Do you ever wonder how far you should walk your dog? Or what the best route is for both of you to get some exercise?
A lot of new dog owners aren't aware that not only is it bad to not walk your dog at all, but it's also bad to walk them too far. Walking them too far can be detrimental to their health and overall well-being. Over-exercising can lead to exhaustion, which places stress on their muscles and joints.
Not to mention, depending on the breed you have, you might be way off in your walking.
To help dog owners understand the write answer to 'how far should you walk your dog,' here are three things to keep in mind when planning your next dog walk.
How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need Based on Breed, Age, and Weight
Every dog needs exercise, but the amount and type of it actually vary quite a bit depending on your pup’s breed, age, and weight. Smaller breeds tend to have more active metabolisms and might require more daily exercise than a larger dog. Older dogs can usually handle a shorter walk since their joints may be somewhat compromised.
When it comes to how far you walk your pup, if you own an adult active breed like Labradors or German Shepherds, it’s generally recommended that you take them for at least 30-60 minutes (or up to two miles) of moderate activity each day.
If the dog is younger or still growing, then ideally those daily walks should be a bit longer - how long depends entirely on how much energy they have!
In general, dogs can typically handle about 5 miles per day but how long that takes depends on their pace; some may jog part of the way while others might wander around and smell everything as they go.
Whatever you do though make sure to consult with your vet first before exposing any pup to rigorous activity so they can get the best health advice tailored specifically for them!
How Far Should You Walk Your Dog
Your dog's health and happiness depend, in part, on how far you walk them. It’s important to ensure they get exercise throughout the week which can help prevent behaviors like barking and chewing due to boredom or pent up energy.
For how long should you walk your dog? This depends on the breed, age, weight and overall level of fitness.
Toy breeds or senior dogs may need less exertion than a large breed pup who is bursting with energy. Generally speaking, experts recommend you give your dog at least 30 minutes of walking per day. Depending on their level of fitness and age, that should be broken down into 1-2 walks for young pups and seniors and up to 4-5 longer walks for more active breeds.
While young puppies need shorter but more regular walks, adult dogs will do best with two longer walks per day.
For more information on how frequently your walks should be, check out our post: How Often Should I Walk My Dog?
Why Walking a Dog Too Far is Bad
Walking your pup is a great way to bond with them and give them some exercise, however it’s important to be aware how far you take your walk together. Over-exerting a dog can cause health problems such as long-term joint issues, overheating, exhaustion and dehydration.
If walking too far too fast with an untrained pup they can end up with strained muscles or worse if they are pulled along. Walking longer distances will be ok for more experienced dogs but make sure to stop periodically for water breaks and take note of how tired the pup seems.
To avoid over-exertion go slow, keep the route interesting and watch the signs that your canine companion shows that could indicate problems.
How to Tell if Your Dog is Tired on a Walk
Everyone loves taking their pup on a walk, but how do you know when it's time to turn back? You can usually tell how far you can walk your dog by how they are acting.
Learn more information on when to stop walking your dog here.
If your pup starts to lag behind or slow down, looking like they don't want to keep going, it's likely a sign that they are tiring out and it's time to head home. Other signs of fatigue include droopy ears and hanging tongue, hesitance or refusal to continue, yawning frequently, increased panting or wheezing and reduced enthusiasm for smells.
If any of these signs appear during a walk, be sure to take the time to check in with your furry friend and readjust how far you're walking them.
Closing Thoughts: How Far Should You Walk Your Dog?
Just like humans, every dog is different and will have unique exercise needs. The best way to know how much or how far your dog needs to walk is by paying attention to their energy levels and overall health. If you find that you're walking your dog too far, don't worry - there are ways to help them build up their endurance slowly and safely.
And of course, if you ever have any questions or concerns about your dog's exercise routine, be sure to consult with a professional.
For more information on everything dog walking related, check out our ultimate guide on walking your dog.
And, if you're looking for the best dog leash to walk your dog with, we've written a comprehensive report here: Best Leash for Dog Walking
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