How often and for how long should I walk my dog?

A dog walking with their owner outside

It’s no secret. Dogs need to go outside to relieve themselves. But taking your dog out for a walk isn’t only useful. It’s also a moment when your dog can meet other dogs, discover new scents, and exercise. However, depending on the age and the character of your dog, the frequency and the length of the walk can vary. In this article, we will share some advice to help you give your dog the best walk that they can have.

Going out for walks is important for dogs of all ages

In general, we recommend taking your dog out for a walk two times per day at minimum. If it’s possible, you can walk your dog more often. However, it also depends on the specific needs that your dog has depending on their age.

Why is it important to walk my dog?

When it comes to a dog’s well-being, walks play an extremely important role. As we mentioned earlier, going for a walk with your dog allows your dog the opportunity to exercise and get rid of pent up energy. It’s also very useful when it comes to avoiding too much weight gain. In addition, going for walks with your dog helps keep their muscles and joints in good health.

Another reason why it is important to walk your dog is because it benefits their digestion and urinary system. When your dog poops, they are improving their digestion. When your dog urinates, it allows their urinary system to work well. If your dog holds their urine for too long, it can have a negative effect on their kidneys.

Going for walks with your pooch is also important when it comes to their psychological well-being. In order to live a happy and balanced life, dogs need to spend some time outside. When dogs spend most of their time inside, it could cause them to become aggressive. In some cases, it could instead cause them to no longer have the motivation to move around. Furthermore, if your dog does not have the opportunity to go outside, it could make them bark more often or destroy your belongings. Walks help to mentally stimulate your dog, which is very important for their psychological well-being.

Going for walks with a puppy

For puppies, the purpose of a walk is not to relieve themselves. As you have probably noticed, puppies tend to relieve themselves whenever they want to.

Instead, walks give them the opportunity to explore the world around them. Moreover, walks allow your puppy to socialize with other people and animals. Puppies can look around, discover new scents, and learn things about the world. One benefit of taking your puppy out for a walk is that it will give them the opportunity to learn to do their business outside.

However, even if your dog likes adventure, you should not forget that they have shorter legs and can get tired very easily. Walking too long can have negative repercussions on their joints.

So how long should a walk with a puppy last? To calculate this, all you have to do is count how many weeks old your puppy is. If your dog is 12 weeks old, their walk should last around 12 minutes. If your dog is 20 weeks old, it means that they should be able to handle a walk that is 20 minutes long.

To protect their joints, it’s best to avoid bringing your puppy on a walk where there are steep slopes or stairs.

A dog walking outside with leaves on the ground
Going for walks with your dog allows them to explore their surroundings.

An opportunity to teach your puppy to do their business outside

When your dog is still young, you will have to teach them to do their business outside. It is therefore useful to prioritize particular moments during the day for walks. For example, after a meal or after a long nap, your puppy might feel the need to relieve themselves.

Your puppy will then get used to doing their business as soon as they are outside. With a little patience, your dog will learn to do their business while they are on walks.

Older dogs need to go on walks that are adapted to their age

When walking with an older dog, the walk needs to adapted to health issues that they can encounter. Several health issues can influence the length of their walks. Just like humans, dogs can have joint problems such as arthritis. They can also have problems related to their heart or weight. If your older dog is starting to have hearing or vision problems, it’s important to be particularly attentive so that the walk will be as pleasant as possible for the both of you.

Older dogs typically prefer shorter walks that are more frequent than adult dogs.

Dogs should go on walks that are adapted to them

We do not walk Siberian Huskies the way we would walk with other dog breeds. Age isn’t the only factor that has an impact when it comes to determining how often and how long your dog’s walk should be.

Energetic dogs

Some breeds are more energetic than others and need to exercise more often. Some of these breeds include Jack Russel Terriers, Yorkshire Terriers, Australian Shepherds, or Border Collies. Other breeds like Labrador Retrievers need to exercise in order to avoid becoming overweight.

These dogs need to go for longer walks (at least 30 minutes and as long as 2 hours) several times a day. Ideally, it’s best to go for walks with energetic dogs 3 to 4 times daily. If you are able to take your dog out for a walk in the nature, it would be greatly appreciated. It would allow them to run around freely. If possible, organizing these kind of outings once a week is great for your dog.

Calm dogs

On the other hand, some dog breeds are known for being a little less active. Newfoundland dogs, Mastiffs, Bulldogs or Pekingese dogs prefer calmer walks that are not too long. Take your dog out for no longer than half an hour, once to twice a day. Your dog will quickly let you know when they have had enough. Some dogs even turn around when in front of the door to show that they really cannot go for a second walk.

When should I walk my dog?

Now you are better informed about the frequency and length of walks with dogs. But do you know when the best time to walk your dog is?

Morning, afternoon, or evening? It all depends on the dog. However, one thing is important, it’s best to walk your dog around the same time every day. Dogs like routines. It is important to create a schedule and to respect it as much as possible.

Ideally, you can take your dog out in the morning, right after you wake up so that they can do their business without waiting too long in the morning. You can also take your dog out for a walk around noon. Before eating dinner is also an excellent idea. Then, going for a walk just before bed is a perfect way for your dog to sleep well.

These times are ideal for an adult dog without any particular problems. If you do not have the time to go for long walks often, you can instead go for a walk twice a day to allow your dog to do their business outside. The most important is to follow the routine that you have developed with your dog. This is important because your dog needs to do their business and if they have to hold it for too long, they will not be able to handle it. Do not be surprised if your dog leaves a little surprise for you.

What is the ideal walk?

Do not forget that going for walks allows dogs to discover the world around them. Therefore, some dogs truly appreciate visiting new places. With that being said, some dogs never want to change where they go for walks. It’s best to let your dog decide where they like going for walks the most.

Walking with your dog is supposed to be a pleasant moment for them. If you spend your time pulling on the leash and shouting at them, it will not be enjoyable for your dog. Do not forget that it is both a way for your dog to relax and have some physical activity.