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How Much Exercise Does My Dog Need?

As humans, we know how important it is for us to adequate exercise. Unfortunately, we rarely take into consideration just how important it is for “Rocco” to get regular exercise.

Believe it or not, dogs will get the same benefits from regular exercise as humans.

The main benefits your dog will get from regular exercise are:

  • Enhanced physical health
  • Enhanced mental health
  • Decrease in negative behaviors

Just how much exercise your dog needs will depend on age, current level of health, and breed type. In this article, I’ll reveal some general guidelines to follow when creating an exercise regimen for your dog. Before beginning any exercise regimen, consider your dog’s personality, physical capabilities, and please-please-please consult your dog’s vet first.

How Much Exercise Does A Puppy Need?

As with human children, puppies have a tremendous amount of energy and need tons of nap time. For that reason, puppies can benefit from short playtime sessions a few times each day lasting 5-10 minutes.

Keep in mind that your puppy is in the process of growing and developing strong bones so establish a dog walking routine and start small. A puppy 12 weeks or older can safely walk 15 minutes at a time.

The more time you spend with your puppy, the more you’ll be able to read cues from their body language and behavior that will let you know when they’re ready to play and when they need to take a break.

How Much Exercise Does An Adult Dog Need?

Again, the age, health, and breed of your dog will determine just how much exercise your dog needs.

There are breeds that require more exercise to expend energy than others. These breeds typically fall into the following categories:

  • Pointers
  • Retrievers
  • Scent hounds
  • Shepherds
  • Terriers

In general, an adult herding breed will need 60-90 minutes of exercise each day. These breeds will benefit greatly from running and free-range playtime at the local dog park. Tribeca has several dog runs that I’m sure your dog will love.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are breeds that don’t require as much exercise. Those breeds are:

  • Smush-nosed, breeds (pugs, French bulldogs, shih tzus)
  • Toy breeds (Maltese, Yorkies, Chihuahuas)
  • Giant breeds (Great Danes, Mastiffs, Newfoundlands)

Low-energy breeds require anywhere from 30-60 minutes of exercise a day. The same is true of adult toys. This may mean a slow walk in the neighborhood, or playing fetch with a professional at Fetchmates.

How Much Exercise Does A Senior Dog Need?

Older dogs often have to contend with arthritis and joint issues so they may run out of steam quickly. Even though he doesn’t move as fast as he used to, some form of exercise is vital to the health and wellbeing of your dog. However, you must consult your veterinarian for their professional opinion.

Mental Activity Matters, Too

Don’t underestimate the power of mental stimulation. Regardless of age, all dogs can benefit from mental exercises that require them to think. Mental exercises play an important role in your dog’s health. Not only can it improve your dog’s overall mood, but it can also eliminate behavioral issues caused by boredom.

Regular Mental Activity May Include:

  • Hide-and-seek
  • Treat hunt
  • Puzzle toys
  • Obedience training

Mental stimulation is especially important for dogs that suffer from some form of limited mobility due to injury or age. So even if “Fifi’s” playground prancing days are over, she can still get a good brain workout!

Whatever you do to enrich the life of your precious pooch, make sure you implement a balance of mental and physical exercises each day. At Fetchmates, we create a balance of physical and mental exercise with our 15, 30, or 60 minutes daily sessions. Each walk in your neighborhood is an opportunity to reinforce or established training regimen, and create better habits that prevent most behavioral issues.

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