National Walking Day: How Often Should I Walk My Dog?

Celebrated on the first Wednesday of April each year, National Walking Day is the perfect time to shake off the winter slog and take in some fresh air, stretch your legs, and embrace the ease and simplicity of walking.

And who better to celebrate National Walking Day with than the furry friend who gets tail-waggingly excited by the mere mention of a walk? Your dog!

The question is, how much should you walk your dog a day? Some people swear by two walks minimum, but this isn’t the definitive answer for all dogs. 

Keep reading as we explore:

The History of National Walking Day

National Walking Day is celebrated on the 5th of April this year, but it first came to light in 2007.

Set up by the American Heart Association, the day was established to encourage people to get up, get out, and get a little bit healthier by walking.

Not only is walking great for improving cardiovascular and physical health but it has huge benefits on emotional well-being too. And, if you’re a dog owner, you’ll know that the same goes for your four-legged friend. 

National Walking Day is a great opportunity for dog owners to establish a regular walking routine with their canine companions or mix up their daily walks.

Whether you head out for a quick walk, a leisurely jaunt, or a steady plod, it’s all a step in the right direction towards better physical and mental health.

If you’re a new dog owner or you’re unsure how much you should be walking your dog each day, read on.

Benefits of dog walks 

Sure, dogs need to go outside to do their business, but walks are so much more than just an opportunity for your dog to have a toilet break! 

Studies show that walking just 15 minutes a day can help lower blood pressure, boost your mood, and make you feel happier and healthier overall. And that’s just us hoomans! Exercise is an incredibly important factor when it comes to keeping your pooch in shape, both physically and mentally.

Check out the ways in which dog walking has positive effects on your furry friend…

Physical health benefits of walking your dog:

  • Managing their weight. Dog obesity is a big problem in the UK, and it can put your pooch at risk of health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, liver disease and osteoarthritis. Regular walks are a great way for your dog to burn calories and maintain a healthy weight.

  • Joint health. Immobility is another health problem for dogs but keeping their joints in motion by walking will help improve their function and keep them in good shape. If your pooch suffers from discomfort in their joints, Yappy’s veterinarian-formulated hip and joint supplements will help ease the pain.

  • Helps their digestion. Okay, we mentioned that walks aren’t just toilet breaks, but walking does help regulate your dog’s digestive tract, prevent constipation, and aid their urinary health too.

Other ways your dog benefits from walks:

  • Prevents destructive behaviours. Getting your dog out of the house each day will prevent them from getting bored and developing attention-seeking behaviours, such as barking, whining, and chewing on the furniture!

  • Benefits their mental health. When your dog is out walking they’re exposed to lots of different sights, smells, and sounds, which is great for their mental stimulation and development.

  • Boosts their social skills. Your dog is likely to meet lots of other pooches and people on their walks, which will encourage them to develop appropriate manners and etiquette, especially from a young age. 

How much should I walk my dog?

All dogs need at least one walk outside each day, however, your dog’s age, breed, energy levels and health are all big factors when it comes to deciding how often to walk your dog.

Younger dogs with high energy levels will benefit from more frequent walks, for longer periods of time, while senior dogs with mobility issues may walk slower and only be able to manage a short walk each day.

It’s important to remember that each dog is unique and energy levels can differ greatly even within the same breed.

However, some breeds are naturally more energetic than others.

These energetic dog breeds often need multiple walks a day:

Border Collie (and other herding breeds)



German Shepherd

English Springer Spaniel

Labrador Retriever

Golden Retriever

These less-active dog breeds are okay with just one or two walks a day:







Great Dane

Of course, this is a guideline. It’s important to speak with your vet to establish an appropriate exercise plan that’s suitable for your individual dog.

How long should I walk my dog?

Generally, most dogs benefit from 30 minutes to two hours of physical exercise every day, which can be split into multiple walks throughout the day.

However, the quantity and duration will depend on your specific dog.

The truth is there’s no magic formula to determine how often to walk your dog! A gentle 30-minute walk is a good starting point, and from there you can extend the time or add a second walk during the day, especially if you have a high-energy dog.

If you ever find yourself short on time but your dog is bouncing around with energy, it’s beneficial to spruce up your walk with some other energy-burning activities!

Playing fetch with your dog’s toys, going for a light jog, and play sessions with other dogs will help your dog get the physical exercise they need. 

How often should you walk a puppy? 

When it comes to puppies, they may be full of energy (in between their multiple naps!) but it’s important to wait at least two weeks after their vaccinations before they head out for walkies, as they’ll be better protected from nasty diseases.

A general rule is to only let your puppy walk for five minutes for each month of their age, twice a day. So, a puppy that’s four months old should only be walking for 20 minutes at a time, twice a day.

As your puppy gets older, it’s best to see how much your dog wants to walk and how tired they are after each walk as this will indicate how much exercise they need daily.

However, please note that this is a guide, and some puppies need more or less exercise each day. Be sure to check with your vet regarding your puppy’s individual needs.

In conclusion…

So, to answer the question of “how often should I walk my dog?” the answer is at least once a day, but twice is ideal (not counting bathroom breaks), for roughly 30 minutes to two hours per day, depending on your dog’s energy levels.

Remember to factor in your dog’s age, breed, energy levels and health, and consult your vet if you’d like an individual exercise plan for your pooch or if you’re concerned about what’s right for your dog.

Explore Yappy’s Dog Walking Accessories 

Looking for a dapper new collar and lead set for your dog, a stylish dog walking bag for all your dog walk essentials, or perhaps you’re running low on poop bags? Walk this way to check out Yappy’s full range of dog walking gifts! You’ll find everything you need to make your daily strolls even more enjoyable for you and your pup.

If you’d like to know more about what Yappy offers, don’t hesitate to contact us on

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