How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need?

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How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need
By LITTLE PUPPY PAWS | February 28, 2023
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Just like humans, dogs also need physical activity to stay in optimum health. While your dog does need exercise, the question of how much exercise still remains.


As with people, the answer varies from dog to dog and is determined by age, health, and breed. However, you can follow a few general guidelines to ensure that your dog is getting enough exercise.

How Much Exercise Does a Puppy Need Every Day?

You may have noticed that your puppy suffers from zoomies several times per day. The zoomies are easily recognized, with symptoms including frantic racing around the house and collapsing into a puppy pile, preferably on your lap.


Puppies have more energy than adult dogs and thus require more short bursts of exercise, such as the zoomies. Because puppies are constantly growing, taking several short walks or playing sessions throughout the day is a better option than taking one long walk, which can be too taxing on your puppy’s developing body. Finally, every puppy is unique, and the more time you spend with her, the more you will learn about how much exercise she requires to keep her happy.


Consult your veterinarian or breeder about how much daily activity is appropriate for your puppy, and remember that exercise is an excellent way to train and socialize your new dog.

How Much Exercise Do Adult Dogs Need?

His breed heavily influences the amount of physical activity required by your dog. For example, border Collies and Belgian Malinois require far more exercise than low-energy breeds like the Bulldog or Basset Hound.


When selecting a puppy, keep the breed’s exercise requirements in mind. Buying an active dog breed is good if you already lead an active lifestyle. Expecting your toy Poodle to join you for marathon training is unrealistic unless you push him in a stroller.


The health of your dog is also essential. If your adult dog has a medical condition, such as hip dysplasia or heart or respiratory problems, consult with your veterinarian about an appropriate exercise routine to keep him healthy without causing pain.

What Kind of Exercise Does a Senior Dog Require?

Even though your senior dog’s ability to run as far as she once could have diminished, and you may eventually have to limit her run to a walk, your senior dog and your puppy need regular exercise. Discuss exercise options with your vet while keeping an eye on your elderly dog’s behavior. You are the best person to determine how much exercise your dog can tolerate because you are the one who knows them best, the owner.


All dogs benefit from the mental stimulation and physical activity that exercise offers, which can lengthen their lives and lower their risk of obesity.

How Should You Exercise Your Dog?

Large-breed dogs are more prone to joint problems and require daily exercise. Adequate physical activity aids in the maintenance of a healthy weight and the strength of muscles and joints. Taking your dog for a walk or run, hiking on a nearby trail, playing fetch in the backyard, visiting a dog park or beach, or using an agility course are just a few of the many enjoyable activities you can do to keep your pup healthy and happy. Keep strenuous exercise to a minimum if you have a large breed puppy until they are at least a year old. Because their skeleton hasn’t fully developed, it’s unsafe to overwork large puppies.


Small-breed dogs are prone to weight gain because their owners do not exercise them as frequently. While smaller dogs don’t require much exercise, it’s still important to ensure they get at least 30 minutes of activity per day, even if it’s split into two 15-minute sessions. Breaking exercise into shorter walks can be especially beneficial for brachycephalic breeds whose noses are flat, making exercise more challenging.

What Happens if I Don’t Give My Dog Enough Exercise?

Your dog, like humans, requires adequate exercise to stay healthy and maintain an appropriate weight. When your dog isn’t getting enough exercise, they become bored, lazy, or frustrated. This can manifest as destructive or aggressive behavior.


The amount of exercise your dog needs is determined by the breed, size, age, and other health factors. A daily walk, for example, is sufficient for some dogs. On the other hand, a quick walk is insufficient physical activity for other large, energetic breeds.


Here are some common signs that your canine companion isn’t getting enough exercise.

Gaining Weight

Weight gain is one of the telltale signs that your pet needs more exercise. Besides increasing daily walks and exercise, consider how much you feed your pet. A poor diet and lack of physical activity can cause your pet dog to gain weight quickly.


If your dog is severely obese, consult your veterinarian for professional advice on an appropriate exercise and diet plan.

Destructive behavior

Destructive behavior is another sign that your dog is not getting enough exercise. All dogs require an outlet for their energy. Your dog may become aggressive if it cannot release pent-up energy by walking, running, or exercising.


Chewing on items around the house, getting into the trash can, or pooping in inappropriate places are all signs of destructive dog behavior patterns.


