How Far Should You Walk Your
Small Breed Dog?
When it comes to owning and properly caring for a small breed dog, you need to ensure that it gets daily exercise and physical activity to stay healthy and happy.
Dogs that lack sufficient activity can exhibit behavioral problems, come down with mental issues, and develop obesity problems. But daily exercise can help to ward off these negative outcomes. In addition to exercise, your dog needs a healthy diet, proper grooming, and good health supplements to keep it limber and up for the rigors of regular physical activity and exercise.
If you’re wondering how far should you walk your small breed dog, read on for some tips.
Deciding How Far to Go
When considering how far you should walk your dog, you should think in terms of time, rather than distance. Because each dog breed is a little different and is of a different size, a 1-mile walk for a golden retriever is going to be vastly different than a 1-mile walk for a Chihuahua.
A general rule of thumb is an average dog in good health should be able to easily tolerate a 30-minute walk daily. If you have a more active breed, as much as 60 minutes may be tolerable. An older dog or a breed that is more sedentary may be better served with a 15- or 20-minute walk.
However, make sure you know whether your dog is healthy or not. Certain behaviors that may seem slightly weird may actually be signs of illness. This could impact the amount of time your dog requires to be walked significantly.
Another strategy is to try breaking up the walk into two sessions. Perhaps a brisk 20-minute walk in the morning followed by a 45-minute walk in the evening would fit your schedule well. An older dog or a puppy may tolerate shorter, but more frequent, walks better.
Keep an eye on the weather too. If it's a hot day, cut back on the walk time, especially if you're only able to walk on hot pavement. Or if your dog seems especially frisky on a cool autumn day, adding another 5 to 10 minutes to the walk shouldn't cause any problems.
As when humans begin an exercise program, it's also important when your dog begins going on regular walks to make sure you don't overdo the workout. Too much exercise will leave the dog sore and less willing to go on a walk the next time.
Start slowly with the program and build up to the desired walking time. If you have a large dog, a gradual build-up of stamina is even more important to prevent joint injuries. Start with 10 minutes for a few days, then 15 minutes for a few days, and onward until you reach the ideal walking time.
Be Smart on the Walk
Always keep in mind just how far you are from home as you're going on the walk. If you're walking around the block, you'll end up close to home eventually.