April 28, 2020

Walking your dog is more than just physical training for both of you. It is also an excellent mental training because it allows your pet to see the outside world. They can experience other animals' behavior and can learn to understand a different space other than your home. 

If you live in an apartment it is generally considered a necessity to get them out and about for a walk on a daily basis. 

The question that most dog owners ask is, “how often should we walk our dogs?”. Before we answer this, as dog owners, we should take into account the following factors. So, the answer is below these initial points that can have a big effect on walking habits.

  • Remember that the dog breed influences the energy of your dog. For example, terriers, herding breeds, Kelpies, Labradors, and retrievers are breeds with high energy levels. As opposed to Great Danes, Mastiffs, Bulldogs, and greyhounds, which are some of the breeds that are less active. 

With the more active breeds, they’ll benefit more from frequent walks or longer walks outside. The less active breeds may prefer or need one or two short walks every day. 

  • The health of your dog is the second point that can affect how often they need exercise. If you as the owner have a high energy dog, but he or she is sick, then you may have to limit walking to short walks only. 

A healthy dog will definitely love to walk outside at almost any time of day. You can also incorporate walking with their toilet breaks if you live in an apartment. This is also a common strategy used to help toilet train a dog. 

  • The weather is also another factor that affects the way you walk your dogs. Obviously walking in the rain can be uncomfortable for both the owner and the dog. Heat is another consideration. It is recommended that you have shorter and fewer outdoor walks during the summer to avoid any health issues because of the heat. 
  • The age of your dog will also affect your scheduled outdoor walks. Puppies prefer quick and short walks even though they have a lot of energy. If their energy is still high as they become adults, you can take your dog for a quick run, too! However, as they grow older, they’ll definitely prefer shorter walks with longer breaks or rests along the way.

Therefore, after factoring in your dog's breed, their health, the weather, and the age of your dog, you may have a similar routine as below, just modified to suit your pet:

  • A 15-minute short walk in the morning before breakfast.
  • Potty break walks as required in the middle of the day. 
  • A longer walk, 20 - 30 minutes, before dinner.
  • Potty break before bedtime. 

To get a full understanding of what your dog needs when it comes to walks, you can also consult your vet of course. Many dogs will let you know if they are walking enough or not. They do this by waiting by the door or not wanting to come home during a walk for example.

Walking your dog can be a highlight of any day. I often thank my dog for taking me walking, as I would not get as much exercise or fresh air without her.