Dogs have often been called man’s best friend and over the years they have proven to be worthy of the name, providing security, and protection to their masters.
Like humans, dogs are curious creatures that find great pleasure in exploring new territories. Therefore, for the dog owners, walking your dog regularly provides this stimulation to the dog and helps with physical exercise to reduce obesity and cardio-vascular diseases.
Dogs are naturally very energetic, enthusiastic and fun to be around. These days more and more people take their dogs for walks around the neighborhood. By doing so, one is actually engaging in exercise which is a physical health benefit. Walking ensures one does not become stale and slip into a state of laziness and constant fatigue. Kaisara Kaisara a regular dog walker has established a dog walking schedule in which he walks his two German shepherds (Rajah and Reni).
He started walking his dogs after realizing that its good exercise.
“Dogs just love the outdoors. Boredom is a major reason why dogs display undesirable behaviour such as destruction of property and excessive barking,” said Dr Ditiro Coyne of Gaborone Veterinary Clinic.
Said Kaisara: “I would advise all dog owners to walk their dogs. Sometimes I fear that they’ll never get to know a lot of the world if I just keep them indoors. They cannot watch TV like humans. Walking them is a chance for them to learn about their surroundings, interact with other animals and its good exercise. Again owners get to know their pets better”, expressed Kaisara.
There are numerous indications that show that your dog is in need of exploring instead of always being chained inside the yard or cage. It does so by running around the yard, which is an indication that it needs exercise.
‘’The proper way to walk a dog is with the dog walking either beside you, or behind you, and never in front of you. When a human allows a dog to walk in front, they are sending signals to the dog that he is leading the human. Walking the dogs in the right manner eliminates dominating issues and anxiety experienced by the dog,” said Kaisara.
Although dog walking in Botswana is not very common, it is becoming increasingly popular. “It is important to have your dogs socialised with both humans and other animals to ensure that the experience is both safe and enjoyable”, cautioned Dr Coyne. He further added that any amount of walking is better than none. A daily walk of about 30 minutes would be ideal. You should be very careful not to walk or run dogs in hot weather. This is mainly attributed to them being less able to cope with heat than we humans are.