How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need?

Why Is Exercise Good For My Dog?

Even couch potatoes need regular exercise to stay healthy; with a simple walk to the park or a game of fetch, you can keep your precious pup’s health in check. Exercise does more than keep your pooch’s health in good condition— it also lowers their stress levels and provides mental stimulation, which means they won’t get restless and destructive.  Whenever a dog is labeled as a “bad dog,” it’s likely that they are understimulated. Just like a bored person, a bored dog will find something interesting to do. To your dog, digging, chewing, ripping, and exploring are exciting activities, so if they haven’t had enough exercise, those are the actions they’ll naturally gravitate toward.

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Let’s Look at Your Dog’s Age

Puppies

Puppy’s bones are still growing, so they aren’t as dense as adult dogs’ bones. So, over-doing physical activities with your pupper can negatively impact their musculoskeletal development. This is especially true when it comes to larger breeds. Shorter, low-impact, controlled activity sessions each day are best for puppies. While there is no exact method, we can measure how much exercise your puppy needs each day; many experts recommend the five-minute rule. This means puppies need five minutes of exercise for every month of their age, up to twice a day. So, this would mean an exercise session for a six-month-old puppy should last a maximum of 30 minutes.

Adults

As your dog matures, they should work up to longer walks, hikes, and more challenging activities, like agility. Adult dogs should get at least 30 minutes of physical activity to two hours every day to stay in good shape.

Senior Dogs

As adult dogs age into senior canines, they’ll still need daily movement. But, not as much. Typically, older dogs need about 30-60 minutes of exercise per day, divided into two activity sessions.

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What is Your Dog’s Breed

Hunting, herding, and other working dog breeds –like Border Collies, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Huskies, will need a lot more exercise. In comparison, toy breeds such as the Chihuahua and Maltese, and Pomeranian don’t need quite as much. If you happen to have a short-nosed breed like a Pug or Bulldog, be attentive to their exercise amount and intensity, as short-muzzled pups have hindered airflow, putting them at a higher risk of heat exhaustion and oxygen deprivation.