As a new dog owner, you likely have a lot of questions about your new family member. One of those big questions is likely, “How much exercise does my dog need?” The answer isn’t precisely as straightforward as you think. How often you will need to walk your dog depends on several factors that you will need to analyze. After you answer a few questions, you are much more likely to know how often your dog will need a walk.
What Breed Is Your Dog?
Each breed of dog will have different exercise requirements and thresholds. If your pup is a mutt, they may have energy characteristics of several breeds. It will be up to you to determine how many walks they will need. High-energy breeds like Border Collies and German Shepherds will need multiple walks a day to be satisfied. Basset Hounds and Yorkshire Terriers are likely to be content with one or two short walks per day. Generally speaking, larger dogs will need more exercise than smaller ones.
How to Tell If Your Dog Needs More Walks
When you have owned your dog for a few weeks, you will be much better able to read their mood. One way to tell if you are meeting your dog’s exercise requirements is how they act after a walk. If they are still whining, antsy and overly energetic, they may even need more exercise. Take note of their energy level throughout the day. Most dogs need one walk in the morning and one in the evening to be calm throughout the day and night. The duration of these walks can vary widely. Some pups only need a 10 or 15-minute walk, while others may still be spinning in circles after an hour.
Look for Signs of Pent-Up Energy
If your dog isn’t getting enough exercise, they may start to express it in different ways. Many dogs turn to destructive chewing to release nervous energy. Some dogs may have an increase in aggressive behaviors like growling or nipping. Your dog may appear more anxious, whining or begin pacing. These are all signs that they need more walks throughout the day.
Watch Your Dog’s Weight
If your dog isn’t getting enough exercise, it may start to show on their waistline. If you notice that your dog is getting thicker, you will want to first speak to your veterinarian about decreasing the portion of your dog’s food. They can help you determine the right amount of food to provide the necessary macronutrients and minerals while also helping them trim down. Adding a walk or two into their daily routine can also help your dog lose excess weight.
If you’re still stumped about how many walks your dog needs, you can always reach out to your veterinarian or a dog behavioral specialist. They can assist you in creating a walking schedule that best meets your pup’s needs.