One of the healthiest things for your dog is exercise. There’s really no such thing as too much exercise, but you don’t want to keep your dog outdoors too long, either. There’s a happy balance to ensure that your dog is able to work off some energy (and some calories) so that he or she does not begin to experience weight problems down the road.
Weight problems can lead to various health problems include pain in the joints, problems walking, mood swings, and even tumor formations. This means that you want to find out how much exercise is just right for your dog.
Exercise for your dog can vary between 20 minutes and 2 hours every day. It’s not just about the size of your dog. These are also factors to be considered:
- Overall health
Depends on the Breed
An English Bulldog is only going to require 20 minutes of exercise, while a Collie or Labrador Retriever is going to need significantly more exercise throughout the day.
Exercise should be broken out over the course of the day. You may want to provide about 30 minutes of rigorous activity such as a jog or a game of Frisbee as well as one to two hours of mild activity. Some of this can be done simply by providing your dog with more area throughout the day. If you have a fenced in yard, let your dog out there to run around during the day.
Your dog’s signals should be used more than anything else. If your dog is acting restless, pacing, or engaging in destructive behaviors, it is likely his or her way of telling you that they want to take a walk around the block – or a brisk one. If your dog is lounging around the house, a long walk may not be in order – though at least a short one should be provided for some basic daily exercise.
Your dog probably needs a warm-up, just like you do. Take the time to slowly develop a workout routine with your dog. Start with 30 minutes a day and then build up towards an hour or longer. This will ensure your dog can handle it and know what to expect out of his or her time outside. If you are going for a long walk, be sure to take some water for your dog as well.
If you Don’t Know, Talk to an Expert
It’s always a good idea to talk to your vet and find out what kinds of exercise is recommended for your dog. A checkup will be performed and a plan can be created based upon how healthy your dog is and how their overall range of movement is. The more you can find out about health, the easier it is to determine what a respectable amount of exercise is.
Dog trainers are another good source of information. They will take even more time than your vet to really learn your dog’s behaviors and energy level and provide advice for you based on their observations.
What’s your dog’s favorite form of exercise? Share with us below.