How Much Exercise Does My Dog Need?Petmania Pet Care Advisor
How Much Exercise is Enough?
Regular exercise is essential to help keep our dogs from gaining excessive weight, and to ensure a their overall physical and mental health, but how do we know how much exercise is enough?
Unfortunately, there’s no straight answer to this question, but in this blog post we’re going to help you understand the different things that will influence your dog’s exercise needs.
Why Exercise is Important for Dogs?
Exercise is essential for all dogs. It helps keep them in shape but is also really important for their mental health. Getting out and about keeps your dog’s brain active, is a great stress reliever and boredom buster! Dogs love to sniff and explore so make sure your dog has plenty of opportunity to just… well… be a dog!
Your Dog’s Breed and His Exercise Needs
One of the first things that will influence how much exercise your dog will need, will be their breed. While some dogs are born to run and have lots of energy to burn, others will struggle with long walks and need shorter bursts of activity to keep them fit and healthy.
This exercise wheel, developed by the PSDA is a great reference to the needs of different types of breeds and how much exercise they need on average.
The recommended daily exercise shown is based on an adult dog, at optimum health. If your dog is overweight, it provides a guideline for the optimum exercise levels that your dog should achieve. Gradually adjusting your dog’s exercise regime to build up fitness levels will be essential if your dog is not currently receiving the recommended level of daily activity.
Download our exercise tracker here to help you set a programme for increasing your dog’s activity and fitness level. This chart is based on building up to 60 minutes of daily activity and should be adjusted to suit your dog’s individual needs.
Exercise for senior dogs
As your dog enters his senior years, it will be important to keep him active, although the intensity and duration of his exercise regimes will gradually reduce.
Exercise for puppies
Your puppy will be full of energy and growing rapidly so his exercise needs will be different to those of an adult dog. For more information on exercise for your puppy, click here.
Knowing When to Stop
Just as exercise is import for your dog, knowing how to read your dog’s signals is extremely important with any exercise, and if at any time your dog is showing signs of distress, stop and rest. Slow down the pace and consult your veterinarian if symptoms continue.
Signs that your dog is getting too much exercise:
- Shortness of Breath – struggling to keep up is one of the first physical signs that your dog is getting too much exercise. If this happens, stop and allow him to recover. Slow down the pace, or carry your dog home if necessary. If symptoms persist, consult your vet.
- Sore Muscles – Muscular pain and stiffness is a sign your dog may be getting too much exercise; this typically shows up after the dog rests following excessive exercise. When the dog is ready to get up, you may notice a struggle.
- Joint Injury – The impact associated with extreme exercise can cause strain and sprain in various dog joints. Dogs carry about 60 percent of their weight on their front limbs, which puts quite a bit of stress on those joints.
- Loss of Enthusiasm – If you dog normally has loads of get-up-and-go but starts to hold back, or refuses to take part or continue, it may indicate that there is something wrong, or that his exercise regime is too tough