top of page

Dog Walking- How Much Should You Do

As a pet owner, you already know that walking your furry friend is not just about taking him out to do his business, but it’s also about bonding with your pup and keeping him happy and healthy.

Walking with your furry four legged friend is a vital part of his mental and physical well-being.  Walking on a regular basis will not only help your pup burn off calories and help him not to become over-weight, but will also stimulate his mind and reduce his stress levels.  In turn, if your pup is consistently walked, anydestructive behaviour he may have will be minimized and he will be a much happier pup.

Taking your furry friend for a walk should be a happy and rewarding exercise and experience for both of you. If you have properly trained your pup, walking with him should be a joy and not a burden. So proper training to walk nicely on a leash is your first step to happy walks together.

The time you spend walking your pup will depend on the age, breed, and energy level of your pet.  In general, most adult dogs will benefit from at least an hour of walking each day, or broken down into two, half hour or more walks a day.

If you have a young puppy and he has had all his shots, you need to start with short walks.  If your pup is very young, start by taking him out for about 15 minutes to see how he does.  Being a puppy, everything will be a new adventure and there will be lots more sniffing than walking.  Young puppies also tire more quickly and need more naps, so don’t push too hard when you start.

Each dog is different and unique and, while some pups love to go on long strolls a couple of times a day, others may prefer very short, but more frequent walks in a day.

Breed is also a determining factor in the number of walks and duration of walks each day. Hunting type dogs with high energy levels will need longer and more frequent walks, while most toy or small breed dogs will need fewer and shorter walks each day. The giant breed dogs generally need slower and shorter walks, and generally do not tolerate the heat for long periods of time.

You also need to keep in mind that weather is always a factor in the time and duration of your walks.  If the weather is hot, you should limit the duration of your walks to a much shorter time.  You should also time your walks for early morning and later in the afternoon or evening when the sun is not so hot.

By the same token, if the weather is extremely cold, be sure your pet is properly outfitted for the climate, depending on his breed, and keep the walks shorter in duration.  Try to walk closer to noon time and early evening when the temperature will not be as cold.

For the best health and happiness levels of your adult pup, you should ideally try to walk your dog at least three times a day, for anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes each outing.  For puppies, it’s best to take more frequent walks, but for shorter periods of times, taking into account their energy levels and development.

If your pup is starting to age, gradually cut back on the length of your walks to enable your pup to still enjoy the outing, but without causing him to feel overly tired or hurting his muscles. Remember, if it’s very cold or very hot, or extremely damp or wet, older pups feel it more than when they were young, so you need to listen to your pup.

The time to walk your dog largely depends on your lifestyle and your daily work schedule.  Early mornings and late evenings may typically work well for those of us on a regular work schedule, but if your work schedule involves working afternoon or night shifts, you will need to find the time that works best for you.  If you are consistent, your pup will adjust to your schedule and will still reap the benefits of a daily walk or two.

Regardless of your lifestyle or work schedule, the important thing to remember is to establish and maintain a routine that works for you.  It’s also important that your pup gets the exercise he needs to keep fit and the interaction he needs with you to remain stimulated and happy.

So lace up those running shoes, enjoy the warmer days that will be forthcoming, and head out with your best four legged furry friend and enjoy yourselves.


bottom of page