You cherish your canine companion.
You take them out for a morning walk, engage in a midday ramble, and play with them in the evenings. Or maybe, you both just like to chill on the couch.
When, however, is dog exercise too much or too little? Dogs start to exhibit behavioral problems, such as chewing on furniture or excessive panting, when their exercise needs are not met.
So, how much exercise does your dog need every day, exactly?
Dogs Who Exercise Are Happy
Dog experts advise daily exercise to prevent moody pups.
When your dog is well-exercised, they are able to release nervous energy, instead of taking on behaviors that’ll become a problem. Daily workouts keep them fit and emotionally stable. It’s good for their physical and mental health.
Once you find the perfect dog exercise program, you’ll be more likely to enjoy their company.
Signs Your Dog Needs More Exercise
Is your dog one of the exceptionally lazy ones? All dogs, even nap-loving pooches, need exercise.
No matter what breed, they need sufficient physical activity.
If you’re wondering whether your dog could use some more play-time or going out, check for these traits.
All over the world, dog obesity is becoming prevalent. Although the issue can be dog owners giving their dogs too much to eat, lack of activity is another problem many dogs encounter.
So, if you’ve noticed that your dog is getting a little pudgy, it’s time to go grab their leashes. They can’t go walk themselves! Increasing physical activity combats obesity and the health problems that go along with it.
It’s true that some dogs play rougher than others, but it’s a problem if it’s something that they constantly engage in. When they lack self-control that could be a sign of excess energy. Give their day some excitement with structured exercises that challenge them mentally.
Do you notice your dog barking at seemingly nothing at all? This is what bored dogs do, sometimes. It’s one way of catching your attention and relieving stress. They have to find ways to entertain themselves or tell you that they need to go out and play!
Without exercise, both pups and adult dogs become bored. And when you leave them on their own, they become anxious. They start to look for ways to release that stress. They either chew (not just their toys), dig, tear up carpets, eat furniture, and rip up every item they lay their paws on.
Without you helping them release that excessive energy, they find (destructive) ways to relieve the stress themselves.Think twice about your dog’s exercise program first before punishing them.
If your dog has trouble sleeping through the night, they may need to work out more. Maybe, they pace endlessly around the room or toss and turn when trying to sleep. Restlessness means they have excess energy to burn. Exercise helps ease that boundless energy trapped in your beloved pet.
If your dog doesn’t get enough play time, they may become depressed. Just like us, they need movement and stimulation to maintain good emotional and mental health. Take note: this can also be a sign of illness. Get in touch with your vet if you think their sudden change in behavior is from a far more serious condition.
How Often Should You Exercise Your Dog
Dog exercise and activity levels, from puppyhood to adulthood, alter over time with age.
How much exercise does a puppy need every day?
Puppies have little bladders and plenty of energy, so it’s of utmost importance that they have enough outdoor potty time and playtime.
According to the U.K. Kennel Club, “A good rule of thumb is a ratio of five minutes of exercise per month of age (up to twice a day) until the puppy is full grown, i.e. 15 minutes (up to twice a day) when three months old, 20 minutes when four months old etc. Once they are fully grown, they can go out for much longer.”
There are many great ways of exercising your cute puppy. Play short games of fetch, swim, or go on quick walks.
As for adult dogs, they should spend around 30 minutes to a couple of hours on an activity every day.
Dog exercise needs by breed vary. Breeds in the working hunting or herding group, including hounds, Labrador retrievers, collies, or shepherds, require the most amount of exercise.
Active breeds, like these, in peak health should acquire at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise, as well as 1-2 hours of activity daily.
If your dog is a senior, they may not enjoy the same level of activity they used to. Walking your dog is still a must in your senior dog’s life, but they should be taken at a slower pace and shorter length.
Your senior dog should love a great swim in the lake or a pool. (Don’t forget to make them wear a flotation device!) This way, they remain active while laying it easy on their joints.
When Is It Too Much Exercise?
Your dog may be active, that’s great. Having said that, there is such a thing as too much exercise for your dog.
Your dog may not get obsessed with their body fat. Having said that, it’s possible that you overdo it for them if you’re not careful about the signs.
As a responsible pet owner, watch their body movements. What are they trying to tell us?
As discussed before, each pet has different exercise needs. While exercising, does their tummy appear to ache? Are their limbs sore? Are they just wiped out by the activity?
You’ll begin to get more in tune with their body language the more you notice, then base your reactions according to their needs.
Signs that you need to lower activity level:
- Severe thirst
- Excessive panting during or after the exercise
- Limping or appearing to move uncomfortably
- Laying down or napping more than usual
- Lagging behind when they’re normally active
- No desire to go out or exert effort
- Not responding to commands they know well.
Once you notice a few or a combination of these over-exercised dog symptoms, it’s probably time to cut back.
Over to You
It’s not only important to consider how much exercise a dog needs every day. You have to stimulate them mentally as well.
Take them running on new paths. Go to different dog parks in your area to introduce them to other dogs. Run up and down the stairs. Make the dog work for treats. Play fetch. Add new games and toys to your playtime.
Finally, be sure to give your dogs a balanced diet to accompany their exercise regime. The right diet has to come with their exercise. Conscious dog food brands, like Ketunpet, provide organic and cruelty-free vegan dog food that ensures a complete, wholesome, and nutritious diet for your beloved dogs.