Dogs are known as a man’s best friend for a reason, they are cute, loyal and lovable additions to any family. However, they’re also a lot of work! New dog owners frequently underestimate how much time and energy they take up. But how much exercise does a dog need everyday?
Dog exercise, in particular, is one area that demands a considerable effort. Insufficient exercise can lead to unhealthy and hyperactive animals to have at home. No two dogs are the same. It’s important to know how much exercise they need, but hard to figure out what that means in practical terms!
How Much Exercise Does A Dog Need Everyday? Find Out Below!
1. Apply the 5 Minute Rule for Puppies
Puppies are an absolute joy to have in the house.
They’re cute little balls of fur that you just want to cuddle all day long!
But they can also be little terrors that chew their way through your property, leaving a trail of mess as they go. It’s vital that they get enough exercise and time outside.
The 5-minute rule is a good one to follow.
Here’s how it works:
Decide the minimum amount of playtime and exercise they need by multiplying their age in months by 5. The numerical answer reveals the time in minutes you should spend exercising them.
For instance. A 6-month-old puppy should get a 30-minute walk or play session at least once a day. You could do this twice a day to tire them out. As they get older, dogs can enjoy much longer periods of exercise.
2. Adult Hounds Need More Exercise
As people, we tend to think of a child reaching adulthood at age 18.
However, life isn’t as clear-cut in the canine world.
The true age at which a puppy transitions to adulthood depends on different factors. The breed can make a particular difference. For instance, larger breeds mature later than smaller ones.
In general, though, dogs move into adulthood between 6 and 18 months of age.
As we just noted, dogs need more exercise as they get older. In adulthood, the majority will benefit from a bare minimum of 30 minutes per day. Anywhere up to 2 hours is better.
Games, long walks, doggy play dates and so on are all options at your disposal. Dog owners take different approaches. Some will go on one long walk in the middle of the day. Others will go on a number of shorter walks instead.
3. Take It Easier on Seniors
Sooner or later we all move from adulthood into old age.
It’s an inevitability for all of us- our dogs included.
Older dogs still need exercise. However, the amount and intensity should both be reduced. They may no longer have the energy or mobility of youth! After years of chasing sticks and running wild, they’ve earned the right to take it easier.
You’ll know your dog better than anyone at this point. Judge the amount of exercise they need according to their physical health. In general, though, go on shorter walks that are less demanding.
An alternative form of exercise to consider is taking them swimming.
Their joints may struggle with the impact of running and walking. Swimming in a river, lake, or ocean nearby can provide the necessary activity with less of the bodily stress.
4. Keep the Breed in Mind
Age only one factor that determines the right amount of exercise for your dog.
The breed is another. In fact, your dog’s breed is arguably a more telling factor in deciding how often to walk and exercise them.
As a rule of thumb, tiny dogs and giant dogs will need less! That means that your Chihuahuas and Great Danes are happier with lower levels of exercise. Flat-nosed dogs (like your much-loved pugs) are the same.
Indeed, they often struggle with their breathing, which renders them less active in general.
By contrast, dogs such as Terriers, Retrievers, and German Shepherds will want as much exercise as they can get! These are known as active breeds. They got that name for a reason!
Be sure to keep these dogs as active as possible. That way they’ll be happier and healthier animals to have around the house.
5. Let the Dog Decide
Want an alternative solution to the problem?
How about letting your dog decide how far they can go?
Obviously, this won’t always be possible. Time is of the essence. We live busy lives and have to fit dog walks around other roles, responsibilities, and chores.
That said, dogs are generally pretty good at letting their owners know when they’re tired.
You’ll see them lie down, hesitate when it comes to going further, and start panting too. They’ll probably start walking differently too. If you get to this point after a given distance, or length of time, then you’ll have a metric to refer to in future.
You’ll know how far you can reasonably go.
This is arguably the best way of knowing they’ve had enough exercise! Don’t push it too hard though. Younger and older dogs, as we now know, shouldn’t be over-exercised.
How Much Exercise Does A Dog Need Everyday?
A classic question new pet owners have is “how much should I walk my dog?”
Unfortunately, there isn’t necessarily a straightforward answer!
As we’ve seen, the true amount of dog exercise required depends on myriad factors. Age and breed are two particularly important things to think about. As a rule of thumb, though, a minimum of 30 minutes per day is a good starting point.
From there, taking your dog’s individual characteristics into account will become important.
Written by Camilla A Mills