The Pawsitive Effects of Going Phone-Free During Dog Walks

The Pawsitive Effects of Going Phone-Free During Dog Walks

 

In a post on instagram and facebook a couple of weeks ago I shared that when I walk with Bella I am not on my phone.  Many people were surprised by that and said they would love to be on their phones less. I love walking her and seeing our neighborhood critters, stopping to smell the flowers and check in with our neighbors. Today it seems like our smartphones are always within arm's reach, ready to provide us with endless entertainment and information. While technology has undoubtedly made our lives more convenient, it's important to take a step back and consider the moments when disconnecting can bring us immense benefits. One such moment is when you're out walking your pup. 

I found the cartoon below on facebook recently and I think it explains this idea perfectly. (if anyone knows who to credit for it please let me know I would be thrilled to share, I wasn't able to find the original artist) Dogs are such great examples of in the moment living.  My mind is filled to the brim with all kind of thoughts and I can tell you not all of them are serving me. And yes sometimes I have a lot of things I am working on and need my phone to do it but certainly not all the time.  Bella is now 15.5 and I want to enjoy my time with her even more.  


Let's explore the many advantages of leaving your phone behind during dog walks and how this simple act can enhance both your and your dog's well-being.


1. Quality Bonding Time

One of the most significant benefits of ditching your phone during dog walks is the opportunity for quality bonding time with your canine companion. Walking is not just a form of exercise; it's a chance for you and your dog to connect on a deeper level. Without the distraction of notifications and social media, you can focus on your dog's needs, emotions, and behavior, strengthening the unique bond you share.  Walks are also a great time to work on training exercises as long as the area you are walking in is safe to do so. 

2. Mental and Emotional Relaxation

Walking your dog without your phone can serve as a mini mental vacation. It allows you to disconnect from the digital world, reduce stress, and clear your mind. The simple act of being present in the moment and appreciating the sights, sounds, and smells of nature can do wonders for your mental and emotional well-being. Dogs are experts at living in the present, and being in their company can help you do the same.

3. Enhanced Safety

Staying attentive to your surroundings while walking your dog is crucial for both your safety and your pet's safety. A phone-free walk ensures that you are fully aware of your surroundings, potential hazards, and any other animals or people you may encounter. This awareness can help prevent accidents and ensure a safe and enjoyable walk for both you and your dog.

4. Physical Health Benefits

Walking your dog is an excellent form of exercise for both you and your furry friend. When you leave your phone behind, you're more likely to maintain a brisk pace and engage in more active play with your dog. This increased physical activity can lead to improved cardiovascular health, increased stamina, and a boost in your overall fitness level.

5. Reduced Stress and Anxiety

Constant connectivity to our phones can contribute to stress and anxiety. The pressure of responding to messages and emails can be overwhelming, and the constant barrage of information can lead to information overload. Taking a break from your phone during dog walks can provide a much-needed respite, allowing you to recharge and reduce stress levels.

6. Greater Appreciation of Nature

When you're not glued to your phone screen, you can fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the natural world around you. Whether you're strolling through a park, hiking in the woods, or simply walking through your neighborhood, being present and observant during your dog walks can help you appreciate the wonders of nature in a way that a screen simply can't replicate.

So, the next time you take your furry friend for a walk, consider leaving your phone in your pocket or fanny pack and revel in the joy of being fully present in the moment. Your dog will thank you, and you'll discover a newfound appreciation for the world around you.

 

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