Walk Your Dog, Burn Your Calories

Submitted by Kevin Pederson on February 20, 2012

Any kind of physical activity can help you burn those calories. Even the simple act of taking your dog and walking can be a fun exercise. So, take your walking a step further and enlist the services of man's best friend. However, if you plan to walk at a leisurely pace, letting your dog string you around, stopping every couple of paces to sniff, you are not going to derive much benefit.

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The average human walking speed is about 3. 5 miles per hour for men and about 2.5 to 3 mph for women. If you are walking at this speed, you are not really exercising.


For a true dog walking exercise, you will need to walk at a brisk pace of 4 to 5 mph on level surfaces.

While you are going with your dog walking, the calories burned are subject to your height, weight, gender, the speed and distance you take your dog walking, the walking terrain, and so on. The other factors that determine calories burned while walking a dog include if you have been in the lead or the other way around. Your efforts to burn calories would bear much fruit if you have an energetic puppy or dog since controlling them takes twice the effort.

An online calculator or a digital heart monitor can be strapped on your arm every time you go out with your dog walking, as it would help you determine the calories burned. On an average, you are likely to lose about 300 calories by walking with your dog than you would by walking alone. Add hills, stairs, or inclines to this dog walking exercise and burn even more calories.

Apart from the obvious health benefit of losing calories, you are also likely to enjoy the connection you share with your dog. Walking your dog can help you relax and enjoy the fitness activity. You will also be aware of your surroundings as you keep an eye out for your dog. It is an exercise routine that you can enjoy everyday and it will keep you motivated.

What to Avoid

Your canine companion is bound to be ready the minute you put on your walking shoes. However, before you consider a dog walking exercise, ascertain that your dog is ready for it.

  • Get a veterinarian to check if your pet has any medical conditions, is overweight, or is the right age for a strenuous activity. Despite a medical check-up, when you are out on a trail dog walking, keep an eye out for any signs of fatigue or troubled breathing
  • Try to find a safe trail or path for your dog walking exercise. Hard, concrete, or asphalt surfaces, especially on hot days while walking your dog, can cause both of you foot injuries
  • Carry water for you and your pet and ensure that you keep it hydrated at all times. Since dogs cannot sweat, they will try to keep cool by panting, stopping at shaded spots, walking through puddles of water, and drinking lots of water
  • Although the success achieved can motivate you to keep going, you may want to consider the limit for your pet. Some energetic dogs tend to overdo it in their enthusiasm. If your pet is tired and wants to stop, allow it to do so
  • Weather conditions apply to both you and your dog. If your pet is a big, furry canine, you might want to reconsider walking in hot, humid weather. Similarly, avoid walking your dog in freezing conditions. You may have a jacket on but your pet will have to withstand the worst of nature
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