8 Signs Your Dog Wants to Go for a Walk

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Regular exercise is just as important for your dog’s health as it is for your own. Exercise helps your dog burn off his excess energy and it also burns calories to help him maintain a healthy body weight. What many dog owners forget is that exercise is also part of a dog’s breeding. Some dogs were developed specifically for active purposes like hunting or herding.

Related: How To Safely Walk Your Dog In The Big City

Taking your dog for a daily walk is the easiest way to ensure that his exercise needs are met, and your dog loves it! There are, however, times when your dog doesn’t seem interested in leaving the house which may leave you wondering how to tell when he DOES want to go for a walk.

If you don’t already have a set routine for walking your dog, you should think about making one. Dogs thrive on routine and taking him for a walk at the same time each day will give him something to look forward to. If you don’t have a routine in place, you might wait until your dog lets you know he’s ready. Here are some signs that your dog wants to go for a walk:

  • He flops down and breathes a giant, pathetic sigh.
  • He grabs his leash and brings it to you or walks around the house with it.
  • He’s looking out the window, watching everyone who walks by.
  • He stands by the door wagging his tail or doing a little dance.
  • He brings you your shoes as a sign that it’s time to go.
  • He’s wagging his tail for seemingly no reason at all, staring at you.
  • He whines, howls, or barks at you to get your attention.
  • He starts to do some stretches, probably near the door.

Though these are some obvious signs that your dog wants to go for a walk, you probably don’t even need them. It is generally safe to assume that your dog will always be excited to go on a walk. If he doesn’t seem interested, you may want to look a little deeper.

Related: Why You Should Let Your Dog Sniff During Walks

If your dog is normally excited about walks but his excitement level changes, there are a few possibilities. Here are some reasons your dog doesn’t want to go on a walk:

  • He might be tired, especially if he had a particularly active morning or a stressful day.
  • His joints and muscles could be sore, maybe from extra activity the day before.
  • He might have an injury such as a sprain or a strained muscle.
  • He might have a burr or another object stuck in his paw, causing him pain.
  • His nails are getting too long and it’s become uncomfortable to walk.

In addition to these possibilities, your dog could also be sick. Lethargy is a common symptom for many diseases so talk to your veterinarian if your dog is disinterested in walking for several days in a row or if his lethargy is accompanied by other symptoms.