How much exercise is right for my dog?

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How much exercise is right for my dog?

Exercising your dog does more than help keep their weight where it should be, exercise also contributes to a dog’s good mood, and helps to look after their muscles and skeletal health. Dogs exercise levels can vary for many reasons here is a quick guide of how much exercise your dog needs. Keeping in mind that every dog is different this is a guide to get you started.

Weight its a great indicator of too much or not enough exercise
The key thing for dogs is consistency, if your dog has the same amount of food each day and has an hour long walk before breakfast and is maintaining a good weight, then life is good. The thing you need to look out for is if you change the exercise amount, just like people if you reduce your exercise levels you are likely to put on weight, if you increase your levels of exercise you are likely to lose weight. 

The main difference for dogs is that we generally feed them the same amount of food each day. 

So if there is a change in the dogs exercise or activity levels change significantly make sure you adjust the food accordingly.  

Signs your dog is getting too much exercise
Dogs will limp, pant and get stiff just like us, so keep a close eye on your dog before during and after exercise. If you are seeing any of these signs during or after exercise please talk to your vet.

Exercise for Puppies
Puppyhood for small and medium dogs (up to 25kg fully grown) is up to 1 year, for any dog over 25kg when they are fully grown is 18 months. 

Puppies generally have a lot of energy — but they also need down time. In fact, they actually need less exercise than an adult dog. I am sure you have seen puppies that are full of beans playing and running around one minute, then will literally fall asleep at your feet the next. It makes sense: The reason for this is that they are growing rapidly, and their bodies need lots of rest to support all this growing. 

So the thing with puppies is not to take them on very long walks or engage in a couple of hours of rigorous play and definitely don't go running with a puppy, running and long walks can be hard on a puppy’s developing bones and joints. So you are better to have short bursts of exercise throughout the day. By “short bursts” we mean just five to 10 minutes at a time. And it doesn’t all have to be outdoors time. Just playing with a puppy counts as exercise. Throw their favourite toy across the lounge or play chase around the yard — whatever it takes for him to run off some energy

Go for a pattern of six to 10 short bursts of exercise a day until they are six months of age, this can be reduced as they become older.

Exercise for Adult dogs
Adulthood for small and medium dogs (up to 25kg) starts at 12 months, for dogs over 25kg adulthood starts at 18 months. 

In general as a dog ages it has less and less energy, so a two-year-old is going to have more energy than a seven-year-old. So you’re going to have to gauge his exercise limit for yourself to some degree. But unless your adult dog is in poor physical health, two 20-minute walks daily is not going to cut it.

Consider that dogs from the sporting group — Labs, retrievers, spaniels and setters need somewhere between 60 and 90 minutes of vigorous exercise daily from running, playing with other dogs, or taking classes such as agility there are plenty of ways to get the dogs the exercise they need. It’s the same for dogs from the herding group, or mixed breeds who have a lot of herding dog in them, such as cattle dogs and sheepdogs, collies, and German shepherds.

If you don’t have an hour to an hour and a half each day for physical activity with your adult dog, doggy day care or your local dog walker might be a great way to get them the exercise they are after.

Exercise for Senior Dogs
An older dog requires less exercise, but they still need some exercise, just with less intensity. 30 to 60 minutes a day broken up into two a couple of sessions is a good rule to live by. 

Bear in mind that some older dogs have to contend with stiffness and pain from arthritis. Exercise should never cause or add to pain, if you are concerned that is the case, reduce the physical activity, speak to your vet about pain medication and other treatments to increase comfort, and consider activity that won’t stress the joints. Swimming is an great option!

Exercising your dog does more than help keep their weight where it should be, exercise also contributes to a dog’s good mood, and helps to look after their muscles and skeletal health. Dogs exercise levels can vary for many reasons here is a quick guide of how much exercise your dog needs. Keeping in mind that every dog is different this is a guide to get you started.

Weight its a great indicator of too much or not enough exercise
The key thing for dogs is consistency, if your dog has the same amount of food each day and has an hour long walk before breakfast and is maintaining a good weight, then life is good. The thing you need to look out for is if you change the exercise amount, just like people if you reduce your exercise levels you are likely to put on weight, if you increase your levels of exercise you are likely to lose weight. 

The main difference for dogs is that we generally feed them the same amount of food each day. 

So if there is a change in the dogs exercise or activity levels change significantly make sure you adjust the food accordingly.  

Signs your dog is getting too much exercise
Dogs will limp, pant and get stiff just like us, so keep a close eye on your dog before during and after exercise. If you are seeing any of these signs during or after exercise please talk to your vet.

Exercise for Puppies
Puppyhood for small and medium dogs (up to 25kg fully grown) is up to 1 year, for any dog over 25kg when they are fully grown is 18 months. 

Puppies generally have a lot of energy — but they also need down time. In fact, they actually need less exercise than an adult dog. I am sure you have seen puppies that are full of beans playing and running around one minute, then will literally fall asleep at your feet the next. It makes sense: The reason for this is that they are growing rapidly, and their bodies need lots of rest to support all this growing. 

So the thing with puppies is not to take them on very long walks or engage in a couple of hours of rigorous play and definitely don't go running with a puppy, running and long walks can be hard on a puppy’s developing bones and joints. So you are better to have short bursts of exercise throughout the day. By “short bursts” we mean just five to 10 minutes at a time. And it doesn’t all have to be outdoors time. Just playing with a puppy counts as exercise. Throw their favourite toy across the lounge or play chase around the yard — whatever it takes for him to run off some energy

Go for a pattern of six to 10 short bursts of exercise a day until they are six months of age, this can be reduced as they become older.

Exercise for Adult dogs
Adulthood for small and medium dogs (up to 25kg) starts at 12 months, for dogs over 25kg adulthood starts at 18 months. 

In general as a dog ages it has less and less energy, so a two-year-old is going to have more energy than a seven-year-old. So you’re going to have to gauge his exercise limit for yourself to some degree. But unless your adult dog is in poor physical health, two 20-minute walks daily is not going to cut it.

Consider that dogs from the sporting group — Labs, retrievers, spaniels and setters need somewhere between 60 and 90 minutes of vigorous exercise daily from running, playing with other dogs, or taking classes such as agility there are plenty of ways to get the dogs the exercise they need. It’s the same for dogs from the herding group, or mixed breeds who have a lot of herding dog in them, such as cattle dogs and sheepdogs, collies, and German shepherds.

If you don’t have an hour to an hour and a half each day for physical activity with your adult dog, doggy day care or your local dog walker might be a great way to get them the exercise they are after.

Exercise for Senior Dogs
An older dog requires less exercise, but they still need some exercise, just with less intensity. 30 to 60 minutes a day broken up into two a couple of sessions is a good rule to live by. 

Bear in mind that some older dogs have to contend with stiffness and pain from arthritis. Exercise should never cause or add to pain, if you are concerned that is the case, reduce the physical activity, speak to your vet about pain medication and other treatments to increase comfort, and consider activity that won’t stress the joints. Swimming is an great option!