Getting a dog means lots of snuggles, kisses, and responsibilities. Yes, you now have to take care of another living being. You think, “Well, that’s easy! I just need to feed, bathe, and love them.”
But it’s not that easy! You also need to take care of their mental and physical health. Dogs love walks, and it keeps them physically and mentally sound. It will also help you get some fresh air.
Should I Walk My Dog Every Day?
Yes, all dog breeds need walks every day. Your dog needs to exercise; otherwise, they can get sick and bored and create chaotic situations. For example, dogs will destroy your cushions or pillows when bored. Take your dog on a walk daily to avoid it.
Fun Fact: A dog named Dormie was trialed for cat murder in 1921 because they didn’t get enough walks or exercise.
How Long Should I Walk My Dog?
Are you worried about not giving your dog enough walks? Don’t be. You need to know how much walking time a dog needs.
Usually, dogs require 30 minutes to 2 hours of walking time, but it mostly depends on your dog’s breed. A general rule of thumb you can follow is two walks daily; if you can squeeze in another, that’d be great!
Now, how many miles should a dog walk a day?
Miles? Is it necessary to know the miles? Ok, fine, if you insist.
A dog will be happy to walk one to three miles, and less than a mile of walking is enough for a puppy. But the distance sometimes can’t properly meet the exercise requirement for your dog, so walking time is preferred.
Moreover, different dog breeds have different activity needs, depending on various aspects. You can’t measure it with how much distance your dog has walked. Some factors work towards determining the walking time. So, let’s have a look!
- Your Dog’s Breed
- Your Dog’s Age
- Your Dog’s Size and Energy Level
- Your Dog’s Your Schedule
Don’t worry; we aren’t going to leave you hanging with just a list. We have explained the factors briefly below.
1. Your Dog’s Breed
Breed plays the most significant role in determining your dog’s walking time. Hunting or working dog breeds will need more exercise and walks than toy dog breeds. Let us make it more clear using a list.
|Dog Breeds||Examples of Dog Breeds||Daily Exercise/Walking Time|
|Afghan Hound, Irish Wolfhound, Azawakh, Borzoi, Greyhound, Whippet, Saluki, Basenji|
|Boxer, Great Dane, Bernese Mountain Dog, Siberian Husky, Bullmastiff, Dobermann, Rottweiler, St. Bernard|
1 Hour + Heavy Exercise
|Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Beagle, Dachshund, English Foxhound, Bluetick Coonhound, Otterhound, Norwegian Elkhound|
|English Setter, Golden Retriever, Field Spaniel, English Pointer, Labrador Retriever, Brittany, Weimaraner, Barbet|
30 Minutes, Twice
|Bull Terrier, Airedale Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Border Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, American Pitbull Terrier, Glen, Skye Terrier|
30 Minutes, Twice
|Bulldog, Poodle, Chihuahua, Maltese, Shih Tzu, Pug, Papillon, Pomeranian, Bichon Frise|
15-20 Minutes, Once
2. Your Dog’s Age
Puppies are more energetic than older dogs requiring frequent walks.
Although, I don’t think the adult dogs are lacking behind. Many active adult dogs need more walks than a puppy even.
Unless your senior dog has arthritis, diabetes, or heart disease, they are acceptable to go on walks twice daily. It’s sad to see senior or older dogs staying home all day, but you can always take them on short walks. They may be old, but they are still puppies at heart.
3. Your Dog’s Breed Size & Energy Level
You’re lucky if you’re a busy person and have a small dog. Small dogs don’t need long walks. Just 30-minutes around the neighborhood will work great. But large or giant dog breeds need additional 2 hours of walking time than smaller dog breeds. Tough, right?
But this is where the energy level matters. If your small dog is energetic, a 30-minute walk, as we advised earlier, won’t work. They will also need additional exercises and play sessions. Whereas, if your large dog is lazy and has low energy, an hour of light activities will do the trick.
4. Your Schedule
You didn’t think we wouldn’t consider your schedule, did you? We hope not because we know your dog’s walking time shouldn’t be hampering your work life.
We have some great tips for busy people like you so your dogs can remain healthy and happy.
Tip 1: If you don’t have enough time for long walks, make a schedule for short walks around the neighborhood throughout the day.
Tip 2: If you can’t walk throughout the day, make time for evening or night walks.
Tip 3: If you had a hard day and don’t have the energy to take your dog on a night walk, try playing puzzle games, ball catching, or tug of war.
Tip 4: Let your dog loose in your backyard for some time so they can run around and enjoy their time.
You may also like: Do Dogs Get Tired of Barking?
How Many Exercises Should a Puppy Get?
Aren’t puppies just the most adorable? If you just got one, “Yay!” We are so happy for you. But many people don’t know that puppies also need exercise.
Yes, puppies are small and delicate, but half of the pets in the U.S. are obese, which causes severe health problems later in life. If you don’t control your pup’s weight when they’re young, you won’t be able to handle it when they’re older.
But puppies are small, so you should keep their exercise at a “novice level.” But how will you know how much exercise your puppy needs? That’s easy! Take your puppy’s breed and energy level into consideration.
First, you must learn about your puppy’s breed. If you have a large dog breed, keep in mind that physically they will grow large, but their maturity is slower than small dog breeds. So cutting off agility training or exercises until adulthood is a good decision.
