If COVID-19 and self-distancing have led you to lose your dog-walking mojo, keep on reading for ways to find the motivation you need to get out and about again.
While a dog might be the perfect motivation to get active, the impact of COVID-19 (not to mention the cooler, wetter weather) may have dampened your enthusiasm to go for a daily dog walk.
That’s okay. There are plenty of great ways to spur yourself on to take the dog for a walk.
7 ways to motivate yourself to go for a dog walk
Yes, dog walking can become tedious at times. Who wants to walk the dog when they’re feeling under the weather? Who wants to walk the dog when it’s cold and raining?
Nonetheless, a dog walk is great for Fido, but it’s also beneficial for you too. A walk at the beach or your local dog park is a ‘pawsome’ way to boost endorphins and clear your mind. It’s also a fantastic way to bond with your fur baby and show them just how much you love them.
So what are you waiting for? If you’ve lost your dog walking mojo it’s time to take action. Here are a few ways to boost your enthusiasm to go on that long overdue dog walk.
1. Think about your dog’s health
An active dog is a healthy dog. Certainly, dogs need to be walked regularly for exercise and to maintain their mental health.
Plus, given that dogs live a fairly simple life, getting outdoors to sniff, socialise and be active is an essential part of their day. Walking your dog daily can keep them active and engaged, rather than lethargic and uninterested.
2. You don’t want to deal with destructive doggie behaviour
Going for a dog walk provides your fur pal with mental stimulation and essential exercise. Without these things a dog can go stir crazy and become incredibly bored.
Bored dogs can become destructive. It’s their way of telling you they’re missing much-needed stimulation.
A bored dog is likely to chew furniture, tear things up, and find unsuitable ways to keep themselves amused. Taking your dog for a daily walk is a simple way to help ward off destructive behaviour.
3. Get a dog-walking buddy
There’s no easier way to inspire yourself to walk the dog than to turn it into a chinwag with a buddy. Invite a friend, with or without a dog, to join you on your dog walk.
It’s surprising how much further you can walk when you’re passing the time by chatting. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to discuss any problems you’re having and generally put the world to right!
4. Turn your walk into an exploration
Sure, doing the same walk day in day out can become boring — but dog walking needn’t be dreary. It’s easy to mix it up by taking a different route, exploring a different suburb or visiting a new beach.
Start making a list of new maps and places you can walk your dog. Make a point of exploring somewhere new every week. Soon you’ll start looking forward to walking your dog. After all, they say a change is as good as a holiday!
What’s more, just check out the excitement on your fur pal’s face. Imagine all the new sights and sounds he’ll get to enjoy.
5. Challenge yourself
Motivate yourself to walk the dog by setting long and short-term challenges. You might start off by challenging yourself to walk Fido every day – come hail or shine.
Next, you might increase the frequency or time spent walking. If you’re keen to boost your own fitness, you might start to build up to a run a few times a week.
The challenges can be as easy or difficult as you like, as long as they keep your interest.
6. Remember dog walking is great for your fitness too
Taking the dog for a walk is a perfect way to turn a daily task into a fitness activity. Depending on your health and level of fitness you can mix things up by upping the pace, running, adding in stairs or even walking on soft sand.
Indeed, the key to regular exercise is finding something you enjoy doing. This way you won’t end up spending hours of brain power trying to work out how you can avoid it!
Walking is easy, but it’s also beneficial for your health. It’s low impact and helps keep the muscles and joints mobile. It’s win-win for you and your four-legged friend.
7. Enjoy your downtime
It’s important to relax, but have you ever found yourself feeling guilty for lazing on the sofa when there are chores to be done? (Read: dogs to be walked.) Well, what if you viewed relaxing as a reward for walking the dog?
By scheduling in a daily dog walk (make sure it’s at a time you’re most likely to stick to) you can relax knowing you’ve accomplished what you wanted.
Walking the dog daily (and sticking to it) is really all about a positive mindset. After all, even the busiest of people should be able to fit in a 20-30 minute dog walk once or twice a day. It’s an achievable task, so long as we don’t listen too hard to that little voice in our head that tries to discourage us by muttering, ‘it’s raining’, ‘it’s cold’ or ‘it’s getting dark’!
Dog walking tips
Okay, so you’re ready to get out and walk the dog. Here are five little tips to help keep your and your fur pal healthy while walking.
- Make sure you know how much exercise your dog needs. Most dogs need approximately 30 minutes exercise a day, so aim to do this regularly
- Be mindful of social distancing rules
- When it’s extra cold or hot, it’s okay to shorten the length of your walks – and if it’s too hot, you’re better off making the walk early in the morning or in the evening to avoid the heat
- Bring water with you (particularly as public water fountains are currently shut off due to COVID-19)
- Don’t forget poop bags
How do you motivate yourself to take your dog for a daily walk?
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