How often do you walk your dog? What is the best time to take your dog for a walk? And most important, how can you tell that your dog needs a walk?
If you have a furry friend, get that knowing the answers to such questions is very important.
The thing is, all dogs need to have some time for physical development. It helps them, among other things, to improve their health.
Walking your dog(s) frequently enhances their temperament and mental state. It is a form of exercise that keeps them happy. Walking also improves their social behavior and creates strong bonds between you two.
What matters most when deciding how often to walk your dog is that your dog gets satisfied. Different dogs will require different levels of engagement. The age, breed, size, and activity level requirements all play vital roles in assessing how often you must walk your dog.
Above all that, you can also incorporate some exciting activities to break the monotony in your walks.
Let’s find out more.
Why is walking your dog important?
Just as exercise is an important part of human life, so it is also to your furry companions. It does not matter the breed. All dogs have certain physical activities they need to fulfill. It keeps them happy and well-engaged.
So, what makes walking more important than regular potty breaks?
1. Health improvement
Depending on the distance, the motion involved in these walks helps your dog to burn extra calories. In the long run, you’ll discover that walking assists your dog to cut off some extra pounds. If you don’t take your dog for regular walks, chances are that he/she will become obese over time.
Another health benefit is that walks help improve your canine’s cardiovascular system. The constant physical activity helps keep their heart’s health in top shape.
Also, a dog that goes for regular walks has better digestion which in turn, sustains its appetite.
Walking your dog will also reduce the effects of arthritis if it hits.
2. Enhances socialization
As you take your dog out for walks, it will keep observing how the world around it works. Dogs can observe how different elements in the environment interact. They can see how other pups associate with their owners and replicate that behavior at home. This involves how other dogs respond to different situations.
This is a great plus, especially when the copied behavior encourages good companionship.
When your dog picks up good behavior by itself, always show gratitude and reward it. This way, your furry friend gradually becomes an important member of your family. – And dog society too!
3. For mental stimulation
When you take your pup for walks, it gets to see new scenery and interact with other things. This provides some form of adventure to the dog. In the process, it helps to stimulate its mind and keep the dog mentally alert.
As a resulting benefit, your dog will also stop having wanton behaviors. These include chewing on your personal items or digging up flowers from the backyard garden.
You will also observe reduced cases of anxiousness, unmotivated barking, and hyperactivity.
4. Instils discipline
As you walk with your dog side by side, you help it understand the importance of hierarchy. As you lead it using a leash, it gets to accept that you are the apex. Your dog will slowly learn that you are the dominant as you control how and where it walks.
This helps it to appreciate and conform to the existing social structures. It enables your dog to value the significance of obedience to sustaining a productive companionship.
How often to walk your dog
How often you walk your dog will depend on a variety of things. On top of the list is the dog’s age, breed, size, or eating habits.
That said, most dogs will have a healthy life if they get anywhere between 0.5 – 2 hours of walk time every day. 
All in all, you should also check in with your vet to hear out what they have to advise on the same. That way, you’ll know that you at least have a program prescribed by a qualified professional.
But, from my experience:
Active dogs by nature will need more walks than others. This includes most herding, hunting, and other working dogs. Examples include hounds, shepherds, Labrador retrievers, and collies.
The above types of dogs require more intense and thorough physical activities.
On the other side of the tracks, dog breeds with shorter snouts don’t require as much intensity. A good example of this is a Bulldog. With them, making casual walks around your neighborhood once every day will do the trick.
If you happen to own a canine from a mixed heritage, you’ll find it harder to place its specific needs. In such a scenario, your best chance is to pay more attention to the signals you receive from the dog. Another factor that can help you work around mixed heritage pups is their age.
Younger dogs most of the time require more regular walks. They need high levels of intense activities to develop their mental and physical health.
On the other hand, it is perfectly normal for your dog to wane in agility as it gets older. As most dogs age, they grow achy joints, become too heavy, or develop laziness.
Despite all that, you should still take your old buddy out for walks. After all, exercise cuts across all ages, doesn’t it?
That said, just be on the lookout for your dog’s behavior.
If you notice that it still gets restless or paces around the house a lot, then you should increase your walks. If your dog looks down, seems exhausted, or sleeps a lot, then maybe that’s a pointer that you should cool things a bit.
When should you walk your dog?
Now, before you start walking your dog, you should know that routine means everything. Your dog will thrive better when you keep it under routine. 
A routine will help you both have a specific time set for exercise, meals, and other things. Keeping tabs in such a manner will also help you detect when something’s off with your furry mate.
Aside from that, the ideal time to walk your dog is:
- Right after breakfast: A brief walk will suffice.
- At midday: You can extend the potty break to include a short stroll around the corner.
- Before dinner: This is the best time for longer and more engaged walks or runs.
- Before bed: A short walk after a potty break will make your dog happy too!
It’s okay if you miss the routine once in a while due to unavoidable circumstances. Just try your best to religiously keep to the routine.
