As a dog owner, it’s your responsibility, and privilege, to ensure your puppy is getting enough daily exercise to stay happy and healthy. But it’s easy to both not get enough exercise and to go overboard with playtime, especially when your pup has endless energy. So how much exercise does a puppy need?
As a general rule, a puppy needs 30 minutes to 1 Hour of exercise every day, preferably spread between three activities. For example, tug of war, fetch, and a short walk. However, as we’ll discuss below, the exact amount of daily exercise a puppy needs depends on the puppy’s breed and size.
In this article, we’ll explore how much exercise your young puppy needs. Keeping your pup active can be an indoor or outdoor activity. We suggest going outside when possible due to the benefits of fresh air and sunshine (for both you and your pup!).
Consider Your Puppy’s Breed
Depending on your puppy’s breed, they may have a higher or lower exercise tolerance than other breeds. Even if your puppy seems to have very high energy levels, they might not be ready to participate in longer or more rigorous activity sessions.
Studies have shown a link between over-exercising your pup and orthopedic disease, especially in larger dogs. It’s essential to be mindful of the kind of breed you have and how much your puppy can safely participate in daily.
For puppies of all shapes and sizes, short walks are highly recommended and are a great form of exercise. It’s important to note that larger breeds like Golden Retrievers and Great Danes are more prone to joint problems, so it’s best to not overwork them, especially as puppies.
Smaller dogs, such as Dashbunds, can be more prone to back problems. It’s important to consider all these factors when ensuring that your puppy stays active. Short walks and indoors activities such as tug of war or playing fetch down the stairs are great ways to keep them active in moderation.
Consider Your Puppy’s Size
As we stated above, even if your energetic puppy seems like they can keep up when you take them on a run, it may not be the best thing for them to engage in right away. Your puppy’s size may also fool you into thinking they need more exercise.
Larger breeds are known to grow quickly but can mature much slower than smaller breeds. It’s essential to understand more about your puppy’s breed, so you’re able to exercise them correctly.
No matter your puppy’s size, it’s important to note that certain activities can take a toll on their bodies, potentially affecting them down the line. For example, if your puppy is participating in exercise where they are jumping from certain heights, this can affect their bones and joints into adulthood.
It’s best to ensure that your furry friend participates in exercise in moderation and doesn’t overwhelm themselves too early in their developmental years.
While there is no one correct answer when it comes to how much exercise your puppy should receive, factors like size and breed can help you adjust your puppy’s playtime to meet their needs.
Consider Your Puppy’s Age
As your puppy grows older, they’ll need more exercise than a young puppy would. That means as your dog grows, you can slowly introduce them to longer walks and more strenuous workouts. It’s important not to overwhelm your puppy and gradually increase the amount of outdoor play they get.
For example, your six-month-old puppy is most likely ready for longer walks around the park, but taking them on a two-hour-long hike will most likely overwhelm them and have a negative effect on them. Over-exercising your growing puppy can seriously damage their developing bones, which can continue to affect them and the way they walk in adulthood.
If you’re still unsure how much exercise your pup needs, it’s best to get in touch with your vet to ask about your furry friend.
How To Give Your Puppy Regular Exercise
Considering your dog’s size, breed, and age are crucial to ensuring that your puppy receives enough physical activity without hurting itself.
Now let’s discuss what else you should do to keep your puppy active and healthy as they grow and become stronger.
Your puppy craves consistency, especially when you first bring them home and establish a routine. While a little bit of variety won’t hurt, it’s essential to be consistent with how much activity your dog gets!
For example, you can take your puppy on a walk one day and play fetch the next, but it’s essential to keep them on a consistent schedule. Reserving a particular time every day for your puppy to exercise will help establish consistency, which will keep them healthy and strong. It also helps to introduce your puppy to new dogs, toys, and environments as he plays.
Strive for Three Forms of Exercise Every Day
While the amount of time your puppy spends exercising depends on a few different factors, puppies should participate in at least three forms of physical activity a day.
Whether it’s a short walk or playing a game of tug in the yard, giving your puppy multiple opportunities throughout the day to get on their feet and get moving has plenty of benefits. Three consistent forms of exercise a day can reduce common behavior problems, while keeping your puppy’s heart healthy and their bones strong.
Try to prioritize the activities that your puppy enjoys the most. Most of the time, your puppy will let you know if they are worn out. Giving your furry friend time to rest is just as important as getting them out of the house and keeping them active.
Talk to Your Vet
As we stated earlier, it’s recommended that you speak to your vet if you’re still unsure about what kind of exercise is appropriate for your puppy. Your vet will be able to give you all the information you need when it comes to your specific breed and what they require in terms of exercise.
It’s important to note that receiving too much exercise is not nearly as dangerous as not receiving enough. While it can be easy to over-exercise your dog, not giving your young puppy any opportunities to be active is far more harmful.
Safe Exercises for Your Puppy
Now that we’ve established how often your puppy should be exercising, let’s explore some safe activities that your young pup may enjoy. Here are some playtime options if your pup is tired of the classic neighborhood walk:
Visit a Dog Park
Visiting a dog park is a great way to encourage your dog to socialize with other dogs and people while getting to run around, without overwhelming them. If you’re looking for a place to exercise your pet without overdoing it, you may want to look into the local dog parks in your area.
Fetch is another classic exercise tool that will get your puppy up and running. There’s an abundance of toys your pet will love to play fetch with, and many are made for both indoor and outdoor play.
Even on rainy days you and your furry friend can have fun bouncy with their favorite chew toy around the house. On nice, sunny days you and your puppy can head out to the dog park or your own backyard to get their daily exercise in.
As you and your dog get to know and understand each other a little more, you’ll have a better understanding of what your puppy enjoys the most and how they like to spend their time.
Short walks are a great activity for both you and your new pup. This is also a great way to teach your puppy how to properly walk on a leash if they’re new to it! Just be careful not to walk your dog for too long at first, and gradually increase the time and length every week or so.
Use Caution When Taking Puppy Outside
All of the activities listed above can be a great way for you and your puppy to exercise and to bond, but there are some potential pitfalls to outdoor activity with your dog, especially in public settings such as dog parks, city parks, etc. You should always be wary of other dogs that you do not know. Both you and your dog have certain instincts about safety and potential aggression…listen to those instincts!
There are also health concerns outdoors, especially where other dogs and other animals are involved. One specific concern is worms and other parasites. So make sure to always be mindful if your pup seems interested in another animal’s poop. Some parasites can even be inhaled. Hopefully other dog owners scoop their pet’s poop, especially at dog parks, but not all are good custodians of the land, so always be on the lookout and you’ll help your pup stay safe and healthy when getting active outdoors.
In this article, we answered the question: How much exercise does a puppy need? We also explored lots of other factors, including what you should be aware of before you head outdoors play with, and exercise your fur baby. While there’s no one correct answer, the amount of exercise your pup needs depends on factors such as age, size, and breed.
We also discussed some safe exercises for your young puppy and how important consistency is, as well as keeping communication open between you and your vet. Hopefully, you have a better understanding of how to exercise your puppy as they continue to grow.