How Often Should Dogs Be Walked?
Updated: Jan 11
There is no magic formula that tells us exactly how much daily exercise each dog needs. Age, size, breed, and overall health will play an important role in helping determine an individual dog’s exercise needs. The dog’s feeding schedule will also impact how often they may need to be let out for a potty break each day. Because we believe every dog benefits from at least one daily dog walk, we came up with the following tips to help you answer the question, how often should dogs be walked?
Puppies are still developing physically, therefore, young puppies should not be walked for too long to ensure proper bone development and fusion. The rule of thumb for dogs under one year old is a 5-minute walk per month of age. For a four-month-old puppy, for example, you would limit each walk to 20 minutes.
Senior, geriatric, and dogs that are sick need individualized walk time and frequency. With such dogs, it’s critical to discuss exercise needs and limits with your veterinarian and veterinary specialists. If your care team is undecided on maximum exercise exposure, opt for the most conservative figure to ensure your dog doesn’t get overheated and/or overworked. Because our pets cannot tell us when it’s too much, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Some breeds like brachycephalic dogs are sensitive to prolonged exercise, extreme heat, and more. For this reason, it’s important to discuss your breed’s needs with your veterinarian.
Understanding what your dog was bred for will also be of use in these scenarios. Once you know what your dog’s genetic drives are likely to be, you can better gauge how often and for how long your dog should and can safely exercise. We think genetic testing for pets is a great idea, especially genetic testing that includes possible genetic health predispositions. Knowledge is power therefore the sooner you get your dog genetically tested, the better. Get $20 off your pet’s Wisdom Panel by using this link.
The frequency of walks varies, again, depending on age, breed, and size. We recommend you learn how to read your dog’s energy levels and only exercise them when they are in an active state while limiting the length of each session according to the above puppy formula and recommendations.
Most loving and dedicated pet parents would ideally like to give their pets exactly what they need every day of their lives but that’s not always sustainable. Most of us aren’t getting the exercise we need daily, let alone finding time to exercise our dogs. Yet, our dog’s health and longevity are impacted by the amount of movement they get every day.
Thankfully, with Hearts at Home Pet Sitting, you can sign your dog up for regular exercise walks with our Frequent Walker services. By signing your dog up as a Frequent Walker, they get a guaranteed spot on our team’s schedule. The only requirement is that they be scheduled at least three times per week, Monday through Friday, on a recurring monthly basis. Visits occur between 11 AM and 3 PM, which adds to your peace of mind while you’re working - whether you work from home or at the office. And, visit lengths are tailored to your pet’s or pets’ individual needs.
To learn more about our Frequent Walker service, please call 757-745-9868 or email Hello@HeartsAtHomePetSitting.com.