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Walking or Hiking: How Far Can My Dog Run During The Day?

Of course, exercise is good for your dog. That’s why you go for walks several times a day – so he can go about his business. However, you shouldn’t be guided by the motto “it helps a lot”. Because how far a dog can run in a day depends on several factors.

Whether you often walk your dog or go camping occasionally, you’ve probably wondered how long a dog can and should walk. So how far can a dog run in a day?

Of course, this is entirely up to your dog. More precisely: race, age, health, and fitness, as well as personality. How difficult the route you choose is also critical – trekking at high altitude naturally requires a completely different level of fitness than a long walk through the park.

Age and Health

Is your dog under a year old or over ten years old? The bones and joints of very small four-legged friends are still soft. Therefore, long walks can be harmful to your health, and you should only do them in small circles at the beginning.

Retired dogs usually can no longer cope with long distances. Even with them, long walks are hard on the joints.

On the other hand, a young active dog can often run for five to six hours a day, which usually corresponds to a distance of 20 to 24 kilometers. However, you should not start right away with such long distances, but gradually train your dog’s condition. For example, start with a relaxed 30-minute route, which can then be extended by a few minutes each day.

Pay attention to whether and when your dog is showing that he is emaciated. You can recognize this, for example, by the fact that it moves slowly or even signals that it needs to be carried.

Breed Activity

The UK PDSA gives a rough estimate of how many hours of exercise a dog needs at least a day. Among other things, the following are especially active:

  • Border Collie
  • Golden retriever
  • Boxer
  • German Shepherd
  • Labrador
  • Dalmatian

They need to be engaged for at least two hours a day. For example, different breeds of terriers and Shih Tzu require a little less exercise. The veterinary organization recommends at least one hour per day.

Very small dog breeds and flat-faced dogs such as Bulldogs and Pugs should walk for at least 30 minutes a day. If you are very active, you should pay attention to which breed suits you best before buying a dog.

Condition and Personality

If we are completely untrained, we quickly get stitches in the side and muscle pains, just like our four-legged companions. Therefore, as mentioned, make sure you slowly introduce your dog to further distances.

Some dog breeds are bred for specific activities, such as herding. Often they are naturally more hardy than the classic lapdogs. And your dog’s personality can also influence whether he likes to meet new places, relatives and people, or prefers to lie on a lazy coat.

Run Your Dog in the Mountains or Around the Block?

Of course, it matters whether you “only” roam the nearby fields with your four-legged friend or go hiking in the mountains. The more difficult the route, the less distance your dog can travel. Therefore, plan as much as possible so that your dog can get around well.

And in general: if you are not sure how much movement and at what distances you can expect from your four-legged friend, consult your veterinarian. Based on your dog’s age, health, and breed, it can provide a good idea of what is right for you.

One thing is for sure: exercise is good for your dog. As a result, obesity and related diseases are less common, joints remain flexible, and the dog is busy and in a good mood.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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