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 ensure that they are 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, so over exercising 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 found it very hard with Missy as she has a bundle of energy and, at seven 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 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 that doesn’t exert 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.
One of the best, most caring things you can do for your dog is giving it enough exercise.
As a dog owner for over 30 years and a professional dog walker for more than ten years, I have found, as a general rule, most dogs need a 60-minute walk every day to get by.
It’s important to remember that very often. It’s not the length of the walk but how interesting it is for them. Smarter dogs need the mental stimulation of other dogs, game playing and smell. 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 is 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, 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 behaviour. When Missy has had enough exercise, she is more than happy to lie around the house and relax, and she doesn’t feel the need to follow me around the house or want to play ball indoors every 10 minutes!