As a dog owner, it’s important that you provide your dog with the proper amount of exercise and activity in order to promote a healthy lifestyle for your pet. Depending on the breed of dog that you have, he or she will require more or less exercise than other dogs and may need a certain amount of outside activity. No matter the kind of dog that you own, taking him or her for a daily walk will have benefits and risks for both you and your pet.
For most people, taking their dog on a walk is easy and a relaxing part of their day, however, for some people, specifically seniors, taking their dog for a walk can be challenging, especially if he or she can not move around easily. This post will detail the benefits and risks of dog walking for seniors.
What Seniors Need to Know About Dog Walking
Depending on where a senior lives, he or she may have a harder time walking his or her dog. For example, if one lives in an apartment, it may be challenging to walk up and down steps for seniors; or it may be unsafe to walk the dog in certain neighborhoods. Because of these issues retirement communities that allow pets have taken it upon themselves to make walking a dog easy and safe; in fact, an independent senior living in NJ has trails that are ideal for seniors to take their dogs for walks on.
Keeping your living situation and safety in mind, here are some other things that seniors should know when it comes to dog walking.
Dog Walking Can Be a Great Way to Stay Active
One of the major benefits for seniors when it comes to dog walking is how much it promotes a healthy and active lifestyle. It’s common for seniors to fall into a lax lifestyle that doesn’t involve them getting up and moving much. This unfortunate lifestyle can cause health issues down the road such as obesity and joint/bone issues. A simple way for a senior to combat this life of laziness is to make it a point to take his or her dog on daily walks.
Daily walks can be as long as or as short as one wants and will promote a life of health and wellness for seniors. Daily walks will keep seniors up and moving, keeping their heart pumping and their bodies moving in order to fight any preventable ailments. Walking his or her dog is also a great way for seniors to get out of the house, get fresh air, and even mingle with friends and neighbors.
Seniors can take their dog on as many walks as they are capable of going on, and as many as the dog will willingly go on. Daily dog walks will promote an active lifestyle and an active lifestyle will prolong one’s life.
Hire a Dog Walker if You are Unable to Walk Your Dog
Before adopting a dog, it’s important that one makes sure that they are able to care for it. If a senior can not walk and play with a dog to the degree that the dog needs, he or she should consider getting a different kind of pet. However, this is not always the case as to why a senior is unable to walk his or her dog. Sometimes dogs will age better than their owner has or the senior may have gotten hurt or had recent surgery. Whatever the case may be, if a senior can not walk his or her dog safely, it’s recommended to hire a professional dog walker.
Their title alone explains their job; dog walkers are skilled at walking dogs and are a great solution for people that are unable to take their dog on the kind of walk that it needs. Dog walkers will walk your pet no matter the weather and their service is affordable. Dog walkers are also skilled at answering any questions you may have about their service.
Dog walkers may be worth your while if an elderly person is also afraid of getting hurt while walking his or her dog. For example, if it’s wet out and an elderly person is not good on their feet, a dog walker may be a good solution. Or, if a dog has gotten too strong for the owner, a dog walker may be able to better handle walking him or her. Dog walkers will eliminate risks to not only you but also your pet. If you fall and get hurt while on a walk, your dog could run away or his or her life may be permanently changed if you are unable to take care of him or her after a fall.
Hire a Professional to Train Your Dog to Walk on a Leash
Dogs often have a hard time learning how to walk on a leash, this is common and can be challenging to correct, especially for seniors that may not know how or have the ability to train their dog right. An answer to this problem could be to hire a professional to train your dog on how to walk on a leash. Whether that professional is a professional dog trainer or a professional dog walker, he or she will be able to assist an elderly person in order to allow him or her to walk their dog on a leash down the road.
Often, dogs either pull or are distracted while on their daily walks; both present major issues for seniors. If a dog pulls too much, it can hurt a senior’s shoulder or arm as it is weaker than it was in his or her younger years. Or, if a dog pulls it can cause a senior to lose balance and fall hard onto the ground, breaking various bones that can have an impact on the rest of his or her life. Likewise, if a dog gets distracted, it can end up hurting the senior or the senior will not be able to control it. Hiring a professional will be able to rid most dogs of these tendencies.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Dog Walking for Seniors
If you are a dog-owning senior, or you have a senior in your life that owns a dog, it’s important to keep tips such as these in mind when it comes to dog walking. Dog walking can have a plethora of benefits for seniors if done right; and on the other hand, it can have just as many risks if done wrong. Make sure you know what you need to when it comes to walking your dog as a senior.
About the Author
Kelsey Simpson enjoys writing about things that can help others. She lives in South Jersey and is the proud companion to two German Shepherds and spends her free time volunteering in dog shelters.