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How Often Should You Walk Your Dog?

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: October 19, 2016
How Often Should You Walk Your Dog?

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Many people are not sure about how often do dogs need to go for a walk; even if we could calculate the ideal number of walks or even the amount of time they should take, this would not work for all dogs.

This AnimalWised article is going to talk about why is walking a dog necessary. We'll also give a number of very useful tips that you can apply during this essential and basic routine so that your dog - and you - stay perfectly healthy and happy. Keep reading for more information about how often should you walk your dog.

Walking puppies

When a dog is still a puppy you should walk it so it can learn how to urinate outside and interact with people and other pets. Once the puppy gets its first vaccines it is ready to go out and start learning the routine of its adult life. Before adopting a puppy, it is important to make sure you have time to devote to it, as well as the perseverance to teach it everything it needs to know.

When you teach your puppy how to urinate outside, it still may not be able to hold it and will urinate inside the house. Don't worry, this is normal and takes time to get used to. This is why it is important to calculate the amount of time your puppy can withstand before urinating again, and to anticipate its physical needs.

This calculation will apply to that particular dog, and in any case, as the puppy grows older it will learn to control its needs.

How Often Should You Walk Your Dog? - Walking puppies

Walking an adult dog

Once your dog knows how to relieve itself outside, you will have to ensure its well-being in your daily routine to avoid it urinating in your home. Remember that you must never punish your dog if it has urinated before you arrive home.

It is important to understand that not all dogs need the same amount of walks, neither in time nor in intensity; for example, an Afghan Hound does not need the same amount as a Westie, since they do not have the same walking pace or the same needs for exercise. That is why we can safely say that a dog's daily activity will depend on each particular dog.

In any case, you should know that for any dog to be happy you must walk it for between 45 and 90 minutes a day and this should be divided into two, three or four walks, depending on your availability. What's more, and thinking about your specific dog, you might want to add some exercise during the walk (letting it go in an off-lead area and playing with a ball is also a form of exercise).

How Often Should You Walk Your Dog? - Walking an adult dog

Walking an elderly dog

Elderly dogs have the same need to be walked as any other dog, especially as once they get older they tend to drink lots of fluids. We recommend that once your dog is elderly you don't stop exercising it. Although it can no longer take long walks and do lots of intense exercise, it will feel grateful to enjoy more outings despite them being shorter.

When walking an older dog, you will have to be careful with heat stroke as well as preventing other pets from playing roughly with it, because it is more sensitive and it is important to look after it.

How Often Should You Walk Your Dog? - Walking an elderly dog

Tips to walk your dog

Going for a walk should be a time you spend exclusively for your dog, dedicated to improving its quality of life, satisfying its needs and having a good time. That's why at AnimalWised we would like to give you some tips on how to improve the quality of your walks, a routine which has a direct impact on the positive attitude of your animal:

  • Let your dog take the spotlight, it is their moment to shine.
  • Let yourself go, your dog will enjoy the walk more if it can decide where to go. Many people have the wrong idea and think that they must manage and control the walk. If you let your dog take control, it will have more of a positive attitude.
  • Let your dog smell the flowers, the people, let it go in off-lead areas and do anything it wants, allow it to sniff around, relax and get to know its surroundings. If your dog is vaccinated, you don't need to worry.
  • Allow it to interact with other dogs if you see that they both have a positive attitude. Your dog must be the one who decides what to do, don't force it if it doesn't want to.
  • Look for an area where you can let it run freely, in an off-lead area for example, for at least 5 or 10 minutes.
  • It is not the duration of the walk that is important, but the quality of it.
  • The longest walk should be in the morning, when there are less dogs about and it will be quieter.
  • If you are in a wooded area, you can practice searching, a technique which involves spreading feed across soil, especially in areas where there are stones and plants around, so that your dog can search and find it. This encourages and stimulates your dog to use its nose.

This has been our answer to when and how often should you walk your dog. If you have any more ideas for dog walks and fun activities, tell us in the comments section!

If you want to read similar articles to How Often Should You Walk Your Dog?, we recommend you visit our Basic care category.

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