How much exercise does my dog need?

How much exercise does my dog need?

Asking this question is like asking, “How long is a piece of string?”. The answer is – it depends. Breed, age, size, energy levels, temperament and overall health play a part in determining how much exercise your dog needs.

30 minutes to 2 hours daily activity

Most dogs benefit from 30 minutes to 2 hours of physical activity each day. How you want to break this up is totally up to you and your dog. You might do a long walk in the morning and a tumble in the dog park in the evening.

If you have a garden that your dog can access during the day, they’ll probably use it as their private toilet. This doesn’t mean they don’t need a walk. Dogs aren’t great at entertaining themselves so if they’ve been home alone, they’ll have pent up energy to burn.

Find an activity they love

Physical activity isn’t just a walk. Dogs are social and many enjoy catching up with their pals in the park. Others (like our Staffy) are ball obsessed and chasing a tennis ball is the best thing in the world (apart from cuddles). High energy breeds like Kelpies and Border Collies may not settle for anything less than a run.

Getting outside with your dog is a great opportunity for you both to bond. It might be tempting to check your emails or scroll through Instagram but put your phone down and enjoy the moment. Your dog is only with you for a moment – make the most of it.  

Don’t forget about mental stimulation

Dogs love exploring new smells. It’s how they discover the world and it’s mentally stimulating too. Have you ever noticed how intently your dog sniffs when you take them someplace new? Their senses are in overdrive!

Mental stimulation is as important as physical activity. A bored dog can become destructive and anxious. You may find them barking excessively or digging up your back yard. Boredom busters like long lasting chewy treats, squeaky toys and feeding puzzles are great for keeping them occupied.  

Listen to your dog

Naturally, senior dogs and puppies have different exercise needs to young and adult dogs. And toy breeds need less exercise than high energy breeds.  

If your Mini Dachshund is used to short walks around the block, don’t suddenly start walking two hours every day because you want to get fit. Sudden changes in exercise routines can lead to injury. If you see them slowing down or struggling, don’t push on.

Now, grab your lead and head outside!

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