Every dog needs exercise! Without it, a variety of problems can arise. Like humans need exercise to stay physically fit, so do dogs. It wards off obesity, keeps joints and muscles loose and burns energy.
Mentally, dogs need the stimulation that only exercise can provide. If a dog remains indoors for long periods of time, don’t be surprised to return home to chewed up furniture or some other type of destruction.
But how much exercise is too little or too much?
Lo and behold, the general rule of thumb is 30 minutes a day, but if we want to get real, it depends on the individual dog.
The 3 main factors that determine how much exercise a dog needs is:
Let’s dive in and break it down.
We all know how impossibly cute and energetic puppies can be. Play time is essential at a young age, not only to burn off energy, but to help puppies develop into strong adult dogs.
They should exercise every day, but not as much as adult dogs, because they easily tire. Shoot for 30 minutes, twice a day for your pup.
Walking or playing with toys are good options to give your puppy the workout she needs. Or, if you want to start socializing from an early age, you can take her to the local dog park to meet and romp with other puppies.
When a dog reaches full maturity, there are a few factors to consider when developing a daily exercise routine.
Some breeds (such as herding or working dogs) are naturally more hyper and crave stimulation. They like to please and have a job to do. Without any sort of activity, these breeds might become anxious and turn to destructive behavior.
Give your dog (mid to large sized) around 60 to 90 minutes of exercise per day. Some activities can include hiking, fetch, swimming or playing at the dog park.
Toy breeds are usually low energy, content to sit in their owner’s lap and soak up the cuddles. Still, small dogs need exercise too! Whether it’s going for a walk or playing tug-o-war with a rope, aim for 30 minutes daily.
If you need help to get your dog on the right exercise plan for her particular needs, enroll her in an exercise program tailored just for her. Or, take her to doggie daycare, where she can play and socialize with other dogs freely.