We have three dogs and two kids. Our three puppies lived with us for a few years before our human babies arrived. Back then I had the time and energy to take the dogs for two walks a day everyday. Our walks would be for a mile or so, about 30 minutes, give or take.
Now, however, it’s really tough to get the dogs out for a walk. But I still want to make time for them. So how often should you walk your dog?
Why Should You Walk Your Dog?
- They love it. Dogs are descended from wolves and are genetically wired to wander. Taking your dogs out for a walk is like taking your kids to the museum or the park. They love to sniff and mark and get the lay of the land.
- Stress reducer. Dogs can and will get frustrated with a lack of walks. They can show this behavior in a number of ways, many destructive.
- Exercise. Both humans and dogs need regular exercise. Going for walks is a great way to kill two birds with one stone!
- Relationship building. Your dogs learn to trust and respect you as their leader on walks. You determine the direction and the distance. This respect will carry over to the rest of your life with them.
How long should you walk your dog?
I strongly recommend walking for at least thirty minutes. Depending on your dog and their personality this could be a mile long hike or it could be just around the block. If you or your dog is pretty sedentary right now don’t jump into a 30 minute walk- start small. Going for walks just down the street can be beneficial too, and you can try to work your way up to 30 minutes.
How often do you walk your dog?
Because walks are so important we should try to get them out frequently. But, we also have lots of other responsibilities and commitments.
My rule of thumb is to try for 3-4 walks a week, 20-30 minutes a walk. This is enough time to let them sniff around the neighborhood and get some good exercise.
Let me know how often you walk your dog!