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How long should a dog walk be?

The length of a dog walk will depend on your dog’s fitness, age, breed, size and if they have any medical conditions. Therefore, a long walk might not be what’s best for your dog. A shorter walk which involves lots of interactions with their surroundings could be a better option.

Short dog walks

Older dogs with joint problems or other medical conditions and young puppies will need shorter walks as they will tire more quickly.  A good way to keep a walk short is to visit a small park and let your dog exercise as much or as little as they want to. A small circular walk could also work well because you could do just one circuit and take extra circuits if your dog wants to carry on.

Long dog walks

Large, young, energetic breeds of dogs can be taken on longer walks or even runs. Never push your dog to do more than they appear comfortable with though. If your dog loves running, try cycling alongside them, but only if there’s enough room to do so safely. Also, be prepared to cycle slowly at times if your dog slows the pace. Always walk or run at your dog’s speed rather than making them match your pace.


An Animo activity and behaviour monitor can help you to determine the right length of dog walk for your pet. Animo records sleep and rest. If Animo shows that your dog isn’t getting enough rest or sleep in between walks, then their walks could be too long, and they could be suffering from joint pain that is preventing proper sleep. Animo will alert you if your dog’s sleep quality drops.

Animo records how active your dog is each day and enables you to set daily activity goals. This will ensure that once you determine the right length of walk for your dog, you can stick to it. Animo will alert you when your dog has reached their daily activity goal.

Walk timeframe

For more guidance on the length of time that a dog walk should be, the PDSA have some walk length guidelines by breed that you may find helpful.

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