How Much Exercise Do Dogs Need?

Why Dogs Need Exercise 

Dogs need exercise for their health - both mental and physical. How Much Exercise Do Dogs Need? They are just like people, they need to stay active! Exercise helps dogs stay healthy and happy and less likely to develop other health problems.

Exercise helps to keep their minds busy, maintain a healthy weight and keep them physically strong. Whatever your dog's age, weight, or physical limitations, there are a vast range of fun exercises that help maintain their mental and physical health.

What Are the Benefits of Exercise for Your Dog

There are so many benefits of exercise for dogs and it is your obligation as a pet owner to provide them with this and you can have fun in the process!

You and your pooch will create the strongest and longest friendship you will ever know.

Exercise is essential for your pet to live a healthy life. Here are some of the benefits of exercise that show why you shouldn’t be too lazy to put them on their leash.

• Dogs need exercise to stay healthy

• It is your obligation as a pet owner to provide them with this

• You are the best person for them after all

• Exercise can be fun and enjoyable, especially if you spend time with them

• Keeps your dog healthy and energetic

• Gives your pup a sense of purpose and responsibility

• Boosts the bond between owner and pet

• Lower risk of heart disease and diabetes

• Increased stamina

• Maintain weight more easily by burning fat

• Reduce anxiety - improve their quality of life and boost their well-being

• Exercise will give your dog more energy, flexibility and confidence.

Studies show that regular exercise can improve the quality of life in dogs and reduce the risk of obesity, arthritis, cardiac and respiratory and other problems.

Physical activity is an important part of your dog’s daily routine and stops them becoming bored, frustrated and unhealthy. A lack of physical activity and mental stimulation is detrimental for dogs so it's important they are provided with this daily.

How much exercise do dogs needs

Photo by Zen Chung from Pexels

What Happens When Puppies and Dogs Don't Get the Workout They Need: 

Destructive behaviours: These usually decrease when the dog is getting out and about every day.

Loss of muscle mass which is detrimental to a dog’s health.

Weight gain. Dogs need a certain amount of exercise in order to maintain their weight, but if this is not managed properly they may gain too much or become overweight. They need to burn those calories just like we do!

According to ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, an estimated 54 percent of U.S. dogs are overweight or obese!

Can I Work Out With My Dog? 

Are you struggling to stay fit and healthy too? As we have already pointed out, we need to burn those calories and keep fit to stay healthy too.

Why workout alone when you can workout with your dog - the perfect workout partner? The Covid-19 pandemic has hit each of us physically and mentally and it is hard to stay focused and determined.

 What better way to stay physically and mentally fit than to enjoy a joint exercise routine with your ever eager and always supportive Four Paw Pal?

How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need?

We have enjoyed years of exercising with Ted, our 10 year old cockerpoo and we have learnt that there's no excuse not to get some fresh air with your pup. 

Even if it is raining cats and dogs outside (which it is often is where we are!), you can still take them for a walk, jog, run or play in the rain!

Check out our very proud Ted collecting his 10k run medal! 

How Do You Start Your Dog Exercise Program? 

What do you need to do first? 

Before you begin a dog exercise program, make sure to visit your veterinarian for a health check. Your vet can help you create a safe and effective exercise plan for your dog based on their age, breed and condition. Knowing when and how much to exercise your dog is essential.

Here’s how you can get started on the right paw...

So What Exercise Does A Dog Need? 

“How much exercise do dogs need?” is one of the most common questions of a new owner and also for owners to continue to address as their dog's age and get possible health issues.

If you have a dog, it's important to keep them active. But what kind of exercise do dogs need I hear you cry! How much exercise should dogs get and how much exercise dos a dog need a day?

The answer to this question is not as simple. It depends on the age, breed and condition of your dog; whether or you have an active lifestyle yourself - how much time are YOU willing / able spend exercising with them?

In addition there are also environmental factors such as weather conditions that can affect their exercise requirements too! The answer is different for every pup!

Some breeds are more energetic than others and some pups just don't like running around as they get older or if their joints start bothering then from arthritis pain etc...

Here we'll give an overview of the best ways that both you and your furry friend can stay healthy with regular activity.

Do your dogs need to do more than one walk or similar exercise per day? Or is a quick tour around the garden to do his business enough? Of course, it depends on your dog.

We would say that whatever age your dog is, they all LOVE a good WALKIES!! Take them on a walk every day. This is the most basic and easiest way of keeping their muscles strong, but it's also important for mental stimulation as well!

How much exercise do dogs need?

If you have an apartment or condo with no yard then take walks around different neighborhoods in order not only get exercise yourself (and burn calories) but to keep that tail wagging.

In general, we would say that dogs like longer walks because it gives them an opportunity to get out there and sniff and explore! Longer walks also keep your dog mentally healthy.

