Part of great pet care means making sure your dog gets plenty of activity. Whether you live in a small apartment and don’t have much room for them to run around, or you live in a spacious house with a yard, taking your dog on a walk can be a great way to help them get the exercise they need. What many owners may not know, however, is that going on a walk with your dog can be just as beneficial for you as it is for them. But can you really lose weight walking your dog? Let’s find out!
Dog Walking and Weight Loss
Can you really lose weight walking your dog? Well, kind of…
The good news for pet owners who are looking to squeeze in their daily exercise is that walking your dog can help you boost your fitness and lose weight. That said, like most types of exercise, there are certain conditions that need to be met in order for your exercise with your pooch to be beneficial. Taking a casual stroll with your dog will provide few benefits for you and your canine pet. Rather, you should aim to take brisk walks, aiming for 12 to 15-minute miles and aiming for at least 30 minutes exercise daily, five times a week. If you feel the need to jog, you can easily pick up the pace and your dog should follow (if they have no issues with weight or health themselves). The best way to summarize the answer is: Yes, dog walking can help you lose weight.
In fact, there’s a study at the University of Missouri that shows walking your dog can be more effective for weight loss than a gym membership or diet plan. However, you are only going to get results if you put in the work (just like any other kind of exercise). If you walk slowly and irregularly then you are not going to reap the benefits that walking has to offer.
How Can I Get the Most Out of this Experience?
At first glance, this can seem like a simple plan. Just take your dog out for a walk at a fast pace and you’re good to go. However, some owners may find it hard to control their dogs, making walks difficult to manage. To help you along the way, here are some tips for a better dog-walking experience:
- Invest in a better harness for your dog! Many dogs are curious and want to experience the world around them (and this may mean that you get dragged along the way). Unfortunately, that results in a constant tug-of-war between you and your dog that can cause damage to the throat, if they’re wearing a regular collar. Instead of continuing to rely on a traditional collar and leash, look for a dog harness that goes over your dog’s body and helps you guide them without causing harm. One such product to look at is the Joyride Harness at joyrideharness.com. Boasted as the best dog harness on the market, this is a harness that goes on easy, stays securely in place, features a handle for more difficult canines, and comes with a side ring that turns them and teaches them not to pull away.
- Start your dog’s walk off with the intention to exercise. If you let them explore from the beginning, they are going to be more reluctant to pick up the pace as they continue. Starting off quickly from the start helps your dog begin with and maintain that pace. Don’t worry, your cool down can always be letting your dog sniff the areas around them on the way home.
- Set up a schedule for you and your dog. Making sure that you are going at regular times can get both you and your dog mentally ready for the task ahead. Both dogs and humans benefit from daily routines!
Some people may be interested in more intense exercises or may need more assistance with their weight loss journey. If this is something you are looking for, you may want to reach out to a local bariatric and metabolic treatment in Staten Island, NY for further assistance to help you reach your weight and fitness goals. Once you feel you are in a better position for it, you can then begin taking your dog with you on your journey.
Walking your dog can be exciting, but it will take a little more than a light pace to gain the physical benefits of this exercise. If you want to start combining your workouts with the time you spend with your pup, take a look at the information above to begin creating an exercise schedule and routine that works best for the both of you.