I’m always talking about the benefits of exercising with your dog.
We love to hike and I used to occasionally run with my Dachshund’s Chester and Gretel (yes, believe it or not, some Dachshunds can go running).
However, I’ve found that walking is the easiest, and most convenient way for me and my pups to exercise together.
Walking is something I do more regularly because it takes less preparation and I can do it without driving anywhere if I want.
UPDATED: December 11,2022
Walking Regularly is Also a Good Base for More
Walking is also part of my strategy for preparing my dogs for hiking season.
I think that any basic exercise plan has to start with walking.
If you and/or your pooch are out of shape, walking is the best way to ease into a more intense exercise program.
For example, I don’t suggest hitting the trails with your dog until you have a steady walking routine down.
If you are just starting an exercise program, regular walks should be your aim.
If you aren’t used to physical activity, start out with small walks around your neighborhood.
Counting Calories Can Motivate
For me, things like getting a new piece of workout clothing or gear can kick start my motivation.
It also helps me to know how many calories I’m burning while I walk my dog.
I know, a fitness watch will do that for you nowadays.
However, some people just want a ball-park estimate and don’t want to be tied to a piece of technology while out enjoying the fresh air.
Part of the reason we walk is to clear our minds and get away from all of that stuff, right?
How to Calculate How Many Calories you Burn Walking Your Dog
How many calories you’ll burn when walking your dog varies according to your gender, weight, how fast you walk, and terrain (elevation gain), etc.
Rough estimates of calories burned walking
On average, someone walking at a typical walking pace (approxiamately 2.5 to 3.5 mph or 17 to 24 minutes per mile) will burn 65-160 calories per mile (source).
Increasing your walking speed to a brisk walking pace of 4.0 mph, or about 15 minutes per mile, will burn, on average, 68-170 calories per mile.
Increasing to a vigorous walking pace of 4.5-5 mph, or about 13.3-12 minutes per mile, can increase your calorie expendeture to 76-218 per mile.
A More Precise Calculation of Calories Burned Walking
To get a more accurate calculation of the calories you will burn when you are out walking your dog, use an online calculator.
To be clear though, this calculator is for a walk where you are intentionally exercising – walking at a brisk pace with few or no stops to sniff around.
Sniff-fest type walks are just fine if your goal is to fill fido’s nose with wonderful scents.
However, you and your dog won’t burn many more calories doing that than you do sitting on the couch.
If you want to get an idea of how many calories you will burn walking your dog, enter your height, weight and age into this calculator.
Also remember, online calculators don’t take into account ALL of the factors that determine how many calories you’ll burn.
While the one above is one of the best I have found, it doesn’t factor in the terrain you are walking on, how steep it is (or if it’s mostly downhill), or your heart rate.
It also doesn’t account for the steps you take. For example, a shorter person may take more steps than a tall one.
Taking steps – moving your body – is what burns the calories so it’s an important factor of an accurate calorie calculation.
Estimate of How Many Calories I Burn Walking My Own Dogs
Sometimes it helps to share personal details to illustrate a point.
If I use myself as an example, here are my results.
I weigh 165 lbs. Walking for 45 minutes at a normal walking pace will burn 206 calories.
If I was to walk at a faster pace, I could burn an additional 47 calories.
If I use the first figure and walk my dogs 3 days a week for 45 minutes each, I burn 619 calories a week.
Beyond Walking With Your Dog – What’s Next?
Maybe you’re already walking your dog a suffient distance, and walking your an appropriate number of times a week, and are looking for that next challlenge that will burn more calories.
For ambitious types that eventually want to get into jogging or hiking with their dogs to up the burn, here is a tip:
Just like people who aren’t used to exercise, dogs should start off slow.
Moderately-paced walking is a good way to start—it lets canine athletes build their cardiovascular and muscle strength without putting undue stress on their joints – but you should increase to speed walking if you can to build on your fitness base.
After a few months of frequently walking, if fido doing well and can handle long, fast walks without fatigue, he can graduate to hiking or running with you if you want.
Always make sure you know the signs that your dog is being pushed too far too fast so you can stop before they get too tired or injured.
Most of us are curious about how many calories we burn while walking our dog.
Counting calories can help us maintan or lose weight and motivate us.
Using a math equation or online calorie calculator can give you a decent estimate.
However, if you want a more accurate calorie count, consider using a wearable device that monitors your heart rate, steps, and heart rate like a FitBit or Garmin Watch.
About the Author
Hi, I’m Jessica. I’ve been studying the Dachshund breed since 2007, owned 3 of my own, and shared in the lives of thousands of others through their owner’s stories. When I’m not sharing what I know on this blog, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.