If you’re a new dog owner you may be wondering how much exercise your dog needs and how long or how often you should walk your dog?
Before you consider taking your dog out on walks it is important to make sure that he/she is fully vaccinated.
However, if it is is a puppy then the first few months of its life is vital for socializing. Well-mannered dogs, pets and people as possible so be sure to have as many people over as you can and go to as many friends as possible.
Puppies bones are not fully formed until 18 months of age and so over exerting them during this period can cause long term damage but trust your instincts and if your dog is telling you they’re tired then bring the walk to an end. I know I foud it very hard with Missy as sje has a bundle of energy and at 7 months was more than happy running for over 2 hours, but if you’re at all unsure then consult your vet.
How long should I take my dog out for is really like asking how long a piece of string is. The length of walk your dog needs will depend predominantly on their age and breed. However, below are some guidelines
Dogs with short faces can be prone to respiratory problems so two shorter walks a day which don’t exert them too much are better than one full hike. A Chihuahua for example might only need to be walked once a day but a boxer is happier with two walks per day.
Lab’s, springer spaniels, dalmatians, border collies (like Missy) and most terriers for example will happily be able to cover 5-10 miles (and more) in a day.
As a dog owner for over 20 years and a professional dog walker I have found as a general rule, most dogs need a 60 minute walk every day just to get by.
It’s important to remember that very often it’s not the length of walk but how interesting it is for them. Smarter dogs need the mental stimulation of other dogs, game playing and smells. As I have mentioned in a previous post on why dog walks are vital simply letting the dog out in the back garden for a run is not enough and no substitute for running in the park and playing with other dogs. A good walk will keep both you and your dog in great shape, mentally, and physically, but if you’re unable to walk him then please don’t assume because he sleeps all day that he’s OK that way. After all, if you had nothing else to do you’d probably sleep, but a well exercised and stimulated dog is a happy dog.
Exercise does more than anything to improve a dog’s behavior. When Missy has had enough exercise she is more than happy to lie around the house and relax and he doesn’t feel the need to follow me around the house or want to play ball indoors every 10 minutes!
One of the best, most caring things you can do for your dog is give it enough exercise.
For more details on my dog walking services in Finchley and surrounding areas call me on 077 077 6 33 44