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Do Dogs Need to Go Outside? 5 Reasons to Get them Outdoors

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 11, 2024 by Dogster Team

Do Dogs Need to Go Outside? 5 Reasons to Get them Outdoors

Dogs can’t synthesize vitamin D from UV rays in the same way humans can. So, if there’s no direct health benefit of soaking up the sun, is there any need to let or take a dog out at all? While dogs don’t need UV exposure, getting outside can improve mental well-being, ensure that they get enough exercise, and it also enables socialization.

There are plenty of reasons to take dogs out for regular walks, and supplementing this with time in a secure yard or garden also has its benefits for you, as well as your dog.

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The 5 Reasons Your Dog Should Go Outside

Walking your dog should be considered a daily part of your pet care regime. Although the required duration and intensity of walks will differ by breed and an individual dog’s circumstances, you should aim to be out for at least an hour a day, although this can be split over two or more walks.

There are numerous important reasons why dog walking is so important, it is not only beneficial for your dog, but it has been shown that regular walks can improve your mental well-being and physical condition.

1. Socialization

Socializing a dog means introducing it to new situations that they’ve not encountered before. Not only does this teach them that those specific encounters are nothing to be worried or fearful of, but it also teaches them that new situations are nothing to fear. It also lets your pup connect with other dogs and people. Socialization should start when a dog is young, but it needs to continue throughout their lives.

woman playing with weimaraner dogs
Image Credit: Christian Mueller, Shutterstock

2. Exercise

Exercise is important. Without regular exercise, your dog will likely put on weight and may develop joint, bone, and other health conditions. A lack of exercise can also lead to poor mental health. All of these factors contribute to a shorter lifespan. Every dog’s physical exercise requirements are different. Dogs that have been bred as companion dogs may not need too much intense exercise, but working dog breeds will require long and more frequent bouts of exercise.


3. Reduce Anxiety and Stress

Going on a walk provides your dog with access to different environments. It enables them to sniff and experience sights and sounds they don’t get when shut in the house. This itself can help reduce anxiety, while regular exercise and time outdoors can reduce stress. If a dog suffers separation anxiety or destructive behavior, ensuring they get enough regular exercise is one way to help reduce these problems.

mini goldendoodle puppy dog running outdoors
Image Credit: SoySendra, Shutterstock

4. Bonding

Walking your dog also provides a chance to bond with them. The two of you spend time together and they will look to you for support and guidance while you’re out. The stronger the bond between the two of you, the more likely your dog will listen to you and behave well.


5. Training Opportunities

One reason that a lot of people put off walking their dog is that they aren’t good on a leash, or they misbehave while out. Some dogs get really excited when they get out of the house. Regular walks can reduce excitement and anxiety, and they also give you a chance to work on leash walking and other training activities. Take a long leash and you can also work on recall and other training elements.

a weimaraner dog being trained at the park
Image Credit: Frank J. Triguero, Shutterstock

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Is the Backyard Enough?

Letting a dog out in the yard is a good supplement to regular walks, but it shouldn’t be viewed as a replacement. While it does give your dog a chance to pee and poop, and you can provide exercise if your yard is big enough and you’re willing to play while you’re both out, walking your dog introduces it to new sights and smells that they won’t experience in their own yard.

How Much Exercise Do Dogs Need?

The amount of exercise a dog needs depends on its breed, age, and its own condition and requirements. In most cases, you should expect to provide at least 45 to 60 minutes of walks a day. This can be split into two walks, and if yours is a working dog breed or especially active, you might need to provide more exercise. If your vet recommends more or less exercise, always follow these guidelines.

Is It Okay to Not Walk Your Dog for a Day?

If it is a one-off, and there’s a good reason, missing one day of walks shouldn’t be detrimental to your dog’s physical or mental health. However, it shouldn’t become a habit. Your dog needs daily exercise, typically provided through regular walks, so don’t skip walks unless absolutely essential. If you won’t be able to walk your dog for a few days, consider getting a friend, family member, or a professional dog walker to come and take your pup out for you.

Is One Walk a Day Enough for a Dog?

For some breeds, a single walk a day might be enough to keep them fit and healthy. However, providing two walks means that you can take a dog out for a walk first in the morning and another before bed, giving them the chance to do their business and reducing the risk of them peeing and pooping in the house.

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Conclusion

Regular exercise and socialization are important to all dogs. Getting out for a daily walk or two with your dog can also help with training and even strengthen the bond between the two of you. Letting your dog out in the garden shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for regular walks but it can be used to supplement walks and offers a convenient way to let your dog do its business out of the house.


Featured Image Credit: Wirestock Creators, Shutterstock

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