Unleashing the Facts: How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need Everyday?

by | Apr 14, 2020 | Exercise and Play

Wondering how much exercise your dog needs? Good question!

It’s recommended that humans get at least 20 minutes of moderate exercise per day and the recommendation for dogs is not too far off.

They need to get moving too! And probably more than you’d think.

The amount and type of exercise your dog needs will depend largely on their age, breed, and size. You’ll also have to take into consideration their natural disposition and how inclined they are to play, run around, go on walks and more.

So, how much exercise does a dog need every day?

Keep reading to get the facts and decide what’s best for your pup!

Why Exercise Is Important

Just as humans work out for both mental and physical health, so do dogs.

While getting your dog enough exercise is important in toning their muscles, managing their weight and boosting their metabolism, it’s also important for their mind.

Exercise keeps your dogs engaged and active; allowing them to get out their energy and release tension the same way humans do.

Obesity in dogs can be detrimental to their health, affecting their heart and internal organs as well as their joints and bones. Moreover, if your dog is overweight, they are also likely in pain. It could be challenging for them to go on a walk, jump into the car or even climb stairs.

A tell-tale sign your dog is overweight or exerting himself on the simple things is to notice if he’s constantly panting or out of breath. 

You should make an appointment with your vet to determine how much your dog weighs and what their ideal weight should be. They can tell you very quickly if your dog could benefit from more exercise.

Where to Get Exercise

Depending on where you live and what you like to do, there are a variety of ways to get exercise either with your dog or allow him to get exercise on his own.

Go easy at first, taking your dog on regular walks around the neighborhood or play fetch with him in the backyard or at a park.

If your dog is socialized and enjoys other animals, taking him to a dog park to run around and hang with some friends could be a fun way to engage his mind and body.

Other options are taking your dog on hikes, to the beach to catch a frisbee or if you’re a jogger, start slowly and see if he enjoys running alongside you. 

If you aren’t able to spend the time exercising your dog because you work long hours or are physically unable to engage, you may want to consider doggy daycare.

At a place like doggy daycare, they will be with handlers who are playing with him as well as other dogs. They can run around, play with toys and even do obstacle courses!

How Much?

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of exercise and where you can get it, let’s talk about how much is really necessary. To do so, there are a few factors to consider.

Age

If you have a new puppy, he may be signaling to you that he wants to run around and get some exercise since his puppy disposition likely makes him energetic. But keep in mind, you’ll need to keep their exercise moderate and shorter as their joints and bones are still developing and they will work themselves to the point of exhaustion if allowed.

You can start with about 15 minutes twice per day with your puppy and gradually increase it to 20-25 minutes twice per day overtime. Don’t add on more than 5 minutes per month.

Young dogs who are out of the puppy stage can tolerate anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours of exercise per day.

Older dogs will need less and more moderate exercise. Try going for walks or letting them run around in the backyard. Pay attention to how your dogs’ joints and bones are doing and how easily they can get around within the home. This will signal to you how much outdoor exercise they should be doing.

Breed

The breed of your dog will dictate how much they enjoy and can tolerate exercise. There are some breeds like retrievers, shepherds, terriers, and poodles who live for exercise.

They want to run around, are high energy and love to serve their owner which makes engaging in games like fetch, very fulfilling for them. These breeds would love to workout for up to 2 hours per day.

Most other breeds will only require about 30 minutes twice a day. If they smaller but active and high energy breeds like a dachshund, you can spend more time exercising them but keep an eye on their joints and what type of activity you do since their size makes them more prone to injury.

Breeds like bulldogs or pugs don’t have much tolerance for exercise and getting them engaged might be a struggle. With these breeds, your best bet is to take them for walks around the neighborhood or let them trot around a dog park for about 30 minutes at a time.

The Downside of Lack of Exercise

Many of the same risks are possible for inactive dogs as they are for inactive people.

A slew of health concerns stemming from being overweight could be a problem for your pooch if he doesn’t get enough exercise. Dogs are at risk for diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory issues just to name a few.

Their exercise goes hand in hand with their diet so you also want to be sure you’re not overfeeding your dog, especially if you’re having trouble getting him to exercise as much as you’d like.

How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need Everyday? Now You Know! 

With the guide above you can stop asking yourself; how much exercise does a dog need every day?

Be sure to take into account their age, breed, and size when determining what types of activities to engage them in. Try to mix it up and keep your dog excited about working out, the same way you might look forward to a new exercise class you haven’t tried.

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