Have you ever noticed when you’re putting on your shoes and getting ready to leave your house that your four-legged friend is going nuts, hoping that they’re going on the adventure with you? Dogs LOVE exercise–and more importantly: walks. Not only is it mentally stimulating and physically healthy for your dog to explore, but this also gives you the same benefits to get up and move. Bonus: you are creating a special bond with them, and helping to establish your role as the pack leader. The younger you can take your pups for a walk, the better and easier it will be down the road (no pun intended).
Sometimes, it’s not always easy to take your pets out though. You work too much, you have errands to run afterwards, you’re too tired, it’s too difficult due to the walking behavior of the dog…. There’s a number of reasons why walking your pooch can get put on the back burner. The simple fact is that dogs were not meant to stay inside all day.
But why do dogs enjoy walking so much?
Dogs carry traits from their ancestors that can be traced back to the original breed, even if they’re mixed. Dogs are known to have certain senses that are far more acute than humans. Certain breeds of dogs were created for hunting, tracking, racing, and herding. Some have even stronger senses based off of their breed for these purposes:
Dogs instinctively NEED to get out and explore, even the lap dogs. It’s in their DNA.
Are you walking your pooch enough?
Let’s face it, no matter how much you walk your dog, they can always go for more. However, we all know the more often you walk your pet, the less likely accidents, messes, and/or destruction of household items will occur. What it really comes down to is the dog’s energy level and the type of breed.
Here’s our simple algorithm: the higher the energy level, the more frequent the walks need to be. Additionally, smaller dogs can typically manage less distance, and large dogs tend to enjoy longer treks–but even then, some larger breeds don’t have the right build for long adventures. The truth is that on average, dogs need 1-2 walks daily and a couple of “social” trips weekly to the park or trails (not including quick potty breaks in the yard then go straight back inside).
Is my mutt the sniffing, greeting, or running kind?
Asking yourself this question will help you better understand what your walk will look like and the best places to go.
You can definitely tell with tracking breeds that the main focus from the beginning to the end of the walk is to sniff EVERYTHING. These dogs might not be the best running dogs if you’re having to be stopped constantly.
For these types of dogs, we highly recommend visiting Sal’s Branch Trail – William B. Umstead State Park from highway 70 in Raleigh, North Carolina. This dog-friendly trail is close to 3 miles long and can typically take you 1 hour if you’re just walking. The trailhead entrance can be found behind the visitor center and there’s plenty of shade during the Spring and Summer because of the wooded area, so you won’t burn up and can bring kids along as well. It is a requirement that your dog is leashed at all times while visiting here. There’s a lake as the mid-way point where you can stop to relax, enjoy the view, and snap a couple of selfies with your pup! Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, nearby park located in Cary, also has plenty of trails to explore!
Knowing that your dog is a social “greeter” and does well with other dogs, we suggest the popular Fred G. Bond Metro Park in Cary, North Carolina. This gigantic and well-maintained park consists of plenty of open fields and trails. “Bond Park” even has a doggy water fountain. The weekends are definitely the most crowded, so if you want a little one-on-one time to “bond” with your pooch, plan to come during the week. Another beautiful and popular park to walk your dog, within 7 miles from Bond Park, is Lake Crabtree Park in Morrisville, NC.
If your dog’s breed athletic and made for running then a great location to get fit with your racer is the Apex Community Park in Apex, North Carolina. There’s 2 miles of a shaded and paved walkway that circles around the lake. Trash cans and benches are conveniently located about every quarter mile if you need to take a break. Plenty of trail paths branch off into the woods for about an extra mile. Another well-known path in Apex is the American Tobacco Trail.
Taking your pet out to a trail or a park more often than the vet takes away that anxiety in the car and makes the trip more fun!
Routine is everything to everyone
With a busy work schedule, having a routine is key. It’s just as important to your daily life as it is to them. When you plan to make time out of your busy life to take your pup on a walk, stick as close to the schedule as possible and repeat it daily. The same goes for feeding and any playtime you want to have with them. Us humans can relate to the feeling of certainty, and dogs appreciate the feeling of security that comes along with having a routine. They’ll know what to expect at certain times of the day, which gives them the opportunity to rest confidently and experience less anxiety.
Professional Dog Sitters in Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Morrisville, Fuquay Varina, and Holly Springs
Do you find yourself away from home for 8 hours or more per day? Sure, it’s easy to still get some exercise indoors for your pet, but keeping your pets cooped in the house for too long can be consequential. And that doggie door might do your their bladder a favor, but it still won’t help with the emotional attention they need.
If you can’t find time out of your day to make sure your pet gets the proper dose of exercise and love, consider contacting a trustworthy pet care service like WoofPack Pet Care here in West Wake County. We come into their known and comfortable environment to take care of them and stick to their routine. A dog sitter can’t replace you, but a little extra help might be in the best interest of your dog’s mental and physical health!
Want to get to know us a little better first? Read testimonials from happy pet owners.