I have touched this subject in many of my dog blogs but really feel humans should understand that all dogs are different. Some dogs need more exercise than others. A general rule is 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on dog breed, age and wellness.
Dog exercise is just as important as exercise for yourself. Not getting enough could cause your dog to be obese, frustrated and/or have behavior problems.
Lets start with puppies… because they are adorable and still growing. Knowing the exercise needs of a specific dog breed is very important when choosing a puppy!
How much exercise does a puppy need?
An active puppy is a healthy puppy! Puppies will need less exercise but more of those short bursts. You may notice they zoom around and then collapse and sleep. It is safer to play or walk with them for shorter periods of time because they are growing and it can be hard on their developing body. There are a lot of mixed opinions about this subject but using your senses and bond with them is important to knowing their needs. Also with different puppy breeds, consulting with your vet is a good idea if you plan on having them as a working dogs or in other dog sports, like agility!
You will notice if your puppy doesn’t get enough exercise because they will be destructive and will try their best to let you know they have energy to burn! It’s really not hard to read them as you spend more time with them and grow your bond.
According to The Kennel Club, a good rule of thumb for puppy exercise time is a ratio of five minutes of exercise per month of age. (up to twice a day) For example, 15 minutes twice a day for a three months old, 20 minutes when four months old, etc. When they are grown fully, they can go out for much longer.
Side note: Do not take a puppy to a dog park until they have had all vaccinations–usually around 16 weeks of age. They are too vulnerable to pick up diseases. We had a lady contact us that took her 8 week old puppy to a dog park and it got the Parvo illness!
Great ways to exercise your puppy!
- Short walks or jogs – keep them short as noted above. Too much can cause joint problems in larger dog breeds.
- Blog with tips on how to start running with your dog here —>
- Fetch & tug of war can strengthen bond and teach self control.
- Chew toys and treat stuffed puzzle toys can help when they are alone.
- Hide and Seek is a great game to play with your puppy! It also helps teach them to come when called.
- Chasing bubbles is a fun way to tire out your puppy. Make sure they are safe and won’t hurt their eyes. Amazon has bacon scented bubbles for dogs here —> (can you believe it, bacon scented dog bubbles! Genius!)
- Using a food toy to find their food. This will tire them out and slow their eating down at the same time. You can use a plastic bottle tipped upside down and encourage them to tip it over with their nose to get the kibble, then set it back up again. As they become older you can move up to more advanced toys like the Kong wobbler. We have always had a Kong on hand for our dogs.
Now, for Adult Dog exercise!
If you find yourself bored with the same walks or your dog is smelling the same patches of grass everyday, it’s time to change it up! If you are able to get them outside, find a new swimming spot for those dog breeds that love the water. Take them for a hike or exploring a new walking trail.
Here are some great ideas for outside and indoors!
- Hiking – Find new trails and explore with your dog.
- Swimming – Great exercise for your dog, especially nice for senior dogs, just don’t over do it.
- Joining you while you skate – Skate board, roller blade, whichever you might do. Just be sure to skate in an enclosed area at first while training your dog to this new activity, and always wear appropriate safety gear.
- Fetch – try a “chuck-it” launcher (our favorite) so you don’t have to pick up the slobbery ball and you can throw it further! Dog Treadmills and Treadwheels are specifically made for dogs and perfect for when you can’t get outdoors for whatever reason. Treadwheels are actually self controlled by the dog, so using no electricity and they can use them at anytime.
- Climbing the stairs – if you can’t get outside, have your dog climb up and down the stairs if they are able and healthy.
- Keep away or Hide and Seek – a game that keeps your dog engaged and releasing pent up energy!
- Indoor or outdoor Agility course– You can even make an indoor course using items around the house like brooms, boxes and chairs.
If your adult dog has a medical or physical condition, such as arthritis, heart or respiratory issues, talk with your vet about an appropriate exercise routine that will help him stay healthy without causing him discomfort.
Sources: American Kennel Club
Dog Bless~ The Dog Connection