Should You Walk Your Dog In The Morning
It’s their favourite time of the day. Your dog not only looks forward to their outdoor strolls, they’re likely the ones waking you up in the morning to take them out for a walk. If you’re asking if you should walk your dog in the morning, the answer is yes! But, there are some additional pieces of information to consider when choosing the best times of day to walk your dog, how long to walk them, and creating a routine. So, let’s delve into these a little bit deeper.
Should You Walk Your Dog in the Morning?
Yes; in fact, walking your dog in the morning is the best time to do so. Some reasons for this include
- During the summer months it’s not too warm out, so the pavement isn’t too hot. During this time of year dog’s paws can become blistered if taken out during the heat of the day, so the morning provides a great opportunity to get out and about with your pooch.
- It’s a good time to go to the park, beach, or other locations as most people are getting ready for work, or still in bed. The only people you will be seeing are those with other four-legged friends.
- It improves their physical/mental well-being for the day. Dogs love routine and if you are able to make this a regular event your dog will be much more settled. It also helps your own well being as it gives you a sense of purpose and the many benefits that the outdoors gives you.
If nothing else, your dog looks forward to it! They’re probably pulling you out of bed. It’s that 30 minutes to one-hour each day that they really look forward to. Getting out there and socialising with their friends at the dog park, or playing catch with you on the beach. It’s not only good for your dog, it’s also good for you, their owner!
If you still need that motivation to get up and about early in the morning then check out this article by “Healthline”. It outlines 10 great benefits to taking a morning stroll, have a read for some extra motivation. “10 Morning Walking Benefits To get You on Your Feet”
Should You Wake Your Dog up for Walks?
This is a difficult matter as dogs can be quite unpredictable so if your planning to wake your dog up to go for a walk you should approach with caution, as even the friendliest dogs can bite if woken abruptly. Instead of waking your dog in this way try pottering around in the room, most dogs will wake naturally and once they notice you are up and about, they will soon get up.
More often than not, they’re the ones who will be pulling at your covers in the morning to wake up. But, for other hours of the day, let them lie. When they’re ready to wake up, need to use the restroom, or go out for a walk, they’ll let you know. This article from Rover gives a good overview on whether you should wake a sleeping dog.
What are the Advantages of Morning Walks?
There are plenty of advantages of walking your dog in general, and many which are specific to walking them in the morning. Some benefits are
- They can socialise with other dogs (and you can socialise with other pet owners)
- They’ll get in their exercise for the day
- It’s a good training opportunity
- They’ll burn some extra calories
- It helps with their digestion after they use the restroom in the morning
- It’s important for mental stimulation
The mornings are also great times to tackle trails you can’t during the day. You can go on hikes, go to the beach, or even sit at the park for a few hours. Imagine trying to do that in the middle of a summer afternoon in a town or city. Your dog’s little paws can’t handle it, and you probably want to avoid being dehydrated in that sweltering heat as well. For more information on walking your dog in the summer check out our article here: How to walk your dog in the summer.
Does Your Dog Need an AM Routine?
Routine and consistency are critical in your dog’s life, and your life for that matter. Think of yourself for a minute. You go through the same routine each day. Wake up, brush your teeth, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, pick up the kids, prepare dinner, and bedtime. You’re ingrained and trained in your daily routine. You want to do the same for your dog.
In terms of creating a morning routine for them, it really will depend on your dog’s personality. For most dogs, you’ll want to start their day with their morning walk. It’s usually 30 minutes to 1-hour for most dogs. They’ll use the bathroom, socialise a bit, then they’re ready to come home. At this point, you should feed them and give them water. Even if they don’t want to eat, doing it every day will build a routine, and they’ll eventually follow it. After meal time, your dog will likely take a nap. Before soon you’ll see it’s time for their next walk.
Regardless of which order these events occur, make sure you’re consistent. If you keep changing things up, your dog won’t follow routine, or your commands in general. Make sure you do the same thing, maintain the same protocol, and build positive habits for your dog. It makes a difference, and it is important in their training and raising.
How Frequently Should You Walk Your Dog?
This will entirely depend on the type of dog you have and your dog’s own personality. If you have a energetic Springer you may consider taking them for 4 shorter walks throughout the day or one large walk and a short one in the evening. Other more docile dogs will require a lot less exercise. If you’re looking for some of the typical times to take your dog for a walk there are at least three to four walks a day you could do. There’s the
- (Ever popular) AM walk
- Lunchtime or noon
- Afternoon walk
- Evening walk
These tend to get shorter as the day passes. The morning walk is the longest one. The weather’s nice, your dog’s friends are out, and they want to be outside. For lunch/noon, you’re probably going out for 10 to 20 minutes. They’ll use the bathroom, walk a little around the block, and they’re ready to come back in. The afternoon walk is similar (restroom, short walk, come back inside). The final walk in the evening, might be a bit longer (20 to 30 minutes). This is time for your dog to tire themselves out. Play a little, use the bathroom, and get them ready for bed.
By maintaining this routine, they’ll follow a similar pattern each day, and your sleep cycles will mesh. It’s a win-win for both parties. For some extra information on the amount of exercise your dog should be getting everyday then check out this article we wrote to help answer some of those questions when it comes to exercising your dog. How much exercise to give your dog everyday.
Are Morning or Evening Walks Better for Dogs?
They might not be “better” health wise, but you can believe it’s your dog’s favourite walk of the day. It’s what they’re looking forward to. Morning walks are imperative for your dog’s health, well-being, and mental alertness. It’s the most comfortable time of the day (temperature/outside), it’s when most dogs walk (great for socialising), and it’s when most people are off the streets (work, running errands, etc.). Your dog needs their morning walk, and you (their owner), also need that clarity, fresh air, and outdoor time. If you work during the day then the morning is going to be great for waking yourself up and preparing yourself for the day, whereas an evening walk will be more difficult as you will be tired from your day at work and the first thing you will want to do when you get home is sit and relax.
The bottom line… consistency is key! If you’re a brand-new dog owner, you’ll learn their perks over time. But, start with a schedule and stick with it. You’ll find this not only works best for your furry four-legged friend, but also for you. It creates consistency in the day, everyone knows when things get done, and your dog will get in their much-needed R&R and outdoor exercise time throughout the day that way.
Things To Consider Before Walking Your Dog In The Morning
- Ensure you either feed your dog at least an hour before taking them out for a walk. If you don’t get up that early you can always feed them after their morning walk but just ensure you have enough time to get to work.
- If you’re going to be heading out after walking your dog ensure you have plenty of time to get ready for what ever errands you going to be doing.
- If your walking your dog during the winter you may want to consider leaving the heating on whilst walking your dog as they can then come back to a warm house.
- Leaving towels out to dry your dog off can be a good idea if it’s a rainy morning or they end up splashing in puddles. The quicker your dog dry’s the less smelly your house gets, especially if you’re out all day.
- During the winter months the mornings can be much darker than in the summer and it may be worth investing in a decent torch or night gear for you and your dog. Have a look at our article on walking your dog during the night for some great tips on this.
So, there you have it walking your dog in the morning is a great idea and something that you and your dog can both enjoy. Consider some of the points outlined in this article and should be good to go, if you enjoyed this post check out our website where we have lots of great content on walking your dog and getting out and about with them.