Dogs require physical and mental activity to keep fit. Your dog, whether big or small, puppy or senior, requires daily physical activity.
However, the number of times you should walk your dog each day is determined by their specific demands.
“How often do you walk your Dog?” 30 minutes, 60 minutes? Is it enough, or is it more than a dog should be walking?
We’ve got you covered with this comprehensive guide if you’ve ever wondered, “How often should I walk my dog?
Why Should I Walk My Dog?
Dogs should be walked for a variety of reasons, and walkies allow them to do so:
- Use the bathroom
- Get some exercise
- Have a good sniff around
- Socialize with other dogs
Walking is beneficial to your dog’s health (and yours, too)
Importance of Walking
Let’s start with why walks are important in the first place. Sure, your dog needs to urinate and poop outside. However, walks are much more than just bathroom breaks!
Walking your dog benefits them in a number of ways:
- Weight management.
Regular exercise aids in the burning of extra calories and the maintenance of a healthy weight for your dog.
- The condition of your joints.
Have you ever felt stiff legs after sitting for an extended period of time? The joints in your dog’s body are similar; keeping them moving helps them stay in good shape.
- Urinary/digestive health
When dogs go for walks, we all know what happens: they poop! They maintain their regularity by going for walks on a regular basis.
- Stimulation of the mind.
To keep intellectually awake, your dog needs new experiences, and walking to new areas and seeing new things might help.
- Learning His or Her Place in the Pack.
Your dog relies on a social framework to help him figure out where he belongs in the world. It’s your obligation to show your dog that you’re the pack leader in a way that makes sense to him. The way you hold the leash and where you allow your pet to walk in relation to you might assist you to demonstrate your dominance when walking.
Observing other people and dogs, as well as learning how to respond appropriately in a variety of settings, can help your dog grow into a great family member and doggy citizen.
Going on walks with your dog can provide your dog with a number of learning opportunities as well as assist him or her feel more at ease in a variety of situations.
Potty Breaks vs. Dog Walks
You might be thinking if your dog requires more than one daily walk or if a quick pee frolic around the yard will suffice. Of course, it is dependent on the breed of your dog. Longer walks, on the other hand, are preferred by dogs since they allow them to explore the world.
Longer walks are also good for your dog’s emotional health. Some dogs grow agitated or destructive if they don’t get enough exercise to keep their minds stimulated. The one-on-one time spent on walks, according to VCA Animal Hospitals, can help avoid attention-seeking behaviors like whining or barking.
It’s also a wonderful way to bond with your pet. Remember that walking your dog should be enjoyable! It’s an important part of dog companionship and one of the most effective ways to keep their emotional, mental, and physical health in check.
How Often Should I Take My Dog for a Walk?
The majority of canines benefit from 30 minutes to two hours of daily physical activity. This equates to 3.5 to 14 hours of walking each week on average. Many people divide the time into two or three daily walks.
However, the number and duration of walks vary from dog to dog and day to day. Aside from basic toilet requirements, there is no exact formula for determining how often to walk your dog. Begin with a 30-minute easy walk.
That’s a wonderful place to start for both dogs and humans, especially if you’ve been sitting for a long time. From there, steadily increase the length of your walks or add a second one during the day.
You can revitalize up your stroll with other energy-burning activities on days when time is particularly limited or your dog’s energy exceeds your own. Add a game of fetch, playtime with other dogs, or brisk exercise to your routine.
Read Also: Best Outdoor Dog Beds
How Breed and Age of the Dog Influence Walk Time?
Dogs bred to be lapdogs, such as Yorkshire Terriers and Papillons, may require more exercise than dogs meant to be sporting or working breeds, such as Pointers, Collies, and Shepherds.
Some dogs are natural athletes, while others prefer to stay on the couch. Of course, this could be attributable to a dog’s breed, or it could simply be the dog’s personal taste.
More regular walks may benefit these high-energy dog breeds:
- Terriers, Border Collies, and other herding breeds
- Labrador and golden retrievers
- Australian shepherds
These less active dog breeds, on the other hand, maybe OK with just one or two shorter walks each day:
- Great Danes (dogs)
Younger dogs have more energy and, as a result, will require more exercise than dogs in their middle years (5-8 years) or seniors (9 years of age and over). Canines who are younger spend more time playing than dogs who are older.
But, as always, there are exceptions to the rule. Keep in mind that middle-aged and older dogs may suffer from arthritis, muscle atrophy, or other disorders that reduce their stamina, such as hypothyroidism or diabetes. They may be eager to go mentally, but they may not be able to keep up physically.
