Dogs may not go to the gym, but like us, they need to get their daily workout in. All you need to do is discover how much exercise that really is.
It is very important to allow your dog at least a daily walking routine, which is especially important for dogs that spend most of their time in tiny apartments.
If your pet is not getting enough exercise, it may turn into a bored dog. A bored dog is not a happy dog, and it will soon start to display behavior issues such as chewing, barking a lot, or toileting in the house. This can all be prevented by maintaining a simple, but effective routine.
Here’s everything you need to know about establishing one.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF DOGS REQUIRE DIFFERENT AMOUNTS OF EXERCISE
Like us, dogs have different needs depending on their age, breed, and personality. Most dogs will need between 30 minutes and an hour of exercise per day, but some breeds will need up to 2-3 hours.
THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF EXERCISE FOR A PUPPY
Puppies are very playful and full of energy and will self-regulate most of the time. They will rest once they are tired, but you do need to remind them it’s time to take a break sometimes. Different breeds will of course have different energy cycles, and therefore require different amounts of exercise, but there are guidelines that can help you determine how to manage their playtime properly.
Most dog owners agree that puppies should be walked for at least 5 minutes for every month of their age, twice a day. So, if they are two months old, they should have two 10-minute walks.
Because puppies are still growing, they benefit most from short but intensive activity, after which they need to have a good rest, so make sure they have a place to sleep where they can relax completely.
THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF EXERCISE FOR AN ADULT DOG
Adult dogs have much more control over their bodies and their interactions, but also have much more stamina. This means they can’t be locked in your apartment the entire day, and require at least one daily walk.
A walk around the block isn’t going to cut it for some dogs, so you have to dedicate more of your time to finding the best exercise spots and establishing the right kind of routine.
WHAT DOES BREED HAVE TO DO WITH IT?
Based on body type, mentality and stamina, different breeds will require different amounts of exercise. Based on body type, mentality and stamina, different breeds will require different amounts of exercise.
Larger breeds sometimes have a seemingly limitless supply of stamina and strength, so you will have to invest more in their exercise.
These breeds tend to grow fast, often using up more energy than their bodies can supply and handle, so caution is advised when it comes to the amount of exercise you allow them as puppies.
Large dogs are also more prone to joint issues, so you need to make sure not to allow them to become inactive, or even obese.
If you own Weimaraners, Huskies or Malamutes, you might want to take them hiking as they have been bred for sustained exercise. On the other hand, Greyhounds require relatively little exercise compared to other larger breeds of dogs.
Before you bring your dog home, make sure you consider exactly how much time you will need to set aside for their workout.
Here are some ways you can engage your large dog:
- Bike riding
- Dogstacle course
Small dogs generally require less exercise compared to larger dogs. About an hour a day should do it for these breeds, although some need more of a workout than others. Poodles and Terriers are usually more active throughout the day than other dogs of their size.
Chihuahuas, on the other hand, are one of the smallest breeds, yet, contrary to their body size, they are packed with energy. All types of Chihuahuas need to release their pent-up energy regularly, so while they don’t need long ones, they do need regular ones.
Some exercise ideas for your small dog:
- Puzzle games
- Dog park
Flat-faced dogs like Pugs and Bulldogs have problems with breathing, because their snout is shorter than in other dogs, and they can therefore run out of breath easily. As they are also prone to overeating, they do require some special treatment.
It is recommended to keep your flat-faced dog engaged with short, mild exercises, a couple of times a day. Puzzle toys are a clever way to keep them active. If they aren’t able to get enough outdoor exercise, make sure to keep them occupied in the home, and to monitor their diet.
GETTING IT RIGHT
If for any reason you are not sure what type of workout is best for your dog, you should always consider consulting a vet. They will give you the best and most practical advice.
The most important thing you need to know about taking your dog for a walk is to let them be a dog! Let them sniff, explore and run around because that is what dogs do. It will certainly make your dog happy, and it is a great way to bond with your furry pe as well.