as:
- Barking: either to attract the attention of its owners, as a result of being upset by some external stimulus or in a more serious case, due to a stereotype (compulsive behavior).
- Breaking objects: the need for activity generates anxiety and frustration which the dog directs to different household items. For this reason, it is not strange to see the dog do damage, be it breaking plants, his bed, etc..
- Inadequate urination and defecation: Generally, it is preferable to train a dog to relieve itself outside the home. Now, if you do not take him out for a walk enough, obviously you are not giving him the option to do so. In addition, once a dog has learned to relieve itself at home, it will be necessary to undergo a slow reeducation process so that it learns to do it outside. Here we explain how to teach an adult dog to relieve himself on the street.
- Eating excessively: boredom can lead to the dog being distracted by the only thing available, in this case food. As well as anxiety, we also associate the dog eating excessively. Sometimes, even if the dog does not have food at its disposal, it could develop pica syndrome and, therefore, begin to ingest objects not suitable for consumption, such as paper, dirt, clothes…
- Aggressiveness: As we have seen, the dog that does not walk can develop an irritable character. This can lead to bad experiences and compromising situations, which can lead to the dog performing aggressive behaviors such as growling when you approach his bowl of food, toys, etc. Unfortunately, these kinds of long-term behaviors can become badly entrenched..
- Insecurity and protection of the territory: Due to a lack of knowing new stimuli, it is natural that the dog can develop a rather scary character in the face of any unknown element that you incorporate into the home. In the same way, it is also natural that this insecurity creates the need to protect what is of your property from strangers. Therefore, in these situations, it is common to observe dogs that are excessively vigilant with their territory, for example, barking whenever someone approaches the door or when there are guests..
Finally, it is important to understand that if your dog has a behavior problem derived from lack of exercise, it will not be enough to re-educate him to correct the behavior. And it is that, when we want to solve a problem with a dog, it is necessary to know if this has its welfare covered, that is, if the owner attends to all essential needs of the animal. Since behavioral problems, apart from being a consequence of poor learning, are often derived from behaviors, which are natural in the dog, but cannot properly perform, as in this case, due to the lack of exercise and stimulation that the walk would offer.