“How much exercise does my dog need every day?” If you’re a dog owner, you’ve probably asked this question once or twice before. If your schedule is pressed for time, you might even being asking “How much exercise does my dog really need each day?”
The answer depends on a lot of different factors! Your dog’s age, breed, and even their personality play a factor in how much exercise they need daily.
Exercise Expectations for Puppies
Generally speaking, puppies require more exercise than their adult counterparts. We can attribute this extra energy to the fact that they’re constantly growing. If you notice your puppy on what appears to be a sugar rush (commonly referred to as “zoomies”), you may not be exercising them as much as they need. Consider taking your pup on several short walks or play sessions throughout the day to help make sure they’re getting the exercise they need.
If something seems off (maybe your puppy is rather lethargic), you should talk with your Vet to rule out any medical conditions.
Exercise Expectations for Adult Dogs
As mentioned above, your dog’s breed heavily influences the amount of exercise that they need in their adult stages. Some breeds, such as Border Collies, require more exercise than their lower energy counterparts, such as Basset Hounds. If you’re still at the stage where you’re considering adding a new dog to your family, you may want ask the adoption agency, breeder, or previous pet’s owner about their dog’s exercise needs. If they’re not familiar with a specific dog’s requirements, they should be able to give you a good idea about the breed’s general exercise requirements.
Exercise Expectations for Senior Dogs
As your dog gets older, you might notice that they’re tiring out earlier on walks, or maybe they dont have the same excitement about seeing the leash like they once did. Don’t let this convince you that your dog doesn’t need exercise. Proper exercise for senior dogs is still very important, but you’ll find that you need to adjust the length or intensity of that exercise to meet your dog’s energy levels. When in doubt, talk to your vet about finding the appropriate amount of exercise for your senior dog.
Options for exercising your dogs
If the weather permits, you’ll have tons of options for exercising your dog outside. A walk around a block or two is a great way to get some basic exercise for your dog. If you’re looking to take it up a notch and have a dog that can handle a longer, more intense walk then consider taking your pet on a hike as well.
Additionally, a lot of dogs really enjoy playing in water and swimming can be a great low-impact exercise. This means that swimming is particularly great for elder dogs, especially those that may have developed arthritis or joint pain.
We’d be completely remiss if we didn’t mention playing fetch with your dog as well. But let us tell you, fetch doesn’t have to be boring. You can mix up the toys between frisbees, balls, and even ropes to keep your dog entertained and enjoying themselves.
If you’re stuck indoors, don’t fret, you still have plenty of options. Running up and down stairs can be a very intense exercise that can wear both you and your dog out. Hide and Seek is another option that offers mental stimulation, and a less intense option for dogs that need something a little easier. Finally, a good old fashioned game of tug can help your dog build muscle and bond with you. Most dogs tend to enjoy tug, and there are a lot of different options for toys, so keep trying things until you find one that your dog loves.
Additional Benefits of Exercise
Exercising together helps not only develop your dog, but it also helps develop a bond between you and your dog. Additionally, running into other dogs while exercising can help socialize your dog and make sure that they learn the rules of canine social interaction. Lastly, exercise helps prevent boredom which can lead to things like destructive behavior.