How many times a day should you walk your dog depends on age, breed, and several other factors.
In most cases, a walk with a four-legged pet is reduced to a quick rush of feces without safety or cleanliness. Because of this, animals lack socialization and activity, and the rest of society suffers from their aggression and mass lawn pollution. All of these problems cannot be ignored. To solve them, owners need not only to familiarize themselves with the basic rules but also to remember 2 very important points: how many times a day and how long to walk the dog.
Why do you take your four-legged friends out for a walk?
As stated by American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
As stated by American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
In addition to the necessities of life, daily walks help with several other essential tasks.
- communication with other four-legged animals and people;
- satisfaction of the hunting instinct;
- Keeping fit;
- an opportunity to release accumulated energy.
Neglecting regular walks is fraught with bouts of sudden aggression, disobedience, and weight gain. Animals that rarely go outside are more likely to attack strangers and damage their owners’ belongings.
How many times a day should you walk your dog
Age directly affects how often you should walk your dog. The younger he is, the more energy and strength he has.
How often to walk your puppy
Puppies are walked 4-6 times a day for 10-15 minutes. This amount is explained by the fact that small pets do not yet know how to control their bladder. Frequent walking makes it easier to accustom them to the toilet. The best time to go outside is right after and before bedtime and after each meal.
If you have enough free time, walk your pet every 2-3 hours. This way he will get used to the toilet faster. After that, increase the breaks, reducing the number of walks to 3-4 times.
Healthy adult animals are walked 2-3 times a day. Their bladder can easily withstand a break of 10-12 hours. But if your work allows you to do it more often, it is better to increase the number of outings. Additional physical activity will benefit both you and your pet.
Video tutorial on how many times a day you should walk your dog
How long should you walk your dog?
The average walking time for adult pets is 1.5-2 hours. But two other important factors influence how long you can walk your dog: breed and weather conditions.
There are plenty of benefits to walking that go beyond physical health including:
Mental Health. Dogs do not like to be bored and if you give them something constructive to do, like taking a walk, they may be less likely to do something destructive, like chewing the couch. Walking exercises the mind as well as the body. Watching wildlife, exploring new paths, seeing other people with their pets, and so on, are great mental stimulation for your dog that he just cannot get in the same fenced area all the time. Walking also releases excess energy and helps dogs sleep better at night.
Emotional Health. You are the center of your dog’s universe and he craves your attention. What better way to spend quality time with your dog than taking a walk? Spending one-on-one time with your dog will deepen your bond and help deter annoying, attention- seeking behaviors such as excessive barking or whining.
Personal Health. Many people need outside motivation to work out, and may depend on an exercise buddy to get them off the couch. What happens when your exercise partner gets stuck at work or stuck in traffic or has another commitment? Your dog is only committed to one thing… you! That makes him the perfect exercise partner. He is always available and willing to accompany you on a walk.
As stated by VCA Animal Hospital
Depending on the breed
Here it is important to consider the size and purpose of the breed. The larger and more active your pet is, the more time should be given to it.
The recommended time and immediate program of the upcoming route for different breeds is as follows:
- Decorative breeds and companion dogs. Yorkies, Pekinese, and pugs need 1-1.5 hours a day. They are easily accustomed to the litter box, and periodic jogs around the apartment are enough to warm up their paws. With these dogs, walk at a relaxed pace so as not to tire them out before time.
- Shepherds, watchdogs, hunters, servants, and sled dogs. All of these breeds are workers. They are walked for 2-4 hours a day. The usual outings outdoors are supplemented with active activities: joint jogging, bicycle rides, and training at dog training areas.
- Combatants. This group should be considered separately. The main goals of walking here are socialization and education. The more time spent on training, the better. If you have any problems, contact a dog handler right away.
Note that fighting and working dogs are not suitable for workaholics. Lack of activity is detrimental to their psyche. A bored animal can start attacking the owners or digging tunnels in the couch.
Depending on weather conditions
Weather conditions determine not only how long it takes to go outside, but also at what time to walk your dog. In summer, it is better to go out in the morning or closer to the evening, when the sun has not risen or has already begun to set. But in frost, slush and wind it is recommended to reduce the total time of walking – so the animal does not have time to catch a cold.
Particular attention should be paid to small and bald breeds. They overheat quickly and are constantly freezing. They need a warm coverall to maintain a comfortable body temperature during the cold season.
Special walking situations
In addition to age, breed, and weather conditions, there are several other factors to consider: pregnancy, lactation, the period of heat, and the presence of diseases.
Babies are taken outside after all mandatory vaccinations are given. Until then, they are only walked on private property in the yard of their own home.
Pregnant and nursing bitches
When pregnant, it is recommended to reduce activity and go out more often (3-4 times a day). Pressing on the bladder of the uterus makes the urge to urinate more frequently.
If your beloved has already given birth, she should be walked in a special coverall for the lactation period. It will protect the nipples from damage.
