How much exercise does my dog need?

You just got home from work, and the moment you open your door you discover a furry hurricane has wrecked your living room! Sounds familiar? Your dog might need an extra workout. Like us hoomans, our furry friends also need exercise! Dogs have a lot of energy. If they don’t get enough physical activity, they might find other ways to burn the excess energy.

Without exercise, our beloved pooches might develop a belly pooch. Something we all think is adorable! But the cuteness comes at a cost. Not getting enough exercise can contribute to greater health risks. Excessive weight in a dog can directly increase the chances of them getting diabetes, heart diseases, or other respiratory disease. Not only that, because they have to carry more weight on their joints, arthritis or other bone and joint issues might arise.

Puppies have boundless energy! They actually have more energy than adult dogs do. Because of their growing bodies, despite their high energy, they shouldn’t go for long walks. It’s recommended that a puppy should get multiple short walks a day and shorter periods of playtime, at a higher frequency. With plenty of time for naps in between! 

Adult Dogs, unlike puppies and senior dogs, can handle a different variety of activities. Depending on their age, breed, and even personality an adult dog will need different amounts of exercise! For example, a Chihuahua will need less exercise compared to a Border Collie. But a general rule of thumb is that they should get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, but be sure to listen to your dog!

Senior Dogs might be able to do less physical exercise, but it’s still very important! Your senior four-legged friends might not run like they used to, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t exercise. Make sure you carefully monitor your dog and make sure they’re not going over their physical limits. 

Every dog is different. Depending on the age, breed, health conditions, and even personality of your dog, they will require different amounts of exercise. This is why we recommend you to discuss with the veterinarian on an exercise plan that best suits your dog, and your personal lifestyle. 

General Guidelines to Follow

  • Active breeds need at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. If it is convenient for you, daily exercise is highly recommended.
  • Be cautious of exercising in hot weather. Overheating in dogs can quickly turn into a disaster! Indoor exercise or swimming are great options when it’s warmer than usual!  
  • Exercising the body is great, but be sure to keep your dog mentally stimulated too! Learning new tricks, playing catch, or hiking in a new place keeps things new and exciting.
  • Listen to your dog. Like us hoomans, a dog’s physical exercise needs are subjective! If your dog seems like they are tired, give them a break and call it a day.

This article is reviewed by the veterinarian from Small Animal Teaching Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University (CUVET)

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