A little girl going on a walk with her dog.

How Often Do You Walk Your Dog?

7 mins |

It can be confusing to know how often to walk your dog, especially if you just got one. If you are a first-time dog owner, you are probably asking other owners, “How often do you walk your dog?”. Keep reading and find out what is the appropriate daily exercise for dogs. 

Like us, dogs also need their daily exercise to remain healthy and happy. The length and frequency of the daily walks depend on the dog’s age, breed, size, and health. At least two easy 30-minute walks each day—one in the morning and one before dinner—is the formula you should go by, then adapt it to your dog’s needs.

How Often Do You Need To Walk Your Dog?

A dog playing in the park with its owners.
Aw, this dog is having a great time!

A basic recommendation is to take your dog on a walk two to three times a day. The general rule is to take at least two 30-minute walks per day—one in the morning and one before dinner. 

With that said, not every dog is the same nor will it have the same needs. You should adapt the exercise routine to your dog’s needs and stick to it, but be sure to be flexible because, same as we do, our pets have their lazy days as well.

The suggested frequency of dog walks could change depending on a variety of things such as age, breed, size, habits, diet, living conditions, state of your dog’s health, and many other factors. Keeping these in mind can make for a really enjoyable and healthy time for you and your dog.

How Long Should A Walk With A Dog Be? 

Dogs benefit from between 30 minutes and two hours of physical activity each day. Although it can be done all at once, most individuals spread it out across two or three daily walks.

A decent general guideline is to walk your dog for half hour at a time. However, there is no precise recipe. Start with a short stroll for your dog, then try to extend it over time.

When Is It Safe To Walk A Puppy?

While you want to provide your puppy with a way to burn off some energy, some illnesses, like Parvovirus, can be extremely contagious and even fatal to dogs. Puppies should have the full course of immunizations before walking them. That means that your dog has to take all of its puppy shots before going out in the world and eventually meeting new doggies. 

Even though it may seem inconvenient to have to take your dog to the veterinarian regularly for vaccinations over several months and then again for boosters throughout your dog’s lifetime, the diseases vaccinations protect our pets from are dangerous, potentially fatal, and, thankfully, largely preventable.

Puppies are 16 weeks old when the majority of them finish their vaccines, and the vet has given them an “all-clear.” This is when they are healthy enough to interact with other animals. 

Additionally, when they are four weeks old, puppies reach their mature body temperature. Puppies won’t be able to control their body temperature, though, until they are seven weeks old, so keep that in mind for your newborn puppies.

Despite their high activity level, pups shouldn’t be overexercised either. When a puppy is still growing, excessive walking can seriously harm the musculoskeletal system, which can result in illnesses like early-onset arthritis.

Tips For Going On A Walk With Your Dog

Daily walks tend to lose their sparkle and become boring as time goes by. So, here are some tips for a successful, safe, interesting walk with your dog:

  • Utilize the stroll as a chance to socialize with your dog and train them. Also, you can use treats and generous amounts of praise to increase your chances of success.
  • Prevent possible damage to pups’ and senior dogs’ joints by limiting the amount of time spent on asphalt or concrete.
  • If your dog’s feet are prone to becoming cracked or hurt, you can also use dog booties or paw guards.

What Can You Do Besides Walks For Exercise? 

If your dog is particularly active even after your walks, attempt to supplement their exercise with enrichment training and games at home. Your puppy will gain some life skills from these workouts while becoming mentally and physically fatigued. Remember: a tired dog is a happy dog.

Make this time entertaining and good for your dog by being inventive and trying out different things. Exercise can help prevent sickness and boost your dog’s health and overall well-being. Think of it as a type of preventive treatment. Some of the fun things you can do include:

  • A slow, meandering walk where you let your dog investigate and explore for as long as they like is beneficial for their mental health.
  • If your dog likes the water, swimming is a terrific option and is also quite gentle on their joints.
  • Make sure you introduce running to your four-legged pal gradually if you want to keep them healthy.
  • Every dog should engage in play daily because it keeps your dog happy and active. A terrific way for your dog to play is with puzzle toys, playing fetch, or running with you while you play your favorite sport. When playing with other dogs, some canines love locations like dog parks or daycare centers.

How To Walk Dogs And Puppies On A Lead?

Due to the traffic, stray dogs, and people in a city environment, it is safer to walk your dog on a lead. You have to take it slow with puppies and introduce the collar and leash step by step. 

First, try it inside and practice the steps. When your puppy is aware of how to approach you, practice taking a few steps in a quiet space. The challenge will be sufficient just for sensing and seeing the leash around it. 

Then, bring it outdoors. This step will provide new difficulties because your puppy will find all the sounds, scents, and sights fascinating and unfamiliar. Keep the first walks brief and practice patience.

With your adult dog, you should be more careful with the leash because they may pull on it harder. Training can help with that. You should walk at your own pace and let your dog walk right in front of you or by your side. 

Dog Walking Etiquette 

In case you’re getting a new puppy or you want to improve your walks, here are some basics every dog parent must know and respect:

  • Clean up after your dog (bring more poop bags than you think you need).
  • Keep an eye out for other people’s lawns and property to prevent your dog from using them as a bathroom.
  • When you pass someone walking the other way, keep your dog on the outside of the sidewalk.
  • Not everyone likes and is comfortable with dogs and animals, so keep that in mind.

Dog Exercise and Staying Healthy

You should take your dog for regular walks to maintain it mentally and physically healthy. Regular exercise will keep the dog healthy in several ways:

  • It will help with weight management
  • Improved joint health
  • Digestive health and so much more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Got some more questions about walking dogs? The good news is we have some more answers! 

Is It Okay To Not Walk My Dog Every Day?

You don’t have to go for a stroll every day. Many dog owners believe skipping their pets’ daily walks is a sign of failure. In actuality, your dog occasionally needs the break the most.

Dogs can feel more tired some days. This can result from a lifestyle, a medical condition, or just being more active the day prior. 

Should I Let My Dog Sniff Things On A Walk?

Yes. Dogs are naturally curious creatures. As long as there is no apparent danger, your dog can and should explore its surroundings.

How Often Do Dogs Need To Pee?

Simply put, adult dogs often need to go to the bathroom three to five times each day, with most veterinarians advising a maximum span of between six and eight hours.

In Conclusion: How Do You Walk Your Dog?

Even though there are general guides on how long to walk your dog, in the end, it is to each their own. Find a regimen that works for both of you, and make sure your pet’s needs are met. 

So, how long do you walk your dog now? Do you have any tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments!

Sandra is a veterinary undergraduate student based in Macedonia. She combines her two passions: veterinary medicine and writing, and she also tends to raise awareness about animal welfare as much as she can. As a student, she has attended many seminars and conferences related to the veterinary profession, and currently, she is focused on veterinary content writing. Although she owns a cat, she strongly claims that “dogs are her favorite people”.