If it is the first time that a dog comes into your life, it is normal that you wonder how long you should take the dog for a walk and how many times a day. Here you will find an orientation.
The importance of dog walks
Walking the dog is an obligation that any responsible pet owner must meet. This obligation is given by the importance that the walk has for the dogs.
The dog’s outings are much more than the time to relieve themselves outside the home. For them it implies more things:
- It is time to socialize. When dogs leave home they meet other animals (of their species or not), strangers, places, situations … all of this is part of their socialization, so necessary to develop good behavior.
- Physical exercise. Walking, running, jumping… dogs get a lot of exercise during their walks. This exercise is essential to stay in shape and avoid problems such as obesity, but also to stimulate yourself mentally.
- Avoid or reduce stress and anxiety. Dogs that stay indoors all day tend to develop anxiety and stress. Going outside and receiving different stimuli is one of the best remedies.
How much do I have to walk the dog?
At a general level, there is no rule that indicates the appropriate number of walks or their duration. This is so because it is necessary to adjust this activity to each dog as required. For this, you have to take into account their age, mainly, and their physical characteristics.
Taking the puppy dog for a walk
When a puppy comes into your life you should know that you cannot walk the dog until it completes its vaccination schedule.
This is because puppies are very sensitive to disease and could easily get sick if, for example, they smell the feces of a sick dog. Once you have the complete schedule, you can start walking.
The time will depend on the breed, as a small dog will tire much earlier than a large breed. You must be aware of your pet’s attitude and not allow him to become excessively fatigued.
In addition, in all cases, taking the dog for a walk should be an activity that is progressively lengthened, but always with a limit.
You have probably taught your puppy to use the pad to relieve himself. You will have noticed then that they usually do them in the morning and after meals, so when you go out, you should adjust the hours of walks to this.
In the same way, you will have to start getting the dog used to urinating and pooping outside the home and for this, the best is positive reinforcement, just like you did with the soaker.
For all that has been said, it is normal for the puppy to walk 3 to 5 times a day, but keep in mind that the little ones are very active inside the house, so they will not be very long, since they will get tired even before going out.
Taking the adult dog for a walk
When the dog is an adult, it is assumed that it already knows that it must do its things outside the home, so meeting its physiological needs will be the main objective (although without forgetting the others).
When it comes to taking the adult dog for a walk, the number of outings will be lower than with puppies, but longer.
Depending on the breed (as there are some that need much more activity than others) and your availability, the walks will be repeated 2 to 3 times a day and will last between 40 and 90 minutes.
In these outings, it will not only be necessary to walk but it is recommended to take the dog to a park so that it can exercise properly.
According to experts, the best times of the day to walk the dog are early in the morning and in the evening. In the morning it will empty the bladder accumulated from all night and in the evening, the accumulated during the day before going to sleep.
It is also recommended that the morning and afternoon are the longest and then take other shorter walks throughout the day. In any case, you should never be given just one.
Walking a senior dog
Older dogs often have certain special needs. The number of walks is usually not different from that of adult dogs unless the animal has bladder or digestive problems. If so, then you will need to go out more often.
What is common is that the duration of the outings is shorter, since the elderly dogs get tired before and you do not have to force them.
Other considerations for taking the dog for a walk
When taking the dog for a walk, in addition to the number of times and the duration of the walks, other considerations must be taken into account.
Vaccines and deworming
It is true that before taking a puppy out on the street, he must have a complete vaccination schedule, but it is also important that throughout his life he receives the reinforcements of said vaccines. If not, at any time you can be unprotected against diseases.
In the same way, it is essential that it is protected against parasites, both internal and external. At the end of the day, it will share space with many other animals of which you do not know if they are free of parasites that could hit your pet.
If your dog is not used to walking without a leash or has not socialized properly, you should bear in mind that it is best that you always carry him on a leash. You shouldn’t let go of him until he’s in a safe place where he can’t escape or where he can’t hurt himself.
Weather conditions are other factors to consider when taking the dog out. Going outside in the hottest hours can cause your pet heatstroke and/or burns on their pads.
Similarly, extreme cold can also cause a lot of damage to the animal.
For its part, the rain is not harmful as such, but it is true that it is very important that when you get home you dry the animal properly to avoid colds or the appearance of fungi on its skin or ears due to the accumulation of humidity.
Always carry a drinking fountain with you so that you can offer your dog whenever necessary.