Are you walking your furbaby as often as they need you to? Are you making time in your schedule to engage with them and make sure they are getting the most out of their time outside? Exercise is crucial for a pup’s health and happiness, so if you’re not sure how often you should be walking your dog, listen up!
So, how regularly?
As a general rule of thumb, dogs should be walked for at least 15 minutes, at least twice a day. This varies from pup to pup and is determined by a range of factors like breed, age, and schedule, so we recommend looking into a walk-my-dog calculator to find out.
Different breeds have different needs. There are so many dogs in the world, and they all rely on varying levels of activity to remain healthy.
- Sheepdogs and cattle dogs: around 2-2.5 hours a day of exercise to be satisfied. It is vital to enrich them and try to work on their mental training too.
- Terriers: 1.5 hours of activity every day to keep them fit.
- Hunting dogs, schnauzer, greyhound: 1.5 hours of walking and physical activity required at least.
Age, size and health conditions
These three factors are essential as they will give or take time away from how long they should exercise based on their breed. Typically, younger pups will have more energy than the older ones, so how often you should walk them will change. When dogs get to middle-aged (5-8 years old), they can develop health conditions like arthritis that will prevent them from being as active as they once were. Older dogs can face other issues like hypothyroidism or diabetes too. Although your pooch may still be mentally engaged, their physical stamina can’t always keep up.
It is tricky to work your schedule around what your dogs need in their routine. If you have a high energy dog, it can be hard to find two hours in your day to take them out for exercise. Working out a system to break up the activity can work for busy schedules. Walking your dog for an hour in the morning and then again at night is great because they will use up a lot of their spent up energy they have accrued overnight. This means while you are at work, they won’t be bouncing off the walls waiting for your return. Taking your pupper to a doggy daycare is also great for them to get some zoomies in and work off that energy.
Why walk your dog?
The obvious answer is for them to get in some exercise, but have you ever thought beyond why we should exercise our dogs on the reg? One of the best parts about bringing your dog to the park is for socialisation. It is crucial for a puppy’s development that it interacts with others. Being comfortable around other dogs, humans and different animals is a great way to help your dog adjust to the world around them. This avoids anxiety and fear in later years.
Dog walking tips
It is important to be prepared when going on a walk with your dog. Always remember to bring poo bags along with you. Please do not rely on the park to have them because you don’t want to be left high and dry without baggage disposal. Don’t be that person who leaves their dog’s mess behind. Be prepared.
Water is essential for you and your pup. Australia is hot almost all year round, and when walking or running, you can quickly get dehydrated. Our dog walking tip is before you leave the house, always do the heat check of the pavement outside. If you can’t comfortably keep your barefoot or palm on the surface, it is too hot for your dog to walk on. You would hate for your dog to come back from a long walk with burnt paws and heatstroke.
What can we do besides walking?
Walking or running your dog around is a great form of exercise, but there is so much more you can do to mix it up. Agility training is excellent because it is a new skill set for your pup. Once they know basic commands, you can teach them to jump over hurdles or crawl through tunnels. This isn’t for everyone, but an excellent idea for high-energy dogs looking for something new.
Depending on how long your dog can walk in one go, taking your dog hiking can be amazing for both of you. Hiking is great for fitness and stamina, and you get to enjoy the beautiful nature surrounds.
Obedience and tricks are the final way to get in your exercise without even leaving the house. When they are a puppy, you should teach them the basic commands, which will develop over time. Do some research to see which tricks you think will be useful for your dog, and head out to the yard or park to get in some practice. If you’re not sure where to start on this, come into our dog daycare in Perth for some puppy training skills you can take home.
Once you learn how often you need to walk your dog, it can end up being a big commitment. If it is all sounding a bit overwhelming right now, enrol your pooch in with our team at PawPals where we can teach you the best way to work on your dog’s fitness. They can also come down and make some doggy pals and playmates. Give us a call today on 0433839729 (Malaga) or 0450358915 (Bassendean) to enquire.