Pet parents understand that our canine companions need a certain amount of exercise each day in order to remain healthy. Not only that, we are inundated with the idea that a tired dog is a happy dog. Yet, the question remains among pet parents—how often do you walk your dog?
The exact amount of exercise—which is typically frequent walks around the yard or neighborhood—is dependent on a variety of factors for every individual dog. Some breeds need very little exercise, with no more than a half-hour per day being sufficient to keep a dog healthy. However, other dog breeds need an hour of exercise each day simply to work off all the pent-up energy they possess.
Yet, a dog’s breed is only one factor in determining how often to walk one’s dog.
The Breed of Dog and How Much Exercise Is Needed
How much exercise does a dog need? Various dog breeds require a different amount of exercise each day. For pet parents, taking dog walks is only one method of providing exercise, but it is the chief way we provide a workout for Fido.
Small Dog Breeds
Small dog breeds typically do not need a lot of exercises, particularly if the dog is not considered a working breed. Toy or miniature breeds usually need two short, brisk walks of about fifteen minutes per session are more than enough for a Chihuahua, a Yorkshire Terrier, or a Boston Terrier.
However, there are exceptions to this rule, too. The Toy Poodle and the Miniature Poodle are highly intelligent dogs that need more than a mere thirty minutes per day of exercise. While you can provide two or three short, brisk fifteen-minute walks per day, it is still a good idea to have toys and other means of “mental” activity for these smart pooches.
Dogs that are considered brachycephalic have a definitive restriction on exercise time. A brachycephalic dog is one that has a flat face and a short snout. These dog breeds include most of the bulldog breeds (English Bulldog, chiefly) as well as the Pug and the Boston Terrier. The French Bulldog is also a part of this group.
It is highly important that a brachycephalic breed never be allowed to get overheated or over-excited. These dogs’ short snout is already a bit of an impediment to their breeding (which is why they are also considered noisy dogs; they breathe loudly and may snort or seem to breathe heavily even when they are at rest). Keep in mind that these dogs have a difficult enough time breathing when they are at rest or when engaging in normal activity; when they are exercising, they can become short of breath and it could be fatal if they are not allowed proper rest in between exercise sessions .
Medium Dog Breeds
Medium-sized dogs may also require more than the standard half-hour of exercise that smaller dog breeds need. Plus, many medium-sized breeds are part of the “working group” breeds of dogs.
Working group breeds may need more than an hour of exercise each day. You may need to break this up into four fifteen-minute breaks, or you may encourage other forms of exercise for these breeds. You can supplement the hour of dog walking per day with toys that stimulate mental activity and prevent Fido from getting bored.
Pet parents can also provide a medium-sized dog with extra activity in the form of playing in the backyard. Highly energetic dogs such as these need more exercise and may benefit from setting up an obstacle course (one can use old kids’ toys to do this) or simply allowing Fido a little time to run around outside. However, maximize security by installing the best wireless dog fence or even in-ground dog fences. A good game of fetch will also help to wear an energetic dog breed down so he can properly rest.
No backyard? No problem! Those who live near the city may take Fido to the park for some playtime. However, check out the possibility of any dog parks in your area. This will allow Fido not only to burn off his own energy, but it will also give him the opportunity to socialize with other dogs.
Then some pet parents wish for the opportunity to participate in the exercise themselves. If you do happen to have one of the medium-sized (or large breed) high-energy dog breeds, then you can definitely use your own exercise time to provide the same for Fido. Playing games such as Frisbee (be sure to purchase a doggy Frisbee that won’t cut Fido’s mouth) or a simple game of fetch or tug-of-war are all great ways to engage your dog in exercise while burning some calories yourself.
Large Dog Breeds
Now, let’s talk about large breed dogs. Again, one will need to consider a dog’s energy level before deciding just how much exercise your dog needs.
Some large breed dogs have lower or medium-energy levels. These dogs are happy to chill and sleep most of the day away. They won’t get destructive if they become bored, either. However, taking your dog for regular walks or engaging him otherwise in play is a great way to bond.
Other large breed dogs are high-energy at all times. They’ll need that hour of walking time plus extra activity in order to keep from getting bored. These dogs are great for taking on a hike or for an extended jog in the park. They have the stamina to keep up with you as well as enjoy the time together.
If pet parents aren’t able to take a dog for four walks a day, then consider purchasing a food puzzle toy. These toys encourage dogs to “work” to get a treat, and dogs enjoy the challenge. The toy can keep an intelligent dog busy for thirty minutes or more, and this helps to work off some of that energy. Most fur parents often hire dog walkers if needed.
1. How many walks a day does a dog need?
At a minimum, all dogs need between thirty minutes and sixty minutes of walking time per day. Pet parents can break this up into smaller, fifteen-minute walking sessions if necessary (for some breeds, this is necessary). Dogs that have higher energy levels will need to get an hour’s worth of walking per day, and you will do well to add some additional activity to the dog’s schedule as well.
2. Is it OK not to walk your dog every day?
No, it is really not a good idea to skip exercise for your dog. A tired dog is a happy dog, and he’s healthier too. If you can’t walk your dog due to inclement weather or an emergency, this is understandable. However, you should try to provide your dog with some type of activity each day.
Dogs enjoy mental activity too. One can purchase a food puzzle toy that will encourage Fido to toss, chew, and shake the toy in order to get a treat to be released from the toy. Some dogs may work the toy for thirty minutes or more in order to get the enclosed treat. This will keep Fido from getting bored and possibly becoming destructive.
3. How often should you walk your dog to pee?
In short, as necessary. However, it’s always a good idea to allow your dog to empty her bladder between four and six times a day.