Walking your dog is good for their physical health, is mentally stimulating, and is a great bonding activity for you and your pooch. Still, not every owner knows if they’re taking their dog out enough. How often do dogs need to be walked? The answer can vary depending on the breed, and ranges between 30 minutes and 2 hours a day. Find out more about how often to walk your dog with Rescue Vets!
How Often Do Dogs Need to Be Walked?
Daily walks offer more benefits than just giving your dogs a chance to do their business. They’re also good for their health (and yours!) Walking your dog can benefit them by:
- Controlling Weight: Dogs are prone to weight gain if they don’t get enough exercise. Just like with humans, extra weight can lead to problems with joints, diabetes, and more down the line.
- Joint Mobility: Regular motion helps keep joints healthy and prevents them from getting stiff.
- Mental Stimulation: During walks, dogs are exposed to new sites and smells, which help break up their day and provide them with stimulation.
- Bonding Time: Walks are a way for you dog to bond and spend time doing something you both enjoy.
- Digestive Health: Regular walks help keep your dog regular!
How Often to Walk Dogs of Different Breeds
Different dog breeds have different levels of energy they need to work out. Working breeds and high-energy dogs like Australian shepherds and terriers will appreciate longer walks. Meanwhile, breeds like Great Danes and bulldogs, which tend to be less active, may be good with one or two short walks a day. If you’re wondering how often to walk dogs in your care, speak with your veterinarian for recommendations.
Walks vs. Potty Breaks
While not every potty break needs to be a walk, and time out in the yard can also be beneficial, taking your dogs for longer walks will provide the additional benefits listed above, which go beyond the ability to take a bathroom break. Also, the one-on-one attention your dog gets during this time can also help curb other behaviors, such as whining and general attention-seeking.
No matter the breed of dog, you don’t want to take a dog that has been sedentary and haul them out for a couple hours on a walk. Start with a gentle 30 minute walk and then work on building up your dog’s endurance over time. And, if your dog is full of energy, but you’re short on time, you can upgrade your walk to a jog, or add in elements like clicker training to provide your dog with added stimulation and help them burn more energy.
When To Walk Your Dog
To provide plenty of potty breaks and help break up your dog’s day, you can plan walks throughout the day. An example schedule to follow includes:
- Pre-breakfast walk
- Mid-day potty break
- Pre-dinner walk
- Walk or potty break before bed
Need to schedule an appointment with a Veterinarian?
Please contact Springbrook Animal Care Center.