Staying Healthy

How Often Should One Walk Their Dog?

How often should one walk their dog? Walking your dog is a very important part of his physical and daily routine – it keeps his bones stronger and keeps him from getting bored and chewing things or exhibiting other destructive behaviors. Walking also allows him to urinate, eliminate, and socialize with other dogs. But how often should one walk their dog?

There is no definite number of times in general because it mostly depends on what breed you have and its health condition and capability. In fact, there are many factors that determine the frequency or the number of times you should walk your dog every day. It depends on the dog – there are some breeds for whom once a day walks are enough, but some others, especially high-energy ones, require more walks each day. But as a general rule, it is recommended that you walk your dog at least 15 minutes, twice a day. Although of course, it is much more advisable to consult your vet for the proper walking schedule for your dog.

How Often Should One Walk Their Dog?

The following are the factors that can affect how many times you need to walk your dog each day:

  • Dog breed. There are some breeds that have a small bladder, and this can affect frequency.
  • Dog size. Shorter and fewer walks are usually recommended for small breeds.
  • Owner’s schedule. If you have a busy work schedule, then you can probably only walk the dog one or two times a day.
  • Dogs having diarrhea. This will require more walks to prevent eliminating in the house.
  • Dogs with illnesses. Some are advised by their vets to stay inside the house until further notice.
  • Dog’s energy level. Some dogs have high energy levels, which require more walks.
  • Dog’s diet. If you give your dog low residue food, that means elimination may only come once every two days, so frequent walks are not as necessary for elimination, but is for exercising and urination.

Two of the main goals of dog walking is for exercising and socializing. Regular exercise is important for a dog’s overall health, and in particular to help keep him from getting fat and lazy.

But the main goal you should keep in mind for the walks is to firmly establish in the dog’s mind that YOU are the “alpha” leader, not the dog. This is critical to the mental health and stability of the dog! As explained in this article on the DogBreedInfo.com website:

For a dog to be mentally stable, you as an owner must take your dog for daily walks to release mental and physical energy. The proper way to walk a dog is the dog walking either beside you, or behind you, and never in front of you. This may seem petty in a human’s mind, however it means a lot in a dog’s mind. When a human allows a dog to walk in front, they are sending signals to the dog that he is leading the human. Instinct tells a dog that the leader goes first. A lack of exercise allows the buildup of the mental energy which would otherwise be released in a proper walk, and permitting a dog to be pack leader can cause many behavioral problems in a dog—such as, but not limited to, hyper-activity, neurotic and/or obsessive-compulsive behaviors—all of which are signs of a dog that is not mentally stable.

Walking your dog also helps prevent urinary tract infections because your dog urinates regularly and thus, the bacteria are driven out of the bladder and the urinary tract. It will also affect your dog’s urine routine if kept delayed for a long time. A regular bowel movement can also be developed with frequent walking outside. It also allows the owner to see cues of possible health problems such as changes in the color, consistency, smell or frequency.

Another thing that makes dog walking very important is socialization. If your dog takes time out in the morning or afternoon spending time outside, he can meet many other dogs and see tons of people; he will be socialized well and will not develop anxiety and fear problems.

Hopefully these facts and considerations will answer for you about how often should one walk their dog?

Are you able to walk your dog daily? What benefits have you seen?

23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Nicole Marrin

    Oct 28, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Being 9m pregnant there are days where my dog only gets one walk a day. She has a huge yard, however, and most days we will go out at least once for many, many hours of engaged doggy fun. I feel like this is sufficient…

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  4. Caitlin Audet

    Mar 14, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    Probably a silly question but how would you walk a dog behind you?

    • paula j

      Jun 6, 2017 at 8:15 am

      With good training you can get them to walk behind you,mine will walk beside me off lead for abit,but i have to keep saying "stay with me" & during them times he has walked behind us but zig zags,seems better at the side of me

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  6. eddy

    Jan 27, 2017 at 11:09 am

    I walk my dog 3-4 times a day every 3-4 hours. Anything less than that and I would be ashamed as a pet owner to make my dog hold it in like other pet owners do >:o Black Labrador retriever mix 16 years old now. A long happy life for my dog 🙂

