Health depends on activity
Activity is key to keeping your dog stimulated and at a healthy weight. The amount of exercise varies based on their age, weight and breed.
How much exercise does my dog need?
Whether your dog is still a puppy or is an adult, it’s important to consider how much exercise they need every day. No-one knows your pet better than you do, but if you’re wondering if your dog is getting enough exercise, here are some helpful points for you to consider.
A start point is to consider the breed of your dog; different breeds will have varying energy levels and exercise requirements. Similarly, the amount of activity your dog needs will depend on their age and health. Dogs do slow down with age, and some health conditions can mean it’s uncomfortable or even painful for your dog to exercise as it once did.
You can begin to work out how much exercise your dog needs each day by noticing how your pet behaves when you get home after a walk. Are they calmer? Do they seem content? If so, and if they’re happy when it’s time to pick up the lead and head outdoors, you’ve got it right.
How often should I exercise my dog?
When it comes to thinking about how often you should exercise your dog, there are a number of factors to consider. Dogs are playful animals and enjoy spending time outdoors with opportunities to walk, explore, run, and even swim. Regular exercise ensures your dog keeps fit, stays active and feels happy.
The age and health of your dog are important considerations when it comes to the correct frequency of exercise. Younger dogs and larger breeds may thrive on the stimulation of more than twice a day – whereas some older dogs or smaller breeds may be content with getting outside for a stroll in the morning and the evening.You may think of puppies as endless balls of energy but too much exercise can be just as harmful as too little. Their needs will also change as they grow as puppies. In very young puppies, aim for short walks and several play sessions throughout the day. By six to eight months, your puppy will be able to take longer walks. The key is to build your puppy up toward longer exercise sessions so be sure to take lots of breaks (and make time for naps!).
Your daily routine will play a large part in how many times a day you’re able to take your adult dog out for a walk. Throwing a ball around the garden as additional exercise can provide great entertainment, both for them and for you. In general, making sure that the activity you provide is regular and enjoyable is the key to keeping your pet happy and healthy.
How to find an activity you both enjoy
When it comes to exercising your dog, it’s important that it’s an enjoyable activity for you both. We know that sometimes life – and the weather – can get in the way of taking your dog for a good, long walk – but there are alternatives you can explore.
Playing games in the garden or even indoors can provide your dog with opportunities to explore different scents, as well as being great exercise and fun. And throwing a ball in the park or on the beach can provide you both with a thorough work-out, especially if you invest in a simple ball launcher or tennis racket to extend your throw for more energetic dogs.
If your dog enjoys socialising, ask other owners or check out what’s happening online with dog walking groups or canine sports sessions in your area. Organised events can provide you and your dog with an excellent opportunity to socialise, both with other dogs and with new people.