As a pet owner, by now, you know that taking your dog on a walk should be part of your routine. All dogs, regardless of their breed, size or age, require some form of physical activity to keep them healthy. Walks happen to be a great way to do so! The challenge, however, comes in determining how often to walk your dog. Below we look at some factors and tips to guide you.
Factors that Determine How Often to Walk Your Dog
The answer to how often you should walk your dog is usually as often as you can. Nonetheless, certain factors determine how often to walk your dog, including
The Breed of Your Dog
The first thing that you need to take into consideration is the dog breed that you have. This is because some breeds are more active and need more exercise than others. If you have a high-energy Terrier or Greyhound, it’s important to keep them active by taking them for walks twice a day. On the other hand, if you have a couch potato Pug or Beagle, maybe one walk per day will be enough for them.
Also, dogs with long legs, such as Jack Russell Terriers, may need more exercise than shorter-legged breeds like Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Poodles.
The Age of Your Dog
The age of your dog definitely does come into play here. As expected, a younger dog is likely to have more energy. Hence, a young puppy needs more physical activity than an adult dog or a senior one. They also love to play and spend time outside.
The older the dog gets, the less active it will become. This is because they may begin to develop issues like arthritis, muscle atrophy, and other diseases that will affect their stamina and ability to move. It may be difficult for them to withstand constant physical activity. However, it will still help for them to get some light regular exercise every day or week.
You may also want to consider how much time you can spare each day to walk your dog, since walking your dog outdoors can take up a lot of time. Sometimes, even if you want to provide them with the optimal amount of exercise per day, it may not be possible due to a tight schedule. In this case, hiring a dog walker would be ideal.
If you cannot afford one, it is still possible to keep your dog physically healthy. You can take them for shorter walks as your time can accommodate, and then supplement this with exercises and activities in a yard or indoors.
Consider the Intensity of the Walk
There are three types of exercise: low-intensity (also called low-impact), moderate intensity (also called moderate-impact), and high-intensity (also called high-impact). You should adjust your walking routine accordingly.
Low-intensity walks will help keep your dog fit without causing him any pain or discomfort. Moderate-intensity walks may help strengthen muscles and bones while building endurance in dogs with long runs behind them. High-intensity walks can be good for dogs who are getting older or have had hip dysplasia or arthritis.
You should choose the appropriate level of intensity depending on the tolerance level of your dog as well as their needs. The intensity will also affect the frequency in which you take your dog on a walk.
Tips to Have in Mind
If your dog is young, it is important to keep them on a leash until they are fully grown and have had some training. If you are walking a puppy in a park or neighborhood with no fences, be sure to keep them under close supervision at all times.
If your dog has never walked before, go for short walks with frequent stops along the way. Start by walking for ten minutes at a time, then gradually increase the length of your walks over several weeks.
You can also use treats when introducing new people such as relatives or a dog walker to your dog’s routine so that he doesn’t get nervous around strangers.
Is it Okay not to Walk Your Dog every day?
Walking your dog comes with plenty of benefits… It is therefore a preferred mode of exercise for most pet owners. However, for one reason or another, you may find yourself unable to fulfill this every other day. You should not condemn yourself if this happens.
It is okay not to walk your dog every day, as long as you ensure that they are still engaging in some form of activity, whether at home or in the backyard. This can include anything from a game of fetch to chasing a ball.
A good guideline is to walk your dog at least once every other day. However, the amount of exercise your dog needs depends on many things, including his age, breed, and how intense the walks are.