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How Much Exercise Does My Dog Need?

Have you ever wondered “How Much Exercise Does My Dog Need”? Walking your dog gives your pup a chance to explore, socialize, and of course, relieve himself. Yet, taking your dog for a walk serves another important function that pet parents often overlook – exercise! Give your dog too little exercise, and he could be a terror around the house, or be at high risk for chronic illnesses. Too much exercise can lead to over-exhaustion and injury.

The rule of thumb is one half hour to two hours of exercise per day, but what type of exercise your dog should get depends on several factors.

Small Dog Breeds

Most dog breeds were created with a certain purpose in mind. While most people would probably assume that the bigger working and sport dogs need a lot of exercise outdoors, they may not realize that small breeds also need exercise time outside of the house, too.

However, small and toy dogs do better with a light stroll than strenuous exercise. Their small bodies and legs are not always up to the task of a hard run or play time. Flat-faced breeds such as pugs, bulldogs, and Boston terriers may also have a more difficult time breathing after hard play.

Large Dog Breeds

Golden and Labrador retrievers have very active minds and bountiful energy, so a few tosses of a ball or Frisbee in addition to your walk can help them satisfy those running, catching, and retrieving instincts. Greyhounds and whippets love to run, too, but only in short bursts. They’re sprinters, not long distance runners after all. Hounds, on the other hand, have that fox-hunting endurance that can take them for miles.

Large dog breeds can also have special genetic considerations that dictate the most appropriate type of exercise for them. German shepherds, for example, are prone to hip dysplasia, so taking them for a jog can do more harm than good. Like German shepherds, barrel-chested Great Danes are prone to bloating, too, so they shouldn’t be taken out right after a meal.

Younger and Older Dogs

Juniors and seniors still need their exercise, but taking them for a long walk or a romp in the park isn’t always a good idea. Since their bodies need the additional energy to help them grow, short easy walks are best for puppies. Likewise, senior dogs with health problems benefit from a slow, less strenuous walk. In order to make sure they get enough exercise beyond dog walking, both young and old dogs benefit from playing with their pet parents at home, such as a rousing game of tug-of-war. You can also make meal time into exercise time by hiding food around the house or using a puzzle feeder.
Are you stuck at work and worried that your dog isn’t getting enough exercise during the day? Click here to find out how our dog walks can keep your pup healthy and happy.

Questions About “How Much Exercise Does My Dog Need” ?

If you have any questions about “how much exercise does my dog need”, or other questions about pet care, you can contact Kara Jenkins, Owner of TLC Pet Sitter. We are also available by email at info@tlcpetsitter.com.