Anyone who buys a dog is faced with the question of how often and how long they should go for a walk with their four-legged friend. This is a problem especially with puppies, after all you don’t want to over- or under-challenge the animals. The veterinarian Dr. Henrik Hofmann.
Duration and intensity are individually different
Not all dogs are created equal. Every animal is different and therefore wants to move differently. How much a dog has to go depends on the age, breed and condition of the four-legged friend, says Hofmann. “”With an old, short-winded pug, you shouldn’t go for a walk in the summer as much as possible.” It is similar with other short-nosed dog breeds, such as the bulldog. Because of their anatomy, these dogs already have difficulty breathing, so you should protect them, especially in summer.
Correctly interpret signals from dogs
The owner must first test how long a dog can go for a walk. But there are signals to watch out for. “”If the puppy simply lies down on the way and does not go any further, this is a sign that the animal is exhausted. As a dog owner, you have to take that into account in any case and then carry the animal home,” says the vet. If you try to get the animal running again in such a situation, there is a danger of a dangerous circulatory collapse. But the dog’s persistent panting is also a sign that the animal is straining. Because dogs cannot sweat and give off heat through the tongue. Therefore, on longer walks, it is good to take breaks in between and give the dog some water.
Outdoor sports with the dog
If you want to jog or cycle with your dog, you should discuss this with your veterinarian. He can do a health check and decide whether the dog is fit enough for sport. Especially with puppies you shouldn’t run too much or do sport, says the expert: “In not fully grown dogs the joints are quickly overloaded and this can cause problems for a lifetime.”
Undertrained is as bad as overwhelmed
If you don’t go for a walk with your dog, you are not doing the animal any good either. Then there is no danger of being overwhelmed, but other problems can arise. “Dogs that do not move enough often get psychological problems. But the underload also has a physical effect, the animals become fat or develop other diseases,” explains Hofmann. “Because the same applies to animals: whoever rests, rusts!” If you are not quite sure whether you are going for enough walks with your dog or not, you should ask at a puppy school or a veterinarian.
Take your dog out in the fresh air as often as possible. A dog usually needs a lot of exercise. A normal sized dog such as a labrador ideally needs about three hours a day of intensive exercise. That does not mean that it is enough to let the dog run in the garden. For example, you have to go with your dog in the forest where he can really let off steam. Natural contact with other dogs during the walk is also very important. This contributes enormously to your dog’s social behavior. If you can, take a ball with you on the walk and throw the ball a few times, so your dog can really work out. Long walks will make your dog happy. So go for a walk with your dog as often as possible and offer a change.