Let’s go for a walk!

Your dog needs daily exercise, just like you, but how MUCH exercise does a dog actually need?

Well, according to www.petmd.com dogs should get between 30 minutes and 2 hours of daily exercise. The working, herding and sporting breeds require more exercise than some of the others. Dogs like Labradors, collies and spaniels require a good amount of exercise as these dogs were bred to work, while dogs such as pugs and Boston bulldogs require less.

“Dogs like Labradors, collies and spaniels require a good amount of exercise as these dogs were bred to work,.”

It’s difficult to overwork most adult dogs.

It’s actually difficult to over exercise a healthy adult dog in most cases. Exceptions are  breeds such as the pug or other short snouted breeds known to have breathing difficulties. In the case of those breeds, too much exercise can actually cause serious health risks. Your best bet is to watch your dog and see how long it takes him to naturally get tired and go from there. If you are walking on a leash, you may need to walk longer. If you’re walking off leash and your dog can run a bit, you won’t need to go as long.

Keep in mind that is IS possible to overexercise a puppy. Puppies under a year old should be kept to no more than two walks a day. They also should not be taken running or jogging as this could adversely affect their bone and joint health. The general rule for puppies is that they can be exercised 5 minutes for each month of life. So, an 8 week old puppy can tolerate about 10 minutes of exercise while a 6 month old pup should be able to handle 30 minutes at a time. When exercising an elderly dog or an overweight dog its important to note that they have a harder time regulating their body temperature than younger, healthy dogs. Don’t take you older or overweight dog to exercise during the hottest parts of he day. Also, be sure to watch carefully for signs of fatigue or overheating and stick to lower impact activities like a nice long walk rather than very strenuous ones.

My own dogs exercise themselves partially by running in our fenced yard. They typically do a few laps, chase each other for a few minutes and then settle on the patio to rest. If I am out with them they’ll demand I throw a ball for a game of fetch. That is a great way to wear them out a bit. Being retrievers my dogs LOVE to play ball and will race each other to get to the ball first. A good game of fetch with my crew can last 5-20 minutes depending on the temperature and how many dogs get involved in the game. After that they are ready to take a nap while I work. All of my adult dogs are also able to keep up on a 20-30 minute run as well and love to go hiking with my family.

If you aren’t in a position where you have a fenced yard for your dog, or tons of extra time for exercise we’d recommend a dog walking service or doggie daycare to get your furry friend some much needed exercise while you’re at work.  These are both great options for busy families.  Both allow your dog time to socialize as well. While there is no set amount of time your dog needs to be exercised, it’s safe to say that if you tune in to your dog’s energy levels and physical condition you should be able to come up with a plan that works for both of you.

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