It may seem like walking your dog once a day is enough, but how can you be sure? It’s important to determine how often you should walk your dog by considering a few factors. A dog’s age, breed, and energy level may require frequent walks during the day while other dogs may only need a daily walk. Above all else, it depends on how much time you have to walk your dog and what the weather conditions are outside.
How Often Should You Walk Your Dog?
So, how often should you walk your dog? The following factors will help you determine your pet’s dog walking needs:
The first consideration is what breed of dog you own. Working or sporting breeds like shepherds, pointers, and collies have a high exercise requirement in comparison to a lapdog like a papillon, or terrier. There are breeds that naturally athletic and others that prefer the couch. While much of this can be due to their breed, but it could also just be the dog’s personality or preference.
A young dog will obviously have a lot more energy than a senior dog who is over nine years old. Even middle-aged dogs between five and eight years old may not have as much energy as a young dog that will spend a lot more time playing and require a lot more of your attention.
However, there can be exceptions to this theory on age depending on your dog. But many dogs that are middle-aged or older can have muscle atrophy, arthritis, or other diseases like diabetes or hypothyroidism that will lower a dog’s stamina. While they may be mentally eager for a walk, physically they just aren’t able to keep up with you.
Walking Your Dog and Exercise Tolerance
Your dog’s exercise tolerance is also an important consideration. Typically, a dog can tolerate between a 20- and 30-minute walk every day if they are in pretty good shape. If a dog is in great health, he can tolerate a walk that lasts up to two hours or hike for several hours at a time. However, if he is obese or overweight, a 10-minute walk is probably enough and won’t cause him to pant heavily or require multiple breaks due to exertion.
If you want to figure out the right amount of time for a walk as it relates to your dog’s current state of healthy, just put a dog harness on your pet and take him for a walk and monitor his level of energy. If he starts off energetic but starts to slow down 25 to 30 minutes into the walk, he’s probably getting tired. You can usually tell he’s getting tired when he starts to pant more and takes more interest in sniffing and looking around than in walking.
At this point, you will want to head home, but as you do, monitor his pace and see if he is slowing down even more. The next time you go for a walk, make it shorter since you need to include the amount of time it will take to go back home. Also, watch his behavior when you’re back home. If he drinks a lot of water and crashes in his dog bed for hours, he may have overexerted himself. Also, if he starts to limp during the walk, then he has exercised too much, and you will need to go on a shorter walk the next time.
You may increase your dog’s tolerance for a walk as long as he is healthy. Just remember to take it easy and increase his exercise gradually week by week. When you slowly build up his stamina, you will condition his body appropriately and avoid pain and injury.
Your Dog Walking Schedule
After you determine how long your dog can go for a walk, you need to figure out how often you should take him on a walk. It’s recommended that people exercise a minimum of 150 minutes each week, and if you can exercise your dog as much each week, that would be ideal. However, most people are busy and work a lot, so unless you can afford a dog walker, try and take your pet for a walk once a day that lasts between 10 and 15 minutes. If that’s not possible, try to get in a walk for your dog two to three times a week. You can also consider supplemental exercise for your pet by playing with him in the yard or letting him run around within the boundaries of an invisible dog fence.
If you can’t get your dog out for a good walk and you don’t have a yard, you may want to consider low-impact activities with dog chew toys, which is especially helpful for a dog that is in bad physical condition. When you can, try to get your dog to engage in a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes of continual activity around the house with the best dog toy for his breed and age. It’s important to give your dog a mental and physical outlet, which will allow him to be both a healthier as well as mentally balanced dog.
How many walks a day do dogs need?
Typically, you want to follow the rule of thumb of walking your dog three to four times a day for a minimum of 15 minutes. However, this will often vary depending on your dog’s age, breed, and physical limitations.
Do I need to walk my dog every day?
If you want your dog to stay active and fit, it’s important to walk your dog each day. A daily walk will allow your dog to maintain his healthy weight while reducing any health-related conditions he may have like diabetes, hypertension, and liver disease. Daily walks are the easiest way to keep your dog healthy and fit.
How often should you take your dog out to pee?
Typically, a dog will need to go out to pee between three and five times each day. Vets suggest that an adult dog not go more than a six to eight-hour period between their trips outside. Remember that every dog is different and can go for longer periods of time without peeing than other dogs.
You need to consider a few factors to determine the correct amount of time in between potty breaks for your pup. These factors include diet, age, size, and breed as well as how much your dog drinks water. If your dog is noticeably uncomfortable after just six hours in their dog crate or has accidents during that period of time, then you should let your dog out more frequently.
If you know that your dog is able to make it 10 to 12 hours without having to go out or having an accident, then you can feel comfortable stretching it out a little longer. Just remember that making your dog hold it for too long or frequently can cause a urinary, bladder, or kidney infection.
Can you walk your dog too much?
The quick answer is yes, you can walk your dog too often, especially if it’s a hot summer day. Make sure that you take your dog for a walk during the cooler parts of the day in the summertime like after the sun goes down or early in the morning. When your pup needs a mid-day bathroom break, cut down the walk to a shorter ten-minute walk to protect your dog from heat stroke.
When it’s hot out, it’s important to make sure your dog can sustain his walk. If it looks like he can’t handle or tolerate it, becomes lethargic, or slows down a lot, then you may want to shorten the walk more or wait until it gets cooler. Walking a dog too long on the hot cement causes them to get tired quickly as well as make their pads blister, which can be very painful.