How Often Should I Walk My Boxer Dog
There are a lot of benefits to walking your furry friend every day — including improved health and happiness, as well as mental and physical stimulation. But does the frequency make a difference? That’s what this post will help you figure out.
With that in mind, here’s how often you should walk your dog.
Dogs are individuals. Your boxer might need to go for a walk more than other dogs, based on the following factors:
- Age –According to the ASPCA, “As dogs grow older they need more exercise and activity in their lives.” So even though they may be young, energetic dogs when you first adopt them, they start needing less and less as they age.
- Breed –As with humans, some breeds of dogs naturally live longer than others. This goes for both the big and small varieties. Some dogs stay puppies for a long time, whereas others are mature at a younger age. As the ASPCA notes, “As mixed breeds become more common and people choose to adopt older pets rather than puppies, this [age] range may become more applicable for most healthy dogs.”
- Environment –If you live in a rural setting where your dog can roam freely, she’s likely to get more exercise than if you live in the city. The more urban your surroundings, the more you might have to play a part in getting her out and about.
For instance, if you live in an apartment with a patio or a house with a fenced yard, this is the perfect place for your dog to get some fresh air — and some exercise— without going for a walk.
How often should I walk my boxer dog?
The simple answer is to provide your dog with as much exercise as you can, based on her age, breed and environment. But to help you decide where to start, here are guidelines for three different walks: daily, every other day and twice per week.
- Daily walk –If you live in a suburban or rural area where your dog has the chance to roam freely, this is a good goal. Also, if you see a lot of other dogs out for a walk or lots of other people walking their pets, your dog will likely be more interested in going with them.
- Every other day walk –If you live in the city or on a busy street, this is a good way to expose your dog to plenty of different environments. It’s also great if your neighborhood has some hills or trails and you want to take her up there.
- Twice per week walk –A great option for dogs who aren’t as energetic as they used to be and/or who may need a break from exercise. This also helps if you live in an apartment with no yard or neighborhood where your dog can roam freely. You can also use this frequency if you’re not sure what’s best for your Boxer dog and build up gradually.
How Far Should I walk with my Dog?
The distance that you decide to walk your boxer dog can depend on a number of factors. That said, some experts recommend that you walk your dog more than you may think.
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ASPCA recommends that dogs “need to be walked at least once a day for a total of 30 minutes or more.”
Many recommend going for a minimum of 10 minutes at high energy and increased to 30 minutes per walk as the dog’s condition improves. However, for optimum conditioning it is recommended that you walk your dog for a minimum of 30 minutes, four to five times a week.
In addition to time and frequency, you should also consider your environment. If you live in a city, you have a few different options for walking:
Walk with other dogs (if your boxer is friendly) and/or humans –This is great if your dog gets along well with others.
Walk on busy streets and/or sidewalks –This is great for exercise, but also may cause joint problems in the long run from lots of walking on only concrete surfaces.
If you live in a rural area, you have a few options that are more suitable depending on what’s available:
Walk on a hill –You can also walk your dog on a flat, grassy area if you can find one that’s not too far from your home. Grass is great because it gives your dog something to run across to get some exercise. However, if the grass is tall, it could make for an uneven walk and could cause joint problems for the long term.
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Walk on trails and/or green space –What works best for you may vary depending on where you live.
Tips for Walking Your Boxer
It’s always a good idea to get your boxer accustomed to wearing a collar or harness while walking. This will help you keep track of her when she likes to stray and help her be more comfortable with being led. In addition, it can help you in case she gets away from you.
If your dog is very old or very young, it’s a good idea to talk to a vet before increasing the frequency of your walks. The same goes if you notice any joint pain or issues while walking with your boxer.
As always, be sure to pay attention to your dog’s body language. If she trails behind you, seems uncomfortable by a tight collar or has difficulty going down stairs, consider taking her for shorter walks until her fitness level increases.
Can I Walk My Boxer Too Much?
Some experts believe that walking your boxer too much can actually cause joint pain and arthritis. According to Dr. Michael Gudakunst, author of Healthy Pets Naturally, excessive walking causes cartilage loss and bone deterioration [Source: ABC News]. Cartilage protects joints and allows bones to move smoothly against each other. Because it wears down quicker in large dogs, it becomes increasingly vulnerable with increased exercise. Bone structure is equally affected. Overly strenuous activities can result in micro fractures and osteoarthritis, which leads to inflammation, swelling and stiffness.
So, how exactly does walking your pet too much affect them? First, it puts undue stress on muscles and ligaments. Second, it affects circulation, which ultimately reduces oxygen supply to body parts. And lastly, exercise makes the heart pump faster, which increases pressure on arteries. An increase in arterial resistance causes a decrease in efficiency, leading to poor performance.
Walking your dog too much is only possible if you’re unaware of its effects. Before embarking on a training regiment, take it easy with your pet. Start slowly and gradually increase distance and duration. Always stop whenever signs of distress appear. Then, schedule frequent breaks and relax.
Although it seems difficult to determine, a little bit of time spent walking your dog regularly can save you money in vet bills and prescriptions in years to come. If you suspect your dog is getting too much exercise, talk to your vet. Together, you can figure out an effective plan to manage his workload.
For further reading, visit the links below.
Dog Health Problems: https://www.mspca.org/
What is boxer dog breed lifespan?
Boxer dogs can live well into their late teens. However, according to AKC, “it is common for most Boxers to live about 7 – 12 years” and “the most common causes of death are cancer and heart disease. By keeping active with your Boxer you can greatly reduce several health related diseases.
The Bottom Line – How Often Should I Walk my Boxer Dog?
While there are many factors that impact how often you should walk your boxer dog, your lifestyle, environment and body type all play a big role in deciding on the frequency. It’s also helpful to remember that travel distance can affect the time you walk with your dog. We hope these tips have provided you with some great ways to get out and enjoy taking walks with your Boxer.