Of course, you know that walking your dog is important, but have you ever wondered how many walks, and how long the walks should last? Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question, because there are many factors involved. In general, though, most breeds will need between 30 minutes to two hours of walking each day. You could space out your dog's walks at short, regular intervals during the day. Or, you could take your canine best friend on one long walking adventure!
Walking your dog has numerous benefits for your dog’s health. Walking is excellent for weight control, helps to improve cardiovascular health, and strengthens your dog’s muscles and joints.
Every dog is different, however. Your dog’s breed, age, and general health will affect the amount of time your dog may need to go on walks, and also the intensity of the walks. Dogs love routine, so it is helpful to choose a schedule and stick to it as much as possible.
In general, smaller breeds like Shih Tzus, Yorkies, or Pugs require much less walking time daily, preferably in short bursts. Larger breeds such as Labradors or German Shepherds are much more active and capable of walking up to 2 hours per day. Of course, there are always the exceptions to the rule, as larger dogs such as Mastiffs or Great Danes do not require much exercise.
Neewa has everything you need so that your dog is comfortable when going for frequent walks. You can purchase a range of dog harnesses and different dog collars to suit your special four-legged friend.
How often do YOU walk your dog? Here, we detail the reasons it is important for you to walk your dog, and when to go for walks.
Why Should You Walk Your Dogs?
There are multiple reasons to make sure your pup gets their exercise. Just like humans, dogs are their happiest, healthiest selves when they are active. Their waistlines get slimmer, their mood improves, their anxiety decreases, and their digestive systems work better. Not to mention their bones and joints stay stronger. If you need a more practical reason, keeping your dog in good shape will decrease your vet bills as well! Owning a dog is a big commitment, and a very large part of that commitment is making sure your four-legged friend gets the proper amount of exercise. Of course, the love and companionship a dog brings to your life is well worth any investment of time that you will give. Here are the benefits of walking your dog:
- Improving your dog’s cardiovascular health.
- Strengthen your dog’s joint health
- Help your dog’s urinary system.
- Strength your dog’s muscles.
- Help your dog’s digestive system.
- Keep your dog fit.
- Maintain a healthy weight for your dog's body.
- Reduce boredom.
- Alleviate anxieties.
- Provide mental stimulation.
Pet owners will also experience benefits from walking their dogs with many of the same positive outcomes.
Dog walkers will improve their own cardiovascular health and keep fit. Your muscles and joints will get stronger and you can achieve a healthy weight.
You and your dog will also bond each and every time that you go for a walk, strengthening your friendship. Your dog will get to meet other dogs and socialize effectively while gaining daily exercise.
Factors That Influence How Often You Should Walk Your Dog
While some dogs may need up to 2 hours of walking per day, this depends entirely on your individual dog.
Various factors dictate exactly how much walking time your dog needs daily, including breed, energy level, size, age, and health. Some dogs may need as little as thirty minutes of walking per day.
The breed of your dog is one of the main factors to consider when thinking about how often you should walk your dog.
Short-nosed breeds, such as Pugs, Bulldogs, and Shih Tzus, tend to need less time walking. Their short snouts impact their breathing and so they may struggle with walking for long periods, especially in hotter climates.
They also tend to have much shorter legs and so may appreciate short walks. Short-nosed breeds may only need 30 minutes of exercise per day, preferably broken into two 15 minutes walks.
Working and Sporting Breeds
Working and sporting breeds, such as Border Collies and Pointers, need a longer span of exercise daily. These breeds tend to be more active and stronger, and are eager to explore the world with you!
Energy Levels of Your Dog
Each breed of dog has common characteristics which can predict the energy level they might have. However, there are always exceptions to these traits. You might have a lazy Labrador or an energetic Pug who is always on the go! Generally, though, the energy levels of most dogs align with their breed. It’s important to gauge your own dog’s energy level and tailor their exercise needs.
Low-Energy Dog Breed
Some breeds, such as Newfoundlands, Mastiffs, Pugs, and Pekinese, are considered to be low-energy dogs. Typically, these dogs need no more than 60 minutes of walking per day and could be divided into two 30 minutes walks.
Walking a low-energy dog for long periods may mean that your dog will refuse to continue, and will resist going on future walks. A long walk for a dog that is physically unable or unwilling may result in injuries or heatstroke. You want your dog to look forward to walking, so try and make it enjoyable!
High-Energy Dog Breed
High-energy dog breeds such as Labrador, Border Collies, and Terriers, need to ensure they release their high-energy levels. Walking between 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours daily is recommended for these breeds. This could consist of multiple short walks, or two long dog walks daily.
If you do not walk a high-energy dog, they may become restless and exhibit negative behaviors in your home such as barking, chewing, licking, or digging It is best to ensure that your dog has the opportunities they need to expend all of their energy on a regular basis.
Size and Age of Your Dog
A smaller dog will have shorter legs and can tire more quickly when walking. Likewise, a larger dog has long legs and more muscles and will take a longer time before they feel exhausted. There are exceptions, as there are some large adult dogs that don’t need much exercise (Great Dane, Mastiff) and small dogs with lots of energy (Jack Russell Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer).
The age of your dog will also determine how often they need to go for walks. Generally, younger dogs have much more energy and older dogs may struggle with stamina.
- Puppies need much shorter walking bursts, as little as ten minutes per walk. Consider the length of a walk to be 1 minute for each week of their life.
- Young dogs between 1 and 4 years old should follow the typical walking needs of their breed.
- Middle-aged dogs from 5 - 8 years old may have some health conditions to consider, limiting walking duration.
- Senior dogs9 years and older may experience chronic health conditions and struggle to keep up on a long walk.
Home Environment and Health Conditions of Your Dog
The health conditions of your dog will determine how much exercise your dog needs. If your dog has diabetes or arthritis, for example, you should keep walks short in distance. Walking your dog is still important for dogs with health conditions, however, but be mindful to adjust their dog exercise regimen accordingly.
Another factor to consider is your home environment. Living in an apartment with no outside space for your dog to roam free will mean frequent walks are needed. If you work long hours away from home, there are many options for dog walkers or doggie daycare that can help satisfy your dog’s exercise and socialization needs.
However, if you do have a garden, let your dog explore independently and run around! Fewer walks may then be necessary. Many dogs will love to sunbathe on the lawn, although they will still want regular walks. Remember that walking your dog on a leash is great for both their physical and mental health.
Your Own Schedule
Your own daily schedule and routine may determine how often you can walk your dog.
If you work during the daytime, walks can happen both before and after work. Again, it may be best for the health of your four-legged friend that you hire a dog-sitter or enroll them in doggie daycare to fill the gaps during your workday. If you are at home during the day, you have the flexibility to walk at different times of the day.
What Is the Best Time to Walk Your Dog?
The best time to walk your dog depends on your dog’s preferences, and your daily schedule. Fitting dog-walking into your working day is something you must consider before owning a dog.
Generally, many dog owners walk their dog once after breakfast and then once in the evening after dinner.
However, some dogs may like to go for a walk after lunch so they can spend the afternoon asleep! Going for a walk after lunch will deplete your dog’s energy levels, allowing them to relax afterward with a long dog nap.
So, how often should a dog owner walk their dog? You must decide what suits your dog best, tailoring their walking needs with your schedule. You can find the best advice for you and your dog on our Neewa blog page.
Find the best dog-walking and other sports gear at Neewa. Remember that our passion is designing high-quality gear so that you and your special four-legged furry friend can safely enjoy all activities - while strengthening the bond between you.