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How Often Should You Walk Your Dog

How Often Should You Walk Your Dog

5 min read

When you get a new dog, your life will change considerably, and one of the most significant changes is likely to be the daily walks your pup will require. Getting out in the fresh air is great for both you and your dog, as it gives you both a chance to exercise and burn off steam, and it’s also a great opportunity for bonding between you and your four-legged friend.

Every pup should go on at least one walk every day. But how often should you walk a dog? The answer depends on a few factors including breed, temperament, health and age. Read on to find out how you can ensure your pup gets the perfect amount of daily exercise.

How often should you walk your dog?

All dogs need at least one walk outside every day. But when it comes to more energetic breeds, you will need to walk them more frequently, and for longer periods of time. Younger dogs are more active than older companions, as age also plays a role in how often you need to walk your dog. Pets with injuries or chronic illnesses such as dog arthritis may need to walk more slowly, and might only manage a short walk at a time, so keep their health condition in mind too. If you think your dog may be struggling to walk, get in touch with your vet as there are often treatments, such as pain medication and joint care tablets, that can make walking easier and more comfortable.

And remember, every dog is unique, so needs will vary even among canines belonging to the same breed. But it’s still worth being aware that some breeds are more naturally active than others.

Energetic dog breeds who often need multiple walks a day

Dog breeds who normally only need one or two walks a day

However, as we’ve already mentioned, this is only a rough guide to cover these breeds, rather than a hard and fast rule. In reality, individuals from each of these breeds may need more or less exercise daily.

Also, it’s important to ask your vet as well about the frequency and duration of dog walks that are suitable for your individual pup. And – if you’ve got a specific breed in mind – check out our dog breed library for an in-depth look at breed-specific exercise requirements.

How often should you walk a dog in the winter?

When winter days get particularly cold, it’s best to consider limiting your dog’s daily walk to 20-30 minutes – unless they are well adapted to colder climates – for example, the Siberian Husky has a thick, dense coat to help to protect this breed from winter chills.

Winter coats designed for dogs are also a great pup accessory for cold weather, especially if your companion doesn’t have a thick fur coat naturally. But, if temperatures get below freezing, it’s best to find ways to keep your dog active indoors and go outside only for very short bursts of time, protecting their paws as much as possible, keeping a close eye on them and avoiding puddles and mud as much as you can. And, if you’re trying to think of ways to have fun with your pup indoors during the colder months, check out our list of fun indoor games for dogs.

How often should you walk a dog during the summer?

You should keep your dog on their normal walking schedule in the summer, but think about changing the time of day you start your outdoor adventures together. On especially warm days, aim for early mornings and evenings to avoid the hot temperatures in the middle of the day. And always make sure you also have water with you, as well as access to shade so your pup can rest if they’re feeling too hot even for short walks around the neighbourhood. If you notice your pup is slowing down during walks in the hot weather, not wanting to walk at all, panting excessively, whining or trying to lie down or turn back, these can all be signs that they are getting too hot, so it’s best to stop walking and give them a break somewhere cool and away from the sun.

How often should you walk a puppy?

As a general rule, it’s best to let very small puppies have a run around every time they need to go outside to the toilet. When puppies are still very young, they are often happy playing in the garden and won’t initially need to be walked on a lead.

It’s also best not to let your pup outside until at least 2 weeks after their vaccinations have been given, as this is when they will be better protected against the nasty diseases that they can pick up outside. Find out more about when can puppies go outside in our article, but make sure to check with your vet too.

As puppies get a bit older, it’s best to see how much they want to walk, and how much energy they have after each walk, as this will give you a rough idea of how much exercise they need each day. As a general rule, puppies should have no more than five minutes of exercise for each month of age, two times a day. So, a five-month-old puppy would have no more than 25 minutes walking twice a day. However, this will again depend on your individual puppy with some pups needing more or less exercise.

Going on daily dog walks is a huge part of being a dog owner. Walks are a wonderful opportunity to spend bonding time together with your pup and they will also help to keep both of you fit and healthy. If you have any concerns about your pup’s exercising habits, you can check with your vet to make sure your dog is getting enough daily walks for their breed and energy levels. Want to know more about taking puppies for walks and the importance of lead training? Check out our article on how to walk dogs and puppies on lead.

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