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Why Walking your Dog Might Be the Best Healthy Dog Treat of All

Written by: Michelle Toma Olson



Time to read 5 min

As a dedicated healthy dog treat company, we at Farm to Pet are all about what’s best for our doggos. That’s why we make the natural, nutritious, high-quality treats that pets deserve. But healthy eating is only part of our fur babies’ overall health and wellness. Just like with humans, nutrition is a critical element of a healthy lifestyle, but exercise is also at the top of the list. If our pups aren’t active, no amount of healthy foods – even our single-ingredient chicken or turkey chips – can make up for it. In fact, simply taking your dog for a walk might just top our list of healthy dog treats! And not only is it good for our pups, it’s also good for us. Here are just a few of the benefits of treating your dog to a walk each day.

Health Benefits of Walking Your Dog

A small dog waiting by the door with a leash in it
Who wouldn't want to take a walk with this pup?

Walking your dog may just be putting one foot – or paw! – in front of the other, but it takes a lot of bodily functions to make that action happen. And each of those functions has health benefits for the walker. For example, weight-bearing exercise like walking is critical to the health of the musculoskeletal system since using muscles improves not only muscle tone but also joint health. According to the experts at VCA Animal Hospital, movement is its own reward, maintaining mobility and strength, reducing stiffness and inflammation, and even helping to keep the pain of arthritis at bay in older dogs.

Working larger muscles like thighs and shoulders also stimulates the cardiovascular system by increasing heart rate and boosting circulation. Again, just like with humans, heart health is essential to longevity. The heart is a muscle, after all, and it needs exercise. Plus, the boost in circulation this creates helps get oxygen and nutrients where they need to be in the body. However, even energetic playing and running around the house or yard just aren’t enough. Daily walks of at least 20 minutes should be the goal. She should keep walking briskly, at least for part of the time, to get puppo’s heart rate slightly elevated so she gets the maximum cardio benefits from each step.

Each step also burns calories. Chances are, even if your doggo isn’t dangerously overweight, his metabolism has slowed since puppyhood, and he’ll need to burn calories to keep his weight in check. In fact, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimated that in 2023, nearly 60% of cats and dogs in the US were overweight or obese. The message is clear since we are in charge of our fur babies’ diet and exercise regimens. Feed them only healthy dog treats and foods, and keep them moving with regular walks to help them maintain a healthy weight.

Behavioral Benefits of Walking Your Dog

Five dogs waiting for their dog walker to start walking again.
Walking can be a group activity.

The rewards of dog walking don’t stop with the physical. A doggo needs stimulation and purpose to live his best life – and to behave like the good boy he is! Studies show that dogs are less likely to misbehave, like chew on furniture or bark for no reason, if they get regular physical activity. Daily walks give a dog something to look forward to, reducing boredom and angst and releasing excess energy. This can be especially true for working breeds that crave a job. Yes, walking the neighborhood or park is a task to your puppo, and it provides a sense of accomplishment when she’s finished so she doesn’t have to look for something to destroy at home instead!

A walk is also an excellent time for training, such as to leash walk, heel, not pull or chase, etc. It’s even a great time to potty train and/or indicate where and when the ideal places and times to “go” are. In fact, many dogs prefer to do their business on a schedule as well as in certain pet- and pawrent-approved spots. Of course, you’ll get the best result from any training efforts with consistency, patience, and by rewarding them with healthy dog treats to reinforce good behaviors. Luckily, our chicken and turkey chips are the yummiest, healthiest treatos around – just ask our top dog treat ambassadors! When you give him Farm to Pet treats as a reward for a good walk, you can feel proud that you’re doing what’s best for your dog inside and out – and so will he! 

Emotional Benefits of Walking Your Dog

Family of three walking a small dog down an outdoor path.
Allow walking to become a bonding time with socialization and communication. 

We are everything to our fur babies, and even though they might drool over a healthy dog treat, they want our time and attention most. With busy lives and juggling responsibilities getting in the way, our pets can sometimes end up last on the priority list. Making a daily walk a priority in our lives will show our pups they are also a priority. Not only is a dog walk invaluable bonding time, but it also deters attention-seeking behaviors they might otherwise resort to, like whining or begging, if they don’t get it in positive ways.

Walking outdoors is also an ideal opportunity for stimulation and socialization. Even if we stick to the same route each day, your dog will find different smells, leaves, bugs, and even weather to spark his attention and get his wheels of comprehension turning. He will also likely spot other dogs and their people, offering a chance to socialize with other dogs and dog lovers alike. Repeating these types of interactions can even help ease aggression and anxiety in a fearful pup by exposing them to new people, places, and pets with the assurance that you’re always there, you stay calm, and the final destination is home sweet home – maybe even with another Farm to Pet healthy pet treat for affirmation! And you’ll see the emotional rewards for both of you when you get there by the look of contentment of your pup’s panting, satisfied, loving face every time.

Dog Walking Saviors for the Time- and Weather-Crunched

Aussie dog biting a Farm to Pet Chicken Chip on a hike with  her owner.
Healthy, protein treats are perfect for walks or hikes.

While we encourage you to do the walking yourself – for your health as well as your doggo's! – we know that sometimes circumstances just don’t cooperate. Luckily, most cities nowadays have a plentiful supply of surrogate dog walkers that will walk our pooches for us. You might even be fortunate enough to have a neighbor, friend or family member who can do it for you! Word of mouth or seeing someone walking a pack while you’re out is a great way to find a walker. You can also check, a resource that provides prescreened candidates by zip code.

Maybe you usually walk your dog yourself but have Zoom calls all day or are laid up with a cold. Perhaps the weather has turned too foreboding for you or even a friend with fur to venture out! While it is definitely a pricier route, a pet treadmill sure can come in handy when you simply can’t get your pup outside for his daily. This ranking from the Good Housekeeping Institute gives their five top pet treadmill recommendations, rated according to size, safety, extra features and portability. Lest we forget, healthy dog treats are a great way to train your pup to use and learn to love a treadmill – although there is no substitute for an outdoor walk with dog mommy or daddy whenever possible! Walk-limiting conditions are also a good time to break out the organic antler dog chews and give your pup another outlet for energy and a solution to boredom.


It’s easy to see why a daily walk with your fur baby gets our vote for healthiest dog treat. Even though we think Farm to Pet’s healthy dog treats are a close second, the health, behavioral, and emotional benefits are too great to overlook. So put those paws to the pavement and rack up the benefits for yourselves!

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