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It’s no secret that dogs need a lot of exercise.
Exercise helps with both their emotional and physical health and making sure they get enough exercise simply makes them happier animals.
As most people are aware, walking is the most common way to exercise a dog, but you might be wondering just how long you should be walking your dog every day?
We have written this article to tell you a little bit more about walking times for your dog and how walking can bring a whole range of health benefits for both you and your dog. Let’s jump right in!
How Long Should I Walk My Dog?
Simply put, you can walk your dog for however long you want! However, if you want a more specific answer, you should walk your dog from anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours per day.
Not all of this time needs to be just walking, just so long as they are getting this much physical activity. A lot of people prefer to break their walks up into two or three walks a day, but there is no formula to work out how much walking time your pet needs.
A good starting point would be to start your morning with a gentle easy 30-minute walk when you wake up and then maybe another after work and before dinner time.
There is also no limit to how far you can walk with your dog! As long as they seem to enjoy it and are comfortable, go as far as you want.
This can be 2, 5, or 10 miles, just remember to build up distance slowly, so your dog can build up stamina over time.
You could even try a beautiful hike with your dog after they feel comfortable enough to go long distances.
Just ensure you do your research and make sure you are prepared!
A busy schedule might make it hard to walk your dog as much.
If this is the case, you can always try a dog-walking company or ask a friend or neighbor to help out.
You’ll often find someone who is more than happy to spend an hour with your furry friend and get some fresh air at the same time, so never be afraid to ask!
How Does Walking Benefit Your Dog?
First of all, walking is not only a great way to include a potty break, we all know dogs need to go outside to use the bathroom, but it’s a great way to improve your dog’s overall health.
Walking your dog can help with maintaining your puppy’s healthy weight and control their weight as they grow, it can help with joint health, keeping aging joints as loose and limber as possible, and it can help with the dog’s digestive and urinary health.
Walking your dog regularly helps to keep dogs regular too. Peeing all around the neighborhood is not only good for their health but also how they communicate.
Walking your dog is also beneficial to your health!
Think of how many extra steps you’ll be getting in each day whilst walking your dog a couple of times a day. It will help keep your heart healthy and shed any few extra pounds you might want to lose.
It’s also a great way to de-stress and spend some quality time with your pup in nature.
Will A Potty Break Do If I’m Busy?
If you’re wondering whether a quick roam around the yard, instead of a long walk every day will cut it, in general, no it won’t.
Though some yards are relatively big and you might have a smaller dog, walking your dog is not just about going to the bathroom in the yard, but it’s about seeing the world and helping with their mental health.
Exercising your dog helps to stimulate your dog’s mind. Some dogs become anxious or destructive over time, especially without walking.
The time dogs spend with their owner and with nature on their walks can help with this and prevent any attention-seeking behaviors such as excessive barking or whining.
Walking your dog is therefore a perfect opportunity to bond with your pet for an hour, whilst also fulfilling their needs.
What Happens If I Don’t Take My Dog On A Walk?
Just like humans, if your dog doesn’t get enough exercise, dogs can become unhealthy and overweight. However, this is not the only problem.
Your dog can also develop destructive behaviors such as chewing on furniture or your favorite pair of shoes. They might start to try and get into the trash and destroy household items.
They might also have increased aggression towards people or other pets and this is usually caused by a lack of exercise. If these behaviors develop but you are still walking your dog, consult a specialist.
Some dogs might feel withdrawn as they are not getting enough physical stimulation.
If your dog was social, and usually ran to the door when they thought it was walking time but they have stopped this and have become disinterested when you come in the house, this could be a sign of depression.
Regular exercise can help with this, but again, consult a specialist if it continues.
By not walking your dog enough, you might find they become hyperactive.
If your dog becomes too excited when you take them off of the leash or as soon as you tell them it’s time for a walk, this could be a sign they are not getting enough physical activity and they have become restless.
You might also find they are pulling on the leash excessively and this means they need to burn more energy.
How Far Should I Walk My Dog?
As we mentioned earlier in the article, there is not any limit on this, as long as your dog is comfortable.
But it also depends on the size of your dog. For example, a mile for a long-legged big labrador would be a lot easier for a tiny little chihuahua or pug puppy.
Instead of thinking of the distance of your walk on its own, instead, put yourself in your dog’s paws. Consider how old they are, how much activity they have had previously, their health, and their breed.
You should consider their age, as more energetic dogs can usually walk a lot longer or they can split their activity into much more intense bursts. This can also be fun if you’re an enthusiastic jogger!
However, senior dogs might prefer a twenty-minute walk at a much more leisurely pace.
Remember, like babies, puppies need playtime. If they can’t manage big long walks, you could choose the option to simply split their walking time into lots of little short walks per day.
Some dog breeds also need much shorter walks than others. A brachycephalic breed such as a bulldog, or a pug, can sometimes experience breathing difficulties. In this case, you should walk no longer than 20 or 30 minutes a day.
On the other hand, a much more active breed such as a border collie or a pit bull might prefer a much longer walk.
We hope by reading this article you have learned a little more about how long you should be walking your dog. It will depend on several factors and therefore there is no set number.
Get to know your dog and understand with the distance and time they feel comfortable with, and always remember to put yourself in your pup’s shoes. Now, grab your walking boots, grab your leash, and head out the door for a walk in the park with your furry friend.