Assuming you have a healthy dog, there is no definitive answer to how often should you walk your dog. However, most experts recommend walking your dog at least once a day - even if it's just a short walk around the block. Walking is good for your dog's physical and mental health, and can help prevent behavior problems from developing.
But, here's the reality. You're not a professional dog walker. Between juggling school, work, fitness, friends, and family it might seem impossible to dedicate an extra hour per day to your furry friend.
So, what can you do to create the perfect dog walking schedule so you are walking your dog often enough.
In this article:
The Importance of Walking Your Dog Regularly
Walking your dog is of the utmost importance and neglecting to do so can have dire consequences on both their health and behavior. You should aim to walk your pup at least once a day, but twice or even three times on the weekend is best. If you cannot commit to that level for some reason, then at least make sure to take breaks throughout the day for short walks outside.
Not only does walking provide ample exercise and keep your pet healthy by preventing joint problems, it also helps them mentally by simulating their natural environment. Dogs are instinctively curious and love exploring as much as possible and need these bonding experiences with their owner regularly.
Furthermore, regular walks help reduce boredom-related issues like destructive chewing or howling and keeps better habits like potty training in check. With how important walking can be for how often you walk your dog, it should never fall off of anyone’s priority list who has made themselves responsible for one of our four-legged friends!
How Often You Should Walk Your Dog Based on Their Age, Breed, and Size
How often should you walk your dog? That answer is largely dependent on their age, breed and size. Generally, puppies under six months will need multiple walks a day while an adult dog may only need one or two.
Small breeds may need more frequent walks than larger breeds since they can tire out quickly. However, as a rule any breed of dog needs between 30 minutes to two hours of exercise each day depending how active they are.
Walking is generally the best way to stick to this routine since it helps to build a bond between pet parents and their pup while also providing necessary physical activity. So, depending on how often your pup needs exercise, be sure to include regular walking in your practice for maximum health benefits!
The Benefits of Walking Your Dog, Including Improved Health and Behavior
Walking your dog has many benefits for both you and your pup. For starters, it's a great way to improve both yours and your pup’s physical health - regular walks have been shown to increase stamina, strengthen muscles and bones, decrease obesity, maintain optimum weight levels and ultimately contribute to better overall health.
Getting out in the fresh air every day is sure to give both of you a sense of happiness and contentment that stays with you for hours after the walk is over. Another key benefit of walking your pup is how it helps regulate their behavior. Walking them helps them use all that excess energy in a healthy way, so instead of bouncing off the walls indoors or engaging in destructive behavior, they are able to tire themselves out in the best possible way. All that exercise gets rid of any naughty habits they may have picked up which causes unfortunate stress on us owners.
Meeting how often you walk your dog is dependent on how active they are naturally as well as how much time you have each day, but regardless always aim for some form of daily activity.
What to Do if You Can't Walk Your Dog as Often as You'd Like
If you're someone who can't seem to find the time or energy to walk your pup as often as you'd like, it's important to create a plan and stay committed. It doesn't have to be an hours-long ordeal either! Even breaking up walks into shorter blocks of 20 minutes can make a big difference for the both of you.
It might also be worth considering hiring a professional dog walker once or twice per week to help pick up the slack. Not only will this save you time, but give your pup much needed attention and exercise for when you can't be there.
Final Thoughts: How Often Should You Walk Your Dog?
Regular walks are a crucial part of dog ownership, and there’s more to it than just getting some exercise. The frequency of your walks depends on several factors like your pup’s age, breed, and size. In addition to the physical benefits, regular walks can also improve your dog’s mental health and behavior. If you find yourself unable to walk your dog as often as they need, consider hiring a professional dog walker or taking them to doggy daycare.
For more tips on walking your dog, check out our ultimate guide on walking your dog.