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Knowing how far to walk your dog can be difficult. After all, it varies between breeds, sizes, and ages.
Ensuring that your dog is getting the exercise it needs will keep it in good health, and prevent joint and weight issues.
Unfortunately, many people buy dogs that require much more daily activity than the owner can commit to. This can create a host of behavioral issues, including barking, chewing on furniture, whining, and digging.
This is frustrating for both the dog and owner and can lead to good dogs being given away as they simply aren’t a good fit for the family.
Here are some of our top tips for ensuring your dog has its exercise needs met:
- You can expect spoodles and other medium breeds to need a minimum of 30 minutes walking almost every day. Depending on the breed, larger dogs may require one to two hours.
- Energetic breeds may require more than their size alone would suggest. This includes terriers and working dogs such as collies. In contrast, a similarly sized basset dog may require much less walking to get tired.
- Even though they are tiny, toy or small indoor dogs require regular walking. It is common to see overweight pugs or Maltese, because their owners don’t understand their exercise requirements.
- Consider your dog’s temperament. Some dogs are simply more active than others (much like people!), and will enjoy more exercise than others.
- Factor in your dog’s age and health. Old dogs will need a slower pace and shorter walk than puppies.
- A good approach is to walk your dog until it gets tired and starts to slow down. If your dog is unfit you may want to slowly build up how long you walk for over time.
- Mix up your route or terrain! Walks are a key part of your dog’s mental stimulation for the day, and walking the same route gets repetitive. Mix it up, and try new spots. Maybe incorporate some fetch, socialising, or games along the way.
- If your dog is obese or has been injured, talk to a vet to help create an appropriate exercise program.
- Consider the weather. Your dog can suffer from heat exhaustion or hypothermia in extreme weather. Additionally, the pavement can be too hot for their paws. If you can’t walk barefoot, then your dog shouldn’t be either.
- On hot days, consider playing in the shade at the park, or walking closer to dawn or dusk instead.
- When walking on warm days, bring along some water for your dog. If your dog enjoys swimming, taking it for a wee dip at the beach can be a good way to escape the sun and get some exercise. Just watch out for sunburn!
In summary, there is no one approach to deciding upon your dog’s exercise needs.
By using these estimates and trial and error, you should be able to ensure that your dog is getting the activity it needs for both its physical and psychological health. As a bonus, you will get fitter too.
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