Owning a dog is a big commitment in terms of time, money and energy; the energy commitment being the amount of time and effort you need to spend walking him. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to dog walking and much depends on the breed of the dog. Working dogs like Border Collies, or Huskies and Malamutes, are high energy dogs which are bred to spend hours every day working. These breeds can become bored, anxious and disruptive if not walked for at least an hour every day, and preferably twice a day. On the other hand Greyhounds, the athlete racers of the dog world, are couch potatoes, happy with a fairly short walk every day or, if you have the space, a run in the garden.
However, whatever kind of dog you have, large or small, pedigree or cross-breed, you have to be prepared to put in the time walking him. If you can’t, then you need to think about hiring a dog walker to do so – it will likely ensure your pet ownership duties are being met whilst giving you some quality time indoors to train and play with your pet.
Isn’t a garden to run around in enough?
Whilst a run in the garden can provide some exercise, for most big dogs in particular it won’t be enough for them. A proper walk is vital for several reasons;
- It provides structured exercise and allows you to reinforce your dog’s training
- A walk provides vital mental stimulation for your dog so that he doesn’t become bored.
- It allows the opportunity for your dog to meet other dogs and people, and gain essential social skills.
Puppies, senior dogs and some of the very small dog breeds need less exercise but will need to go outdoors more frequently to urinate and defecate; puppies while they are house-training of course, and seniors when they begin to lose a little control over their bodily functions. When a puppy is very young too much exercise can overtire him or potentially damage his growing joints so he will only need five minutes twice a day to start with, increasing by an extra five minutes per month of age, until he is fully grown. Your senior dog will go the other way, needing much less if he suffers from old-age complaints like arthritis. But in both cases it’s still important to get them out in the fresh air daily.
What is important to remember is this: your dog can’t walk himself so you have to do this for and with him, every day. If you’re struggling, from either poor mobility or lack of time, as you may have had a long day at work and the last thing you want to do is go out again, I’m always here to take care of your London dog walking needs. Just think of the benefits of all that lovely fresh air and exercise will do for your dog. They’ll arrive home tired but happy, and glad to see you.