How often should I walk my dog?
Dogs need their exercise, just like you do! Some large breeds will need more walks than others, but all dogs should be walked from time to time. Not only is it good for their physical health, but also their mental health. Walking allows them to get outdoors, smell new smells, and burn off some pent-up energy. A tired dog is a well-behaved dog, so you’ll likely find that if you are walking your dog the right amount, they will be much easier to handle around the house. If they aren’t getting enough exercise they may begin to act out and behave poorly.
Walking has many, many benefits & dangers associated with it. The real question is, how often do you need to walk your dog to achieve those benefits? Keep reading to find out.
How often should I walk my dog?
Well, this depends entirely on the age, breed, and energy level of your dog. When they are puppies, they will not need as long walks because they are smaller and have less endurance. However, they have lots of playful energy and need more potty breaks. When your dog is still a puppy, give them short, frequent walks. Some puppies will get tired out just by walking half a block, so know your dog’s limits and don’t push them too hard. A good time to take your puppy out is right after they eat, as it can make your potty training much easier. For the first few months of their lives, aim for around two to three 10-minute walks.
After your dog is older, they will require more walks. While breeds like Newfoundland don’t require a ton of exercise, many other breeds such as Labrador retrievers, German shepherds, and Border Collies will need to be walked and exercised very frequently. While it varies from breed to breed and dog to do, in general you should walk your dog one to two times per day. The pace and length of these walks will depend on your dog’s activity levels. If your dog is out of shape, shorter walks will be more beneficial for them. If you notice your dog is falling behind on your walks, you’ll need to slow your pace down to accommodate them. If they are having a really hard time keeping up, talk to your vet and see if they have any mobility issues or underlying health concerns.
Walking your senior dogs is very important for their health. They will benefit from experiencing new sights, smells, and sounds each day, as well as from the physical activity a walk provides. Senior dogs should be walked at a slower pace to accommodate their declining mobility levels. The walks will need to be shorter as well because your senior dog will likely get tired out easier.
Consistency is key for dogs. Whatever your schedule may be, make sure to stick to it. Having a routine is very comforting to them and helps them anticipate what their schedule is. When they know what to expect for their day, they are better at regulating their emotions!
The benefits of walking your dog
Even just a few walks a week will lead to a tremendous amount of health benefits for both you and your dog. Dogs need to maintain their muscle tone as well as an ideal bodyweight to stay healthy. Walks are a great way to give them this exercise without being too tough on their bodies. Additionally, walks can lower blood pressure, strengthen muscle and bones, and lower the risk of diabetes. Especially when your dog gets older, walking can help him or her maintain their joint health. When they stay sedentary for too long, they will get stiff, and their joint function will decline.
A regular walking schedule can also regulate your dog’s digestive tract. It can help them develop a schedule for when to go to the bathroom, which can prevent constipation and lower the risk of bladder infections caused by holding in urine for too long.
Walking can also help with discipline. When they are leash-trained, they develop discipline when you teach them to walk beside you and follow your pace. Instead of running toward every exciting sound and smell, they learn to control their urges and follow your lead. Their discipline will show in other areas besides walking as well. Once they have learned proper discipline, they will be more obedient and listen to your commands, making it much easier for you to control them and take their places outside the house.
If your dog is frequently destroying your house and causing problems, they may not be getting walked enough. When a dog is bored, he or she will look to their own devices to create fun for themselves or to get your attention. This often ends up with them running around your house and destroying anything in their path. If you give them something constructive to do, like a walk, they will get the mental stimulation they need as well as physical exercise. The walk will let them release their energy and make them feel like they’ve done something fun for the day, which in turn will make them behave better back at home.
Walking exercises the mind just as much as the body. Socializing with new people and pets, seeing new sights, exploring different paths, and so on are great for mentally stimulating both you and your dog. It always feels good to get out of the house and do something, and your dog will thank you if they can come with you on a walk.
Not only does walking help both you and your dog’s mental and physical health, but it also strengthens the bond between the two of you! It’s something that you both can do together while enjoying each other’s company. You are the center of your dog’s universe, and he desperately wants your attention. When the two of you can spend quality one-on-one time together, you will deepen your bond and eliminate attention-seeking behaviors from your dog.
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