Health experts say that sitting is the new smoking. Over time, this habit can contribute to heart disease, back pain, muscle aches, obesity, and other health issues. Not surprisingly, a sedentary lifestyle has similar effects on pets and animals in general.
As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to know how often you should walk a dog to keep him healthy. Just like their human companions, dogs need exercise to maintain a normal weight and cope with stress. What’s more, physical activity allows them to socialize with other pets and use their energy in a constructive manner.
Dogs who don’t get enough exercise are more likely to engage in destructive behaviors. In the long run, they may become withdrawn and lose interest in their favorite activities. Their joints may suffer, too.
This brings us the question, how often do you need to walk your dog—and for how long? Let’s find out!
How Often You Should Walk Your Dog?
Your furry companion needs regular exercise, but there are no set rules on how long you should keep him outside. It all comes down to your dog’s age, breed, and overall health, says the American Kennel Association.
Generally, Poodles and other small breeds need less exercise than larger dog breeds. Plus, they shouldn’t spend longer than 10 to 15 minutes outdoors when the weather is cold.
Large dogs, on the other hand, are not as sensitive to harsh weather. Some breeds can spend hours in the cold because their fur protects them against the elements.
As far as walking goes, it’s best to walk a dog three to four times per day for 15 minutes or longer. Again, it depends on his age, size, breed, and health condition.
If you have a small dog, one daily walk will do the trick. However, large dogs and high-energy dog breeds—regardless of their size—need more frequent walks.
Some pets are mostly couch potatoes, while others could spend the whole day outdoors. A Pekingese or French bulldog, for instance, doesn’t need as much walking as a Border Collie or Siberian Husky.
Generally, cattle dogs and sheepdogs require more exercise than other breeds. Some may need at least two or three hours of physical activity per day to function at their peak.
The Right Way to Walk a Dog
Walking a dog requires more than just going outside the house so he can pee and poop. You need to actually walk with him and make sure he gets enough exercise. Think of it as an opportunity for the two of you to bond and spend time together.
For starters, you’ll need adequate equipment, such as a dog collar, harness, and leash. Don’t forget about poop bags! Ideally, buy from joyrideharness.com or other reputable vendors that offer everything you need in one place.
Second, avoid common mistakes, like pulling on the leash or not letting your fur baby sniff and explore.
Walk in front of your pet, but let him explore his surroundings. Consider going on a short run with him or bring some toys and play together.
Last but not least, reward him for being a good boy.
Make Your Daily Walks More Fun and Stimulating
Walking your dog shouldn’t be a chore. On the contrary, it’s a great opportunity to spend quality time together and learn more about his needs. Plus, you’ll get the chance the squeeze more exercise into your schedule and de-stress.
Now that you know how often you should walk a dog, seek ways to make it fun! See the rest of our blog for inspiration, expert insights, and helpful tips. Also Read – How often should you bathe your dog.