Appropriate Exercise For Your Puppy
Exercise for puppies doesn’t always have to be a walk. High energy play also counts as exercise.
More about the appropriate exercise for puppies
Unfortunately there is no hard and fast rule as to how much exercise is right for an individual puppy – just like us their needs vary, between breeds and between each individual. On average though puppies need five minutes of exercise per month of age up to twice a day. In other words, a three-month-old puppy will need fifteen minutes of exercise (once or twice a day) while a four-month-old will need twenty minutes (once or twice a day).
Exercise for puppies doesn’t always have to be a walk, either. High energy play also counts as exercise. Although it can be difficult to regulate, do try and consider how much time you spend with impact play or running around the house or garden with your puppy. If your puppy seems tired, always stop.
While each puppy is different there are some tips you can use to help determine what’s right for your dog:
- Look at your dog's shape. Dogs with shorter noses (brachycephaly), such as bulldogs and pugs, will struggle more with exercise as they often find breathing more restricted.
- Look at your dog's size. Large-breed dogs can actually have more problems associated with over-exercise as puppies than small breed dogs can.
- Look at your dog's mental agility. High-drive breeds, like shepherding dogs, need more stimulation than some other breeds. Exercise can be great for this, but training can also be a useful way to keep them entertained.
- Look at the type of exercise you are doing. Are you running around or doing a quiet lead stroll? High impact activity needs to be more closely monitored than calm explorations.
It also important to consider the pattern of exercise your dog gets. ‘Weekend-warriors’ are no good for puppies, who need regular exercise at a consistent level.
- Teaching lead walkingearly on will make going out for a relaxing walk much easier
- Start slow. Build up the time spent walking and always stop if your puppy looks tired or refuses to walk any further.
- Breaks are fine! Take plenty of breaks when you are out walking with your puppy
- In hot weather pavements can heat up fast and heatstroke can also be a concern. Ice can lead to salt spreading and freezing underfoot which can also cause discomfort. Always try and walk your puppy at the time of day they will be most comfortable.
- Don't take your puppy out for a walk until they have had their vaccinationsand you have had the all-clear from your vet. This is the best way to keep them safe from a whole range of nasty diseases
- Don't exercise your puppy just after they have eaten, especially in deep-chested dogs. This can lead to a twisting of the stomach, which is life-threatening.
Take water. Keeping hydrated on walks is really important for you and puppy, and on hot days even a very short walk should come with a refreshment break!