How Often Should You Walk Your Dog?
September 27, 2022
Walks, runs, and agility courses are all great ways to give your pup the exercise they need. Your dog isn’t much different from you. We all need exercise to live a healthy, happy life, but how often should you walk your dog? Well, the answer depends on a few things, so let’s jump in.
Benefits of Walks
Walks are a great form of exercise for humans and dogs. Many of the benefits your dog will reap as a result of routine walking will also help you. To ensure that your dog lives a long, healthy life, you should consider the upsides of going on a walk every day.
Many dogs spend most of their time indoors lying around, waiting for their owners to finish work and take them on a walk. If you find yourself in that kind of situation, think about the benefits a walk would have for your dog. All of this sedentary activity allows your dog to gain weight that they otherwise wouldn’t. The combination of a proper diet and exercise will keep your dog at a healthy, manageable weight.
Maintaining a healthy weight is key to good health overall. An overweight dog can experience negative impacts such as joint problems, liver conditions, and even heart complications.
For those high-energy breeds, like border collies, Australian shepherds, blue heelers, or huskies, a walk can make a huge difference in behavior and happiness. This goes for both the owner and the dog. If your high-energy dog is pent up all day, they are more likely to misbehave and fall into bad habits such as chewing, jumping, sprinting indoors (what we often call zoomies), and more. Regular walks will decrease these behaviors and help gain some sanity for both parties!
We all know it—we’re not getting any younger and neither is your dog. When you take your dog on routine walks, you are improving their mobility and overall physical function. This falls in line with that old saying that definitely seems to be true, use it or lose it. The older your pup gets, the more difficult basic tasks, like walking, will become. Keep them on the move and their joints will thank you.
How Often Should I Walk My Dog?
The answer to how often you should take your dog on a walk isn’t as straightforward as why you should take them on a walk. When it comes to frequency you need to consider several factors.
What breed is your dog? Working dog breeds, like shepherds, will need more exercise than a lab, for example. While some dogs are more athletic than others, it can also come down to a combination of personal preference and breed. There could be a Boston terrier that is always sleeping but doesn’t enjoy long walks, but then there’s one that loves going on runs.
So, if you have a high-energy pup, you may consider taking them on several 15-minute walks throughout the day or at least one long walk. But, if you have a low-energy breed, like a mastiff or great dane, one walk every day, or even every other day, should be plenty.
Another big factor when it comes to how often to walk a dog is age. You wouldn’t walk a 16-year-old dog as much as a two year-old one because of mobility and stamina issues. That’s not to say that an older dog shouldn’t go on walks much. Certainly, it is important to keep an older dog as mobile and active as possible but it is important to pay attention to their behavior and gauge how much is too much.
Much like the other two factors, the health of the dog is important to consider. Some dogs are prone to things like arthritis and muscular atrophy which would prevent them from walking much. As long as a dog is in good health, there is no reason why they wouldn’t be able to go on routine walks.
Talk to Your Veterinarian
The best thing to do when it comes to deciding how often you should walk your dog is to talk to your veterinarian. Every dog is different, and your veterinarian will know what’s best for your best friend and guide you in the right direction.Back to Blog