Whether you have a large dog, small dog, puppy, adult, or senior, your dog should exercise in some form or fashion every day. While the level of activity will vary depending on your dog, exercise is an important component of maintaining your dog’s overall health.
The Importance of Exercise
Exercise is important both mentally and physically. In terms of your dog’s mental health, exercise is a great solution for boredom and can alleviate anxiety and restlessness in your dog. It is also great for your dog’s cognition. Introducing your dog to a new game or setting will keep your dog alert and cause him or her to process information.
More evident is the positive correlation between exercise and physical health. Dogs that exercise daily are more likely to have a healthy weight and “exercise ensures that the joints stay lubricated while strengthening the supporting muscles” (Chewy, 2017). In other words, keeping your dog moving will help them feel good and look good both inside and out.
How Much Exercise Does A Dog Needs Every Day?
The amount of exercise and level of intensity your dog needs depends on age, breed, and your dog’s physical condition. As your dog develops from puppy to adult, his or her exercise needs will change as well. While there isn’t an exact measurement for how much exercise your dog should be getting every day, there are some guidelines you can follow.
According to the American Kennel Club, “When your puppy is very young, veterinarians recommend keeping exercise limited to short walks and multiple play sessions throughout the day, with plenty of time for naps” (Burke, 2017). Adult dogs typically need between 30 minutes and 2 hours of exercise every day depending on the breed. Taking your adult dog to the dog park, on long walks, or just having a fetch session in the yard are great ways to exercise your adult dog. If you have a senior dog, you should shorten the length of your walks and go at a slower pace. Another great form of exercise is swimming. Swimming is a good way for your senior dog to get his or her exercise while being easy on his or her joints (Simons, 2018).
In addition to age, the more you know about the breed of your dog, the better equipped you will be when it comes to exercise. For example, “Breeds in the hunting, working, or herding groups (e.g., Labrador retriever, hounds, collies, and shepherds) will need the most exercise. If your dog is in one of these groups and is in good health, she should be getting at least 30 minutes of rigorous exercise along with her 1-2 hours of daily activity” (PetMD).
Tips for Exercising Your Dog Every Day
If you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to exercising your dog, you can follow these tips:
- Consult your veterinarian before starting your dog’s exercise regimen
- Start slow if your dog is new to exercise, or if he or she is a puppy or older dog
- Establish a routine that you can maintain and keeps your dog fit
- Avoid exercising in adverse conditions, such as the hottest or coldest part of the day.
- Take your dog to the dog park if he or she is good with other dogs and requires rigorous exercise
- Give your dog new toys in order to keep them from getting bored
- Introduce your dog to new settings in order to keep them mentally stimulated
- Hire a dog walker if you have a busy schedule or can’t fit in daily exercise with your dog
Along with diet, exercise is important for your dog’s health and wellbeing. To put it simply, a healthy dog is a happy dog. Not only is exercise a great way to spend time and bond with your dog, but your dog will love and thank you for it.
- Burke, Anna. “How Much Exercise Is Too Much for a Puppy?” American Kennel Club, 8 Nov. 2017, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/puppies-how-much-exercise/
- Chewy. “8 Reasons Your Dog NEEDS Exercise.” Chewy, 7 June 2018, https://www.chewy.com/petcentral/health-pet-fitness-8-reasons-your-dog-needs-exercise/
- PetMD. “Exercising with Your Dog 101.” PetMD, https://www.petmd.com/dog/wellness/evr_dg_exercising_with_your_dog101
- Simons, Emily. “Let’s Talk Dog Exercise – How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need Every Day?” Dogster, 12 Oct. 2018, https://www.dogster.com/dog-health-care/dog-exercise-how-much-exercise-does-a-dog-need-every-day