This may seem like an easy question to answer, but it’s not always cut and dry.
Daily walks are great for you and your dog – you both get some needed exercise and get out in the fresh air. It’s great for their happiness and mental and physical health and provides the stimulation they need to keep any potential bad habits at bay. Like human kids, dogs can tend to get bored, and a bored dog can be a destructive dog.
So, what are the factors that you need to consider when taking your dog out for walks?
Age is a major factor when it comes to dogs. Younger dogs need more walks as smaller intervals while older dogs will only need a few walks a day. As a dog ages, their stamina starts to wane, so you’ll want to be careful how long you walk with your senior pooch. Dogs in their middle years can withstand longer walks, so make sure that you check out that park you’ve been wanting to visit.
The breed of dog that you have also played into how long those walks are. Smaller breeds like Chihuahuas and Yorkies don’t need to go on a long hike with you, but a quick jaunt around the neighborhood or down to the park and back should be just fine.
Now, if you have a Siberian Husky, Australian Shepherd, or any other hyperactive dog, then a run down to the park and some serious play with frisbees is in order. You’ll certainly want to make sure that you bring home Fritz pretty tired so he doesn’t chew up the couch or drive you nuts for more playtime.
The Bruno’s of the world like English Bulldogs, Basset Hounds, and Great Danes make for great strolling pals. A lazy walk around a lake or a stroll around a park is perfect for these low energy dogs. They generally tire faster than hyper mid-sized dogs and smaller energetic types and will cozy up to you on the couch to watch your favorite flick or show series.
Something else that a lot of people don’t consider is the time of year and the temperature outside. Frozen sidewalks and snow can wreak havoc on your dog’s paws, so make sure that they have the right protective gear on when you go out for a walk (Bella the Yorkie will probably need a parka and some booties). Making sure that their paws are healthy is always a must. The same goes for the summer. The summer heat can seriously heat up sidewalks and asphalt which can burn your puppies’ paws. During the summer months, it’s best to walk your puppy early in the morning or later in the evening. The other thing you can consider is to drive to a dog park where there is minimal contact with the hot ground.
Lastly, think about your dog’s health and potential allergies. Both of those could affect how long your walks are. So, create a daily routine with your pooch and you’ll both be quite happy with the exercise and bonding. Check out your local Petland for appropriate gear for walking your dog.