How important is it that your dog gets out every day for a dog walk?
It is very important. We hear about how we humans should exercise at least 30 minutes every day, and this is the same for our dogs. When our dogs lay around all day and don’t get any exercise, they will get overweight, just like humans would.
When my dog was younger, he would get out for a dog walking 4 times a day, for at least 30 minutes at a time. Now, this may be more than most people can do, and I was going to school at the time and had a job where I worked early in the morning and was home by mid-morning. I know most people don’t have this type of schedule. So at least one good 45 minute dog walk per day will help keep your pup in good shape.
Note, I did say a 45 minute dog walking. I believe this is the magic number for a fast paced outing with your dog. Make sure you maintain a brisk pace. Let them do their business, but don’t let them mill around. Keep up the pace and keep moving forward.
You can do shorter walks during the day to let your dogs do their business, or they can do potty in the yard, if this is your situation. The 45 minute dog walk is for exercise, so make sure you keep focused on this.
Now, depending on your dog’s health, and yours, you may do this walk on flat land, or you may get more adventurous and head for the hills. Please do make sure that your dog has been given the go ahead from your veterinarian for this type of exercise. Depending on you and your dog’s health, if you do climb hills, be sure not to overwork your dog. An overweight dog or older dog will need to walk at a slower pace when climbing hills. Again, your vet can help you with a dog walking regimen.
Please make sure you always bring fresh water with you on your walks, and that you give your dog plenty of water when needed. Your dog will want to please you and will continue walking for you. It is up to you to make sure they get water breaks, especially when it is hotter outside. It is best to do this 45 minute exercise dog walk when it is coolest outside. This may mean that the best time to walk your dog will be in the early morning or late evening.
Of course, along with a good exercise every day, you need to keep a healthy diet for your dog. Along with a good dog walking each day, you should feed your dog a proper amount of food. Every dog is different and has a different metabolism, just like humans do. Talk to your vet to get a good guideline, and feed a good quality food, preferably a holistic type of dog food.
Keep treats to a minimum, and make sure they do not have a high fat or calorie content. This is where a lot of people tend to falter. You must take into account the extra calories and fat that dog treats may have in them. This can put extra weight on your dog, even if you feed a good balanced diet at feeding time.
The more active your dog is, the higher his metabolism will be. If your dog is walking 45 minutes every day and getting good exercise, he may need extra calories. Give him these extra calories in his regular diet, not with treats. Dog treats make us feel good, but are not necessary for your dog’s survival. If you feel the need to give your dog extra treats, give him carrots, watermelon, bok choy, or some other fresh veggie or fruit that is good for him, safe for him to eat, and that he likes. These are some of my dog’s favorites.