13 Benefits of Going Out with your Dog

Translated by Nick R

By taking your pet for a walk, you are not only benefiting its physical and emotional health but yours as well.

I’ll explain below the benefits of going for a walk with your dog.

1. Socializing 

When going out for a walk with your dog, it’ll meet other dogs and people with whom it can interact. Dogs are very social animals and need to learn from an early age to socialize properly in order to be accepted.

Your dog needs to understand how to play with other dogs without hurting them, understand social norms and behave appropriately in different spaces and situations. For example, daily walks will help your dog gain self-confidence.

Likewise, you’ll meet new people you can become friends with while your dogs play. At the end of the day, you will both share something in common, the love for your furry ones.

You can read this article that talks about dogs as facilitators for interaction between strangers.

2. Physical exercise 

Clearly, daily walks will help you both (both you and your furry friend) to have good physical health, expend energy and keep fit.

If you’re an active person, you’ll surely love to incorporate a good walk with your furry friend into your day.

And if you are sedentary, what better than getting a little more exercise to start improving your physical condition, which will bring many benefits to your health.

Besides, your pet needs to go out to spend the accumulated energy, avoid stress and possible diseases, and help its blood circulation. Your dog will absolutely love to get out of the house.

3.  Avoid overweight 

One common health problem that can occur in sedentary people and pets is overweight. Then, a daily walk with your pet can help you maintain an adequate weight or even lose some pounds.

You may know that it’s very important to avoid overweight and to treat it properly if it’s already a problem. It can cause joint problems, breathing difficulties, diabetes, and hypertension, all of which affect their quality of life and life expectancy.

4. Psychological exercise   

Your dog needs not only physical exercise but also mental stimulation. That’s why it is recommended to take a toy with you when going for a walk with it, so when you get to a park you can play for a while.

Here comes again the importance of socialization; your dog will be able to play with other dogs, which will entertain it and make it very happy.

For example, I take my puppy out every day and play with her, but she won’t play and have fun in the same way as with another furry. When together, they can chase each other, bite each other (not hard, of course), interact with their own kind and understand in a way that we cannot.

5. Immune system 

Exercising daily will help your dog reduce its stress levels. A very stressed dog has low defenses since stress blocks the immune system’s ability to fight and prevent diseases.

However, this also applies to you so a good walk will help you clear your head, and playing with your furry friend will surely cheer you up.

If you want to know more about this topic you can read Stress and Health, Basic and Applied Research.

In chapter 2 of this book, you can discover how stress and the immune system are related. To do so, they use rats and other animals by creating a stimulus to stress them, such as for example, electric shocks.

It is known that a person who has suffered stressful events is far more susceptible to getting sick. An experiment was carried out on rats to see the relationship between the immune system and stress. These animals were exposed to different stressful stimuli such as electric shocks, cold, surgical injuries, and drug intoxication.

A few hours later, they observed a reduction in the size of the spleen, lymph nodes, liver, and a drop in body temperature.

On the other hand, different stressor stimuli are used for this type of research. In humans, for example, public speaking or mental equations.

6. Avoid anxiety problems 

Several circumstances can lead your dog to suffer from anxiety, for example, a recent routine change, a traumatic experience, an emotional attachment problem or a lack of exercise.

The exercise provided by a good daily walk will allow your dog to have a better relationship with the environment, to feel more confident in new situations, and also to feel calmer when meeting people and other dogs, ending the anxiety that this could cause.

Some symptoms of anxiety your dog may show are:

  • Lack of appetite.
  • Excessive salivation.
  • Incontinence.
  • Attention seeking.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Excessive licking, in extreme cases, wounding.
  • Aggressiveness.
  • Destructive behavior.

If you want to know more about this topic, you may be interested in reading our blog on How to know if my dog suffers from stress or anxiety? + 7 tips to reduce it.

7. Put an end to hyperactivity 

Daily walks can help to put an end to the energy that your dog accumulates at home. This will relax your dog so it will be calmer and will probably have a better sleeping.

Some dogs are more active than others, this will determine how long the walk should last.

For example, small and medium-breed dogs will need half an hour to an hour of exercise, while large or giant breed dogs will need more than an hour. However, this is a general rule that may have its exceptions.

Know your dog well; if it is small and you see it’s still very active and eager to keep playing after you gave it a one-hour walk, you should increase the walking time.

8. Stronger bond between owner and dog. 

Walks and playtime also help improve the bond between the two of you. Dedicating that time to your pet will make your dog happier and you’ll spend more time together to enjoy the pet-owner relationship more.

9. Development of their senses 

Walking will make your pet use its senses to recognize different smells and sounds. These senses are what help your dog to adapt and get used to different environments.

