As with so many other aspects of dog care, no one rule suits all dogs! Their age, breed, general health and fitness, and even their personality all play a part in determining how long they need to go out for. Daily walking times can range from as little as half an hour a day to over two hours, so this is a critical factor to consider when researching which breed of dog will fit into your lifestyle.
Some dogs, such as Yorkshire Terriers and French Bulldogs, will be perfectly happy with a short exercise time of 30-45 minutes, whereas some dogs, particularly of the working type breeds such as retrievers and boxers, need a large amount of exercise. Of course, many breeds fall within the two extremes and are happy with around an hour of walking a day – for example, Border Terriers and Pugs.
How many times a day should I walk my dog?
All dogs, no matter their breed, really benefit from a walk at least once each day. Many owners prefer to break this time up into two or even three walks a day. Not only is this a more manageable way of fitting walking into your lifestyle, it also means your dog doesn't become too tired to enjoy the latter part of their walk or bored throughout the day.
Exercise for a puppy needs to be built up gently and gradually as growing joints and bones can be easily damaged if exercise is overdone. Just as a young child wouldn’t be happy with a very long walk, neither will your puppy!
It’s not just walking that counts towards your dog’s daily exercise. Playing inside and outside is great for using up their excess energy, and so is a training session. It is important to remember that just being in the garden is no substitute for a proper walk. It’s not just the exercise that's crucial for your dog, but also the chance to socialise and interact with other dogs, and smell all those interesting smells that are out there!
As well as exercise being great for your dog’s physical and mental wellbeing, it’s also great for us owners too. With government guidelines suggesting that we all try and achieve a minimum of 30 minutes exercise a day, what better way to do this than by having fun with your dog?
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