Dogs need a walk every day for optimal physical and mental health and a dog walker can do that for you. Some dogs need up to two hours daily or more while others require about thirty minutes each day. You and your dog walker need to consider:
- Energy levels
If you’re ready to engage a dog walker, but are unsure of how often they should walk your dog, let’s look at it for you.
Finding a good dog walker is a concern for many busy dog owners, and when you get a good one, you want them to walk your dog when it needs to go for a walk. How often is a decision you make in conjunction with a number of other factors.
All Breeds Have Different Exercise Requirements
Some breeds need frequent exercise, some don’t,and the difference is important. If you have a working dog or a sport orientated breed, their exercise requirement is different to a lap dog.
Some common breeds that need frequent walking or exercise include:
- German Shepherd – 90 minutes per day or two shorter walks of 45 minutes
- Labrador – 1 hour per day or 45 minutes for older, more relaxed labradors
- Golden Retriever – 1 hour per day or two walks of 30 minutes
- Beagle – 3 to 4 walks per day of twenty minutes or two walks of 30 minutes
- Dalmatian – 2 hours per day or two walks of 1 hour
- Cocker Spaniel – 1 hour per day or two walks of 30 minutes
- Boxer – 45 minute brisk walk or 60 minute slower walk per day
- Fox Terrier – 45 minute vigorous run or 60 minute walk per day
- King Charles Spaniel – Up to 1 hour per day
There are many more breeds than the above list, so you need to be aware if you have a breed of dog that requires a lot of exercise.
An Hour or More per Day for High Energy Dogs
High energy dogs need between an hour and two hours per day. Of course there are variations to this which we discuss below but, that’s a good average. Consider the time you and other responsible family members have available each day. Some days you may be able to cover that time off, other days, you may be busy.
You could organize a dog walker to make up the time you can’t do. So, if you can cover off all the walking hours except one 30 minute walk a day, that’s when you could use a dog walker.
If you have a high energy dog and can’t walk it at all on some days, you could use the dog walker to cover the two hours. This may be two hours in one go, or three walks of 30 – 40 minutes duration spread throughout the day.
Of course, this is the case if you haven’t exercised your dog at all. If you have a working dog that accompanies you during the day, consider how much exercise the dog had and what the dog walker should do.
With high energy breeds, they must exercise daily, so your schedule and your dog walker’s schedule must work with your requirements.
At Least 30 Minutes a Day for Less Active Dogs
Less active breeds need at least thirty minutes a day exercise plus playtime. These dogs are much easier to plan a dog walker for because of the shorter time required each day. Consider having the dog walker do the 30 minutes walk daily, and you take care of the playtime. Have some fun with small dogs and toys as they keep your dog moving and burning energy.
Some common breeds that require short daily walks include:
- Yorkshire Terrier – 20 to 25 minutes per day
- Chihuahua – 25 to 30 minutes per day
- Pekingese – 15 to 30 minutes per day
- Papillion – 30 minutes per day plus 15 to 20 minutes of playtime
- Maltese – 20 minutes twice a day. One morning and one evening walk is best.
- Pomeranian – 2 brisk 20 minute walks per day
Signs That a Dog Walker Has Not Come Often Enough
Another consideration for how often you need a dog walker is what happens if your dog doesn’t get the exercise it needs, despite your best efforts. If you’re walking and exercising your dog and they still show the signs below, you may need to increase the frequency of your dog walker.
- Your dog puts on weight despite a good diet and exercise
- Destructive behavior.
- Your happy dog becomes withdrawn. Dogs are like people. Most of us get happy when we exercise through endorphins, and dogs are the same.
- Hyperactive behavior. Like bored children, dogs can become hyperactive. This hyperactivity may present itself during walks if your dog doesn’t get to walk enough.
- Lack of endurance during exercise. Like people, dogs become unfit and struggle with long walks if they haven’t’trained’ for it.
- Barking, whining, and scratching at doors. Your dog may be asking for a walk by barking and whining. They may scratch at the door because they know that’s the way you go for a walk.
If any of these signs develop, you may need to increase the times your dog walker comes to walk the dog.
Older Dogs May Not Need as Much Walking, but It Is Still Important to Do It
Using a dog walker for an older dog is as important as using one for a young dog full of energy.
Maintaining an active life helps dogs to avoid the onset of ailments related to age.Many older dogs don’t need as much walking, so talk to your dog walker as to how many times suit your dog. Older or less mobile dogs do need exercise, so an experienced dog walker or animal health professional should be able to assist in identifying specific needs. Whenyou’ve done that, you will know when to engage your dog walker.
With older dogs you need to consider mobility, arthritis, energy, and their joints.
Exercising Puppies Helps Them to Learn the Art of Walking
Walking puppies when they’re young is a great way to teach them the ins-and-outs of formal walking. A regular dog walker experienced in walking puppies is important. The number of walks will depend on the breed and age of the puppy, but a guideline is five minutes of walking per month of age, twice a day.
You might not need the services of a dog walker with such a small amount of time required, but it all depends on your personal circumstances. Walking puppies is important, so if you find you aren’t able to do it yourself, seek a dog walker, so your puppy doesn’t miss out on this vital skill and experience.
The Right Dog Walker is Gold
It’s necessary to discuss having a dog walker come and walk your dog, but you must get the dog walker that matches your expectations.
You need to decide with your dog walker on how many times they should walk your dog. Ultimately, the decision is yours because you are paying, but a good dog walker will help. They should have the following traits.
- A reasonable schedule. You need to know that a dog walker is available to suit your walking schedule.
- Attention to detail. A good dog walker will identify problems that arise when walking your dog and even prevent issues from happening. Are you walking the dog too much or not enough? Is the route too hard or easy for your dog? Are there behavior issues affecting the quality of the walk?
- Consistent service. Most dogs are creatures of habit, and they like the same dog walker or similar environment when walking.
- A backup plan. It’s important to walk your dog when they need it, so it’s hard when a dog walker cancels last minute. Some solo dog walkers may have this issue, but some dog walking companies have a roster of staff.
- Good communication. You need your dog walker to alert you to any issues and opportunities to improve the service for your dog. If they find they don’t connect with your dog, they should let you know it isn’t working, and another walker would be better.
- A resume. If you’re hiring a professional dog walker, a resume with references is important. Consider someone with a proven track record of working with all sorts of dogs and owners. You can try a new dog walker, but ensure you monitor the quality of service early and communicate frequently.
You Can Choose Anyone to be Your Dog Walker
A dog walker isn’t necessarily a professional. I know people who have a designated dogwalker within their family. Their dog knows them well. That person is responsible and sticks to the regular schedule identified for walking by the family.
The important thing is they know how often their designated dog walker needs to walk the dog, and they make that person available each day to do it.
Of course, you might not have a friend or family member able to walk your dog. In this case, a professional dog walker may suit you. It’s important your dog gets the right amount of exercise to be a healthy,well-balanced member of the family.
Your dog is a unique individual, and certain breeds require more walking than others. Individual dog’s needs vary. Utilize your dog walker to meet your dog’s requirements, rather than a generic average for your breed of dog.
Writer: Craig Taylor