Just like many other animals, regular exercise is imperative for dogs to live their longest, healthiest lifespan possible.
Is your dog getting enough exercise to support their health and longevity? How do you even know what enough exercise is? How much exercise does my dog need? These are very important questions for both new and long-time dog owners to ensure they know and understand the answers.
The amount of dog your exercise needs depends on a lot of different factors. Clearly, puppies and younger dogs generally need and want more exercise than others dogs, and shepards will benefit from more formal exercise than a smaller, less energetic breed like shih tzus.
Exercising Your Puppy
Puppies have LOTS of energy. We often get envious of the amount of energy puppies have. Why can’t WE have that much energy?
Exercise is puppies is very important in order to keep them occupied, and otherwise stop them from more destructive behaviors like chewing on the corner of the wall because they got bored. Per the Kennel Club, your puppy should get at least five minutes of exercise per month of age, up until they are fully grown. Once they are an adult exercise times can be increased as appropriate.
You must be very careful when providing your puppy exercise, as they may have not received all of their vaccines, and taking them anywhere outside of your fenced backyard can be dangerous to their health. It’s best to provide your puppy play time inside, or brief, supervised play in your secured yard. This way there is no chance of them even inadverntly coming into contact with another animal, or anything else, that may transmit diseases or cause injuries. Once your puppy is fully vaccinated, including boosters, it will be safe for you to socialize them, take them to training classes, and other activities.
Exercising an Adult Dog
The exercise required for an adult dog varies very much based on breed, weight, and current health condition. As we stated previously, there can be a huge variance in the amount of exercise required for a high energy breed like Border Collies, and a low energy breed like basset hounds. It’s very important to research the amount of exercise your dog will need before choosing a particular breed, or adopting a mixed breed. Will you have enough time or resources to provide your dog the stimulation and exertion they need to stay healthy?
Your dog’s exercise requirements will also change depending on their physical health. Do they have any special needs that require medications which will impact their physical abilities? Do they have hip displasia, arthritis, or other impairments that may affect their health? These are all factors that will change the answer.
Exercising a Senior Dog
As your dog ages, their ability to move around physically may decrease, but its just as important, if not more so, to ensure they’re getting adequate exercise to keep them healthy. Ensure you are observing their behaviors to take note of any health changes. If you’re concerned about their ability to walk, move, or play be sure to talk to your vet. They will be able to give you the most accurate answer regarding your pet’s specific situation.
Tips for Exercising Your Dog
Whether it’s a little, or a lot, there’s lots of ways you, or someone else, can provide play and exercise for your dog. Exercise can include taking classes like obedience training, or completing obstacle courses. These classes are great for working dog breeds like Collies, and can also help to increase their socialization skills. There are also many locations like the Zoom Room which provide group playtimes, and other activities for dog fun.
Take your dog for a swim! There are lots of dog breeds like labradors that love the water, and would love to exercise at the beach or in a private pool. Any time you take your dog swimming, be sure they are supervised the entire time. Even though dogs are instinctual swimmers, it’s always important to still ensure their safety. Don’t forget about inside play either.
There are tons of games to be played inside, or even just in your backyard. This include games like hide and seek, or a stimulating game or chase. You can setup agility tasks for your dog inside as well using household supplies. This can include tasks like jumping broom handles, through hulu hoops, over ottomans, or other common items. Again, always ensure your dog is properly supervised during any activities.
What if I don’t have enough time to exercise my dog?
There are lots of people who work from home, home school their children, work outside the home, travel, and have numerous other activities happening. This can be a frustrating situation which may prevent them from providing their dog all of the exercise and attention they need to maximize their health and longevity. This is where we can help!
No matter what you have going on in your life, a professional dog walker or pet sitter is there to help. They can provide walks, hiking, and even trips to places like the dog park or the beach. They’ll give your dog another friendly face to see, and help to break up their day with joy, stimulation, and exercise if you’re gone for long periods of time, or just otherwise not available to be with them.
Professional pet care providers have all of the necessary skills, knowledge, and ability to provide your pup the loving care and exercise they need. If you’d like more information about using our services, check out everything we offer on our services page. If there’s something you need that you don’t see on there, just ask! We’re always happy to create custom care plans for any situation, and help you to keep your dog happy, active, and vibrant.
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