Social Benefits of Summer Dog Walks
Walking your dog at the beach this summer provides multiple psychosocial benefits for their development, regardless of your dog’s age.The beach is a popular place to walk your fuzzy buddy when the weather is nice. Often populated with many sights, sounds, and smells your dog gets to experience a new, ever-changing environment. Busy, active social environments varies routine predictability, and makes their life exciting! Sand and water exploration provides so much neuron development (brain cells). The exploration provides your canine with the ability to experience different textures and sensations, stimulating neurons they may not excite on a daily basis. Dogs love learning about their environment! Exploring new environments together is exciting for your dog and also prevents territorial aggression that can form with strict routines.
Walking your fuzzy buddy at the park provides more sights, sounds and smells than at any other time, when the weather is nice. Objects, such as park benches, can be used for casual agility play, exciting your dog’s natural interest to “work”, and impresses you. Socialization in active environments enhances your canine’s social development, allowing them to cope better with fast-paced, constantly changing surroundings.
Taking your fuzzy buddy to the dog park provides them with the unique opportunity to explore different types of sounds and smells specific to other animals, excellent for canine to canine socialization. The dog park allows dogs the opportunity to go back to their non-domesticated roots, intermittently, and rejoin the animal hierarchy and animal way of socialization in a true “pack” nature. Although this animal “pack” socialization can be helpful, it can also turn for worse if one dog suddenly becomes too aggressive, usually for reasons humans cannot easily understand on initial observation. However, freedom off leash provides your fuzzy buddy with a different set of social standards than being on leash, so off leash dog play gives canines the chance to be less inhibited with humans and other animals. Having your dog experience a balance between dog to dog socialization and human to dog socialization is an important piece for healthy dog development.
Some people chose to monitor their dog’s fitness with the FitBark, a wearble, discreet device worn on the dog’s collar that constantly monitors your dog’s activity, sleep and nutrition, and is breed specific. The FitBark pairs easily with your Fitbit, Apple Watch, HealthKit or Google Fit device to monitor progress. Researchers and veterinarians have developed a unique algorithm to provide you with real-time, quantitative data on your dog’s health. Great for finding out how your dog really feels and eases communication during veterinarian follow up appointments.
In this article, I discuss three popular summer dog walk areas; the beach, the park and the dog park. Each area provides similar and unique ways that your fuzzy buddy will socialize with you, and other people, as well as other dogs. We recognized that there are basically two types of socialization that is beneficial for your fuzzy buddy, human to human interaction and canine to canine interaction. Canine to canine play lets your dog be less inhibited and reform to the “pack” mentality which is very enjoyable for them. Where ever you walk your fuzzy buddy in summer, take your time and have fun! When you are enjoying yourself – your dog is too. Take time to explore together and make a point to add adventure once in a while. You and your dog have a unique bond.