Owning a pet can be stressful. From maintaining consistent feeding times to scheduling annual vet visits, caring for your furry best friend is no easy job.
Even the simplest task of walking your dog can seem tedious.
No matter the size, breed, or age, all dogs need a walk. Whether it’s a leisurely walk, an endurance run, or a bathroom break, walks are beneficial to your dog’s health.
How often your pup should go for a walk depends on a couple of factors, but the main takeaway is that physical activity works wonders for your pet.
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How often should you walk your dog?
According to PetMD, there are four factors to consider when determining how often you should walk your dog.
- dog breed
- Your pet’s exercise tolerance
- your agenda
When it comes to dogs, each breed has its own style of grooming. Some may need to walk just once a day, while others need up to three walks, according to the American Kennel Club.
Certain sporting and working dogs, such as golden retrievers or Doberman pinschers, need plenty of daily activity and exercise. Miniature breeds, like the Pekingese, are much calmer, according to the AKC.
Just like humans, younger dogs will have more energy than their older counterparts, according to PetMD. This means that younger dogs may need more walks. Dogs up to 4 years old will also be more likely to play than older dogs, says PetMD.
Another thing to keep in mind about older dogs is health conditions, such as diabetes or arthritis. These could play a role in lowering their stamina, making them less inclined to exercise and walk, according to PetMD.
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How long should you walk your dog?
Dogs in good shape can walk 20 to 30 minutes a day, according to PetMD. But if your dog is overweight or has health problems, he may only be able to walk for 10 minutes. Monitor your dog’s pace the next time you take him outside. This can help you assess what your dog can and cannot handle.
Sometimes our schedules are busy and tight, so we can’t always take the time to go for a long walk with our pet. Walking your dog for 10 to 15 minutes two to three times a week is recommended, according to PetMD.
But if this isn’t feasible for your schedule, an alternative to a walk outside is 10 to 15 minutes of activity at home, according to PetMD.
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Is it okay not to walk your dog every day?
You’re not a bad pet owner if you miss walking your dog for a day or two, says Smiling Leash. As long as your pup is getting some sort of activity, he’ll be fine, says Vet Street.
While walking may be the preferred method of exercise for some pet owners, others don’t have the time.
Your pet may enjoy a game of fetch outside or chasing a ball down the hall as much as a walk.
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Should I let my dog sniff on walks?
Dogs like to stop and sniff as they walk, as it lets them know who else has gone to the bathroom there, says the AKC.
Your dog also wants to leave his mark in the area, so he will look for the best place to do so. Some male dogs even raise their hind leg as high as possible so that their urine reaches the level of other dogs’ noses, according to the AKC.
Sometimes your dog may even scratch the ground to further leave his signature. Dogs have glands in their toes that emit scents when they dig in the ground, which increases the scent profile, says the AKC.
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How often do dogs need to urinate?
Generally, adult dogs will need to go to the bathroom three to five times a day, according to Purina. Most vets will recommend waiting six to eight hours to go to the bathroom, says Purina. But just as different factors contribute to the need to walk more, the same goes for trips to urinate.
Puppies have smaller bladders than older dogs, so they will need to go to the bathroom more often. On the other hand, older dogs cannot hold their bladders as long as younger dogs.
If your dog has health problems, such as being overweight or diabetic, this can also contribute to more frequent urination, says Purina.
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