How often should you walk your dog? Here’s what to consider!
How often should you walk your dog? And how to make the best out of a dog walk? Discover it here!
3 August 2018
Walk your dog regularly and he’ll be healthy: this is what we are used to reading. But how often should you walk your dog? And how to get the most out of a dog walk? Find out now!
How often should you walk your dog?
As a general rule, you should walk your dog 3 – 4 times per day for at least 15 minutes. But this can vary according to:
- Your dog’s breed
- Your dog’s age, size and health conditions
- Your dog’s eating habits
Whereas for smaller dogs a walk a day could be sufficient, high-energy dog breeds will require more than one walk per day. Is your dog one of those breeds? Are you a sporty person and want to spend more time with your dog exercising? Maybe you’re not sure how much exercise your dog really needs. In that case, it’s advisable to make a visit to your vet. He will be happy to provide you with helpful tips and walking advice for your dog’s personal situation.
Here’s a list of high-energy breeds that will match your lifestyle if you are a very active person:
- Border Collie
- Australian Shepherd
- Irish Setter
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Labrador Retriever
- Siberian Husky
Outdoor adventures are the perfect way to bond with these breeds. Whether you go for a walk, hike or run, your canine buddy will make the trip double the fun!
Activity level needs by dog breed groups
Every dog belongs to a particular dog breed group, each of which has specific activity needs and limitations. Check how much activity your four-legged friend really needs, based on his or her dog breed group.
Activity needs of sheepdogs and cattle dogs
These dog groups have a higher need for activity.
- Sheepdogs, such as Sheltie Sheepland or Border Collie
- Cattle dogs, such as Bouvier des Flandres
If your dog belongs to one of these groups, then try to challenge not only his physical capacities but also his training and mental skills. Irrelevant games will prove to be boring for dogs belonging to these groups, so feel free to be more creative!
Did you know: dogs belonging to this group need at least 2.5 hours of intense activity per day, which is also considered just a minimum.
Translated into walks, this can easily mean at least 4 walks a day, 20-25 minutes each. Since dogs belonging in this category are also very intelligent, don’t forget to challenge them mentally as well. Reserve at least 30 min every day for intelligence game sessions with them.
Activity level of Terriers
Small, lively, strong temper and trainable – this is how one would describe terrier dogs. This dog group may be small, but these four-legged friends also need a quite large amount of exercise.
Tip: Terriers need at least 1,5 hours of activity every day.
Consider a friendly walking schedule of 3 walks per day, 20-25 min each. Consider adding some mental activity games for this group as well. 20 minutes a day should be challenging enough to keep them fit.
Activity needs for hunting dogs, pinscher, schnauzer and greyhounds
Breeds belonging to this group, such as:
definitely need an activity challenge. For them, 1,5 hour of daily walks and exercising is the minimum requirement. Since these dog breeds are also pretty fond of running, feel free to start a running practice with them, as long as you do it step-by-step and considering the age of your dog as well.
Worth knowing: 3 walks a day of at lease 30 minutes, plus cognitive activities are highly recommended for dogs belonging to this group.
How much activity do companion dogs really need?
Chihuahua & Co are typically what we call nowadays companion dogs. As these dogs are not high-energy breeds, avoid challenging them with hours of intense activity. Use instead smaller time periods for fun games and short daily walks, to keep them physically fit
Furthermore, some dogs can be negatively affected by too much activity, such as the short-haired breeds. Since they possess less fur, they get easily heated and can suffer from breathing difficulties. Take these breeds for very short and easy walks.
Watch out: 2 daily, shorts walks are enough for these dog breeds.
What kind of sports can I do with my dog?
Dog sports that challenge your dog both physically and mentally include:
- Agility Training
- Biking (check the conditions for biking with your dog here)
- Rally Obedience
- Dog Tricks
- Intelligence games
Final advice: Even though your dog might belong to a group of high-energy dogs, he still has his own temperament and could be a true couch potato. Try to understand the needs of your puppy and consult a vet for a detailed and tailored walking schedule for your furry friend.
Why walk your dog?
There are plenty of reasons why walking your dog regularly is great for your dog. Some of these reasons are health-related and others come down to your dog’s discipline. Walking your dog on a leash can help your dog develop discipline while he walks beside you and at your pace.
Is there anything to keep in mind while walking your dog? As always, safety comes first.
Try off-leash dog walks only when you are in safe, non-populated areas and are sure your dog won’t run away.
If your dog does run away, don’t punish him. It’s important that your dog does not associate the comeback with any feeling of guilt or anger. Also, if you notice that your dog has a tendency towards running away, keep him on a leash at all times. Another tip for keeping your dog safe is to make sure to teach him the basic, safety commands. Not only are they easy to teach, but they can also prevent dangerous situations for you and your furry friend.
The hidden benefits of walking your dog
Walking your dog is a big part of a dog parent’s life. A simple walk contributes to improving your dog’s social behavior as well as strengthening the bond that ties you two together. If you see dog walks as fun moments in the day you can have fun while working towards keeping your dog healthy.
Walking your pup can also help reduce destructive chewing or scratching (should this be an issue your dog is facing).
But the benefits are not just for your dog! Spending time outside while you walk your dog, in fact, can boost your fitness and overall sense of well-being. Daily walks can lower blood pressure, strengthen your bones and slash your diabetes risk. So… what are you waiting for? Start your Dog Walk App and go for your next outdoor adventure together right now!
Like what you’ve read? Share it with other dog parents!
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