While you may be excited to take your new puppy on a walk, there are some things you need to know before you do. It is often assumed that you can walk your puppy as soon as you bring it home, and that walking a puppy is as simple as putting the leash on them and walking outside.
In fact, that is not true, and there are many things that you need to consider before you walk your new puppy. Follow this guide to ensure that your walk you and your puppy both enjoy your walks.
At What Age Can I Start Walking My Puppy?
We know it is tempting to leash your new puppy and take it for a walk right away. Watching a puppy explore the neighborhood, learn new smells, and see new sights is always fun, and the exercise is good for them.
Walking them right away can be very dangerous, though. A puppy’s immune system is not fully developed, so they are very vulnerable to disease. It is unlikely that your puppy has been fully vaccinated, since most puppies are sold or adopted when they are around eight weeks old. While their vaccinations should be up to date, they cannot complete their vaccinations until they are 12-14 weeks old.
It is highly recommended that you wait until two weeks after their final round of vaccinations to take your puppy on walks. That means you should wait until they are 14-16 weeks old to walk them.
How Often Should I Be Walking My Puppy?
Once your puppy has been fully vaccinated and it is safe to walk them, go for it. Walking a puppy is great exercise, it keeps them stimulated, and it helps to socialize them with other dogs and other people. In other words, it is good for their body and their mind, and they love it.
Every puppy is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer to how often you should walk your puppy. It depends on each puppy’s needs. High-energy breeds like Australian shepherds and Labs, or high-intelligence breeds like Border Collies, will need more physical and mental stimulation, and therefore more or longer walks, than other breeds.
Likewise, the size of your puppy, both now and their predicted size as an adult, should be taken into account.
Smaller puppy’s should go for shorter walks, and you can lengthen the walks as they get older. Giant breeds like Great Danes and St Bernards should not be taken for long walks until they are eight months old. Their joints and bones mature more slowly than other, smaller breeds and long walks can harm their development.
How Long Can I Walk A Puppy For?
The rule of thumb for puppies is that a walk should last five minutes for every month of age. So, a five month old puppy should be walked for twenty-five minutes, and a six month old puppy for thirty minutes. That balances the need for exercise with the need for rest and the need to be gentle on growing bones and joints.
That does not mean, though, that your five month old puppy should only get twenty-five minutes of exercise per day. It means that that is how much they should get on one walk. They can handle more than one walk per day, provided that they are spaced out enough to allow for rest in between.
In fact, you can walk your puppy as often as three times per day at five minutes per month of age. Multiple shorter walks in between are fine, too, since your puppy will need to go outside six to eight times to go to the bathroom. Just be careful not to over exercise, as this can exhaust them and damage their joints.
Should I Consider Hiring A Dog Walker?
Often, when people ask how frequently they should walk their puppy, they are troubled to learn that their puppy should be walk not just every day, but in fact two or three times per day. In our busy world, many people can only walk their dog a few times per week.
If you have a new puppy, giving them proper exercise is important. It is good for them, of course, but it is good for you too. Puppies that are not given proper exercise and stimulation become destructive and hard to control. They will chew things and tear up household items and they will be unbearably hyper at times.
The key to a happy, well-behaved puppy is making sure that they are sufficiently stimulated and get enough exercise. If you have doubts about your ability to walk your puppy enough, hiring a dog walker is a great idea. Professional dog walkers can ensure that your puppy gets its exercise and spends time socializing with other people and dogs, even on your busiest days.
Speak To A Professional Dog Walking Company
If you think you may need the services of a dog walker, speak to a dog walking company today. Paw Pals dog walkers are professionals who will know how to keep your puppy exercised without overdoing it, and they will treat your pup like family.