How Often Should You Walk Your Dog?
A question that many ask but few master. Walking your dog is dependent on many factors. Of course, breed types, breed ages, age and health are all factors that should be considered when working out the right amount of time to walk your dog.
Factors that are secondary to your dogs’ needs are that of the owner, not the primary importance but a factor nonetheless. Factors that dictate how long your dog is or isn’t walked are things like time, work hours, owner health, owner interest or lack of interest sadly. Behaviour issues such as pulling on the lead and not coming when called are all factors that effect walk duration or frequency.
It’s a fine balance
I always tell dog owners that walking and feeding your dog is a balance. So for example, if your dog is a working dog, they will be fitter, require more exercise and hence need more food. If your dog is a small lap dog that gets a few minutes a day or just let out in the garden then they require less food.
“My personal opinion is dogs should always be walked a minimum of 2 times every day with extra time to relieve themselves, for example last thing at night and first thing in the morning. Dogs should never be left for longer than 4 hours as they can become bored and need the toilet.“
So, with these examples above you can see that it’s definitely a balance that needs to be worked out. But how do you work it out? Look at your dog’s body weight / condition. Are they fat, thin, just right? You can tell by looking at the region behind their last ribs, they should have a waist line, an area that ‘goes in’ as it were.
You can google infographics to find out the ideal body condition for your dog.
So, in summary there is no definitive ‘how many minutes should I walk my dog’, because there is no right or wrong answer. You have to work it out based on all the factors. Above all, enjoy your dog and make sure they get as much exercise as they can enjoy. If in doubt ask your veterinary surgeon.
(c) Sarah Gleave – Meg Heath Dog Leads