The dog walking industry in the UK has seen rapid growth in recent years. Many people are venturing into this business as a way to make some side income, while others have gone on quit their daytime jobs to pursue dog walking as a full-time career. But why do professionals with a promising future become dog walkers? Well, it’s probably because of the love for dogs, the outdoors, and of course, the opportunity to start a business that you’re passionate about.
For some people, dog walking seems like an easy business to start since there are few legal requirements that one must meet. With just a pet sitting liability insurance, you’re all set to start such a business in the UK. Some people even say that a love for animals is all you need to qualify as a dog walker.
However, apart from wanting to be your own boss, there are many health benefits of being a dog walker and this is perhaps the biggest motivating factor for people who eventually venture into this profession. In the following post, we shall outline how dog walking can benefit your health and help you live a more fulfilling lifestyle.
Dog Walking Physical Benefits
The most obvious health benefit of walking dogs is that it will keep you fit. Most of the time, you’ll be on your feet walking miles upon miles. In a day, a part-time dog walker can walk one or two dogs for 30 minutes per session, while full-time dog walkers can walk 3 to 5 dogs for several sessions. When you repeat this routine daily, the mere act of walking dogs will give the body a thorough workout, enabling you to have a healthy heart and stay in shape.
One of the main physical benefits of dog walking is a comprehensive upper body workout, especially when one is walking a very active dog. During sudden jerks, a dog can pull about 2 to 3 times its body weight. Therefore, walking a dog that keeps pouncing or dashing after anything it finds interesting is sure to give the upper body quite a workout as the walker attempts to hold onto the leash. Aside from that, other physical health benefits to the dog walker include:
- Improved cardiovascular fitness
- Lower blood pressure
- Stronger leg muscles
- Improved bone mass due to regular walks
If you’re trying to lose weight, walking dogs part-time or full-time can help you adapt to a healthier lifestyle.
The Mental Benefits of Dog Walking
While the physical benefits of walking dogs are pretty obvious, there are other less conspicuous mental benefits that dog walkers all over the world enjoy. One such benefit is a significant reduction in stress, and this leads to a positive impact on the health of the walker.
According to research, taking a dog out for walks is a powerful antidote for high stress levels. It can also help lower anxiety in two ways. For starters, the mere act of being around a sociable dog lowers the amount of stress hormones (cortisol) in the body and strengthens the body’s psychological stress responses. Secondly, the intense workout received from dog walking is a great stress eliminator because physical activity is proven to be one of the best ways to de-stress.
Another mental benefit of dog walking is improved brain activity, which comes about when you spend a great deal of time out in the open. Studies show that spending some time outdoors allows one to connect with nature and gives the brain a great workout. Exercising the brain leads to a whole hosts of benefits that include improved concentration, higher cognitive abilities, and quicker reactions.
Dog walking encourages socializing as dog walkers often find themselves engaged in conversation with fellow dog owners and other members of the community. For this reason alone, dog walkers are usually less withdrawn, socially connected, and mentally healthier.
Finally, dog walking is a very rewarding profession because it allows you to be your own boss. What’s more, you’ll have the opportunity to meet many wonderful canine friends while working for different clients. Nothing is as rewarding as arriving leash in hand to take a dog out, and being greeted by the dog happily wagging its tail in anticipation of fun day out it will have with you.