  7. Max

    Dec 20, 2016 at 9:12 am

    OOps this is about pets not watches unless its a watch dog! HA HA

  8. dede

    May 20, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    The person who wrote this article does not own a dog. A dog should be walked at least three times per day and not just for 15 minutes. At least one of the walks should include quality outdoor time where the dog gets to play and run around. FYI, throwing a dog in the backyard or worse on an apartment balcony isn’t considered quality outdoor time. Dogs need to be engaged. They are social creatures

  9. BUDDY AM THE BLIND ONE

    May 4, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    I have 3 older dogs , 1 is blind other 2 are 1/2 blind . I walk them 4 x a day, and let them go out side when they want to . 1X a day is not ENOUGH. Get off your —— and take your dogs out. They love it !!!! You like to get out of the house. If you keep your dog out side all day tied up, Thats real Wrong !!!!

    • Max

      Dec 20, 2016 at 8:37 am

      Dogs are people too. Would you like to be tied to a stake and left alone. They need to sniff and chase cats and sniff other dogs and play just like people do. I have a Jack Russell and a Chihuahua and Jack loves to keep the perimeter secure of any stray animals from encroaching on his area. And Sparky the CHI. likes to know what is going on around his sector also. Very sociable and friendly. Jack is a service dog and Sparky is his buddy.

  10. Liz Kreuzer

    Jun 8, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Looks like a dingo in the picture to this article!

  11. Dragonwych

    Jun 3, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    The author seems to know that one of the primary purposes of walking the dog is to permit it to urinate and defecate, yet he states some dogs can be walked as little as once a day. I would like, therefore, for the author to spend the next week forbidden to use the toilet more than once a day. Can any idiot write down some drivel and get it published here?

    • Lexi

      Dec 31, 2015 at 3:27 pm

      Some people use pee pads but still take their animals out to use the bathroom.

  12. Popo's Mom

    Apr 15, 2015 at 11:41 am

    My AmStaff and I walk about 3-5 miles a day. She is in front of me for almost the entire walk but she knows who is in charge. She knows “NOW” means let’s get moving and “Turn” means we’re turning corners, “over” means she needs to walk at my side as someone passes and “Leave it” means stop sniffing already! I don’t see the problem with her walking in front if she’s not pulling, she’s behaving, and we both enjoy ourselves.

    • Jane Songer

      Jun 28, 2015 at 12:18 am

      My little dog, Buddy, also goes ahead on our daily walks. He has 2 main routes he has established; he decides which he wants to take. He & I are both older, & fortunately, in this case, I use a walker. This enables me to pick him up and place him in his “box” that has his pillow in it when he gets tired! By now, I can say, “are you ready to ride? You’re looking kinda tired;” if he’s ready, he will stand still so I can pick him up. He also knows “turn,” “it’s okay”(when he sees a sprinkler & doesn’t want to walk through the “rain.”) If it isn’t covering the sidewalk, I tell him “it’s okay,” & he will immediately proceed ahead.
      I also think that this article missed an opportunity to tell people to pick it up when your dog defecates. It is only right; no one wants to step in it. I often use the plastic bag the newspaper is delivered in, but there are also small sacks available just for this purpose; people do appreciate this very much!

    • Max

      Dec 20, 2016 at 8:49 am

      I think that for training purposes the dog needs to walk to your left and by your side and stop and sit when you stop and that’s just for training. When I walk my dog he goes with me to the side walk then sits while I unleash him then I say go any hey takes off sniffing and doing what dogs do. When Someone goes by he just greets them with a tail wag and that is all. When someone goes by on a bike he likes to bark and chase them but just till they are away then comes back or continues his sniffing. He is not aggressive in any way, Just playful.

  13. Frank Cook

    Mar 16, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Thank You !

    • Max

      Dec 20, 2016 at 8:55 am

      Your Welcome

  14. andrea

    Feb 25, 2015 at 12:00 am

    that alpha thing has been so debunked for quite awhile now. you might want to re-examine your stance on that.

    • Max

      Dec 20, 2016 at 9:05 am

      In dog terms it is a very real thing as dogs are naturally pack animals and the big dog is usually the Alpha that’s why sometimes they fight as to establish who is the Alpha male. I have two and one is bigger then the other a Jack Russell and a Chihuahua, although small for his size he can be very much a big dog in a little body and that is where you need to be cautious cuz he can get hurt thinking he is big when he’s not. There is a lot to the Alpha thing amongst dogs, people too!

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