7 Dog Health Benefits from Leash Training Your Dog

Author : Jonni Good

Everyone knows that dogs love to go for a walk, but did you know your dog receives 7 important health benefits every time you snap on the leash? These important health benefits make it worth your time to leash train your dog.

Since many of our dogs are just as overweight and out of shape as their owners, taking your dog for a walk will give him all the same fitness benefits that people get from a walking program. The fact that you care enough about your dog to want him to keep him healthy will keep you on your own exercise program, too.

In addition to the fitness benefits, walking can also improve moods, for both people and dogs. Walking causes your brain to produce more serotonin, a mood enhancing chemical. Walking also causes your brain to produce less cortisol, a stress hormone. When the brain chemicals are re-balanced this way, both you and your dog be calmer and less anxious and less stressed out.

In other words, walking regularly will make both you and your dog happier, healthier, and perhaps even more enjoyable to be around.

Since a dog′s normal lifespan is so much shorter than ours, the effect of a sedentary lifestyle and too much food has an even more devastating effect on dogs than on people. The stress of excess weight and too much fat can cut a dog′s life short by as much as two years, according to Marty Becker, DVM, the author of The Healing Power of Pets. Walking daily will prevent many of the more common health problem in dogs.

Regular exercise, including a daily walk, will tone your dog′s muscles, improve his digestion, and make him feel happily tired. It may also boost his immune system. And it could even prolong his life, because excess weight leads to chronic illnesses in dogs, such as heart disease and diabetes. Getting regular exercise helps your dog keep his weight down, so he can stay healthy.

Once you establish a regular walking program, your dog may experience some or all the following benefits:

1. A regular walking program will help your overweight dog lose the extra pounds, which will help him feel more energetic and enthusiastic about life.

2. The weight loss could help him live longer, and the regular, gentle exercise could help reduce any pain he now feels from arthritis, hip displasia, or simple inactivity. (Remember, if your dog has any problems with his joints, or any illnesses that affect his breathing or movement, talk to his vet before beginning any exercise program.)

3. The increased fitness could reduce the chance that he will get one of the chronic diseases associated with excess weight, such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoarthritis.

4. Your dog will look up to you as the real leader of the household, and the two of you will form a strong, natural bond.

5. Some disciplinary problems may go away on their own when your dog starts getting the exercise he really needs and when he can use his brain and creative intelligence while discovering the world outside. 6. He′ll probably feel calmer, more content, and more playful because he feels better, and because his internal chemistry has adjusted to more normal levels.

7. He′ll sleep better, and snore less. This may not seem like a big deal unless you′ve become accustomed to waking up many times in the night because your dog just can′t get comfortable. Overweight dogs (like overweight people) tend to snore.

So get out and walk every day with your dog. It will make both of you happier, and healthier.