If you're a dog owner, you know that one of the joys of owning a dog is taking them for walks. Not only do walks provide much-needed exercise for your pup, but they're also a great way for you to bond with your furry friend. However, did you know that there's an even better way to walk your dog that can help them to stay healthy and happy? It's called a "scent walk!"

What is a Scent Walk?

A scent walk is simply a walk where your dog is allowed to stop and sniff as much as they want. Rather than keeping them on a tight leash and walking at a brisk pace, you should allow them to take their time and explore their surroundings. As they sniff around, they'll be taking in all sorts of information about their environment and the other animals that have been there before them.

Of course, you'll still want to keep an eye on them and make sure they're not getting into anything they shouldn't. But other than that, just let them lead the way and sniff to their heart's content.

Why Scent Walks are Important

For dogs, their sense of smell is much more important than our sense of sight. In fact, it's estimated that their sense of smell is up to 100,000 times more powerful than ours and they use approximately 40 times more brain activity to decode what they are smelling. If you think about it, dogs are trained to use their scent abilities to help us humans. They can be trained to sniff out drugs, explosives, illnesses, and locate missing persons, or even find bodies. 

If you've ever noticed your dog getting restless or destructive when left home alone, chances are they're bored out of their mind. Boredom is one of the leading causes of problem behaviors in dogs, such as excessive barking, chewing on furniture or shoes, and digging holes in the backyard. One simple way to combat boredom is to make sure your dog gets enough mental stimulation - and that's where scent walks come in.

So, when you take your dog on a scent walk, you're giving them the opportunity to engage their most important sense and learn about their world in a way that we humans simply can't understand. 

Dogs love to sniff things. It's how they take in the world and learn about their environment. When you go for a walk with your dog, they'll want to stop and sniff everything they can get their nose on - fire hydrants, other dogs' behinds, you name it! This may drive you crazy, but it's actually an important part of your dog's daily routine.

In addition to being mentally stimulating, scent walks are also great for your dog's physical health. Regular scent walks allow your dog to be familiar with the neighborhood and if they ever get lost, they can find their way home. Sniffing around requires them to use muscles in their nose and face that they might not otherwise use, which can help to keep those muscles toned and healthy. Additionally, the act of sniffing can actually help to clear your dog's sinuses and improve their overall respiratory health. 

A healthy diet of Health Extension dog food along with routine scent walks will provide your beloved pooch with a healthy happy lifestyle. 

The next time you head out for a walk with your dog, take some time to let them stop and smell the roses...or the fire hydrant, as the case may be. Your furry friend will thank you for it!

November 22, 2022 — Tamara Slaughter-Cerven