How Far Should You Walk Your Dog?
Exercise is an essential part of your dog’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Sometimes, it takes a daily walk to keep your pup fit. But how far should you walk your dog? Let’s talk about it.
Benefits Of Exercising Your Dog
Exercising helps keep your dog fit physically and mentally. For example, it helps to tone their muscles, supports proper function of the body and the digestive system, and it’s also mentally stimulating.
So, what happens if your dog doesn’t get regular exercise?
They can lose muscle mass, develop destructive behaviors (due to excess energy and boredom), and gain weight.
Every dog needs to exercise, no matter its age. For instance, senior dogs can still exercise in some way to keep themselves as healthy as possible.
Determine How Much Exercise Your Dog Needs
The amount of exercise your pup needs will depend on a few factors. For example, you’ll need to think about their breed, size, age, and overall health. If you’re unsure, you can talk to your vet about it.
For instance, a daily walk will be enough if you have a flat-nose breed, such as a Pug. But, on the other hand, hunting breeds will need much more than that each day.
How Far Should You Walk Your Dog?
Looking at the factors, let’s see how often and how far you should walk your dog.
Your Dog’s Breed
Sporting, herding, working, and hunting dog breeds are often the most energetic and athletic. They should be walked a couple of miles every day. Or, they should have at least two hours of physical activity and mental stimulation each day.
On the other hand, some dogs don’t do well with a lot of physical activity. As mentioned earlier, flat-nosed dogs have a more challenging time breathing. So, a quick walk each day will be enough to keep them fit.
It will also depend on your dog’s personality, as well. For example, some dogs prefer to be couch potatoes while others enjoy being outside and exploring.
In some cases, depending on their personality and background (if they’re a rescue dog), an athletic dog may dislike exercising and prefer to cuddle on the couch all day.
If that’s the case, you should still bring them on a walk for about a mile. That will be enough to keep them fit, but you don’t want to push them too much.
Your Dog’s Age
Younger dogs will need more exercise than adults, and adults will need more physical activity than senior dogs.
This is because puppies have more energy. However, puppies can only go so far on a walk. After that, they’ll need to build up their muscle mass. So, even though they have a lot of energy, you can play games with them in the yard. When walking, keep it short and sweet.
As an adult, you can walk your dog based on its exercise tolerance and breed.
However, keep in mind any health issues they may have. For example, joint problems such as arthritis can make it more difficult for your pup to walk. This issue is common in senior dogs, but it can happen to any dog.
Also, other diseases, such as diabetes, can drastically decrease stamina. So, if your dog has any other health issues, no matter their age, make sure you give them ample walks but not push them too hard.
Senior dogs, even if they used to love going for miles and miles, stick to shorter walks, similar to puppies when it comes to walking. But, once again, you don’t want to push your dog too far that they get exhausted or pull a muscle.
Your Dog’s Exercise Tolerance
No matter their age, size, or breed, every dog is different. They have different personalities and have other ideas about whether exercise is fun.
So, the best way to determine how far you should walk your dog is to keep an eye on their energy level.
To start, plan on taking a 20 to 30-minute walk. In some cases, your dog will keep going and want to continue the walk. In other cases, after about 20 minutes or so, you might notice your dog slowing down and panting.
When that happens, you can easily tell they’re getting tired, and it’s time to head home when that happens.
If they’re good during the fill 30 minutes, you can try to increase the walk by another five to ten minutes the next day. Guage how long they last. If your pup lasts for a 50-minute walk, try to walk for 50 minutes every day.
On the other hand, not every day might be the same. There will be times when your dog doesn’t feel like going on a walk, okay.
They still need to exercise, though, so on those days, bring them on a shorter walk to have a break.
Walking Your Dog
Bringing your dog on a walk is healthy for them, but it’s also beneficial for you. Also, the two of you get to explore and bond together. Dogs need anywhere between 30 minutes and 120 minutes of exercise per day. Make sure you know what your pup can tolerate and talk to your vet about it.