Part of your responsibility as a pet parent, especially if you’re new, is walking your dog. It’s an activity that should be incorporated into your daily routine. No matter what breed or age, all dogs must go on walks to keep them active and healthy. More than just letting your dog do its business outside, walking your dog can be beneficial both for you and your pooch.
Walking Your Dog: Your Ultimate Guide
Benefits of Walking Your Dog
It’s easy to familiarise yourself with the routine of dog walking once you start it. At first, your dog may also hesitate, but once it becomes the norm, they are more than willing to go on their daily walks. Walking your dog is a daily exercise that lets them be entertained and learn more about the world around them.
It is also a fun activity that strengthens your bond with your dog. During these walks, it’s their opportunity to explore their surroundings, meet new people or dogs, add to their training, and sniff around. In doing so, this activity helps physically and mentally stimulate them.
According to research on the benefits of dog walking, it comes with multiple benefits for the overall health of your dog (that can positively affect you as well).
- Helps lose and maintain weight
- Reduces risk of health issues
- Supports positive mental health
- Keeps bones, muscles, and joints strong
- Improves bodily functions
- Promotes proper blood circulation
Not taking your pet for a walk will lead to them becoming bored and developing behavioural issues.
What Age Should Start Walking Your Dog
When you get a puppy, it’s all hands on deck when it comes to training, bonding, and taking care of it. Let it familiarize itself in your home before taking them out for a walk. Once you have completed their vaccinations, you may also enquire with your veterinarian if your pup is alright to go on walks. They will advise if your puppy is good to go on walks and once you get the approval from your vet, you can proceed to go on a dog walk.
Like with everything else, you have to start slow and go for shorter distances to let them familiarise themselves with the surroundings. Avoid over-exercising your puppy to reduce the risks of injuries. In addition, you must always be cautious of the area, especially if there are other unfamiliar dogs that may not be vaccinated.
All in all, taking your puppy out on a walk is encouraged once vaccinations have been given since it’s a great stimulating and socialising activity while letting them get used to being on the leash.
How Often Should Walk Your Dog
Most dogs must be taken out for a walk at least once a day. However, depending on the breed and age of the dog, some of them are more energetic and active than others, so they usually need to go on walks twice a day.
The length of your walks also varies depending on their breed and age as well. However, the generally recommended length of dog walks should take 30 minutes to 2 hours. For puppies, generally, 20-25 minutes is enough, and the length can increase as they grow older depending on their breed. Usually larger breeds like golden retrievers, dalmatians, or shepherds require longer walking hours that they can greatly benefit from. On the other hand, for breeds with shorter, flat snouts, such as French bulldogs or pugs, require shorter, frequent walks during hot weather to avoid overheating.
You can adjust the routes, length, and frequency of your dog walking that is most convenient for you and your dog. Older dogs may not have a stronger stamina, so shorter walks can benefit them more.
Best Time of Day for Dog Walks
The best time of the day to walk your dog varies. Dog walking can be done during the morning and/or in the evening. Make sure to avoid taking them on a walk when the sun is at its peak in the middle of the day. You don’t want your pet to walk on heated floors or concrete that are uncomfortable for them.
Go for dog walks when the weather is pleasant and cool. Don’t forget to take treats and water. Make sure to take breaks in between for a cool down and check your dog’s condition.
Taking your dog for a walk is a great way to bond with your dog while reaping the benefits that come with it. It comes with many health advantages that contribute to the overall health of your pet. You can start walking your pet even as pups, as long as their vaccinations are fulfilled, and you get approval from your veterinarian. Start slow and short, to let your dog get accustomed to this activity. The amount of time and frequency depends on the breed, age, and energy level of your dog. Take them out for daily walks in any weather condition that is good for them, and avoid extremely hot temperatures. Make the whole experience fun and pleasant for you and your dog.