How Often Should You Walk Your Dog? Equipaws Pet Services Has the Answer!
Walking your dog should be more than just a routine. If you commit to being present in the moment with your pup, walking your dog can be a bonding experience, an exercise session, and mental stimulation all rolled into one. But how often should you walk your dog? The answer varies based on several factors, including your dog’s age, breed, and health.
Your Dog’s Age Matters When it Comes to Walks
Puppies are bundles of energy and curiosity. They require shorter, more frequent walks, coupled with playtime to burn off that excess energy. But while you might want to take your cutie on a walk as soon as you bring them home, when it comes to walking your puppy, you want to protect them from picking up viruses or infections like parvovirus. Puppies typically complete all of their vaccinations at four months. Please consult your veterinarian on their vaccination schedule and socialize and walk them appropriately. You also need to take into account teaching them how to get comfortable on their leashes, and how short their legs are. You don’t want to make a puppy walk a mile on its little teacup legs.
Adult dogs who are healthy and have experience walking on a leash can go for multiple walks a day, depending on how active they have been and how much energy they have. A Viszla will love long walks or even runs; a Boston Terrier may love exercise but require more care with exposure to heat (more on breed specifics later).
As dogs age, their energy levels decrease. Senior dogs might not require as many walks, but they still benefit from shorter, gentle strolls to keep them mobile. Our senior dachshund and little mutt Roxy are in their late teens but love a jaunty stroll around the block. It takes about 20 minutes but that’s enough to keep their joints healthy.
Dog Walks and Breed Specifics
Some breeds are born to run, while others are content with a short stroll around the block. For instance, athletic breeds like Border Collies or Labradors might require more exercise than smaller breeds like Chihuahuas or Bulldogs. Our dog walkers are extremely careful with brachycephalic, aka short-nosed breeds on walks throughout the year (Frenchies, Pugs, Shar Peis, Shih Tzus, etc.). They are more susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, so we make sure to take extra breaks, stay under shade, and come in early if need be for indoor playtime. Every dog is an individual, and it’s essential to gauge their needs based on their behavior and health.
Health Considerations When Walking Dogs
Just like humans, dogs with certain health conditions might require modified exercise routines. Overweight dogs might benefit from more frequent, shorter walks, while dogs with joint issues might need gentle, slower-paced walks. Miami’s heat is always an important factor, too. Dogs who tend to have seizures need to be extra cautious outdoors, for example. We also love it when our dog-walking clients encourage us to use the pool with their pups. Swimming is gentle on dogs’ joints and so much fun!
The Equipaws Recommendation
While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, studies have shown that dogs benefit from at least one walk per day, with active breeds requiring up to two or more walks. Regular walks not only provide physical exercise but also mental stimulation, socialization, and training opportunities. At Equipaws Pet Services, we understand the unique needs of each dog. Serving the Coral Gables, South Miami, and Palmetto Bay areas, we tailor each walk to your dog’s specific requirements. Whether it’s a brisk morning jog, a midday stroll, or a gentle evening walk, our loving dog walkers have you covered. Let us know if you have any questions about how often you should be walking your dog! And contact us today to schedule a dog walk or learn more about our services.