All dogs need to get exercise to ensure that they are healthy and able to live a long, fulfilled life. However, many dog owners do not know how much exercise their dog should be getting. The exact amount will vary from one dog breed to another and may also be on factors like diet and temperament, but there are some simple guidelines that you can use.
When They Are Puppies
The age of your dog will impact the amount of exercise that they need to get with younger dogs generally needing more exercise than older dogs. Many people assume that puppies will need a lot of exercise, but this is not actually the case. Puppies have a lot of energy, but they wear themselves out very quickly which means that they do not need as much exercise as an adult dog.
When exercising a puppy, you need to plan for short bursts of energy. On average, your puppy will need to have several short exercise sessions of around 5 to 10 minutes. These sessions will need to take place throughout the day because your puppy’s energy will come and go. Fortunately, with puppies, playing is exercise and the more time you spend with the puppy the better you will become at reading their body language and behavior to determine when they are ready to play and when they need to rest.
When They are Adults
When your dog becomes an adult the breed will play a large role in the amount of exercise that they should be getting. There are some breeds which require more exercise for your pet to stay healthy while other breeds cannot handle long exercise sessions. Other factors that will impact the exercising of adult dogs are their health and their age.
The most active dog breeds will include shepherds, terriers, scent hounds, pointers and retrievers. These breeds will generally need more exercise than other breeds, but you do need to consider your dog’s temperament as well.
In general, if you have an adult sporting or herding breed dog, you will need to exercise them for 60 to 90 minutes each day. This exercise will need to include hard exercise such as running and playing with other dogs. For very active dogs, you will need to include flyball and other agility exercises that use more energy.
The less active breeds such as toy breeds, giant breeds and stub-nosed breeds will need less exercise. These dogs will need an average of 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day. For some dogs, a walk around the neighborhood will be enough exercise while others will need to play to expend their energy. If you have a stub-nosed breed such as a pug or bulldog, you need to be careful with their exercise and go slow or they could have problems breathing.
When They are Older
Elderly dogs will also need exercise, but with age their gait could stiffen and they will tire faster. Senior dogs will require around 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day and this should be broken into 2 or more sessions.
Ben Corbin brings more than 20 years of experience as a health and wellness author and writer. He holds a master’s degree, has a passion for health and fitness, and is driven to provide readers with accurate and honest information. Learn more about Ben and the DadQuarters mission at our About page.