Different Dogs Require Different Amounts of Walking.
The frequency with which you should walk your dog is determined by various factors, including your dog’s energy level, Breed, and Age (as explained above)
Senior dogs with movement limitations, on the other hand, do OK with fewer walks.
Young dogs, regardless of breed, require more activity than elders. Dogs with injuries or illnesses may be unable to walk for long periods of time. Establish a suitable exercise plan for your dog with the help of your veterinarian.
Of course, the amount of time you have to walk your dog is a factor as well. Here’s how each of these things influences how often you should walk your dog.
Exercise Tolerance in Dogs
What kind of exercise does your dog require? If your dog is in good physical shape, you should be able to walk him for 20-30 minutes every day.
Some dogs in good physical condition can stroll for up to two hours or go hiking for many hours. However, it may be difficult for overweight or obese dogs to walk for 10 minutes without stopping frequently or panting severely.
You must exercise caution when applying pressure to avoid injuring her back or abdomen.
We lead busy lives and have lengthy workdays sometimes, so walking our dogs on a daily basis may not be possible. Those who can afford to hire dog walkers can easily meet their dog’s exercise requirements.
If you can’t afford to hire a dog walker, aim for a daily walk of 10-15 minutes, or at least 2-3 times per week.
If you have a yard, you may also supplement exercise for your dog by playing in it.
Ensure that your dog has at least 10-15 minutes of uninterrupted activity in your home.
Other Elements that Influence Your Dogs’ Walking Requirements
- Dogs who are suffering from diarrhea.
To avoid popping in the house, extra walks will be required.
- Dogs who are sick.
Veterinarians have urged certain people to stay inside till further notice.
- The dog’s food.
If you feed your dog low-residue food, elimination may only occur once every two days, so frequent walks are more for exercise and urinating than for elimination.
Map out a routine for your little furry friend, match “How Often do you walk your Dog” with “How often you should walk your dog” and make the necessary changes for amazing benefits.
If you provide your dog both physical and mental stimulation, she will be a healthier and more mentally balanced dog.
How Often Should a Tiny Dog be Walked?
Chihuahuas, Poodles, and Yorkshire Terriers are little breed dogs that are less active.
Those tiny canines, on the other hand, require daily exercise to stay in good shape. Aggression, anxiety, fear, and hyperactivity may all be reduced by taking regular walks.
Little dogs require around half an hour of daily walking, which can be divided into two 15-minute portions. Small dogs must trot to keep up with the normal human stride, thus fewer and shorter walks are recommended.
Smaller breeds should get enough exercise from daily walks around the neighborhood. Remember to consider your pet’s age, health, and physical characteristics when deciding how long or how far to walk.
Bulldogs, Pugs, and other short-nosed breeds, for example, are prone to a variety of respiratory issues. If they are overworked, they can easily overheat, thus walks should be limited to 20 to 30 minutes.
How Often Should a Medium Dog be Walked?
Depending on the breed, medium-sized dogs can range from low-energy to athletic. Boxers, Chinooks, Whippets, and Cocker Spaniels are just a few of the breeds. Medium-sized dogs, on average, require 40 to 80 minutes of daily walking.
Medium-sized dogs, unlike smaller breeds, should be able to walk alongside you at a reasonable pace.
How Often Should a Large Dog be Walked?
The majority of large breeds are active and agile, however, some are more laid-back. Hunting, sporting, and working dogs are naturally quite active, and they will require more time and more severe exercise.
Furthermore, because these dogs are meant to cover a lot of ground, they may prefer a long walk over a few short walks around the neighborhood. As a result, larger dogs can walk for up to 10 kilometers.
As a general rule, most healthy large-breed dogs require at least 30 minutes to two hours of daily walking. However, if your dog has a lot of energy, it may take more than two hours.
Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, Dalmatians, Labrador Retrievers, Irish Setters, and Rhodesian Ridge backs are some large, active breeds. Dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes should be walked on a regular basis.
If you’re still unsure, talk to your veterinarian for personalized advice on your dog’s walking regimen.
When Should You Begin Walking Your Puppy?
When determining when it is safe to take a puppy outside, there are two primary considerations to consider. One element is your puppy’s exact exercise requirements, which will vary according to his age, breed, and other factors.
Your puppy’s immune system and immunization schedule are equally important. If you’re wondering when you can take your puppy outside, the prevailing consensus is that puppies should wait at least two weeks following their final puppy immunization before venturing out into the real world.
