How Much Should You Walk Your Dog?

Dogs need regular exercise to make sure they’re happy and healthy, including a daily walk. Here a few reasons why: Health Benefits Exercising your dog can help keep them from obesity as well as helping their heart and digestive system work better. Walking will also improve their joint function. Mental Stimulation Taking your dog on a walk helps keep them mentally alert, improves mental health, and reduces unwanted behavior such as chewing, digging, and barking. Socialization Walks can give your dog plenty of worldly learning experiences, allowing them to feel comfortable in new environments and maybe even make a few friends! How Much Should I Walk My Dog? Everyone wants their dog to be healthy and happy. A great way to make sure of this to keep them from becoming overweight, which could lead to issues like diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and kidney disease. A lack of exercise is a silent killer in dogs, and many dogs are overweight. So, how much should you walk your dog? It depends on the dog, honestly! As a rule of thumb, an average, healthy dog should be able to handle a normal 20-minute walk every day. A more active dog could probably handle a 60-minute walk, while an older or less active dog could probably handle a 15-20 minute walk. When Has My Dog Had Enough? Start with a 30-minute walk. You may have to work your way up to this time limit depending on how sedentary your dog is, but if your dog is active, they’ll need to be able to get that energy out. 30 minutes should be considered the minimum and eventually, you can work your way up to 60 minutes. Keep an eye on your dog while you’re walking. If your dog is getting pretty tired, they may show signs of exhaustion like panting, hesitation, and a slow walk. Dogs need time for a break, to rest and rehydrate before heading back out. Don’t overdo it, as too much exercise can leave dogs sore and less willing to walk again. Think in terms of time instead of distance when you think about taking your dog for a walk. One mile for a Chihuahua is so different from a mile for a German Shepherd. Think about how far you’ll be from your home and don’t overdo how far you go in one direction. If your dog has a hard time dealing with a full walk, try breaking up your walk into two smaller walks. These shorter walks are ideal for older dogs and puppies. Make sure to check the weather before you decide how long you’ll walk as well. You don’t want to overheat or freeze your dog! How Frequently Should You Walk Your Dog? A minimum of two 15 minute walks are a good recommendation for most dogs, but be sure to consider breed, size, diet, water, and age. This could also depend on the health of your dog, thought for an added health boost, consider daily probiotics!