They may become overly excited when you take your pet out or get their lead. Of course, some dogs are more excitable than others, but changes in your dog’s behavior could indicate that he needs more exercise.

Withdrawal or Depression

On the other hand, some dogs become withdrawn when they lack physical and mental stimulation. This behavior can appear as disinterest in what is happening, lying in the corner all the time, or not engaging with you.


There are, of course, other reasons for this type of behavior. As a result, you should schedule a veterinary checkup to rule out an underactive thyroid gland or another underlying condition.


Have you recently noticed that your pet dog is having difficulty getting around? Is he hesitant to climb stairs, or does he have trouble sleeping? These could be indicators that your dog needs more exercise.


Your pet’s sedentary lifestyle can cause stiff and tense muscles. When moving, this can cause muscle weakness and pain. Regular exercise helps to keep muscles and ligaments relaxed and loose while also keeping them strong.


When it comes to older dogs, stiffness when walking could be due to arthritis, so it might be a good idea to check your pet dog’s health.

Barking Incessantly

Constant barking could also be your dog’s way of communicating that they need more exercise.

Exercise Tips for Dogs

Taking your dog for a walk around the block is a great place to start, and it may be sufficient for breeds with lower exercise needs. Even couch potatoes appreciate variety now and then, and there are numerous opportunities to exercise your dog daily.

  • Hiking. Dogs enjoy being outside just as much as you do. Take your dog on your next adventure, or discover new parks and trails in your neighborhood.
  • Going With You When You Cycle. When you cycle, I will accompany you. While not suitable for all dogs, many accompany their owners on rides. Cycling on the road is often dangerous, but many towns have bike paths where you can ride with your dog safely.
  • Joining Skaters. Your dog can go with you when you inline skate, rollerblade, or skateboard. Remember to teach your dog about this new activity in a contained space first, and always wear the proper safety gear.
  • Swimming. Most dogs enjoy being in the water, and swimming is a fantastic low-impact exercise for dogs with joint issues. For the best cardio workout, a life jacket can let your dog stay in the water for longer.
  • Fetch. Fetch need not be monotonous. Change up your dog’s fetch routine by throwing a ball into the water or forcing her to go uphill to get it. To keep your dog on her toes, alternate between balls, Frisbees, or other cherished toys.
  • Draft Work. Some sled dog breeds participate in dog sledding. Larger breeds frequently take pleasure in draft work, whether it involves a sled, a cart, or skijoring, and people also like similar activities.
  • Obedience. Although practicing memory, retrieval, and reinforcement of fundamental instructions provide both exercise and cerebral stimulation, obedience exercises may not initially appear to be an exercise. Furthermore, you can teach your dog entertaining new skills like weaving and twirling.
  • Dog sports. You and your dog can try various activities or stick with your favorites because there are so many dog sports. Among the alternatives are lure coursing, scent work, agility, obedience, flyball, dock diving, Schutzhund, and Rally.

Indoor Dog Exercises

Bad weather can make it difficult for your dog to exercise. Spending extended amounts of time outside on hot, cold, or rainy days is challenging, and doing so could even be harmful to your health. Here are some indoor dog exercises you can do with your dog to relieve stress and maintain your fitness.

  • Stairs. When you can’t get outside, running up and down the stairs a few times is excellent for growing muscle. Be careful to work your dog appropriately, as this exercise is exhausting for both people and dogs. Dachshunds, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and other dogs with long backs and shorter legs should be handled with extra caution since they may have trouble climbing stairs.
  • Hide-and-Seek. Your dog will move about and benefit from the mental stimulation of hide and seek. Incorporate a game of pursuit as well.
  • Treadmill. Look no further than a treadmill for the best dog exercise for high-energy breeds. Your dog might develop a fondness for her treadmill workouts with appropriate training. Treadmills increase endurance and don’t require good weather, but they are not a substitute for walking or running outside.
  • Tug. When done appropriately, tug-of-war games help develop muscle and human-animal interaction. Most dogs enjoy playing tug, and there are numerous options for tug toys.
  • Agility. Usually, when we think of agility, we picture comprehensive indoor or outdoor courses. But you can create your agility course using everyday objects like broom handles, boxes, Hula-Hoops, and ottomans. Exercise your agility at home, or consider joining a neighborhood club with an indoor agility area.