Their sense of smell is very important for dogs, you may have noticed that your dog likes to stop and smell everything it comes across when going out. So let it do so, they feel curiosity and are discovering new things.

The dog’s sense of smell is much more sensitive than ours, it is estimated to be 10,000 times better. That’s how they are able to detect drugs, explosives, help search and rescue forces and even detect diseases. Thus, exposing it to different environments will help it to enhance these abilities.

We can realize how amazing their sense of smell is by recalling all the human tasks in which canines are involved thanks to this special sense. Since the domestication of the dog, mankind has had a great friend that has helped in hunting, tracking, finding explosives in war zones, detecting drugs, search and rescue, psychological therapies, and even detecting diseases.

If you want to know the history and everything dogs can help us with, read  <<Un olfato para todo. Los perros, los amigos más útiles del hombre>> (A nose for everything. Man’s most useful friends). In this book, you’ll learn about every activity that dogs have done and do.

You can also read A Complete Guide to Working and Assistance Dogs.

10. Prevent your dog from destroying your home 

Boredom, stress, and anxiety of being locked up for too long lead your friend to look for ways to de-stress. So, if you don’t take it out daily to exercise, don’t be surprised to find your whole house turned upside down when you come back home.

Your furry one will chew on furniture and different objects to try to calm down. Take your dog out for a walk to use up all that energy so that it stays asleep when you leave it alone at home, or at least doesn’t make a mess.

If this is your case, you can also read 13 tips for your dog not to bite and damage everything at home.

11. Put an end to aggression 

Aggressiveness can be a manifestation of stress and, as I explained before, it can be caused by a lack of physical exercise. Daily walks are important so your pet will eliminate the accumulated stress and energy that can lead it to behave aggressively.

Also, here comes again the importance of socialization, being exposed to other dogs and people will avoid the fear or stress that can lead the canine to bite or attack.

If your dog is very aggressive, you must also take precautions to avoid accidents, always keep it on a leash and muzzle. In addition, it’s advisable to contact a trainer or veterinarian specializing in animal behavior to solve the problem, since this can be dangerous for your dog, for you, and for the animals or people that come in contact with him.

12. No more fear 

Walking your dog will expose it to different visual and sound stimuli, helping it to get used to and stop being afraid of new situations.

A dog that has been outdoors from a young age and is used to a lot of noises, for example, is less likely to be afraid of fireworks or other loud noises that could cause serious problems.

This fear will probably provoke anxiety which could make them run away. And they could get lost if they are in the street trying to get away from the noise.

On the other hand, in extreme cases, they might suffer a heart attack because of the fright, this kind of case is seen, for example, during fireworks. This is the reason why many pet owners are against this activity.

Some dogs are also afraid of people or other dogs due to traumatic experiences. Going out with them so that they can interact better will help a lot to have a healthier and happier dog.

13. Ideal time for training 

When taking your dog to a park, you can bring treats or snacks to train it, this will also stimulate its mind and create a much more disciplined and well-behaved dog.

On the other hand, you can train it after it has spent enough energy, so it will have a better concentration and will pay more attention to your indications.

If you haven’t started with the training, you can read this article with the basic commands to start training your dog: 15 easy tricks to train your dog at home.

How often should I walk my dog? 

dog walking

This will depend on its age and breed, for example, by taking it out on a daily basis you can get your dog to do its business outside and not at home.

Maybe you cannot take it out every day, but it doesn’t mean that your dog will suffer any health problems immediately; however, it’s advisable to create a daily routine for your dog, so it will be much calmer.

If you only take it out once in a while, your dog might start to suffer from anxiety and stress for not knowing when it will go out. Also, remember that we can enjoy different activities at home, such as watching TV, cooking, working, studying, or cleaning the house, but the dog won’t have many activities to distract and get rid of stress.

For all of the above, if you don’t have much time, try to take it out for a shorter period of time, or several short walks throughout the day.

If your pet is still a puppy you should take it out 4 or 5 times a day (only after it has had all its vaccinations), but an adult dog will need to be taken out 2 or 3 times a day.

  • Small breed: Normally half an hour would be fine.
  • Medium breed: half an hour to an hour. Some dogs are much more active than others, so guide by this.
  • Large and giant breeds: One and a half to two hours.

Remember that every dog is different. These recommendations are general, but you should adapt them to the individual needs of your dog.


Create a routine for your dog, and don’t take it out at different times every day. It’s advisable to have a schedule established, so your dog will know when it will go out and avoid getting anxious all day waiting for its walk.

Now, walking your pet has multiple benefits for its physical and mental health as well as for yours. The time you spend outdoors with your furry friend could determine the quality of life and life expectancy you’ll enjoy together.