Friday, May 3, 2013

How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need?

Daily walks are very important for socialization of your dog but how much exercise does the daily walk provide? How much exercise does your dog need?  The amount of daily exercise your dog requires is determined by age, breed, and your dog's personal preferences.


Puppies require both daily exercise and socialization.  Daily walks to teach proper leash etiquette are essential for the young pup. Supervised, off-leash play in a secure area is also important for their growth and development.  Energetic puppies left confined and/or alone will turn their energy and boredom into destructive behavior.

When your pup had all their immunizations and know their basic commands ("sit", "stay", "come", "no") they may enjoy a visit to a dog park where they will have the opportunity to run "off leash" and socialize with other dogs. Dog parks are not only offer a great opportunity for exercise it is also a wonderful social experience.  When at a dog park, be sure to supervise your pup at all times and encourage play with other dogs of similar size and temperament.

Adult Dogs

It is important that adult dogs get daily exercise to stay happy and healthy.  To keep your dog at their best, exercise should be consistent and daily. A once a week run will be difficult, and possibly unhealthy, for your pup if they are totally inactive all other days. Mix up the walk times and routes to keep your dog excited for their outings. Alternate walks and playtime off leash for a variety of activity that includes both calm, long distance walks and aerobic exercise.

Senior Dogs

Dogs who have been active their entire lives will continue to enjoy daily walks.  With regular vet checks and a healthy diet your pup will remain active through their senior yeas.  Let your dog set the pace of the walk and listen to clues they give as to how to adjust their activity to adapt to their changing energy level and physical abilities.  Try to avoid steps and hard, uneven surfaces that could be difficult for the senior dog to navigate and may aggravate aging joints.

Activity According To Breed

Your pup's activity level can also be determined by their breed.  Highly active breeds, including Border Collie, Dalmatian and Siberian Husky, need vigorous daily exercise and activity.  Without it they can become restless and destructive.

Short nose dogs, or brachycephalic breeds, can have difficulty breathing and cooling themselves in hot weather due to their short windpipes.  These breeds, including Pugs, Pekingese, and Shih tzu, need to limit their activity in hot weather and overexertion at all times.

Quick walks or a daily stroll, your dog will let you know what their preference is.  If your pup likes to play fetch, then grab a ball and head for the yard. If walks are more their style, grab their leash and hit the road. Encourage daily walks and your dog will look forward to, and enjoy, the time you spend together.


  1. Do you believe that I have a Shetland Sheepdog who HATES taking walks? We have to trick him to take him for one. It's ridiculous.
    Love, Dakota's Mom

  2. Thank you for following us! I just added you to our list too.

    This is a great post. Too many people think that dogs only need exercise a couple times a week. And others depend on trips outside to the backyard to keep their dogs fit and healthy. They forget that dogs need daily exercise to help prevent many behavior problems.