How long should you walk your dog for?

As we head into spring, the warmer months ahead mean more time to spend outdoors with our furry friends. Taking your dog for daily walks is beneficial for both their physical and mental wellbeing as it gives them the necessary exercise they need, as well as the opportunity to explore the world around them including meeting other people and dogs.

Walking is a gentle form of exercise that most dogs can safely start off with, but if your furry friend has any health issues, whether it is a physical or behavioural issue that poses a problem for them enjoying a walk, speak to your veterinarian first.

How long should i walk my dog for?

This depends on various factors such as your dog’s age, breed, body type and personality, amongst others. As a general thumb of rule:

  • Puppies tend to have a lot of energy but tire easily so they should go on shorter more frequent walks, in the region of 5-10 minutes at a time, up to three or more times a day.
  • Senior dogs may need shorter walks to prevent exercise-related injuries. Aim for 20-30 minutes at a time, once or twice a day.
  • Adult dogs without health conditions tend to be happy to go on as many walks as you will take them on! Try for at least two walks a day, more if you have the time.

Special care should be taken with regards to the following types of dogs:

  • Small breed dogs such as Chihuahuas, Pomeranians and Yorkshire Terriers tend to need shorter walks than bigger dogs with longer legs.
  • Brachycephalic breeds such as Bulldogs, Boxers and Pugs may also require shorter walks due to breathing issues during exercise.
  • Dogs with long backs and short legs such as Basset Hounds, Dachshunds and Welsh Corgis may also require shorter walks. For these types of dogs, 15-30 minute walks twice a day is a good place to start, but always be sure to gauge your dog’s response to a walk so that they do not overtire.
  • Medium to large breeds such as Beagles, Golden Retrievers and Labradors can usually go for longer walks provided they are in good health and in shape.
  • Athletic breeds such as Australian Shepherds, Border Collies and Siberian Huskies have good stamina and may not only enjoy longer walks but demand them from you! Aim for about 30-60 minute walks twice a day for these types of dogs.
How to Walk Your Dog Safely
  • The time of day that you take your furry friend out for a walk is very important. Be sure to take them out early in the morning and evening when it is cooler outside. Avoid walking on hot pavements or sand that can burn their paws, and avoid going out at times of the day when it’s very hot and there is a real risk of heatstroke.
  • Remember to start them off slowly and build up the length of their walks as they get fitter. Always speak to your veterinarian before starting any new exercise routine for your furry friend.
  • If your dog shows signs of becoming tired such as slowing down, heavy panting, refusing to walk or lying down, then it’s important to stop and give them time to rest, preferably in a cool, shaded area and then head back home.
  • Be sure to carry a bottle of water along for your dog and ensure he is hydrated throughout the walk.
  • Lastly, make sure you have the right gear when taking your dog for a walk, not only for his safety but also for yours. Visit for a wide range of collars, leads and harnesses that will suit your furry friend’s needs!