Walking Dogs: Why It Makes a Difference & How to Make It Work

Debra Horwitz, DVM, Veterinary Behavior Consultants, St. Louis, Missouri

I realize that exercise and mental stimulation are important for dogs. How can I convince owners that taking their dog for a walk is a good idea?

Providing exercise and mental stimulation for our pets are necessary and nothing does so better than a good walk (see Why Walk the Dog?, below). Most of our dog breeds have characteristics designed for a specific purpose that would keep them engaged (eg, sporting dogs, working dogs, herding dogs). However, adult  household dogs without the opportunity to pursue that purpose generally do not exercise themselves and, if they have access to a backyard, it usually provides the same scents and sights day after day.

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