Without enough mental and physical stimulation, some dogs become withdrawn or destructive. The bonding time we spend on our walkies can also help deter attention-seeking behaviours like whining or barking.

You and your dog can also have a fun time on your walks! By taking your dog for regular daily walks, you are strengthening the bond between you. In addition to providing exercise, it is an important way to spend quality time together while deterring attention seeking behaviors. The daily walk is a great way to bond with your pup and get some much needed exercise. Plus, it'll keep them from chewing the furniture!

Work Out How Much Exercise Your Dog Needs 

Consider your dog's age, any conditions and health when deciding how much exercise they need. You can check this out using this great exercise calculator at Rover.

This is the result we got for our 10 year old Cockerpoo Ted: 


This report on our Ted IS SO TRUE!! 

Again, your veterinarian can help you decide exactly how much exercise your dog actually needs.

Whether you own a puppy or rescue a dog you should start an exercise routine straightaway.

The rule of thumb for exercising a puppy is to take them out for a walk or play session every day. We usually work on the basis of 5 minutes for every month of age. So, for example, if your puppy is 3 month old then 15 minutes twice a day would be a great training and exercise regime! This is until they are fully grown. Once they are fully grown, they can go out for much longer.

Since puppies are constantly growing, a safer way forward is to do several short walks or play sessions throughout the day to look after your puppy's developing body. Every puppy is different, and the more time you spend together bonding, the more you will understand how much exercise your dog needs.

For example, some breeds, such as the Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever are bred to be active dogs. These types of dog need a lot more exercise than other less-active ones like Pugs or Bulldogs! If you have one of these high energy breeders then it is important that they get their daily dose so your pup doesn't become destructive in order for them release all this pent up excitement from being cooped inside too long without any physical activity or stimulation (which can lead into behavioral problems).

 All puppies are officially considered adult dogs at 12 months of age but puppies continue to grow in height and size while their bones are still developing, which can take anywhere from 6 to 24 months.

Their skeletal growth determines their size as an adult dog.

Dr. Jerry Klein

DVM & Chief Veterinary Officer at American Kennel Club (AKC)

“The long bones in a puppy’s legs grow from two distinct places called growth plates. The growth plates are somewhat flexible and soft during puppyhood when new tissue is being formed.” As your dog grows, the new tissue developed hardens into bone“When the growth plates have stopped producing new tissue and become completely calcified, they are said to have ‘closed,’ which means that they’ve stopped growing and the bone has reached its final size,”

The rule of thumb for exercising an adult dog is to take them out on a walk or have a play session every day. We usually work with the basis that it's about 20 minutes per hour, so if your pup has been at home all morning and afternoon they might need more than just one outing in order not be bored!

For example: If you have had Fido inside since breakfast time then he may well want another go after dinner too- especially as this will also give him some much needed mental stimulation from being around new people/places etc... It can get pretty boring when we're stuck indoors 24 hours each weekday (or even worse - outside!) as we have all learnt during various pandemic lockdowns!

This is a good time to mention agan that dogs need mental stimulation as well, so if you're not able or willing for your dog's sake then it might be worth looking into some doggy daycare. We have used such a service and a dog walker in the past when we have been unable to be at home at certain points in the day. They can provide an invaluable service in keeping your pup happy and healthy!

If they're not getting enough activity then their joints and muscles will become stiffer over time which could lead towards arthritis in the future so be sure to get those paws moving as much possible now before any problems arise later on down life’s road (or sidewalk). It also helps keep weight off too because dogs who are overweight have higher risks associated like diabetes mellitus type II- yikes!!

If you have a rescue dog, they might not be used to exercise. This is where it's important that the owner takes responsibility for their pet and starts an appropriate routine straightaway!

If your new pup has been in kennels or had limited access outside then we recommend starting with just one walk per day at first - this will help them get back into shape gradually whilst also getting accustomed again after being away from home so long without any freedom of movement (especially if there were other dogs around).

We would advise working up slowly until eventually doing two walks each weekday morning before work/school as well as evening sessions on weekends when possible too- all depending how much time can spare during busy periods such like holidays etc...

The Importance of Exercise For Senior Dogs and Those With Disabilities 

Attention: All Dogs need exercise! Senior dogs and those with disabilities need exercise just like their younger counterparts.

Dogs are a big part of the family, and they deserve to be treated as such. However, many people overlook this fact when it comes to exercising them.

Exercise is an important part of keeping your dog healthy and happy for years to come. The right amount of exercise can keep your pet healthier than ever before!

Exercise is important for all dogs, but it’s especially crucial for senior dogs and those with disabilities. It helps maintain muscle tone, prevents obesity, and improves cardiovascular health.

Walking remains one of the best and low-impact exercises but keep an eye on their pace, the weather, and how your dog seems to feel during and after the exercise. If they seem to be struggling or limping, then it's time for a break.

