It is fair to assume that all dog owners are well aware that their beloved pooch needs to be walked frequently. This fact is one of the central tenets of dog ownership, and one that the majority of owners accept without question.
However, while there is consensus regarding the importance of walks, there isn’t quite the same level of agreement regarding what time of day is best to walk your dog. In many cases, this is due to necessity; owners have to walk their dog when they can, fitting this requirement in with their work schedules. This is, of course, completely understandable, and the simple fact remains that any walk - of whatever duration - is a good one.
Nevertheless, it is worth considering whether there actually is an ideal time to walk your dog if your schedule allows for an element of flexibility. There are two key questions that must be considered when deciding the best time of day to walk your dog, the first of which is…
When is your dog most active?
Walking your dog when he or she feels most active is likely to ensure you both get the most from the walking experience, so factoring this element into your decision is important.
While there is always an element of subjectivity to be factored in to this discussion - dogs, like humans, have a variety of preferences - the conclusion seems to be that dogs are most active in the early hours. Timing a walk to coincide with this period should help to ensure that you make the most of your dog’s increase in activity levels, and could also help your pooch remain calm and relaxed through the rest of the day, their exercise needs having already been met.
The second question to consider is…
What time of day is best in terms of safety?
When walking your dog outdoors, it’s important to factor safety into your considerations. Walking late at night, for example, could be dangerous, while walking during rush hour periods could lead to accidents that require you to seek legal services here to obtain recompense for an injury.
To avoid these hazards, a ‘safe’ time of day would be one where:
The volume of traffic is low. This is an especially important factor if you live in an urban environment.
There is plenty of daylight.
So what is the best time of day to walk your dog?
When considering activity levels and safety, we can conclude that the best time to walk your dog is early in the morning, after sunrise. Walking at this time ensures you will avoid the busiest traffic periods on the roads, have adequate daylight, and your dog will be at their most active and thus able to enjoy the walk as much as possible.
Of course, rising at the crack of dawn every day is simply not an option for many people due to scheduling conflicts. Walking your dog at this time is not a necessity - any walk is a good one, remember! - but if you have a more flexible schedule, then an early rise is likely to be the best decision for you and your four-legged friend to enjoy a walk together.
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