Taking your dog out for regular dog walks is perhaps one of the most important things you can do for them. Walks are not only beneficial for your dog’s physical and mental health but also have a great impact on the relationship you share with your pet.
Dog walks are great for your pet’s mental health. Daily walks help your pet experience nature, mingle with other animals (especially other dogs), and keep them happy and refreshed.
Also, these walks have a positive impact on their physical growth and also strengthens their bones. In fact, dogs that are deprived of walks tend to become gloomy and depressed, this then affects their overall growth and development.
How long should I walk my Dog?
There are some general guidelines for how long you should walk your dog. This applies to almost all dog breeds. These include an average walk time of 30 minutes to 1.5 hours.
You can also play a variety of games with your little friend at this time. These include the classic game of fetch, swimming, or just going on a run with you.
If you’re wondering how long should I walk my dog each day? Then you must know that the length of your dog walk varies according to several factors such as the dog’s:
- energy level,
- weight, and
- body fat.
Firstly, there are many different kinds of dog breeds in the world. Each breed has different physical abilities and requirements which is why each of them requires walks of different lengths.
Some breeds have high energy levels and without adequate exercise, they would become depressed and aggressive. However, other breeds are comparatively lazy and enjoy lounging around and resting.
According to vets, different breeds require walks of different lengths. If you have a Golden Retriever or a Dalmatian, your average walk should last for around two hours.
However, if you have a Chihuahua or a Miniature Dachshund, your average dog walk should last around 30 minutes.
Small Breeds Get Away With Less Walk
Breeds that are smaller in size do not need as much exercise as herding dogs or sporting dogs such as the German Shepherd or Border Collie. They can fulfill their exercise requirements inside the house as well.
Other breeds include Terriers, which are relatively smaller dogs that require to be taken on walks of about 1 hour each day. Terriers, because of their smaller size, can fulfill their exercise requirements by running around in your backyard or garden as well.
Larger dogs such as Hounds only require a 30-minute walk each day.
Can my older dog endure long walks?
However, your dog’s size is not the only thing that determines the length of your dog’s walks. There are other factors that have an impact on the required length of your walks. These include the age and overall health of your little friend.
Puppies have extremely different exercise requirements compared to older, more senior dogs. This is because they are younger and much more energetic.
Older dogs do not need long dog walks. This is because older dogs become physically weaker over time and long walks could easily exhaust them. Arthritis can be extremely painful and a long walk would only exacerbate the pain (see our MSM and Glucosamine articles).
In addition to this, older dogs are more susceptible to various diseases and health problems like arthritis or even diabetes. Taking them on long walks could lead to over-exertion and tiredness on their part. And would make the walk a potential health risk for your pet.
This does not mean that older dogs do not require any form of exercise at all. However, it would be better to get an exercise plan from a vet or a trainer that is specifically tailored for your dog.
This plan would be considerate of the specific health problems your dog faces, and following it would have an overall positive impact on your dog’s health. Generally, such plans can be boiled down to feeding less, doing as much activity every day by doing more of shorter sessions.
How often should I walk my Dog?
One walk a day is the minimum required for your dog to stay relatively healthy and happy. This walk could last from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on your dog’s and your own stamina.
However, other factors affect how often you walk your dog. These include your dog’s energy level, the overall weather, conditions in the area where you take your dog out for walks, and even your health.
Since you are going to be the person that will take your dog out for a walk, it is important to consider your stamina and personal health. If you have health issues such as heart problems, you will not be able to walk as much or keep up with your little furry friend. Perhaps it’s time to find a dog walker so your dog doesn’t fall victim of your own issues.
You also need to take into account your schedule before determining the frequency of the dog walks. If you are a busy person and you have a hectic work schedule then you probably will not be able to take your dog out for longer walks.
Another factor you need to keep in mind is your surroundings. Dog walks are a great way to bond with your dog, and also to have your dog bond with other dogs. If you have nice dog parks close to your home, you can always take your dog there.
However, if your surroundings aren’t ideal for dog walks then you can always have your dog exercise in your yard or your garden. You can easily play games of fetch or run around in the yard with your little friend.
The weather is another factor that you need to keep in mind before you schedule a dog walk. If the weather is unsuitable for you to walk your dog (i.e. if the roads are packed with snow or if it is extremely hot and your dog can get injured because of the hot pavements) you should limit your walk to your back yard.
This is because your dog’s physical wellbeing is more important than anything else. And you don’t want your little friend getting injured for the sake of a walk. You can resume walks to the park or the street after the extreme weather subsides.
Your dog's willingness
In addition to this, there is another factor that you need to keep in mind. This is the personal health and overall stamina of your dog. This is perhaps the most important factor.
If your dog is old or has health issues like diabetes, this will affect their overall stamina, making them slower. They will also not be able to walk for longer periods.
Additionally, your dog’s stamina also matters. Like humans, dogs also can build their stamina over time. So there is a good chance your dog will gradually increase the amount of time it spends walking and exercising.
Finally, the breed of your dog also affects how often you should take it out for dog walks. Sporting dogs and herding dogs require more exercise and therefore need to be taken out more often than hounds or terriers.
Where should I walk my Dog?
There are a variety of things to consider before choosing a place to take your dog for a walk. As a concerned pet owner, you are probably skeptical when it comes to selecting places for dog walks, however, you have a variety of options at your disposal.
You can walk your dog in numerous places, this includes your backyard. If your dog is generally not as energetic or is sick, you can have them play in your yard. This will be the safest place for them and you will also be able to easily monitor them.
While you wouldn’t really walk your dog in your own backyard or garden, you could build a DIY agility course for example. You could train your dog for sprinting or pulling, or even simply obedience training.
In addition to this, the most popular place for dog walks in the dog park. There are many dog parks in the United States. Some of the very best ones include the James Island County Park in Charleston, Tanner Park in Salt Lake City, and Stodder’s Neck in Weymouth, etc.
Most regular parks are generally designed for and mainly frequented by humans (you know, people). Not all of them will enjoy the presence of dogs, and therefore you may have to keep your dog on a lead. If your dog is not perfect on the recall, don’t even think of going off-leash in such parks.
There are also variations amongst the parks and some parks are known as off-leash dog parks. As the name suggests, your dog is allowed to roam about freely without any leash in these parks. This means your little friend will enjoy themselves to the fullest.
In addition to this, dog walks in dog parks also let your pet mingle with other dogs around them. Being around other dogs is great for their physical and mental health. Dogs, like us, need friends to have fun with. And dog parks present the perfect opportunity for that!
Furthermore, your dog will not be bothered by any strangers and will be able to play and run around with their friends freely in these parks, which also makes them such ideal spots for dog walks.
Another important thing to note is that dogs often relieve themselves during dog walks. This means that these walks present the perfect opportunity to potty train your dog.
If you have a puppy that you need to potty train, then taking them out on walks will help you with that. Most dogs take two or more than two walks per day to eliminate. These walks generally last around 15 minutes.
Finding the right place for your dog to walk has multiple benefits since it has profound effects on your dog’s physical and mental health. They will make new friends, relieve themselves without any hassle, and overall just have a wonderful time!
Dogs are the best pets ever! They are playful, loving, and cute. However, as pet owners, it is your responsibility to take care of them and give them all the love in the world.
Having a pet is fun but it is also a lot of work. You must make sure that your dog gets enough mental and physical stimulation and for that, it is important to take them out on regular walks.
The length of these walks can vary according to the breed, age, and overall health of your dog.
It is also important to note that when your dogs go out and make a mess, you must clean it so that the community around you does not get disturbed by the mess your dog made. Responsible owners have happy and healthy pets.