When it comes to our furry friends, we often feel an intense sense of responsibility to ensure they are happy and healthy. This includes taking them on walks, feeding them properly, and providing them with plenty of love and attention.
But what happens when something comes up and we can’t walk our dog? Is it ever OK to skip a dog walk?
Yes, it is okay to skip a dog walk under some circumstances. Missing one or even two walks probably won’t do too much harm, but if you start skipping more walks than you’re taking, your dog may start to suffer. At least try to find alternative ways to exercise your dog if you can’t go on a walk.
In this article, I will explore the question in more detail, including when it’s appropriate to skip a dog walk and what can happen if you skip a day or two. So without further ado, let’s get started!
An Expert Opinion On Skipping Dog Walks!
Niki French is a certified dog trainer and the bestselling author of STOP Walking Your Dog. In an interview with The Mirror, Niki said that “traditional walks are a human invention and aren’t helpful for many of our dogs.”
She also added that “Replacing walk time with training games at home can give the dogs the skills they are missing to live calm and happy lives.”
So there you have it! According to Niki French, it’s okay to skip a dog walk. Just be sure to find an alternative activity that will provide your pup with the stimulation they need.
What Can You Do Instead Of Walking Your Dog?
If you can’t walk your dog, there are plenty of other activities you can do to ensure they’re getting the exercise they need. Here are a few ideas:
- Play fetch in the backyard or at a nearby park
- Let your dog play with another dog
- Engage in some fun training games at home
No matter what you do, just be sure to spend some quality time with your furry friend. You will both love it!
When Is It OK To Skip A Dog Walk?
There are some instances where it’s perfectly fine to skip a dog walk. After all, we’re only human, and sometimes things come up. Here are a few examples:
1. If Your Dog Is Injured or Recovering From A Surgery
If your dog has an injury or has undergone surgery, it’s important to follow the veterinarian’s instructions. This usually includes restricting your dog’s activity for at least one week. This means no jumping, running, or other strenuous activity that could potentially reopen the wound.
However, it is important to check with the veterinarian before skipping a dog walk, as they will be able to provide the best advice based on the individual dog’s condition.
2. If It’s Raining Or Snowing
Walking in the rain or snow can be miserable for you and your dog. Unless you have waterproof gear, staying inside on days like this is best. Your dog will probably be just as happy snuggling up on the couch with you.
3. If You Have Other Commitments
If you have other things to do, like work or other important responsibilities, skipping a dog walk is fine. Just make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise in other ways, like free playtime inside the house. All in all, as long as you’re not skipping dog walks on a regular basis, your pup will be OK.
4. If You’re Too Tired
If you’re just plain old tired, it’s ok to skip a dog walk. Dogs are pretty good at understanding when we need to rest, so they’ll probably just curl up next to you and take a nap.
5. If There’s An Emergency
If something comes up and you have to leave the house, don’t worry about walking your dog. They’ll be fine on their own for a little while. Just make sure they have food and water and a safe place to stay.
What Happens If You Skip Your Dog Walk Regularly?
Skipping a dog walk is not going to kill your dog. But if you make a habit of it, you may start to notice some negative changes in their behavior. For example, your dog may become more restless, destructive, or even aggressive.
Here are some of the things that can happen if you regularly skip your dog walk.
1. Excess Weight Gain
If your dog isn’t getting enough exercise, they’re at risk of becoming obese. Obesity can lead to a host of health problems in dogs, such as joint problems, respiratory difficulties, and diabetes.
2. Behavioral Problems
As we mentioned before, boredom and pent-up energy are often the root cause of behavioral problems in dogs. If you’re not walking your dog regularly, these problems are likely to become worse.
3. Poor Socialization Skills
Dogs that don’t get out and about often enough can become fearful and anxious around other people and animals. This is because they haven’t had the opportunity to socialize properly.
4. A Decrease In Overall Health
Exercise is crucial for maintaining a dog’s overall health. Without enough exercise, their muscles will weaken and be more prone to injury.
5. A Decrease In Life Expectancy
A sedentary lifestyle is not only bad for humans – it’s bad for dogs too. Studies have shown that dogs who don’t get enough exercise have a shorter life expectancy than those who do.
