How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need Daily?
Dogs of all ages need proper daily exercise. Exercising helps your dog feel happy and healthy. As a pet owner, plan to take some time out of your day so your dog can exercise. The great news is that depending on your dog’s breed, daily exercise can be indoor or outdoor, or both.
We will discuss how much exercise a dog needs daily at every stage of her life - from a puppy to a senior. We’ll also provide a list of both indoor and outdoor exercise options.
How much exercise does a puppy need daily?
Many dog breeds such as Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, and Border Collie are very active. When they are puppies, they run around the house several times a day.
It’s not surprising that puppies have more energy than adult dogs. With all that energy, it needs to be expended in the form of exercise. Your pup should be exercising in short bursts throughout the day.
For instance, take several short walks around the block or have several short play sessions together. Don’t go for one long walk. Doing so can over exercise your pup. This will put pressure on her growing body.
Every puppy is different. Make sure to spend as much time with your dog as possible. It’s not only great bonding time, but also you’ll get to learn how much exercise she requires. For more ways to bond with your pup, click here. Exercising will keep both you and your pup happy.
It’s important to note that pent up energy can cause puppy zoomies, restlessness, and even destructive behaviors. Destructive behaviors can be either physical (biting) or vocal (barking), or both.
Regardless, exercise is key to socializing your puppy. It keeps her mind active for training as well.
If you’re unsure of how much exercise your puppy needs daily, check with your dog breeder or veterinarian. They will let you know the appropriate amount of daily exercise your dog needs.
How much exercise does an adult dog need daily?
Depending on your dog’s breed, it influences how much exercise she needs. If you have a high energy breed, a lot more exercise is required than a low energy breed. High energy dog breeds include Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Siberian Husky, and Australian Shepherd. Low energy dog breeds include Great Pyrenees, Boston Terrier, and Bulldog.
When getting a dog, consider if you’ll have time to meet her exercise needs. For instance, an active pet owner may choose to own a Border Collie. A dog owner with a busy work schedule may consider getting a Bulldog or Chihuahua.
After exercise, allow your dog to get her much needed rest. Resting helps to recuperate her body.
When dogs reach their adult years, it is not uncommon for them to have medical conditions that include respiratory issues, heart issues, or even hip dysplasia. Depending on your dog’s breed, you’ll know what health problems to expect. Some dogs like Bulldogs, Mastiffs, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Labrador Retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia. If so, try walking instead of running.
When your dog is exercising, avoid overexerting as it can be harmful to her body. If you’re not sure how much exercise your dog needs, speak with your vet or breeder.
Your veterinarian will advise an appropriate exercise routine to keep your pup active without experiencing any discomfort.
How much exercise does a senior dog need daily?
During your dog’s senior years, proper amount of exercise is just as important. Exercise keeps your dog active, reduces the risk of obesity, and provides her with the mental stimulation she needs. All of this will also prolong her life.
She may not be able to run as far or for as many hours as she once did. If running puts too much pressure on her joints, try walking instead.
If you’re not certain how much exercise your senior dog needs, ask your dog’s vet or breeder. Find out the appropriate amount of exercise for your dog. During the exercise, keep an eye on her and watch her behavior.
As the pet owner, you know your dog best. You’ll be the ultimate judge of how much exercise your dog can handle.
Outdoor Dog Exercise
There are plenty of outdoor dog exercise options if that is your preference. Adding a variety of outdoor exercises to your dog’s life (other than walking) is exciting.
- Hiking. Dogs love to connect with nature just like humans. Both you and your dog can explore the mountains, hills, trails, and new parks nearby. Expect your pup to sniff everything along the path. It’s a way for her to explore and learn the surrounding environment.
- Cycling buddy. Many active dog owners are cyclists. Having your pup run next to you while you are cycling is fun. Make sure to use bike paths so it’s safe for her to accompany you. Avoid cycling on the road at all costs. That is very dangerous.
- Swimming. Dogs like Labrador Retrievers love to swim. If your pup loves the water, switch up the exercise and add swimming to the list. It builds endurance, provides muscle strengthening, and is a good cardiovascular workout for dogs. Swimming also does not put pressure on the joints.
- Throw-and-Fetch. Whether you live on a hill, have a backyard pool, or at a dog park, a game of fetch is always exciting. Throw the ball as far as you can over the hill so your dog can run uphill and downhill to fetch it. You can also toss a ball into the pool and have your pup retrieve it. Switch it up and use balls, frisbees, and other dog toys.
Indoor Dog Exercise
If you’re not an outdoor person or there’s an incoming hurricane, heavy rain, or snow, then exercising indoors is a great alternative. We’re happy to provide you a list of indoor dog exercises.
- Hide-and-Seek. Playing hide and seek around the house is fun. It provides mental stimulation and gets your dog walking. When your pup finds you, you can have her chase you around the house.
- Stairs. Running up and down the stairs is a great workout. While it helps to build muscle, just make sure your dog does not over exercise. It can also be challenging for dogs with shorter legs and longer backs.
- Tug-of-war. With a chew proof toy, play a game of tug-of-war with your dog. It’s a great way to bond with your dog while also building her muscle.