Dogs need exercise
Dogs need physical exercise – and as their owner, those daily steps add up for you, too. A 2017 study published in BMC Public Health found that dog owners walk an average of 22 extra minutes per day. That’s exercise that counts toward The Heart Foundation’s recommended 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise.
Walking outside has some major health perks for you…and, says veterinarian, Dr Megan Conrad, regular walks provide excellent mental stimulation for your pooch.
However, Dr Conrad and some fellow veterinarians told us there are some definite do’s and don’ts of dog walking that’ll help keep you and your pup safe and strolling happily for ages to come.
Do: Know your dog’s walking needs
In general, daily walks are recommended for most dogs, Dr Conrad says. Still, “the length of your walk very much depends on breed, age, and overall physical health.” A young border collie can go for several kilometres, while an older mini poodle is likely to need a shorter walk.
The average adult dog needs about 20 to 45 minutes of moderate exercise twice a day, which can include a brisk walk, says veterinarian, Dr Whitney Miller. But, Dr Miller says, it’s a good idea to check with your pet’s veterinarian to determine his or her individual exercise needs.
Don’t: Walk too much too soon
“Just like we would not go out and run a marathon without training first, you cannot expect your dog to go long distances right away,” Dr Karwacki says. When you’re establishing a walking routine, go short distances first and see how your dog is doing before you tack on more mileage.