How Many Times a Day Should You Walk a Dog
Have you recently introduced a dog into your family? You are probably unsure about a few things, e.g. what to feed your dog, which vaccines it needs, and how many walk it should have a day. All these depend on the breed and age of he dog - the needs of a three-year-old dog differ from those of a new-born pup. In this OneHowTo article, we'll explain how many times a day you should take your dog for a walk. We'll give you the average recommended amount so that you can provide your dog with the care it needs.
It depends on the age of the dog
Take the age of your dog into consideration in order to know how often you need to leave it out. Of course, a puppy will need to go out more often because it will need to do its business a lot more often. Also, its bladder will be far smaller in size. Therefore, to train a puppy and teach him not to pee in the house, you'll have to take him out from a very young age so that it understands that it has to do its business during these outings.
So, generally, the number of times to take your dog out depends on its age. This will vary as follows:
- From 0 to 14 weeks: it needs to be taken out 12 times a day and a maximum of two hours should be left between each time. This will teach your dog to pee outside on the street, instead of inside the house. In addition, at this young age, they are learning to control their bowels, which is much less stable than in adulthood.
- 15 to 22 weeks: you can reduce the number of times to 8 a day. This is the period of their life during which you can start to train them. Along with all the other things, e.g. not to beg for food, not to jump onto the sofa, etc., you should also train it not to pee or defecate in the house. If you want more information, how about reading our OneHowTo article on training a puppy, which has pointers on how to do so effectively.
- 22 to 32 weeks: you can gradually reduce the number of times you take your dog out to do its business to approximately 6 times a day. By this stage, they should have become used to urinating and defecating outside, though they might still find it hard to control the former. This might lead to some accidents before they manage to get out the door.
- At 32 weeks, the dog is considered an adult; therefore 3 to 4 times a day should be enough time, depending on its character and energy. At this stage, the animal can control the urge to go whilst in the house. To facilitate this, let your dog out at different period of the day, spreading it out well. The first time should be first thing in the morning, after each meal, and at night before going to sleep. The afternoon is also a good time to take your dog for a walk to socialize and play with some doggy friends.
These are just guidelines; as we mentioned above, everything depends on your dogs needs, its breed and its age. In addition, small breeds of dogs also tend to need to go out more often because they normally have more energy, which needs to be used up with walks.
For what period of time should you walk your dog
When walking your dog you may also wonder about the duration of these walks themselves. Remember that, for your dog, these walks are when they are able to interact with other dogs; leave home; sniff around; play; run, etc. With this in mind, make sure that it has plenty of time to enjoy itself as well as to do its business. These walks aren't just for giving your dog a chance to urinate and defecate; they are also a source of great enjoyment.
That said, you should know that, in general, you should walk your dog for about half an hour each time. Failing this, you could take your dog out for a short walk in the morning, but make up for it in the afternoon or evening with an hour's walk. Leave them to run around, play and get rid of energy. Also factor in the age of the dog, as this will have a bearing on how much energy they will need to burn. Puppies are, of course, more excitable than adult dogs and will require more walks.
Observe your dog's behavior at home to be able to assess whether you are walking your dog for the necessary length of time/frequency. If your dog is always looking for something to play with and it can't relax quietly, it may be a sign that your dog needs to be walked more often, or for longer periods of time. Take it to the park, beach or anywhere to interact with other dogs. That will give it the chance to run around without needing your constant attention.
A basic walk must allow your dog the chance to carry out the some dog behavioural traits, e.g.:
- Sniffing: one of its strongest sense, which should be used and developed. See our OneHowTo article on why dogs sniff urine.
- Interacting with other dogs: sociability is a basic element in dog training, so you should allow them enough time to meet other dogs and, if appropriate, play with them.
- Exercising: you should also allow your dog to tire, run, play and, in short, exercise. Besides being a fun aspect for your pet, it is also necessary for its health. It must burn the calories it gets through food, exercise its muscles and strengthen its bones.
If you have a fearful dog or one which is not particularly interested in going out on the street, we at OneHowTo recommend taking it out more frequently, but for shorter lengths of time (about 10 or 15 minutes so that it has enough time to do everything). You should not force the animal to go out if it's showing it doesn't want to. However, you should teach it to exercise, do its business and interact with other dogs.
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