It is a question that new dog owners and even some experienced dog owners commonly grapple with – how often should I walk my dog? The truth is dogs need a lot of exercise to maintain their physical and mental capabilities and diversity is the key. Different activities deliver different benefits. But one of the most important things you can with your dog is to walk her regularly because walking stimulates every part of the dog’s body.
Why Walking Your Dog is So Important
Even if you have a large, gated backyard, there are still reasons why you should be walking your dog daily. For starters, walking is a low impact form of exercise, which is much safer on your dog’s joints than running and jumping around the yard. Walking also helps lubricate your pet’s joints and builds muscle, both of which will help her maintain pain-free mobility even as she ages.
Regularly walking your dog also helps her burn off excess calories and energy. This is essential for maintaining a healthy weight and for reducing problematic behaviors that commonly present themselves when a dog has pent up energy.
Walking your dog also plays a role in helping your pet stay “regular.” This is because walking is great for your dog’s digestive and urinary health. Dogs that go for walks around the neighborhood usually relieve themselves during their walk. They do this in part because they want to broadcast their smell throughout the neighborhood and because walking stimulates their need to go. Just by walking your dog regularly, you can dramatically reduce the number of indoor “accidents” she might otherwise have.
The Longer the Walk, the Better (For Your Dog)
Dogs love to explore, so taking a long walk is one of the best things you can do with your dog to help keep her mentally healthy. This type of mental stimulation has been shown to help reduce anxious and destructive behaviors and it can even help curb unwanted behaviors like barking and whining. Plus, it helps strengthen the bond between you and your pet. The more you walk with your dog, the more she will grow to respect and love you as her master.
The Bottom Line on Dog Walking: Different Breeds Have Different Needs
Not all dogs have the same walking needs. Certainly, your dog’s age, health, and activity level will affect how often and for how long you can take her for a walk and her breed also plays a role. For instance, smaller breeds and younger dogs tend to be more active and energetic, so they will benefit from longer, more frequent walks. Meanwhile, larger, less active breeds, and older dogs will benefit more from one or two shorter walks per day.
When creating a walking routine for your dog, it is recommended to try and stick to the schedule as much as possible. Your dog will quickly become familiar with the schedule and know when it’s time to go for her walk. At the very least, your dog should go for one or two longer walks every day, not including shorter “potty breaks.”
Owning a dog is a big responsibility. After all, she can’t walk herself. But unfortunately, sometimes our busy lives prohibit us from being able to take our dogs for their much-needed walks. If you find yourself in this situation, Suburban Pets can help. We are the #1 Long Island dog walking service. If you are looking for a reputable, caring, and experienced dog walker to take your dog for a walk when you are unavailable, just contact us today.