As a dog owner, you have a responsibility to take your dog out for a walk every single day. If you don’t do this, not only are you affecting your dog’s health and wellbeing, but you’re also going to end up with a very frustrated and bored dog on your hands. If you’re wondering whether simply letting your dog out to run around the garden is enough – not quite. You need to allow them out to socialise with other dogs in the area and explore.
With that in mind, you might be wondering ‘how long should I walk my dog for?’
It really depends on the individual dog. You should never take your dog out for a walk just after they’ve eaten, because they may become bloated and experience stomach pain.
In order to figure out if your dog has had enough, you need to look for subtle signs, but you also need to know your dog well. For instance, your dog will start to slow down when they’ve had enough and they’re ready to go home. You might also see they start to limp a little, because their legs are hurting, or they just don’t seem that happy to be out anymore. A dog who is engaged in the walk, happy to be exploring, is likely to be sniffing at everything, wagging their tail and has a bounce in their step. If you’re not seeing those signs after a while, it means your dog is ready to go home and chill out.
How Long to Walk a Puppy
Think about time taken rather than the distance travelled. Every dog is a little different and has different activity thresholds. For instance, a Labrador is likely to find a mile long walk pretty easy, but a chihuahua is likely to struggle. With a puppy you should air on the shorter side; whilst they have seemingly boundless energy, they have small legs! They also haven’t build up enough strength in their legs to go over long distances just yet.
The general idea is that a fit and healthy dog should have a walk lasting half an hour every day. This varies if you have a large breed, and will reduce if your dog isn’t feeling well.
Puppies might also tolerate two walks per day better, but shorter each time. For instance, short, frequent walks are best when dogs are young.
You now know the answer ‘how long should I walk my puppy’, but what about weather? It’s vital that you keep an eye on weather in the summer months and reduce the time you’re out in the sun. The pavement will be hot, making it very uncomfortable for your puppy, and they’re certainly going to need more water, so always bear that in mind.