Daily exercise is even more important for dogs with arthritis because it helps keep their joints moving. If you think your dog would experience too much pain to go on a casual 30-minute walk, talk to your veterinarian about medication for pain and other health treatments.

Dogs that use specially equipped wheelchairs or carts can still enjoy a walk through the neighborhood, and some can even continue to take part in water activities.

But what if your dog can't walk? It is not just about walks! There are many different ways that you can exercise with your pet dog.

Whether you have a new puppy or an old family friend, there are plenty of ways to keep them moving around.

Does Playing With Your Dog Count As Exercise? 

What is considered exercise for a dog?

Yes this does count as exercise! Playing with your dog is a great way to get them moving and it's also an excellent bonding opportunity.

Plus, there are so many different ways you can play - fetching balls in the backyard or playing tug of war inside on rainy days too (just be sure not to let their teeth touch anything that could break off!).

Be creative!! And remember: if they're having fun then chances go up for getting some exercise done as well. BONUS! 

Does My Dog Need More Than One Type of Exercise? 

Yes!!! Variety will keep things interesting which means less boredom but don't forget about safety either because running around outside may sound like loads o'fun until Fido gets tangled into something dangerous out by those bushes over yonder or goes a wandering!

Here are just a couple of examples form a large number of different exercise options with your pooch... 

- Swimming is a great exercise for dogs of all ages (depending if your dog likes to swim). It's low impact and a fun, easy way to keep your dog happy and healthy. It's a great exercise for dogs of all ages and sizes, even older ones that can't walk well or run anymore. 

If you have an older pup, make sure they are wearing life jackets so that their head stays above surface level!

- Playing fetch with tennis balls/sticks - this is always a daily winner with our dog.  

Check out this blog for the low down on other exercises that you can do with your dog.


Pay Attention to Your Dog Needs

Every dog is unique and will have certain needs and / or limitations when it comes to exercise.

You want to build exercise into your dog’s routine but you don’t want to push them too hard. Start slow if your dog does not have any experience being active. As they get stronger, encourage them to do more challenging activities for a longer duration.

Your dog should be happily tired at the end of their day. They should not be exhausted / wiped out

Check out this great video on How to Tell if Your Dog is in Shape by Dr Andrea Tu on the American Kennel Club You Tube channel...

To help you make sure that you are getting their exercise and rest balance right, we have also found a great training addition from a company called Fitbark that helps us to monitor and track our dog's fitness, health, sleep patterns and more.

FitBark has been adopted by over 100 research institutions and vet schools all over the world to "validate new drugs, products, surgeries and treatments related to mobility, anxious behaviors and skin conditions. Common applications include osteoarthritis, nutrition, weight management, pain management, ACL and other orthopedic surgeries, rehabilitation, sleep disorders, skin disorders, circadian rhythmicity etc." You can check that the information, statistics and out here...  

We hope that this article has helped you understand more about what your pup needs. If not, please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns! We would love to help out as best we can. And remember- always be sure to give your pup lots of love and attention too! 

people also ask...

How many walks a day does a dog need?

Answer: The amount of walks you should give to a dog depends on it's breed. Smaller dogs would require about 30 minutes a day, while larger breeds can require up to 120 minutes a day. Of course, every pup is different and their walking needs vary depending on how active they are, whether or not they have been spayed/neutered, health conditions, age and more...

Is a 30 minute walk enough for a dog?

Answer: The answer to that question is not as straightforward as most people may think. Depending on the dog and its breed, it can range anywhere from a few walks per day to 30-40 minutes of activity per day. Best practices for dogs on a daily basis is between 15-30 minutes a day, which in human terms would be like taking your dog out for 2-3 long walks or 2 miles combined each week.

As well all know by now, different breeds of dogs have different needs when it comes to their daily physical exercise regime. The general consensus amongst veterinary professionals seems to be that large breeds need more time spent exercising than smaller breeds (anything over 100 pounds). Typical recommendations are 3 good sized walks taken during separate intervals

How much exercise is too much for a dog?

Answer: A lot of people are probably wondering about the number of miles that a dog needs to run or walk in order to be considered an active and healthy dog. But that's not actually the metric for measuring your dog's health, and many breeds can't sustain such a level of exercise anyway. What really matters is how much time per day they spend being physically active (not just pounding away at their food bowl) because most dogs only require 20 minutes to 1 hour each day, spread out over several walks or sessions during the day--which usually adds up to one mile total when you schedule it out.

Consider also which types of exercise you're providing for your canine friend; any high-impact activities like running, bike riding,

Is my dog getting enough exercise?

Answer: Your dog gets enough exercise if they have a run-around time every day or it goes for a walk depending on how long and often their walks are. Try taking your pup for 1-2 hours dependent on the size of your dog too, as smaller dogs take less time to really burn those calories than larger ones. This is also breed, age and health condition dependent.

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