How Far Can Dogs Walk in a Day?

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The answer to the question, of how far can dogs walk in a day will vary depending on several factors. These are breed, age, activity level, and health. Breed groups such as the hounds, herders, and sporting breeds were bred to cover a lot of ground. This gives them an advantage over other breeds in how far they can walk in a day. One long walk is better for these breeds as they have been bred for this.

Size is also another factor in determining the distance your dog can cover in one day. Some of the small dogs also have a lot of energy. These high-energy breeds can walk a lot longer than the small breeds that were bred to be lap dogs.

walking small dogs
Small dogs on a walk

For small, high-energy dogs, one long walk may be better for them since it will give them some cardio exercise.

Other Factors to Consider For Determining How Long to Walk Your Dog

Regardless of what breed or size your dog is, you need to consider her age, overall health, and fitness level. Senior dogs still need exercise; however, they would be better off with a slower-paced 20-minute walk every day. If this seems well-tolerated, or every other day.

For small breeds bred for compatibility one 20–30-minute walk per day will be good for them.

Breeds that have pushed in snouts are not able to tolerate as much activity as other breeds their size. This is because they are not able to intake as much oxygen as dogs with regular-sized snouts.

Puppies need to play, but they can’t keep up on long walks. It is best to split their activity into multiple short walks per day.

If you feel that you would like to take your canine on longer walks or even hikes, then get them checked by a veterinarian. First, find out if your dog is physically able to tolerate longer walks if you gradually increased them. Or if your vet does not recommend increasing the length of the walks.

Building Up Stamina For Longer Walks and Hiking

If your vet has given you the OK to work on building your dog’s stamina for longer walks then you can begin gradually increasing the time you take for walks. In addition to time, start putting some uphill walking in her walks.

If you plan to take her hiking, be sure you take her to a trail that won’t be too much of a workout for her first hike. I would recommend you first do the trail without your dog to be sure it won’t be too difficult. Also, some trails do not allow dogs on the trails. Be sure where you’re taking her hasn’t banned dogs from the trail.

Be sure the level of steepness is not too difficult for her first hike. Also, determine how long the hike should take and bring enough water for the entire time. Generally, a large dog will need approximately one ounce of water per pound of their body weight for an average day’s hydration; however, a dog that will be participating in a strenuous activity will want need more.

Hiking dogs carrying their own water
Hiking dogs carrying their own water

Small dogs (under 20 pounds) will need from .5 to 1.5 ounces of water per body weight. It’s best to err on the side of caution and have more than enough water than what is recommended. Also, if the weather is warm, you will need to increase the water intake and stop periodically for rest.

Make Sure you Know What the Temperature Will Be

Before you take your dog on that hike, be sure you find out in advance what the temperature will be like. If you will be on a trail that has very little shade and no reasonably close bodies of water, then don’t go on the hike if the temperature will get above 70 degrees.

Dogs hiking how long can dogs walk in a day
Dogs on a hike at a stream

However, if the trail is along a stream with a lot of shade, then you can tolerate warmer temperatures as long as you stop for rest and be sure your dog gets plenty of water. If you have a dog that loves water, then your dog will have no problems jumping into the stream and cooling herself off. But if she is not fond of the water you may have to walk her into the stream to get her to take advantage of the coolness of the water.

Keep your dog cool and hydrated to prevent heat exhaustion, or, even worse, heatstroke.

Bring Some Snacks to Keep up Your Pet’s Energy

Be sure to bring along some canine snacks for your pup to keep her energy level up. You most likely will bring snacks for yourself also. Protein bars are an excellent choice for you, but there are also protein bars for dogs that you can bring for your best friend.

The amount of food you bring will depend upon the length of your hike. Keep in mind that even though the hike could be just 5 miles, the amount of time it will take will be significantly longer than would a 5-mile walk in your neighborhood.

You have to factor in elevation, stopping for food and water breaks, and any other breaks that might be needed by you and your dog. You could possibly be out enjoying yourself with your dog for 4 or 5 hours. As long as you have plenty of food and water, you both should have a wonderful time.

Final Thoughts

Hiking with a dog is great fun for both of you and is a bonding experience. Just be sure you are fully prepared and know the trail so you don’t get lost. Also, start out early enough to allow plenty of time to complete your hike at a comfortable pace for both of you.

Also, starting later in the day allows you less time for your breaks and relaxation. Starting in the afternoon usually means the weather could be warmer than expected and, if you happen to get lost, you don’t want to get stuck out on a train after it turns dark. Be sure to bring a flashlight just in case.

Happy trails to all of you dog lovers!

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