New dog owners are sometimes confused about what to expect from puppies as they grow. What happens when a puppy doesn’t start walking when expected? Should puppies start running around at six weeks or five? All this confusion can suck the life out of an ordinarily joyous process and leave you feeling anxious.
When do puppies start walking and should you be concerned if they fall behind in their development? We’ll explain the standard puppy stages below.
What Age Can You Expect Your Puppy to Walk?
Newborn puppies tend not to move very much, preferring to stay close to their mother and sleep during the first few weeks. Once they start to open their eyes, you’ll notice their activity levels going up.
Four weeks is the standard age when puppies start walking. While you may come across the rare puppy that starts walking at two or three weeks, expect to wait a full month before your pet moves around.
Can I Help My Puppy Start Walking?
Encouraging your puppy to walk as soon as possible increases their confidence in the outside world. The last thing you want is to shelter your puppy and have them grow into an anxious, irritable adult!
Helping your puppy start walking should be done in a safe and sanitized environment. Avoid busy parks or noisy streets in favor of the following:
- The comfort of your living room
- A quiet, grassy backyard
- A visit at a friend’s house
When Can I Start Taking My Puppy Outside?
Your first instinct when adopting a puppy might be to show them off to the world. While puppies are soft and cuddly, they’re also quite sensitive.
Your puppy has a lower immune system than older dogs and needs routine vaccinations before they can adventure outside.
How Much Exercise Does My Puppy Need?
Puppies have fast growth spurts, so they need plenty of food and exercise. The type of breed you own will impact how much exercise they need, too.
A small breed like a Miniature Poodle or a Dachshund won’t need as long of a walk as a huge breed like a Giant Dane. Likewise, very young puppies will tucker out faster than older puppies on their way to adulthood. Remember that mental stimulation is just as important as physical, so give your puppy plenty of games and training time.
Give your puppy designated play time or walk time every day, but don’t push them too hard when they get tired! Try the following metrics on for size (which doesn’t include bathroom breaks):
- Ten minutes for one-month-old puppies
- 15 minutes for two to three-month-old puppies
- 30 minutes for six-month-old puppies
Did you know dog paws are rather sensitive? We provide high-quality dog sneakers and booties to keep your puppy safe from chemical burns, hot gravel, and sharp ice.
When Can I Take My Puppy on a Walk?
Taking your puppy on a walk too soon can expose them to harmful diseases or stressful noise, impacting their development. Make sure your puppy has complete vaccinations before going on an adventure!
What Do I Need to Do Before Walking My Puppy?
Taking your puppy out for a refreshing, safe walk isn’t just a matter of stepping outside. Not only do you need to ensure they’re vaccinated, but you also need to be mindful of the environment.
Puppies can become scared of noisy, smelly, and active environments. Their delicate paws are susceptible to cuts, burns, and broken nails. It would help if you also were extra careful of taking your puppy out when it’s very hot or cold.
Additionally, it’s always a good idea to introduce your puppy to foreign objects and tools early on, so they can get used to them before you start taking them on regular walks. For example, it can take time for puppies to get used to dog shoes. The earlier you can get them used to wearing this essential type of paw protection, the easier it will be to prepare them for wearing the shoes on long walks.
How Long (And Far) Should I Walk My Puppy?
As stated above, pay close attention to your dog’s breed, size, and age when walking them. Too much exercise is just as harmful as not enough exercise!
Take your puppy on a designated walk twice per day to get out excess energy and expose them to the world. Pay close attention to your puppy’s mood and how quickly they tire out, then adjust your walk time accordingly. If your puppy starts limping, that could be a sign their joints are sore from overexertion.
Also, be sure to watch out for signs that your puppy’s paws are sore or hurt, and help prevent any issues by routinely strapping on a pair of high-quality dog shoes.
Can I Walk My Puppy Too Often?
Yes! Too much walking can damage your puppy’s joints, wear out their paws, and leave them exhausted.
Watch your puppy’s behavior closely. If they look tired, unresponsive, or move slowly, call the walk off and head home.
When Should I Train My Puppy?
As soon as possible! Similar to a human child, your puppy’s first year is one of the most formative parts of their life.
Training your puppy is an ongoing effort, too. You need to be teaching your puppy to heel, sit, and follow whenever you play or go on a walk. You want your pet to understand that good habits are a natural part of life instead of the occasional diversion.
Is Taking My Puppy on Walks Important?
Taking your puppy on walks is how you bond with your dog and teach them valuable life skills. Every new walk helps your puppy develop into a happier, healthier adult.
We provide high-quality dog accessories to make sure every walk is safe and enjoyable. If you live in a rainy or windy area, check out our cotton fleece dog hoodies. Likewise, we highly recommend you help your puppy get used to wearing sneakers or booties. These tools are vital for keeping delicate paws safe from cuts, harmful chemicals, or burns.
Your puppy deserves the world! Check out our dog hoodies, booties, and essential kits to protect your pet from the elements.