If it were up to our dogs, every day would be national walk your dog day, every week would be national walk your dog week, every month would be national walk your dog month…well, you get the picture!
Dogs love to spend time with us, and they especially love getting outside with their humans and exploring the world around them.
Dog walking is a win-win activity: walking a dog makes us healthier, and makes our dogs the happiest dogs on the planet.
National Walk Your Dog Week is a week in which every day is walk your dog day. It’s a week where we spend time outside with our dogs to celebrate our bond and enjoy our time together.
Below I’ll address some common questions people ask about walking your dog and give you some great ideas to make your dog walks fun and engaging for your dog.
FYI – This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
- When is National Walk Your Dog Week?
- Why You Should Walk Your Dog
- Dog Walking Questions and Answers
- Walk your dog in style!
- Celebrate National Walk Your Dog Week
When is National Walk Your Dog Week?
National Walk Your Dog Week is the first week in October.
Walk Your Dog Week was founded in 2010 by Colleen Paige. She founded it to bring awareness to canine obesity and behavior.
Why You Should Walk Your Dog
Why should you walk your dog instead of letting them play in the yard?
There are many benefits of walking your dog, some that are obvious and some that may surprise you. Let’s start with some of the health benefits:
|Improved cardiovascular function||Weight control|
|Decreased stress||Joint health|
|Can reduce depression/anxiety||Digestive Health|
|Can lower blood pressure||Mental Health|
|Can help lower diabetes||Social/behavioral training|
These are only a sampling of the many ways that a walk benefits you and your dog.
Here is a lesser-known reason why you should walk your dog:
Did you know that sniffing actually calms a dog’s brain? When you are on your walk, make sure you let your dog stop once in a while to sniff interesting smells.
Sometimes it’s even fun to let the dog follow the smell for a few minutes. This kind of mental activity is a “release” for many dogs and helps them feel more calm and well-balanced.
Dog Walking Questions and Answers
Here are some commonly asked questions and answers about walking a dog.
When should you walk your dog?
So, you are starting to think this whole walking-your-dog idea has some merit? Next comes the logistics. The first thing you might wonder is when to walk your dog.
I don’t think there really is a “best time” to walk your dog; you need to look at your schedule and take your dog’s personality into account.
Does your dog have a LOT of energy? A walk first thing in the morning will make more sense because it will tire your dog out and they will be more balanced during the day.
Is your morning schedule crazy? Then you might want an after-dinner or after-work walk to help clear your head and get the dog’s wiggles out from being home alone all day.
So, the short answer to “when is the best time to walk your dog” is: when it works best for you and addresses your dog’s needs!
Once National Walk Your Dog Week has ended, you may decide you enjoy walking your dog so much you want to make it a habit.
Now that you are going to be walking regularly you may have more questions – I’ll try and answer the most common ones that people ask.
Can you walk your dog too much?
It is doubtful but possible. If your dog has an unhealed injury, for example, it may be exacerbated if you walk too far or too often.
If you notice your dog is quite stiff after the walk, you may need to back off a little and work up to the distance/time you want to walk a little at a time.
Most dogs thrive on walks and do just fine on all distances. But, just like humans, you use common sense and work your way up to longer distances.
How many times a day should you walk your dog?
In a perfect world, taking your dog on two walks a day is ideal. But, even one walk a day is awesome and will do you and your dog a world of good!
If you have a senior dog with arthritis, or a dog recovering from an injury or surgery, then taking multiple short walks each day is better than one long walk. It gets their joints moving and strengthens their muscles without straining them.
As you can see, how often do you walk your dog is a question that is dependent on the dog’s health, age, and temperament, and well as your availability.
How long should you walk your dog?
As mentioned above, when you are deciding how far you should walk your dog you need to consider a lot of factors.
Puppies: How long it’s OK to walk puppies is a topic debated by vets, breeders, and pet owners. Many say that you can do as much damage giving a puppy too much exercise as you can too little exercise. Their bodies and joints are growing, and too much exercise can potentially damage growing joints.
One rule of thumb is to exercise your puppy 5 minutes for each month of age. (for example, a 6-month-old pup could take 30-minute walks)
Always work your way up to the length of walk you choose, going a little farther each day.
Come rain, sleet, or snow…
Depending on where you live, there will be some days that are glorious weather days for a dog walk, and some days that you really don’t want to step outside. Here are some common sense/safety guidelines:
Rain: Should you walk your dog in the rain? Absolutely – if you want to! Neither of you will melt. ? But, if you’re both miserable, then you might both have a lot more fun playing fetch or hide the dog treat in your nice, dry house. Don’t feel guilty – do what works for you and your dog!
Temperature: Many readers ask me when it is too cold to walk your dog, or conversely, when is it too hot to walk your dog. Both are good questions.
Below certain temperatures, your dog’s paws will become painful and they will start to hold their feet up in the air. If you want to walk in those temperatures, invest in a good pair of dog booties or dog jacket (if your dog needs it) and your dog will be happy as a clam!
Have a whippet? Take a look at these whippet coats for winter.