Different activity requirements for different dog breeds
Below are the different activity level requirements for different dogs. I believe this information will help you know how to handle your dog in the next walk.
1. High-energy dogs
A high-energy dog is a perfect fit for you if you live an active life. Should you want a running mate for your morning or evening jogs, then consider any of the following breeds:
- Australian Shepherd
- Border Collie
- Irish Setter
- Siberian Husky
- Labrador Retriever
These dogs love the outdoor life. They will make your jogging, hiking, and walks more fun and less lonely.
2. Cattle dogs and Sheepdogs
This pair also falls under high-activity requirement dogs.
It is a good idea to challenge either of the dogs to more than walking. Since they have high energy in them, bland walks will bore them faster than you could say presto!
Having laid that out, you should involve them with extra training and mental exercises.
- Sheepland (Sheepdog)
- Border Collie (Sheepdog)
- Bouvier des Flandres (Cattle dog)
These dogs need at least 2 ½ hours of engaging activity each day. In terms of walk time, it translates to about 20 to 25 minutes sessions, 4 times a day.
And because of their highly receptive minds, ensure that you can spare at least ½ hour for games. Games and other similar activities help improve their mental states.
Terrier dogs are much smaller. But what they lack in size they make up for in their activity and temper.
Many people love Terrier dogs because they are more responsive to training.
To give them a good time, ensure that you allocate 1 ½ hour of activity time for them every day.
This means you will have to conduct about 20 to 25 minutes of walk sessions each day. Do these short sessions at least 3 times a day to meet the required threshold.
Also, consider sparing an extra 20 minutes each day to engage them with games. You can use that spare time too to teach your Terrier dog new tricks and commands.
4. Companion dogs
This includes breeds like Chihuahuas.
Unlike Terriers, Chihuahuas do not require high levels of activities. Avoid making them do intense physical exercises as this can overwhelm them.
With these kinds of dogs, shorter walks with a mix of fun and games are all they need.
The same also goes for dogs with short hair. They can develop breathing problems and suffer from overheating if pushed over the limit.
It is a good idea to get an activity monitor for these kinds of dogs.
5. Hunting dogs, Schnauzers, Pinschers, and Greyhounds
All the above dogs love running. They also enjoy it when you engage them with new games and activities as they have sharp senses.
Because of their temperament, you will need at least 1 ½ hours minimum for walks and exercises. This translates to about 30 minutes of walking and doing cognitive exercises every day. Do this at least 3 times a day and your dog will be as fit as a fiddle.
This group of dogs makes pretty good running companions as they like being on the move. However, you must ensure that you remain mindful of their respective age and their signals. You don’t want to overwork or overwhelm their bodies’ capability.
Walking young pups…
Walking young pups is a whole different experience altogether. You must keep in mind that whatever routines you teach them from this early stage will stick.
Thus, an amazing approach is to start slow at first.
As your puppy learns how to go outside, create your walking schedule around that movement. Take advantage of such times to make your puppy go for little walks.
At first, begin by just walking it to your driveway before heading back. You can alternate the route by also making short strolls around your garden or house too.
As the puppy turns older, shorten the potty breaks and increase your walking distance. Make this 2 times out every 3 potty breaks in a day.
When your puppy reaches adulthood, you can then start easing it into a new routine. Remember, however, tight your schedule gets, make sure that you go for at least one walk each day.
Sports and other activities you can do with your dog
Besides the normal walks, you can spice up the moments for your dog by trying these activities:
- Agility training
- Biking (with dog companionship)
- Teaching new tricks, and
- Rally obedience
These activities offer a great way to challenge a dog’s physical and mental strength.
Proof that your dog needs a walk
How can you tell that your dog desperately needs a walk?
Look out for the following signs:
- Dog constantly going inside trashcans and garbage bins.
- Destructive behavior e.g. digging out plants in the garden and chewing or scratching on stuff.
- If your dog keeps jumping on your lap without you calling.
- If your dog keeps nudging at your feet.
- If your dog often gets in a fit of excitement at night as you prepare to retire to sleep.
- The dog keeps whining or barking all the time in your direction.
- Showing unruliness when they play with other dogs or people.
If you spot any of the signs above, then what you have is a bored dog.
To answer the question of how often do you walk your dog, the balance lies with the dog’s signals.
A restless and fidgety dog indicates that your pooch is in desperate need of a walk around the block. A dog that seems to sleep throughout the day perhaps needs a day or two off. If a dog looks reserved or out of it, then that could be a sign of exhaustion or sickness. The safest bet would be to let it rest or take it to the vet if, in addition to that, it won’t eat.
Also, it’s great to invest in dog tracking devices. These gadgets help you monitor your dog’s activities with ease. They will also help you keep accurate track of their movement should they wander off.
Now, grab your best leash and take your dog for a walk.
Is there something you want to ask? Feel free to use the Comments Section below!