Limiting Your Dog To The Yard Is Like Only Being Able To Visit One Site on the Internet
When I was out walking my dogs this morning, I noticed lots of dogs were outside in their yards while only a few were accompanying their owners for healthy walks around the neighborhood. I’ve heard many people say, “I don’t need to walk Fluffy. She’s got the whole big yard she can play in.” As I watched my terriers carefully sniffing blades of grass, stop sign posts, and rocks along the way, I got to thinking about the amazing discoveries they make on their walks.
As a doctor, I love dog walking, because it’s the best exercise patients can start that you know they’ll likely stick with. It’s easy to miss days of swimming or biking because of cold and rain, and treadmills easily turn into laundry racks. But few people can resist the pleading eyes of their canine walking buddy. For dogs, walks are a way to explore their world.
As humans, we love exploring the world — although many people spend more time with virtual explorations than physically exploring outdoors. To help motivate you to start that healthy dog walking program, think of it like this. You tell your dog he can exercise all he wants — just in the backyard. The next time you turn on your computer, tell yourself you can go online, but you can only visit one site. And every time you want to go online, it’s that same one site, over and over and over. No surfing. No clicking on a link to get to another site. After all, you’re on the Internet, what more do you want?
Then when you take your dog for a walk and see the joy in his eyes, you’ll think of it like he’s exploring the web. Stopping at a post for marking — that’s a Tweet. Sniffing the fire hydrant — that’s a Facebook visit. Jumping back when a cricket hops onto the walk — a visit to Wikipedia searching insects. See — your dog enjoys the same kind of connections and discoveries that you enjoy online. You wouldn’t be happy being restricted to just one site for exploration. So open your dog’s world up with daily exploration, too. Whistle for Fido and take a walk!