Imagine yourself in a perfect room, designed just for you. Your favorite scented candle burning on a shelf, the perfect chair or sofa, your favorite song playing, your favorite drink on the coffee table next to your favorite snack, everything exactly the way you want it. Sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it?

Now think about how long you would be happy to just be in that room. An hour? A day? A week? How long do you think it would take for you to become horribly bored, despite how lovely the space is?

This is what is happening in the majority of households in America. Families provide their dog with love, affection, food, and water. Our dogs are often the most doted on members of the family, with fluffy beds and plenty of toys to play with. But how much time do these dogs actually spend just being a dog? And are they really happy?

When we keep our dogs in the house almost constantly and don’t provide them with adequate exercise and new experiences, our homes aren’t really homes: they’re prisons. Confined to the same area each and every day would make anyone bored and stir-crazy, no matter how comfortable the space. This goes for yards, too. Releasing your pup into the fenced-in lawn is no different than an inmate having yard time. They are not free to just be dogs, to explore with all their senses, and to simply have experiences out in the world. 

When dogs are confined in the home or in the yard, they are also deprived of the innate desire to work. Walking with a dog is the simplest way to accomplish this. A good walk creates a bond between canine and human. This one activity builds trust, provides great exercise, and gives our dog a sense of productivity. It’s like having a really great day on the job. You feel energized, accomplished, and ready for a good rest at the end of the day. Dogs need that, too!

By treating your home as a true resting place for your furry best friend, you also prevent many common behavior issues. Hyperactivity, excessive barking, and chewing are just a few of the problems a lot of dog owners have that can be solved by simply giving your dog a proper walk and allowing your dog to go places with you. 

So, is your home dog heaven, a place where your dog can rest and relax, or is it a pup prison? Take the time to see the world from your dog’s perspective and let him be a dog.