Heat has its own set of dangers. Hot pavement is one thing many people don’t realize can hurt their dogs: walking on hot pavement can cause serious burns on a dog’s footpads. Dogs can also overheat just like people do. So, if you live in an area experiencing a heatwave, heed the following advice:
- Stay off sidewalks and pavement – walk on grass or dirt
- Walk early in the morning or in the evening when temperatures aren’t as extreme
- Bring water for both you and your dog, and make sure your dog has a full water dish at home. A portable dog water bottle and bowl is great for walks.
What are the best places to walk your dog?
Deciding where to walk your dog is an opportunity to make your walks even more fun! There are so many good places to walk your dog out there:
- City parks and trails
- County parks and trails
- Drive to a new neighborhood with different sights and smells, dogs love that!
- Google Map tips:
- Go to Google Maps and type the city and state where you want to walk. On the left side of the city/state box click the three horizontal bars and choose “bicycling.” The map will now show bike trails (which you can walk on).
- Look for green areas on the map of your area. Zoom in close, walking trails to walk your dog on will appear as thin white lines.
Your dog will love all the new scents if you explore new areas and you will get to enjoy exploring new parks and neighborhoods!
Can’t walk your dog today?
We’ve all been there. Sometimes life happens and you just don’t have time to walk your dog. Maybe you have a work deadline. Maybe you caught the flu. Regardless, now you have a dog with WAY too much energy and you need someone to walk your dog.
One great tool available to dog owners is a walk your dog app. These apps let you browse dog walkers in your area, read their biographies, experience, and rates, and book one on the app.
The top two walk your dog apps are Rover and Wag. Another fun app is Zoopix, it’s like Instagram but just for pets.
Want some company on your dog walks?
Do you enjoy walking your dog but find yourself a bit bored on your dog walks? Another great idea is joining a walk your dog club.
Google your city name and “dog walk club,” or ask at your local pet store or dog training facility. Many cities have clubs you can join to walk your dog in group outings. It’s a win-win, your dog makes new friends and so do you!
Walk your dog in style!
Looking for some fun new products for your dog to use on your walks? Here are some fun and practical products for you to try:
- Nylon fabric with high-density webbing to add durability.
- Buckles are made from ecofriendly plastic.
- The metal D ring is chrome coated to add durability.
Get the Blueberry Classic Dog Collar on Amazon
- Length 5′, Width 3/4″, Size Medium.
- Nylon fabric with high-density webbing to add durability.
- Machine washable
Get the Blueberry Classic Dog Leash on Amazon
- 100% Leather. Buffalo leather base layer and soft leather lining
- Very durable and long-lasting collar – guaranteed!
- Made in Europe
- The soft leather cushion makes this collar so comfortable for your dog.
Get the Handmade Leather Dog Collar on Amazon
Flower Pattern Rhinestone Studded Leather Dog Collar
- 100% Brand new full crystal rhinestones dog collar.
- This collar is designed to keep rhinestones from falling off. All rhinestones are studded and fixed by alloy holes.
- Multiple sizes.
- Soft, high-quality material and skin-friendly.
Get the Flower Patter Rhinestone Studded Leather Collar on Amazon
- Made of top-quality 100% real Latigo leather with strong double stitching and a metal rivet on each end.
- Comes with a full 1-year 100% Money Back Guarantee.
Get the Leatherburg Leather Dog Leash on Amazon
PetSafe Gentle Leader Headcollar
- Safe solution for pulling. Immediately, gently and safely controls unwanted behaviors like excessive leash pulling, lunging, and jumping.
- Quick and easy to fit.
- Fits any size dog
Get the PetSafe Gentle Leader Headcollar on Amazon
Walk Your Dog With Love Harness
- World’s Best Front-Leading Dog Harness. Stops a dog from pulling, makes walks a pleasure.
- No-Choke, No-Pull, More Love dog harness. Gets off your dog’s neck, and gives you more control.
- 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material; keeps you and your dog safe at night. Be seen from 300 meters.
Get the Walk Your Dog with Love Harness on Amazon
- Super Secure – anatomically designed for canine companions with a nose for adventure.
- Ideal for challenging terrains, working dogs, service dog handlers, and amputee dogs.
- Lift and Assist reinforced handle.
- Customizable fit.
- Built to last.
- Padded for comfort.
Get the Ruffwear Web Master Harness on Amazon
Expawlorer Waterproof Dog Boots
- Reflective material and fasteners straps provide visibility and safety at night.
- Waterproof material keeps dogs paws dry in rain or snow.
- Easy to put on and take off.
Get Expawlorer Waterproof Dog Boots on Amazon.
Yicostar Dog Water Bottle with Collapsible Dog Bowl
- 20-ounce water bottle capacity.
- Made of 100% food-grade silicone and PET plastic, BPA Free.
- Quick and easy to use.
- Collapsible dog bowl can hold up to 12 oz of water or 1.5 cups of dog food.
- One dog waste bag dispenser and 15 waste bags are included.
Get the Yicostar Dog Water Bottle with Collapsible Dog Bowl on Amazon.
Celebrate National Walk Your Dog Week
Now that you know all there is to know about walking your dog, and have all the equipment needed for walking in any climate or location, get out there and have a great walk!
Have any dog walking tips you would like to share? Write them in my comment section below so other dog walkers can benefit!
Very special thanks to all the kind whippet owners who allowed me to share their photos for this article.
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