When you take your dog out for a walk, do you let her stop and sniff around? If not, you might want to reconsider. Though it may seem like she’s just being lazy and trying to waste time, stopping to smell the roses (or, in this case, the fire hydrant) is really important for your pup.
The Mental Stimulation of Sniffing
Dogs have an amazing sense of smell. It’s been estimated that their sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times more acute than ours. When your dog stops to sniff around on her walk, she’s taking in a lot more information than we are. Your dog can identify other dogs who have been in the area, get a read on their mood, and even figure out what they ate for breakfast. For dogs, sniffing is a form of mental stimulation that helps them make sense of their surroundings. Surprisingly, the mental stimulation of sniffing helps your pup burn just as many calories as a well-paced walk.
The Many Health Benefits of Walking
In addition to being mentally stimulating, walking is all-around great exercise for dogs. It helps them stay fit and healthy, both physically and mentally. Walking gives them the chance to explore their environment and burn off excess energy. It strengthens their muscles and joints and can help prevent obesity. Since obesity can lead to all sorts of health problems—including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and high blood pressure—keeping your dog at a healthy weight is crucial.
Our dog walkers at Prancing Poodle always let our canine clients enjoy the “sniff buffet” along their walks. We know that it is a healthy way for them to spend their time with us. So, the next time you’re out for a walk with your furry friend, don’t be too quick to move on when she stops to sniff around. Remember that the walk is your gift to your best friend. Letting her take the time to explore her surroundings is important for her mental stimulation and overall health. Happy sniffing!