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Walking the Dog Tops a Gym Workout for Healthy Living

by on January 22, 2014 - Leave a Comment

Its official – experts now say that walking the dog is healthier than the gym! Surprised? Don’t be. The benefits of a brisk 30 – 60 minute walk will burn nearly as many calories as an aerobic class. Why? Because dogs need daily walks for potty breaks and exercise, forcing owners to get out and walk regularly. And regular exercise is the key to a healthy lifestyle and cardiovascular fitness. Just make sure to give the same consideration to your pups walking gear as you do to your own.

Now that you know that, its time to gear up for those walks! Your dogs walking gear is as important as a good pair of walking sneakers for you. Your dogs breed characteristics and training needs will dictate the type of collar, leash and/or harness that you need for your daily walking routine. Here’s a few tips for selecting the right walking gear for your dog.

Dog Harness or Dog Collar?

Step-in Harness

Dog sporting an Easy Step-in Harness by the Artful Canine

Most vets will recommend a harness over a collar for small dogs. That’s because small dogs are prone to trachea injuries, and the constant pulling of a dogs neck against a collar only increases the risk of injury. A well made harness will not only minimize injury, many adjust to provide the perfect fit and look great on your dog.

Dog Collars are a better choice for bigger or strong breeds because it makes pulling, something that big dog breeds are naturally inclined to do, a bit more difficult. A dog collar also serves as a good general training tool too, so if you’ve got a dog that has not yet mastered the art of the neighborhood walk, it will aid you in controlling and training your dog.

Dog Leash Options

There are basically two types of dog leashes: the traditional fixed length leash and the retractable leash. Fixed length leashes allow better control of your dog on walks and minimize leash burn (yes, they are notorious for leaving burns on your legs when not locked). Retractable leashes have their place, and are best for the casual, non-structured walk. But if you are constantly stopping to let Fluffy sniff around, you’re not going to burn many calories. Therefore, the fixed length leash is the best way for you and your dog to stay focused on your walk.

Selecting the Right Dog Harness or Dog Collar for Your Walks

There are plenty of harness and collar styles available on the market today. Your selection depends on your personal preference, along with consideration for how well your dog is trained.

If you have a dog that needs a bit more control than a dog collar will give, then a harness is the way to go. Dog harnesses are not only easier on your dogs neck, they are nearly impossible to wriggle out of – something that many escape artists are good at doing in a collar! Rather than a choke collar, which is favored among those with narrow-headed dogs that can easily wriggle out of a dog collar, a dog harness is a much kinder and gentler way of keeping your dog in check.

When shopping for your dogs walking gear, look for products of quality that are backed by the manufacturer, and allow flexibility to adjust for a good fit. After all, a well-fitting collar or leash is just as important as a well-fitting pair of walking sneakers!

Don’t forget to enjoy your walks with your dog. Walking is not only a great way to get fit and stay in shape, it’s a good stress reliever for both you and your best friend.


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