How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need?

dogs exercising

You know that as a human, regular exercise is vital for your health. The same goes for your canine companion. But how much exercise is the right amount? Could you possibly overdo it and give your dog too much exercise?

In terms of how much exercise your dog needs, the amount varies depending on the breed, the age of your dog, and your dog’s health. In general, puppies have more energy than adult dogs and require more exercise. Because puppies are actively growing, several shorter walks or play sessions during the day is better than a single long walk, as this can be rough on your pup’s developing body. Your veterinarian or breeder can also advise you on the appropriate amount of exercise for your puppy.

Your dog’s breed also has a big influence on how much exercise she needs. There are low energy breeds, such as Basset hounds and Bulldogs and high energy breeds like Labrador retrievers. Breed energy is an important consideration when choosing a canine companion, as you don’t want a high energy breed dog in a small apartment with no access to an exercise yard.

Health considerations are important in determining the amount and type of exercise your dog should have. If you own a dog with medical problems such as hip dysplasia, breathing problems or heart conditions, consult with their veterinarian to determine the best exercise program.

Senior dogs do not have as much energy as they did when they were younger and may not be able to run or walk as fast as they once did, but this does not mean they do not require exercise. Keeping your senior dog active by providing daily opportunities for exercise is vital for maintaining a dog’s health well into their senior years.
Exercise, for all dogs, is important not only for their cardiovascular health, but provides them with mental stimulation and socialization. Regular exercise gives your dog every chance for a long and happy life! We will be looking at different types of exercise in a later post.

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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