It is the responsibility of every dog owner to keep their dog healthy by maintaining a healthy diet and visiting the vet regularly. However, this is not enough to make your dog healthy and happy. Dogs require regular exercises to tone their muscles, stimulate their brains, develop good behaviors, improve metabolism, and promote socialization.
But how much exercise does a dog need? All dogs need to exercise every day but on a different type and scale of physical activities.
Several factors determine the amount of daily exercise required by a dog to stay healthy.
How much exercise does a dog need every day?
The amount of daily exercise required by a dog to keep them healthy is determined by several factors such as overall health, age, breed, weight, and size. You can determine the amount of exercise needed by your dog by entering the relevant parameters in the exercise calculator.
Generally, a dog requires 30 to 120 minutes of exercise every day. Larger dog breeds such as shepherds, collies, and retrievers will require more exercises than smaller dog breeds such as terriers and Maltese’s. Also, short-nosed breeds – also known as flat-faced or brachycephalic breeds – such as pugs and bulldogs, require an insignificant amount of daily exercises.
It is important to note that some dogs can’t exercise themselves in your absence. Therefore, it is essential that you spend quality time with your furry friends to ensure they get sufficient physical exercise. When you let your dog outside, they will jump up and down or chase a squirrel and that won’t amount to adequate exercise.
How should you exercise your dog?
Large breeds require a lot of daily physical activities to keep their muscles and joints healthy and strong as well as maintain a healthy weight while medium dog breeds require long and steady activity for their exercise. On the other hand, the smaller breeds are not prone to muscle and joint issues, and therefore, they only require moderate exercises.
Suggested methods of exercising your dog
1. Daily walk
Daily walks using a dog leash will stimulate their minds with new sights, sounds, and smell along the walking lane. It is recommended that you add some walking resistance to the dog, such as a dog backpack or a weighted vest. Walking will help them release some energy and strengthen their muscles as well.
2. Backyard agility
You can set up obstacles in your compound and guide your dog is jumping over them. You can include activities like hurdle jumps, tunnels, and weaves.
3. Stair walking
Instruct your dog to go and pick an item at the top of the stairs and bring it at the bottom of the stairs. Running up the stairs will strengthen their legs and burn some of that intense energy.
Swimming is an excellent exercising activity for your pet dog, as they will be compelled to use all of its muscles. In addition, it will not strain the dog’s muscles because it is a less strenuous activity. Ensure your dog is equipped with a dog lifejacket to ensure his safety.
5. Play with other dogs
Organize to have your dog play with other dogs to promote socialization. They will burn energies, learn some social skills, and stimulate their minds.
6. Dog sports
You can enroll your dog in a club to ensure they participate in sports competitions for fun and keeping them fit.
7. Use of dog toys
You can purchase toys to help your dog play indoors when you don’t have time to take them for outdoor activities.
8. Running and skating
Running and skating help your dogs relax their muscles and burn energies, thus keeping them healthy.
Dog exercise requirements by breeds
This is a classification of adult dogs only, and it indicates the approximate exercise needs for the listed breeds.
They are typically alert and very active, which makes them require invigorating exercises for one to hours a day. They can be engaged in hiking, swimming, hiking, and running. Examples include spaniels, pointers, and retrievers.
These medium-sized dog breeds prefer long and steady activities rather than short strenuous activities for one to two hours. They can be engaged in hiking. Some of the best medium dog breeds include Bullmastiffs and Boxers.
These breeds need to be engaged in moderate exercises for 20 – 30 minutes daily. An example is a Bulldog.
They need moderate exercises to keep their joints healthy. They should be engaged in activities such as swimming for 30 – 45 minutes. Some of the examples include Saint Bernard and Leon Berger.
How to conduct dog exercise sessions?
Engage smaller breeds in less-intensive physical activities for approximately 30 minutes in a day. It is recommended that you split it into several short exercise sessions. For the brachycephalic breeds, ensure you keep the sessions shorter due to their flat noses. For the large breeds, provide more intensive physical activities to a maximum of two hours, split into short sessions. Large breed puppies should only be engaged in less strenuous activities until they are one year old.
Effects of over-exercising a dog
It is crucial to observe limits when exercising your dog to prevent injuries or heat stroke as a result of excessive exercises. An over-exercised dog will show the following symptoms:
- Excessive panting
- Poor concentration and confusion
- Reluctance when exercising
- Extreme thirst
- Appearing overtired and sleeping abnormally
What happens if you don’t exercise your dog?
Your dog will suffer from unhealthy weight gain and joint issues if not exercised. Large breeds tend to be anxious when denied adequate exercises. Anxiety will make them develop unwanted behaviors such as hyperactivity, barking, and rough-housing while in the house.
Dogs need to be healthy and happy at all times. To achieve this, they need to be engaged in appropriate exercise activities to keep them fit. Ensure your dog gets enough time to exercise every day. Engage the larger breeds with more strenuous physical activities and less strenuous activities to the smaller breeds. Let them relax their muscles and burn some energy. This will make them fit and healthy.
However, do not strain them beyond their abilities and only exercise them for about 30 to 120 minutes in a day, just to release some of those extra doses of energy and to keep them fit and healthy at the same time.