The Importance Of Walking Your Dog
Walking your dog is one of the most important things you can do for their health and well-being. It provides them with physical exercise, mental stimulation, and opportunities for socialization. Walks are also a great opportunity for training your dog in some basic commands.
Let’s take a closer look at some key benefits of walking your dog regularly
1. Keeps Them Healthy
Just like humans, dogs need to get their daily dose of exercise to stay healthy. Walking is great for their overall cardiovascular health and can help prevent obesity (which can lead to a host of other health problems).
2. Chances For Socialization
If you live in a neighborhood or visit dog parks often, your pup will have the chance to meet new people and other dogs. This is important for their social development and can help prevent behavioral problems down the road.
3. Reduces Their Stress Levels
Dogs can get stressed just like we do. Walking helps to reduce their stress levels by giving them a chance to explore new sights and smells and socialize with other dogs.
4. Prevents Behavioral Problems
Boredom and pent-up energy are often the root cause of behavioral problems in dogs, such as chewing, digging, and excessive barking.
Walking your dog regularly can help to prevent these problems from developing in the first place. A tired dog is a good and happy dog. So don’t skip walks too often if you want your dog to behave well and be happy!
5. Strengthens The Bond Between You
Walking is an excellent opportunity for you to bond with your dog. It’s a chance for them to listen to your voice and follow your commands while also getting some one-on-one attention from you.
Whether you’re teaching them to heel, sit, stay, or come when called, there’s no better place to practice than on a walk.
6. Good For Your Own Health, Too!
Walking is a great form of exercise for humans as well. So not only will you be helping your dog stay healthy, you’ll be getting some exercise yourself!
Is It Bad Not To Walk Your Dog For A Day?
Many dog owners feel guilty if they can’t walk their dogs every day, but the truth is that sometimes it’s just not possible. Maybe you’re dealing with an injury or are short on time. Maybe the weather is bad, or you’re not feeling well. Whatever the reason, it’s perfectly fine to skip a day (or even a few days) of dog walking.
Of course, if you consistently don’t have time to walk your dog, you might want to reconsider owning one in the first place. Dogs need exercise, and it’s important to be able to provide that for them.
But if you’re just dealing with a one-off situation, there’s no need to feel guilty about skipping a day (or even a few days) of dog walking. Your dog will be just fine.
How Long Can A Dog Go Without A Walk?
It really depends on the individual dog. Some dogs can go days or even weeks without a walk and be perfectly happy, while others might start to get antsy after just a few hours.
In general, most dogs will be just fine if they skip a day or two of walking. But if you’re planning to go longer than that, it’s important to make sure your dog has plenty of other things to keep them occupied. This might include toys, bones, chew toys, puzzle toys, and so on.
You should also make sure they have plenty of space to run around, whether that’s in your backyard or at a nearby park. And of course, if you have other dogs in the house, they can provide some much-needed exercise and socialization.
Do You Know? Healthy dogs typically need about 30 minutes of walking five times a week, but this can vary depending on the breed, age, and health of your dog.
Is It Cruel Not To Walk Your Dog?
It’s a debate! It isn’t the end of the world if you don’t walk your dog for just a day or two, but I’d rather say that it’s cruel not to walk your dog for lengthy periods. If you make a habit of skipping walks, your dog may become restless, destructive, or aggressive. Furthermore, without regular exercise, your dog may become fat and develop health issues such as joint problems, respiratory difficulties, and diabetes.
Therefore, it is important to make sure your dog gets enough exercise. If you’re dealing with a one-off situation, there’s no need to feel guilty about skipping a day (or even a few days) of dog walking. Just make sure to get back on track as soon as possible.
Take Care Of Your Dog Walks!
At the end of the day, you know your dog better than anyone else. If you feel like they need a walk, then take them for one. If you think they’ll be okay missing a walk, then it’s probably not a big deal.
However, if you start skipping more walks than you’re taking, your dog may start to suffer. A lot of things can happen if you don’t walk your dog. So just be sure to keep an eye on them and make sure they’re getting the exercise they need.
I hope this article helped you figure out if and when it’s OK to skip a walk. Now it’s time to go out there and take care of your best friend.
Have Fun Walking With Your Dog!