How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need Everyday?

The American Heart Association states people with pets have a lower risk of heart disease. Heart attack patients who have pets live longer than those who don't. 

Why is this? Pets, especially dogs, help us stay active.

Dogs need activity. They're happy, friendly, and energetic. In order to stay healthy, dogs need the right amount of exercise.

Unfortunately, 20% of dog owners don't take their pups on routine walks. Getting your dog the proper amount of exercise is imperative to its mental and physical health.

How much exercise does a dog need every day?

There isn't a finite answer. It depends on your dog and its health. But if you want your dog to be mentally and physically stable, you should be walking him or her daily.

Dog Walking 101

Taking your dog for a walk is the most popular way to get your dog to exercise. Daily strolls also help you stay active and healthy.

Before you head out, bring water along. Be sure your pup has a collar with proper identification in case he or she gets loose.

If your dog pulls on its leash, use a front clip harness. Dog collars and back clip harnesses train your dog to ignore you and encourage pulling. Front clip harnesses restrict pulling.

If you're walking in the summer, steer clear of hot pavements. Instead, stick with grass and wood walks. If the pavement burns your feet, it likely hurts your dogs.

How long should you walk your dog? That depends on your dog and you.

Don't overwork yourself or your pup. If your schedule allows, take a few short walks throughout the day instead of one long one.

If you have trouble making time for exercising with your dog, consider hiring a dog walker

How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need Every Day?

The answer largely depends on your dog's age.

Puppies have high energy levels but need short bursts of exercise. Certain breeds of adult dogs can handle long and strenuous hikes up mountains. Senior dogs require a specialized exercise schedule depending on their medical history.

Puppies

Puppies have incredible amounts of energy and require lots of activity. Otherwise, you're going to have trouble getting your pup to sit still and sleep through the night.

Puppies shouldn't go on long walks. Instead, they need small bursts of exercises. Take your pup for several little strolls throughout the day. Long walks put too much stress on your puppy's developing body.

There are links between over-exercise and orthopedic disease in large dog breeds. This is because bone and joints in big dogs develop slower than small dogs. If you have a large dog, they shouldn't go for long walks until they are eight months old.

To determine how long to walk your pup, take five minutes for every month your puppy has been alive. If you have a four-month-old, you should walk him or her for twenty minutes throughout the day.

Adult Dogs

Once your pup enters adulthood, he or she can take on long adventures.

The amount of exercise your adult dog needs depends on its breed. Different breeds have varying energy levels.

For example, Bulldogs are low-energy dogs. They don't need as much exercise as high-energy Border Collies.

Take your dog's medical history into consideration when planning exercise. Dogs with heart, lung, and leg problems shouldn't go on strenuous walks. Instead, try shorter and leisurely strolls.

Thirty minutes is a good starting point. Use sixty minutes as a maximum unless your dog wants more. Experiment to find the ideal amount of time your furry friend needs to spend exercising each day.

Senior Dogs

Older dogs slow down like older people. But proper exercise is still very important for your senior dog.

Older dogs who don't receive enough exercise are subject to obesity. Obese dogs have a higher risk of muscle and ligament injuries. An estimated 8.3 million dogs are obese in the U.S.

Don't push your senior dog too hard. Be aware of the weather. Stick to grass to minimize stress on your dog's musculoskeletal system.

Keep your senior dogs active. Take their size and medical health into consideration. Talk with your vet to determine the right amount of exercise time each day.

Tips for Dog Exercise

A simple stroll around your neighborhood is ideal for your Pug or Great Dane, but it won't do the trick for high-energy dogs. Try some of these creative exercises to keep your dog active and healthy.

Go Swimming

If your dog isn't afraid of water, swimming is an awesome way to get them moving. It's a low-impact exercise, so it's ideal for dogs with joint issues. 

Take a Hike

If you live near forests or mountains, take your dog for a hike. Dogs love being outside as much as people. Keep your dog leashed if other hikers are around and bring plenty of water along.

Play Fetch

Teach your pup how to play fetch so he or she can use it to stay active throughout their life. Try out balls, frisbees, or sticks. Try playing it in large and open areas so your dog can go long.

Build an Obstacle Course

If you have the backyard space, create an obstacle course for your dog. Scatter treats along the way for your dog to retrieve. Reward your pup when he or she completes the course.

Climb Stairs

Throw a ball to the top of your steps to make your dog do some stair-climbing. Run with your dog to get a little extra exercise for yourself.

With so many creative ways to stay active with your furry friend, what are your favorite ways to exercise with your dog? 

Get Your Dog Enough Exercise

How much exercise does a dog need every day? The right caretaker knows the answer to this depends on your individual dog and its age.

Make sure your dog is getting the proper care he or she needs. Whether you're vacationing or need someone to keep your dog active during the week, help is available.

Our team ensures your pups are in the best care possible. Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help.

Aaron Pearson