Whether you’re an experienced dog owner or a new puppy parent, walking your dog is essential to their well-being. But just how often should you walk your dog?
The answer to this question depends on several factors, including your dog’s age, weight, energy level and health. To create a healthy routine, consider these tips.
The age of your dog can have a big impact on how much exercise they need. This is especially true if they are a small or brachycephalic breed, a senior dog, or have medical conditions that prevent them from being able to exert too much physical energy.
For example, brachycephalic dogs struggle to control their temperature when it’s hot outside. They also have soft bones that can break more easily than those of fully grown dogs.
This means that you should be careful not to overdo it when they’re young, as giving them too much exercise at this stage could cause them to suffer joint pain in their later life.
A good rule of thumb is to take your puppy for short, frequent walks three times a day. You can gradually increase the length of these walks over time to avoid exhaustion.
Most dogs need at least one walk a day, but this will vary according to age and breed. If you have a very active dog, he may require more than this.
If your dog is overweight, it’s especially important that you make sure that he gets enough exercise. Weight gain can lead to problems including obesity, arthritis and diabetes.
Fortunately, walking your dog can help keep these issues at bay.
It’s also a great way to bond with your pet, says Carly Loyer, Ph.D., research manager on the ASPCA Behavioral Sciences team.
But beware: Some dogs may find a daily walk too exciting or stressful, she warns.
This is particularly true of dogs that live in an urban environment, where they may feel overwhelmed by new sounds and activities. For these pups, Loyer suggests keeping walks short and adapting them to their comfort level.
If you want to know how many times you should walk your dog per day, you need to take into account the energy level of your four-legged companion. While a low-energy breed might only need a few short walks, a high-energy dog will require more frequent and longer jaunts.
The energy level of a dog can also be gauged by observing their reaction to various activities. Some dogs will get excited about playing with a rope toy or running around the yard, while others might not have the same enthusiasm.
A visit to the dog park or watching a dog play with other canines is a great way to measure a dog’s energy level. However, you will need to do this several times in order to get a full picture of the dog’s true energy level.
Every dog is different and the amount of time you need to walk your dog varies depending on their age, size, and health. Besides being good for their physical health, regular walks also have positive effects on their mental health.
While younger adult dogs with more energy need frequent walks, senior dogs can do with fewer or shorter ones. If your dog has a health condition, like arthritis or diabetes, it may require less exercise, since these conditions can reduce stamina.
If you’re not sure how many times your dog should walk, start with short walks and build up gradually. If your dog is overly tired, stop walking and give it a break for a few minutes before taking them out again.