Updated: Mar 10, 2021
When we commit to owning a dog, we know that we need to walk them frequently for physical exercise, mental stimulation and socialising. But many of us don't seem to know how much exercise we should be giving them. This actually depends on many factors including their breed, age, health and personality.
Your dog's breed is one of the most important factors that determines how long you should be walking them for. There are some breeds that are more energetic and excitable than others, and because of this, they need more frequent and vigorous exercise. Then there are other breeds that have instinctive preferences for play and exercise that they were purposely bred for.
There are, of course, other factors to consider in addition to your dog's breed. Just like us humans, our dogs need different amounts of exercise at different ages. A typical toddler would struggle with a two-hour walk, and the same goes for a puppy. Similarly, as a dog grows older, so does their stamina and ability to exercise for long periods, and because of that, they may struggle with exercise they were once used to.
Other factors that can influence how long you should walk your dog for include their health and personality. There are some dogs out there who, just like us humans, hate the idea of walking! If this is the case, then you need to get creative. Your dog will still need plenty of exercise, so it’s about making the experience fun for them. Try playing tug of war, running up and down the stairs, hide and seek or even a classic game of fetch.
If your four-legged friend is suffering with health issues, then they may not be fit for lots of exercise. In this case, it’s best to speak to your vet for advice on how long they should exercise and what is the best way to do so.
Here are some other helpful tips and important things to remember for your dog walks:
🐾Bring water – If you're planning on taking your dog for a walk for longer than an hour, make sure you bring plenty of water for them. This is especially important in the warmer seasons when dogs have a more difficult time regulating their body temperature. 🐾Switch up your route – Walking the same route can become repetitive and boring after a while. To keep you both stimulated, try changing up your route every so often. 🐾Pay attention to the weather – When taking your dog for a walk, take a look at the weather beforehand. During warmer months, it's a good idea to take your dog out in the evening when it tends to be much cooler. Likewise, in winter keep an eye on your dog if there is ice, and make sure to wipe their paws in case they have rock salt on them and are tempted to have a lick! 🐾Ask before approaching other dogs – This is extremely important for your dog's own safety! Not all dogs are friendly, and some may spook easily if you approach too fast. Keep a safe distance and ask before proceeding to approach. 🐾Let your dog sniff around – Did you know that a slow stroll with lots of sniffing around can be as refreshing for your dog as a fast run? Yes, sniffing is mentally stimulating for your four-legged friend so next time you take your dog out let them venture close by and see what they get up to. 🐾Always carry poo bags – This is rule 101 of dog walking. Your walk outside with your dog is a great opportunity for them to go and do their business, so make sure you come prepared! 🐾Make sure your dog has a collar on – It’s a good idea to ensure that your dog has some type of identification on them at all times but it is especially important when out walking, just in case the worst happens. 🐾Wear reflective clothing – If you usually walk your dog in the evenings or at night when it is dark, make sure both you and your dog are wearing reflective clothing. This will ensure traffic and other walkers can clearly see you, and help prevent any accidents.
Blog Post by Kennelstore