On the other hand, toy breeds mature quickly, but they don’t consume too much food. Their activities should align with their eating habits. Now, let’s talk about working puppers! Working dog breeds are very energetic and need both mental and physical exercises. Puzzle toys and interactive games will be best for them.
Puppies aged six to eight months may be able to go on short walks with occasional jogging, but if you plan on taking them on a hike, it will be dangerous for your pup’s health. No veterinarians will advise you to do such a thing.
To please you, your puppy may walk along with you on long hikes, but it will completely tire them out, causing a heat stroke. So, never over-exercise your little furry friend. We have mentioned some signs of over-exercising to help you out.
Signs of Over-exercising Puppy
A tired dog is good, but an over-exercised dog isn’t. Your puppy’s large size can fool you into thinking that they can walk long distances, don’t make this mistake. Look for signs of over-exercise.
- Wear-and-Tear on paw pads: Puppies love to play, but you must be responsible here. Paw pads’ injuries are excruciating and cause difficulty in walking. So check your puppy’s paws. Contact your vet for treatment if you see any visible skin flaps, blisters, or redness.
- Sore Muscles: If you notice your puppy whimpering and unable to walk, they have sore muscles. Give your puppy a couple of days off to relieve the pain.
- Joint Injury: Extreme exercises can cause pain in the knee joints, strain, sprain, meniscal tears, and ligament tears. Your dog will limp if any joint injury takes place. It’s common in elongated and low-bodied dog breeds such as Dachshunds, Basset Hounds, etc.
- Heat Stroke: Heat sickness or heat stroke can cause the death of your best friend. When a puppy is experiencing a heat stroke, it will drool and pant excessively. Their body temperature will be over 106℉. Immediately take your pup to the nearest veterinary clinic for assistance.
- Behavioral Changes: Is your puppy unwilling to play or go on walks? Then it’s a sign of over-exercising. If your puppy likes to exercise but is refusing to do anything now, over-exercising may be the cause. Now, they may think it’s too hard for them. Take your pet to the velvet for help.
How to Walk Your Dog
Knowing how to walk your dog is a big step in building their behavioral characteristics. But it’s not a simple task to accomplish. You need lots of love, care, patience, and proper technique to learn how to walk your puppy. If you’re up for it, let us teach you how in just five easy steps.
- Step 1: Buy proper new dog walking equipment. Find a leash and a collar that works for your pet.
- Step 2: Put the collar on your dog. But remember to make sure it’s not too tight. If you can put two fingers in between the collar and your dog’s neck, then it’s perfect.
- Step 3: Choose a side for walking your dog. Choose the side that’s not facing the road and be consistent in your decision. Otherwise, changing sides can confuse your dog.
- Step 4: Pull your dog’s leash closer to you. It will help your dog understand that they shouldn’t go ahead or behind you.
- Step 5: Keep treats, water, food, and poop bags with you. Reward your dog for good behavior when walking. If you’re going on a long walk, feed your dog halfway and provide them with clean water. Make sure you pick up your dog’s poop afterward.
What’s the Best Time to Walk the Dog?
Confused about when to walk your dog? In the morning or at night? What’s the best time to walk your dog? It depends on your dog and your schedule.
But we can provide you with some suggestions.
If you want to avoid the morning heat, take your dog on a walk before breakfast. They will enjoy the cool weather and so will you. Can you imagine a better way to get energized for the day than to feel the breeze on your face?
Your dog needs potty breaks. Why not take them out at midday? It will give you some time off and provide exercise for your dog.
Had a big dinner? Make a habit of walking before bed. Take your pup with you and enjoy the night sky. It will keep you both healthy and give you a goodnight’s sleep.
What Happens if You Don’t Walk Your Dog?
We are constantly asked, “Do I have to take my dog on a walk daily?” The answer is simple, YES! As we said earlier, dogs need to walk and exercise to stay healthy. If you don’t want your pupper to get sick and leave you sooner than the other healthy dogs, take them on regular walks.
“But I am too tired. What if my dog gets dirty and I have to bathe him?” Enough with the excuses, please! Dogs will play on the grass and get dirty but look on the bright side; your little friend will be healthy and happy. Don’t you want that?
Let us tell you what will happen if you don’t walk your dog. Then, surely you’ll get up right now and take them out for one.
- Your dog won’t get enough exercise leading to obesity.
- Your dog will be prone to heart diseases and diabetes.
- They will get bored, leading to bad behavior.
- They won’t learn to socialize with others.
- They won’t learn about their surroundings.
- They will become mentally exhausted and inactive.
- Your pup can develop anxiety.
- They won’t obey your commands nor get adequately trained.
- You will miss out on the bonding sessions with your pup.
If these reasons aren’t enough to take your dog on daily walks, maybe you shouldn’t have a pet.
Your Pup Deserves Daily Walks
Who’s a good boy? Yes, it’s your puppy. But being a good boy takes effort from both your dog and you. Your dog must be happy and healthy to behave like a good boy. If they get sick, you won’t see them jumping, running, or playing.
So, to avoid such circumstances and expand your canine friend’s lifespan, take them on daily walks. Dogs deserve it because, in return, they give you endless love.
Don’t forget to write to us about how the bonding while walking is going. We are excited to know! Have a wonderful day.
I am Dana McQueen, a Veterinary Doctor who studied Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida. For years, I have got common questions from friends and family about their pets. So, I decided to open up this website and answer all those frequently asked questions. Alongside, here I share my expert knowledge about pet care, pet health and the animal environment.