How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need Every Day?
One major factor contributing to the 56% of obese dogs in the United States is lack of exercise.
All dogs need daily exercise and mental stimulation in order to maintain overall good health. But the busy life of a dog owner can make satisfying those exercise needs a challenge -- especially if they don’t know how much exercise their pooch needs in the first place! So, just how much exercise does your dog need each day, and how can you make sure they meet those goals? Keep reading to find out.
Daily Exercise Varies Based on Various Factors
The amount of daily exercise your dog needs ultimately depends on factors such as age, breed, and health.
Puppies generally have more energy than adult dogs and require more exercise in short bursts. Since they are still growing, consider going for several short walks or having several short play sessions throughout the day rather than spending a long time walking or playing, which can be too hard on your fur baby’s developing body.
Each puppy is different; however, you can quickly learn how much exercise keeps your pooch happy just by spending time with him. And remember, exercising not only meets your pup’s physical needs, but it also meets his or her mental and social needs as well!
When it comes to adult dogs, the amount of physical activity they need is heavily influenced by their breed. For example, high-energy breeds, such as Shepherds and Retrievers, require much more exercise than low-energy breeds like Poodles, Bulldogs, and Great Danes.
Generally, adult dogs don’t require as much exercise and attention as puppies. However, most still need anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours of daily exercise. Some good exercises to leave your dog feeling great include:
- Playing catch or tug-of-war
- Doggy yoga
- Playdates with other canine friends
If weather or lack of time becomes an issue, switch to indoor exercises such as running up and down the stairs, playing hide-and-seek, or visiting a local pet facility for doggy daycare or some treadmill time.
Keep in mind that the health of your adult dog is also important to take into consideration when it comes to exercise. If your adult dog has a medical condition, be sure to talk with your vet in order to determine an appropriate exercise routine.
Senior dogs aren’t usually able to maintain the same pace they did in their younger years. Because of this, the exercise you do with them should be shorter and slower. While walks should still be an important part of your senior dog’s life, other activities, such as swimming, can be a welcome (and refreshing) alternative.
Related Read: 5 Tips for Socializing Your Older Dog
Some Exercise is Better Than No Exercise
Remember, daily exercise is a great way to keep your dog in shape both physically and mentally. It might take some time, but it is more than possible to tailor an exercise program that’s fun, safe, and satisfying for your favorite four-legged friend!