I’m constantly stressing the importance of both mental and physical stimulation for your dog. Along with spending time outdoors for long walks and hikes, there are also a number of indoor activities you can do to keep your canine kid’s body moving and heart rate up. All of this exercise is important for beating doggy boredom, preventing behavioral problems, keeping your pup in good shape, and warding off various illnesses.
A tired dog is a good dog.
While it’s clear that exercise is important for many reasons, how much is enough? Well, it all depends on breed, age, and general health.
Exercise Level Based On Breed
Certain breeds require more exercise than others. Hunting, swimming, herding, and other known working dogs will require the most. While approximately an hour to an hour and a half of movement a day is recommended, make sure to pay close attention to your dog’s individual needs.
Toy breeds such as the Chihuahua and Maltese don’t require quite as much exercise and you shouldn’t expect them to become marathon runners. With that said, they still need a nice chunk of time to run and play. Experts recommend anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
Short-nosed breeds, like Pugs and Bulldogs, don’t need nearly as much exercise. Plus, they don’t need very intense forms of exercise. It’s important to keep in mind that short-muzzled pups have impeded airflow, putting them at a higher risk of heat exhaustion and oxygen deprivation. So there’s no need to make these dogs sprint. A nice walk around your community and a little fetch should be sufficient!
Exercise Level Based On Age
In general, puppies have more energy than adult dogs, but it comes and goes in waves. For example, puppies typically get a burst of energy, exert that energy for a little while, and then crash. So rather than taking your young puppy on one really long walk, break it up into a few sessions scattered throughout the day. Try taking short walks and playing periodic games to burn off that energy. According to The Labrador Site:
“Many dog breeders suggest the ‘five-minute rule.’ This rule of thumb says that a puppy should have no more than five minutes of walking for every month of his age. So that would be fifteen minutes a day maximum for a three-month-old puppy, twenty minutes for a four-month-old, and so on.”
As your dog ages and approaches the senior years, it’s still important to make sure your pooch is still getting exercise. He may not be able to run as fast, far, or long as he once did, but movement is still important for his overall health and well-being.
Consult With Your Vet
When coming up with a good exercise plan it’s important to remember that every dog is different. So consult with your vet to come up with a workout plan that is best for your pooch’s needs and lifestyle!