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Should You Walk Your Dog Every Day?

 by jaime on 20 Aug 2014 |
1 Comment(s)

We're often told that we need around 30 minutes a day of exercise to keep us healthy and our weight under control. At the same time, people who engage in strenuous activity are encouraged to have a rest day to allow their bodies to repair. So should it be the same for our dogs?

Essentially, dogs need daily exercise. Not only is it beneficial for them physically, but it's good for their mental well being. It's also great for owners, because as many owners would surely attest, a lack of exercise also makes for a bored and potentially destructive dog!

How much exercise is required depends on how old your dog is, their health, weight and what breed they are. If you are unsure, speak with your vet about how much exercise and what intensity of exercise is appropriate for your dog.

Generally speaking, all dogs should receive one brisk walk a day, better still, two walks a day, for 30 minutes a time. Try and walk as briskly as possible, even if it's not for the entirety of the walk – just ten minutes of your walk at a brisk pace will make a big difference – to your dogs health, their behaviour and it will also wear them out so they sleep soundly!

When exercising, your dog will let you know if the level of intensity is too much for them. If they are lagging behind, sitting down or panting, it may be time to give your dog a break and get them plenty of water. If your dog is older and suffers from joint pain or arthritis you can take them swimming as an alternative.

Running around the yard is not the same as a brisk walk outdoors, because not only will your dog fail to meet the level of activity they require to remain fit, getting them outdoors is important mentally as the fresh and new surroundings is important to keep them alert and allow them to enjoy socialising with other dogs.

Benefits of daily exercise:

  • Helps dogs mentally reboot
  • Stops destructive behaviour
  • Keeps muscles strong and supple
  • Maintains a health weight
  • Releases endorphins
  • Reduces stress
  • Strengthens human-canine bond

While most professionals will tell you that your dog should be exercised daily, some owners decide to give their dogs a day off to let their bodies rest and repair – especially working and sporting dogs who are engaging in physical activity for a good few hours a day. However, you'll probably find many dogs have seemingly endless stamina and don't ever really appreciate a day off, much favouring the chance to get outside!

Of course there are other dogs, who are quite happy to spend a day relaxing around the house, but just like us, sometimes they need to be encouraged to exercise – for their own good!

At the end of the day, you know your dog best and can decide whether they really would benefit from a day off from exercise – just make sure to never to compromise what's really best for them.

Comment(s)1

Cassandra  - Comment
Cassandra 23 Aug 2014Reply
This was an excellent article. I often wondered if I should rest my dog because sometimes she doesn't seem happy about going out, but once she is out she is good. She is nice and fit and most importantly it is our time to bond.
Petbucket - Comment
Petbucket23 Aug 2014Reply
Hi Cassandra,
It's great to hear that this article was useful for you :)

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