Bitches in heat
Leaky bitches attract male dogs, so try to walk in secluded areas. Go out an hour earlier or later than other dog walkers to keep unwanted contact to a minimum.
Be sure to monitor the well-being of your pet. If she looks tired and refuses to go the usual route, go home.
Animals with diseases
Recommendations depend on the diagnosis. Each disease has its own limitations:
- Infections. Strict prohibition of contact with other animals. The time of walking depends on the well-being of the infected person.
- Pathologies of the musculoskeletal system. Restrictions are placed on jumping, running, and any intense physical activity.
- Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and urogenital system. In case of incontinence, animals are walked 4-6 times a day.
- Cardiovascular diseases. Fresh air is good for the heart, so walking at a leisurely pace is welcome. A little activity is also allowed, but it should be reduced at the first signs of discomfort.
The postoperative period should be singled out separately. Here you have to take into account the doctor’s recommendations.
The rules for walking four-legged animals are regulated by Federal Law No. 498. The most recent amendments concerning the safety of others and the preservation of cleanliness came into force on January 1, 2020.
Safety rules for walking with a dog
In public places, animals are walked strictly on a short leash. If the dog is a potentially dangerous breed (fighter), then a muzzle is added to the obligatory ammunition.
Walking without a leash is allowed only in special areas (away from children’s and educational institutions) or outside the city limits, where there are no other people. Note that this rule applies not only to large but also to small breeds. The Chihuahua is unlikely to harm a passerby, but will easily hurt itself if it frightens a person with its sudden barking.
Keeping it clean
Another important point is to clean up waste. Always carry bags and a scoop to clean up after your pet. It is recommended to dispose of the waste itself in special boxes, but if they are not available, an ordinary trash can will do. In big cities, it is forbidden to dispose of organic waste in regular trash cans.
Taking care of your dog’s health
Consider the weather conditions before going outside. Your pet needs warm clothes when it’s raining or freezing, and a bottle of water when it’s hot. If you live in the city center, look for doggie boots. They’ll protect you from reagents.
Education is no less important. Teach your pet commands against picking up questionable food from the ground. A well-timed “ew” can save a life.
In addition to the ban, three other commands come in handy: “Next to me,” “Come here,” and “Sit”. These commands will help you get your dog’s attention or calm him down when he’s playing.
With which dogs can you give up daily walks?
Owners of small and dwarf breeds can give up daily walks. These include Japanese Chins, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Shih Tzus and other small pets. All of them are easily accustomed to the litter box and rather quickly use up the energy accumulated during the day after a few laps around the room.
This group also includes larger representatives – pugs. These four-legged animals have very low activity levels. They are so lazy that you have to work hard to take them outside. The pug is only walked for the sake of maintaining a normal weight.
The benefits of walking
Walking is not only good for four-legged animals, but also for their owners. If you neglect them, you’re missing out on many opportunities.
For the pet
The main benefits for the dog were described earlier. Regular walking socializes, satisfies innate instincts, strengthens the immune system, and has a positive effect on physical fitness.
For the owner
Points about strengthening the immune system and physical activity are also relevant for owners. Walking in different weather conditions hardens the body, benefits the musculoskeletal system and heart, and reduces the risk of varicose veins and obesity.
Just as importantly, it is easier for dog owners to make new acquaintances, and frequent contact with a four-legged dog strengthens its attachment. The last point makes the training process easier.
Why some owners don’t walk their animals enough
There are many reasons for this, but most often the problem lies in the lack of free time and banal laziness. If you are not ready to get up early, walk right after work, and go outside in all weather, consider getting a more unpretentious pet.
Dog walking statistics
This beautiful statistics chart was taken from this source.
Top 12 Dog Walking Statistics
- There are 69 million US households that own a dog.
- COVID-19 led to around 30% of Americans adopting a pet.
- 2021 saw $9.5 billion spent by pet owners in the US on services like professional dog walking.
- Based on multiple studies, between 30–60% of dog owners don’t regularly walk their dogs, with an average of 41%.
- On average, a pet dog is walked nine times per week for around 34 minutes.
- 64% of dog owners believe that walking their dog is a direct reflection of the affection and love they have for their dog.
- 57% of dog owners who say they walk their dog admitted to having skipped at least one walk per week for some reason.
- A dog walk is rarely straightforward! On average, a single dog walking trip will encounter other dogs four times.
- In 2022 alone, the professional dog walking space has seen 5.5% growth.
- The 2022 US professional dog walking market size is $1 billion.
- The number of dog walkers in the US has shown 5% growth in 2022.
- In 2022, professional dog walkers will be paid $452.1 million.
These stats were taken from this source.
Unlike cats, dogs not only can but need to be walked. Lack of exercise is detrimental to their physical and mental health. Before you get a four-legged pet, make sure you can handle its upkeep and care.