How frequently should a dog be walked?
We recommend walking your dog three to four times each day for around 15 minutes each time. However, frequency is also dependent on the dogs:
- Eating habits
- Size, age, and medical conditions
Large, high-energy dog breeds may require more daily walks than smaller, lower-energy breeds. We have you covered if your dog falls into any of these categories or if you enjoy outdoor activities with your dog but are unsure how much exercise your companion requires.
Physical exercise is Beneficial to Your Dog's Health.
Dog walks are beneficial to your dog’s health, but they are also beneficial to your own. Therefore, regular walks are important and can support the dog’s health in various ways.
- Improves joint health — Prolonged periods of inactivity can be detrimental to your dog’s joints. Walking keeps the animal’s joints mobile and maintains its physical fitness.
- When dogs wander around the neighborhood, they stretch, urinate, and defecate, which is healthy for their digestive health. The canines’ digestive and urinary systems remain healthy due to this improvement in bodily function.
- Walking is an excellent method for reducing caloric intake. Regular walks reduce excess calories, allowing your dog to maintain a healthy weight.
Dog Breeds with More Energy vs. Dog Breeds with Less Energy
Young, high-energy dogs benefit significantly from frequent walks, whereas older dogs with mobility issues may require fewer walks. Young dogs, regardless of breed, require more physical activity than older ones. A dog that is ill or injured may have decreased walking capacity. Consult your veterinarian to devise a suitable fitness regimen for your dog.
Examples of high-energy breeds include:
- Golden retrievers
- Aussie shepherds
- Labrador and Border collies
Alternatively, low-energy dogs include:
- Large Danes
Factors That determine How Frequently to Walk a Dog
You should expect younger dogs to have more energy and require more exercise than their middle-aged and senior peers. Additionally, they spend more time exercising than older canines. In addition, middle-aged dogs (5 to 8 years) and senior dogs (9 years and older) may be susceptible to atrophy, arthritis, and other health conditions, such as diabetes and hypothyroidism, reducing their stamina. Even though older dogs may be eager to exercise, they may lack the physical strength to keep up.
The quantity of exercise your dog needs also depends on the dog’s breed. Working and sports breeds like Shepherds, Pointers, and Collies typically require more exercise than lapdogs like Papillons and Yorkshire. While certain dog breeds are naturally energetic and sporty, others live relatively less active lives. This could be the result of a dog’s breed or personal taste.
The number of walks your dog needs depends on your living situation. For instance, if you live in a cramped apartment with limited space for your pet to run and explore, you may need to take your dog on more frequent walks throughout the day. They can spend meaningful time away from their typical living space, enjoy playing outside, and discover new places by walking. In contrast, if you live in a home with a large backyard, your dog will require fewer walks, especially if the yard provides ample room for playing, eliminating, and running. However, this does not mean that you should replace in-home play with walks.
A dog in good physical condition can enjoy a daily walk of 15 to 30 minutes. The majority of breeds may require multiple walks per day. In addition, healthy dogs can enjoy long walks of up to two hours or longer. Some may even hike for several hours with their owners. However, dogs with health conditions such as diabetes and obesity may have difficulty walking for extended periods without occasional rest stops.
Start with short walks (ideally 15 minutes) and progress gradually to longer walks if your dog is out of shape. Consult your veterinarian to determine the best approach to walking your dog. Regardless of age or breed, every dog requires physical activity to maintain physical and mental fitness. However, the frequency and quantity are variable. Consider that dogs’ energy levels vary based on their age, health, and size. Monitor your dog or visit a veterinarian to determine the appropriate number of daily walks for your dog.
What Are Times of Day Best for Dog Walks?
Dog walkers should consider the time of day when it is warmest and safest to take their furry friends for a stroll. Mornings are usually colder than the afternoon, but afternoons can be very hot. Especially for long-haired dogs or breeds susceptible to heat stroke, afternoon walks can be risky. If you plan to take your pooch for a walk during the day, make sure to wear booties to protect your paws from hot surfaces. Alternatively, evening walks are good for social woofers who enjoy watching people and observing the world.
The warmest time of the day is between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. While dogs may not realize it, humans are aware of the hot temperature and should avoid walking their dogs. If you’re able to leave early, it might be best to walk your dog later in the day. A shorter walk will be more comfortable for both you and your dog. If you leave early, you can also take your dog for a walk in the evening.
It might be the best time to take your dog for a walk if you’ve got the time. Morning walks are best because the dogs have more energy in the morning, while evening walks are cooler. If you’re a busy person, morning or evening walks may not be ideal for your schedule. If you’re a working person, you can also try walking your dog in the afternoon or early evenings.
When can I start walking, puppy?
The first walk can be frightening for your puppy. Allow him to make his own decisions. He may want to stay in one place or run ahead. If you’re nervous, you can follow him if he’s not in danger. In addition, a harness can help you walk him safely. A harness will help prevent your puppy from lunging and causing you to lose control. You can introduce a lead in the same way as the harness.
Begin by taking your puppy for very short walks and gradually increasing each walk’s length. Pay close attention to the puppy’s needs as a cue to go longer or shorter. A good cue to follow is if your puppy lays down while on a walk. Could you pick it up and allow it to rest? Continue this routine every day for the first week. Your puppy will love these walks. But don’t push it too fast.
If your puppy is still a little clingy or afraid of the leash, try to avoid yelling at it. Puppies are natural runts. Instead of yelling or chasing them, you should stand perfectly still and let them get back on track. Then, reward them for returning to you when you return to them. After the first walk, reward them with a food treat or praise. Then, take them out again.
Things to consider when walking your dog
When walking your dog, there are many things to consider, but following the laws can keep everyone safe, including your dog. In addition to keeping your dog safe, leash laws help protect other dogs on the street. Leaving your dog unsupervised in an area where dogs are not permitted can lead to your dog running into other reactive or fearful dogs, which can be dangerous. When exploring a new place, it’s important to know the rules. Check for steep dropoffs and sidewalks. Look for other dogs on the route.
Make sure to ask permission to walk your dog. While you’re on a walk, it’s important to be aware of traffic patterns. If you see a dog ignoring your commands, give it a stern command such as “stay” to stop. Also, be aware of rough terrain, as some dogs have sensitive joints and may feel threatened by new faces. You can try command training to teach your dog not to approach unfamiliar dogs.
Taking your dog for walks is an opportunity for you to socialize with him. Socialization is an important part of dog training, and walking helps develop doggy confidence. A well-socialized dog still enjoys rough-and-tumble play but will also know when to stop. Having your dog walk around other dogs can also help prevent a dog from becoming anxious or afraid of new people. But make sure to pick up after your dog at every stop to make sure everyone is safe and that it is not a danger.
In conclusion, while there is no specific answer to how often you should walk your dog, you must do so frequently to ensure your dog’s health and well-being. Walks are a great opportunity for your canine to get some exercise, explore their surroundings, and socialize with other dogs. So be sure to take your dog for a walk every day or a few times a week.