Different dog breeds require different walk times, and different amounts of activity while on their walk. The smaller chihuahua might be fine with a 10 minute trip around the block every second day, but a working dog such as a husky may require a 3 mile run daily. For an intelligent dog, such as a border collie, its not so much the length of the walk, but what is done on the walk. These dogs need mental stimulation, tasks to do, as such smarter dogs might be fine with 30 minutes playing Frisbee, an other 30 minutes practicing obedience or agility, as well as an actual walk.
Dogs with short faces (see link below), such as the pug, and pekingese, are prone to respiratory problems and can be easily exerted if pushed too far. For these dogs walks should be kept shorter, but more frequent, as such where a chihuahua might only need to be walked once every two days, a dog such as a boxer might be better off with two shorter walks per day.
By Marmstrong21 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
In hot weather dogs can become dehydrated and even suffer heat stroke. As such when temperatures climb walks should be reduced or limited to the cooler times of the day (morning and evening). Walks on hot cement should be avoided as the cement can cause pain on the dogs paw pads.
In cold weather, even the most hardy breeds can get hypothermia or can burn the pads of their paws by walking in ice. In cold weather dogs can be bundled up in coats, and boots, but walks should be cut short because the cold air entering an active dog’s lungs will chill the animal.
Puppies should never be walked until they are fully vaccinated. Until that point they should only be in a fully fenced backyard, otherwise they risk many diseases, including parvovirus (see link below).
Older dogs who are suffering from arthritic pains should be given short walks only, either around the block, or to the end of the block and back, depending on their condition. Walking too far, means a long walk back home.
Some people lack yard space to turn their dog out in to go to the bathroom (urinate, defecate). These dogs will require more walks, especially if on lower quality foods. In most cases a quick trip outside will allow them to urinate, then it is back in to eat. Then out again for a more proper walk. This will stimulate the bowels for defecation. The dog will require 2-4 more times out before the end of the day, again depending on the food quality (low quality food means dogs poop more), and type of dog.
An average dog can easily walk a mile or two every day, although most owners do not have the time or energy for this. As such a shorter walk on days when time is limited, and longer walks on other days will make up for the difference. Most dogs should be walked daily, if not at least 5 walks a week will be fine. If an owner cannot walk their dog as much as it needs it, they may ask a neighbor to do this, or a proper dog walking service. Properly trained, and socialized, dogs might enjoy a trip to the off leash dog park. Only a few dogs know how to entertain themselves in the yard, and miss out on getting enough exercise when simply turned out to play.
Regular walking helps keep a dog (and its owner) in healthy shape, mentally, and physically.
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