We all want our dogs to be healthy and happy, and that includes exercise. But how much exercise does my dog need? Let’s find out.
A tired dog is a good dog, they say.
But between family responsibilities and busy work schedules, it’s hard to keep up with daily dog exercise needs.
And as a dog person, you should understand the importance of exercise to you and to your pooch.
However, different breeds of dogs need different levels of exercise and activities. Just as one dog wants an old-school leather collar while the other one wants a sturdy no-pulling harness.
So, with hundreds of dog breeds in the world today, the question now is:
“How much exercise does my dog needs?”
The Amount of Daily Exercise a Dog Need Based On Age
As puppies grow, it is crucial for them to get enough outdoor playing and potty time.
A good rule of the thumb is a ratio of 5 minutes per month of age of up to 2 times a day until the puppy is grown, according to the U. K. Kennel Club.
15 minutes of exercise, twice a day when 3 months old. Then 20 minutes, twice a day when 4 months old.
And once they are fully grown, they can grow out much longer.
Short games of fetch with a small exercise ball, swimming, and short walks are great forms of exercise for puppies.
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FOR ADULT DOGS
In general, adult dogs do not require much attention than puppies. However, most adult dogs still need at least 30 minutes to 2 hours of daily exercise.
Relay-race games, hiking, and play dates with their doggy friends are fulfilling activities that should leave you and your doggo snoozing at the couch at the end of the day.
FOR SENIOR DOGS
Usually, we are not able to maintain the pace that we once enjoyed when we age. This is the same with our furry buddies as they get older.
Although walks should be a crucial part of a senior dog life, such walks need to be shortened in length as well as taken at a slower pace.
Swimming is also a great exercise for senior dogs. Taking senior dogs for a swim at a lake or a pool (make sure to use a floatation device) will allow them to stay active and lively without putting additional stress on their joints.
The Amount of Daily Exercise a Dog Needs Based On Breeds
An assistant professor of clinical science and a veterinarian at the Kansas State University, Dr. Susan Nelson told Science Daily that exercise amounts cannot be given since exercise needs are different between individuals and other factors like general health, weather, breed, and age that influence the amount of exercise that a dog needs.
And just like every human is different than the other, each and every dog breeds are also special and unique in its own way.
The best thing you can do is to research your dog’s breed online and get more information on how much exercise they need.
Here is a brief guideline:
Despite their strength and size, giant dog breeds like Newfoundlands, Mastiffs, and Great Danes are known to be less energetic.
Smaller dog breeds like Yorkshire Terrier, Poodles and Chihuahuas tend to be less active as well.
Dog breeds with flat nose like Shih Tzus, Pugs, and Bulldogs, are brachycephalic breeds. Meaning, they tend to suffer from respiratory and breathing issues which cause them to slow down and live a much more sedentary lifestyle.
On the other hand, active breeds like Shepherds, Scent hounds, Retrievers, and Terriers love plenty of action and exercise. In general, these dog breeds need to get roughly 60 to 90 minutes of exercise daily in order to maintain their health.
Mental Activity Matters, Too
Exercise is not just about physical energy. Mental stimulation is also crucial in a dog’s health. And just like physical exercise, mental activity helps improve mood, relieve boredom and keep your dog healthy.
All types of dogs can benefit from mental stimulation. However, it is particularly important for dogs that have limited mobility due to age or were injured. These dogs might not need physical exercises anymore, however, a good brain workout is a must.
Mental activities for dogs include:
- Treat hunt
- Hide and seek
- Obedience training
- Puzzle toys
Benefits of Dog Exercise and Play
Daily exercise for your dog is not only fun but also provides a lot of benefits such as:
- Helps to keep your pooch’s weight under control
- Helps in keeping your dog feel sleepy during bedtime or relaxing rather than restless
- Helps fearful or timid dogs build trust and confidence
- Help reduce constipation and digestive problems
- Help keep dogs limber, agile and healthy
- Helps eliminate or reduce common behavior problem that comes with lack of exercise
Problems Due To Lack of Dog Exercise and Play
Dogs are like kids. If you do not give them something constructive to do with their infinite energy, they will find something to do on their own which you might not like at all.
Some of the most common ugly behavioral problem that comes when dogs do not get enough exercise and play include:
- Attention-getting behaviors such us whining or barking
- Rough play or play biting
- Excessive social or predatory play
- Unruliness, jumping up on people or knocking over furniture
- Night time activity, excitability, and hyperactivity
- Investigative behavior such as garbage raiding
- Destructive scratching, digging or chewing
Your dog’s health is a family affair. Physical and mental exercise for your dog is important. Therefore you should get everyone involved in the canine exercise routine. Play sessions and family walks not only help you bond with your dogs but also have quality time with your family. And it is good for your health too!
In case you have days when you cant just really have the time to walk your dog, you can always hire a walker to do it for you or try s doggy daycare. Keep in mind that enough exercise will keep your pooch well-behaved and healthy, so do not ever ditch it!
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