How Often Do Dogs Need To Be Walked?
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Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, dogs gotta walk. Keeping a typical dog cooped up in a home or a doghouse without the opportunity to go for a walk is not a good idea. Without regular walks, dogs may get neurotic, start acting out, and may be simply doggone miserable (yes, we went there!). That is because walks are important for a variety of reasons:
Reasons regular dog walking is important
Your dog gets to do his business – emptying his bowels or bladder – outside, instead of in your home: (Seriously, if you have ever watched episodes of “Hoarders” or “Hoarding: Buried Alive” on television, you would be surprised at home many people seem to have forgotten this basic truism.
Dog walking helps burn a lot of energy: Walking a dog regularly can help tire them out, which is especially important if you have a breed of dog that is very energetic, like a Dalmatian. You want your dog to come out after a walk ready to nap, not ready to eat up some leather shoes or knock over a lamp.
There is an obesity epidemic not just with people, but with dogs: Yes, it’s true. Did you know that over half of all dogs are overweight and obese, according to a survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention? And just like people, dogs need exercise, too, or they will continue that terrible trend. Even smaller dogs are overweight these days and could benefit from regular walks.
Dog walking helps your pooch see nature: Just like people, dogs need a variety of stimulating things to see, hear, smell, and experience. If you never got to leave your house, you might be bored and even a little cranky. So can dogs. So getting out for walks can help them see nature, if you live in the suburbs, or if you take them to the park. Some dogs even get excited over things like the snow. So it is important that your canine gets to experience such things.
With dog walking, your pooch will get to see other dogs: Imagine if you never got to see other humans every day. That is what you are putting your pet through if you never take him for walks, or make sure he is walked. Getting to see other dogs is an important part of his existence.
So how often should you walk your dog?
Seize the Leash gives this advice on dog-walking: “All dogs need to be taken on walks, even the most tiny of pocket-sized dogs. Just because they fit nicely into your purse doesn’t mean they should be carried everywhere. The length of the walk will obviously vary based on the size and energy of the dog, but all dogs need to be taken on frequent walks.”
But how often is frequent? Depending upon your dog’s digestive system, you probably need to walk him at least twice a day – in the morning, and in the evening. It may also be a good idea to walk your dog in the middle of the day, especially if your pooch has a small bladder or needs to “go” frequently. It really depends on your individual situation.
It is a good idea to do a daily fitness walk with your dog for a good 30 minutes, and if you cannot do that, or you cannot do some of the regular daily walks, you can hire a dog walker to do so. The dog walker can get your dog the exercise that he craves, and in some cases, the also feed your dog and get him water. Click here to learn more.
Lisa Swan writes for a variety of pet sites. She lives in New York City.
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