How often should you walk your dog?

Lots of people get a small dog because they don’t think they need long walks. But small dogs need walks just as much as big ones – so how often should you walk your dog?

There are plenty of benefits for both you and your Morkie, and fall is a perfect time to start a healthy habit like daily walks.

7 Reasons to walk your Morkie every day

  1. Exercise is great for everybody: canine and human. This is a no-brainer reason to walk.
  2. Weight control is easier with regular walking, again, for both you and your Morkie. Small dogs tend to put on weight more easily, since it doesn’t take much and because owners often don’t exercise them enough.
  3. Walking can help relieve constipation.
  4. Gentle, regular walking is a good way to ease arthritis pains.

5. A well-exercised dog is less likely to be destructive at home because he’s had a chance to burn off that excess energy.

6. Walking on a leash is a great way for your Morkie to learn discipline, and to understand that you are the leader of the pack.

7. A walk is a good way to give your dog some mental stimulation too. Dogs love walks because they get to sniff out all sorts of new scents, and maybe socialize with other people and dogs. While you want to keep your Morkie moving, don’t be so extreme that he never gets to “stop and smell the roses.” Those scent trails are VERY important to dogs – they are like their twitter or facebook.

The best leash and collar to use to walk your Morkie

The best collar to use when you walk your Morkie isn’t a collar at all, it’s a harness.

Because both Yorkshire Terriers and Maltese can be prone to collapsing trachea (windpipe), it’s important that your dog doesn’t pull on a collar.

A collar is fine for keeping your dog safe via up-to-date i.d. tags, but for walking, look at a harness to minimize the risk of throat and neck injury.

Pulling on your Morkie’s neck can make tracheal collapse – or collapsing windpipe – worse. Morkies are prone to this disease, because both parents are too.

collapsing trachea illustration

say no to retractable leashes

Just say NO! to retractable leashes

Retractable leashes get the thumbs down from most animal experts. Even Consumers Report has warned how dangerous they can be.

Although they will give your Morkie extra freedom to sniff and poke around, they break more easily; they can wrap around your legs easily, and they teach your Morkie to pull because that’s what releases more leash.

A retractable leash lets your dog get too far away from you, too quickly.

Does your Morkie go crazy when you pick up the leash or mention the word “walk”?

My own dogs can make going out very stressful.

The Yorkie, Tinkerbell, SCREAMS she’s so excited. I’ve finally learned how to manage this. When she starts with over-the-top yelping and screaming because she thinks we’re going for a walk, I say (calmly) No, no. Then stop all actions that will lead to a walk. I put down the leash and go into another room and sit calmly.

Then I try it again. Still going crazy? Then I repeat the actions: say No, drop the leash and go into the other room quietly.

It only took two times and now, she’s just fine when we start out on our walk.

How often should you walk your dog?

 

Finally, to get back to the question of this post: How often should you walk your dog?

Daily is important. Shorter more frequent walks are often better, but longer walks work too, provided your Morkie has built up to them. Like us, dogs need to ramp up to exercise, not jump in all at once.

Experts say that a brisk walk that is 15 to 20 minutes once a day will mean real benefits for your dog… and for you.

Start slowly, keeping your Morkie’s age and health level in mind. Then build to one or two 20-minute walks a day.

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