Your veterinarian will be able to provide you with a specific vaccination schedule for your puppy so that you can schedule puppy preschool or play dates with other dog owners, but in general, the answer to the question “When can puppies go outside?” is two weeks after their puppy vaccination schedule is completed.
If your puppy is otherwise healthy and fit, and your veterinarian is willing to administer immunizations on time, your puppy could be fully vaccinated and ready to go outside by the age of 16 to 18 weeks.
Of course, just because your puppy is fully vaccinated and protected against diseases like parvovirus doesn’t imply they’re fit for day treks. When your puppy is young, “walks” will mostly consist of a quick trip outside to go potty, with indoor play taking precedence over extensive exercise sessions.
How to Determine Walk time for Dog based on Present Health?
Take her for a walk and keep an eye on her energy level.
Invest in a decent dog harness and a sturdy dog leash if your dog sets off at a fast pace.
She may be fatigued if she starts to slow down about 25-30 minutes into the walk. Instead of marching forward with zeal, she may begin to pant and become more interested in her surroundings, such as staring and sniffing more.
Start walking back home and keep an eye on her pace.
Is she slowing down more, or is she able to keep up with it?
If she slows down even further, it’s because she’s gone too far. You must account for the time it takes to walk back home, your next walk must be shorter.
Not only should you keep track of how long it takes your dog to calm down, but also keep an eye on her after you’ve returned home. Your dog may have over-exerted herself if she sips water, collapses on her dog beds and does not stir for hours.
If your dog begins to limp during a stroll or after resting from a long walk, she has received too much activity. You should go for a shorter stroll or hike next time.
As long as your dog is healthy, you can enhance their tolerance for activity. You wouldn’t sign up for a marathon if you hadn’t run in years, so don’t expect your dog to walk, run, or trek for hours if she’s been inactive for months.
Take it easy on your dog and gradually increase the quantity of exercise he receives week by week. You may avoid injury and pain by gradually increasing your dog’s stamina and properly conditioning her body.
How can you tell If Your Dog is Bored and Needs to be Exercised?
We may find it difficult to determine whether our dogs are receiving enough time outside to walk, socialize, and do their business. If you’re having trouble deciding on a time frame that’s good for your dog, and you’re concerned that they’re getting bored, simply ask them the proper question!
It may appear absurd, because talks cannot converse in words, but they can converse by movements!
Yes, your furry companion won’t tell you in words that he’s bored and wants to go outside more, but he’ll tell you by his actions.
If your dog exhibits any of the following behaviors, look for symptoms and review them:
- Chewing, digging, or scratching in a destructive manner?
- Getting into things he shouldn’t, like as the garbage, on a regular basis?
- Excited a lot of the time, especially when you’re trying to unwind at night?
- Frequently jumping on you for no apparent reason?
- When playing with people or other dogs, are they too rough?
- Trying to grab your attention by barking and moaning a lot?
- If any of the above describe your dog, it’s likely that he’s bored and needs more activity.
When is the Best Time to Take Your Dog for a Walk?
Is it advisable to take your dog for a stroll first thing in the morning? What’s the last thing you should do before going to bed? Before or after meals?
And, of course, there’s the age-old topic of how soon after he eats should I walk my dog for the best poop opportunities?
The answer is: it depends! The most important thing is to stick to a routine with your dog. Routine is really important to dogs.
A good canine walking routine, according to various veterinarians:
- A brief morning stroll before breakfast
- Another short walk or potty break noon
- A longer walk or run before dinner
- Another walk or toilet break immediately before bed
This program is generally suitable for healthy dogs’ food, activity, and elimination needs. However, not every family can adhere to this strict routine! For many dogs, though, one lengthy stroll and a couple short walks or bathroom breaks is plenty.
So, what is the official answer to the question, “How often should I walk my dog?” Not including restroom breaks, at least once a day, but preferably twice.
If you want your dog to remain emotionally stable, you should take him for daily walks to help him release mental and physical energy.
The right method to walk a dog is for it to walk alongside or behind you, never in front of you. This may seem insignificant to a person, but it means a lot to a dog. When a human permits a dog to walk ahead of them, they are signaling to the dog that he is in charge.
A dog’s instinct tells him that the leader should go first. A lack of exercise allows mental energy to build up that would otherwise be released during a proper walk, and allowing a dog to be the pack leader can lead to a variety of behavioral issues in a dog, including hyperactivity, neurotic, and/or obsessive-compulsive behaviors, all of which are signs of a mentally unstable dog.