As a dog owner, you want to make sure that your furry best friend has the healthiest, fullest life possible. Just like with humans, an important component of a healthy lifestyle is regular exercise. The problem is, a dog’s needs are different from a human’s, so how much exercise does a dog need everyday anyway? Can you incorporate dog training exercises into your dog exercise routine?
To help you out, we have answered the question how much exercise do dogs need and have compiled a list of five tips for how to exercise your dog to keep your dog happy and healthy.
How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need Everyday?
How much exercise your dog needs each day depends on the breed, but as a general rule, a healthy dog needs anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours of activity a day. Older or disabled dogs will require shorter periods of activity, but they will still benefit from light exercise. Not only does it help them keep their weight down and their hearts healthy, but it also keeps their energy from getting pent up to the point where they start destroying your furniture.
Basically, exercising is a win-win option, for both you and your pet. If you are in doubt, you can ask your vet how much exercise does a dog need everyday, but your dog will also let you know when it is ready to rest, so pay attention to your dog’s body signals. Below are five exercises—arranged from those that require the least amount of training to the most—that you can do with your dog to keep it active and having fun.
5 Dog Exercises to Do
Fetch is number one on this list because it is a classic. Since it is so much fun for both pet and owner, you might not think of this quintessential game as exercise, but fetch is a quick way to spend your dog’s excess energy. This game is also good for your dog’s brain—chasing after and catching after the ball improves his coordination and helps him get in touch with his natural canine instincts.
The best part of this type of exercise is you get to exercise your dog with minimal effort on your part. So, when it comes to how much exercise does a dog need everyday, the answer can be as many games of fetch as you want. All you have to do is throw the ball! For bigger dogs with a longer stride, you can also use a racquet to get a longer range.
#2. Walking with a Leash
Taking your dog for a walk is another classic human-dog bonding activity. Exercising indoors is rarely enough physical activity for most dog breeds, but taking it outdoors doesn’t have to get any fancier than a light walk around the neighborhood. Smaller and arthritic dogs will enjoy a leisurely stroll, while bigger dogs will most likely prefer a brisk pace.
This also benefits you as you get to spend time exercising outdoors. This light activity will benefit your heart health and waistline just as much as it benefits your dog. You will know it is time to turn around when your dog starts slowing the pace, and with smaller breeds asks you to pick it up!
#3. Running/Biking with a Leash
For young dogs, a leisurely walk won’t be enough. Young dogs have a lot of energy and will need higher energy exercise to meet their activity needs. But don’t worry, running with your dog doesn’t mean running 5 miles straight. Your dog will actually prefer shorter bursts with breaks in between to stop and take in the new sights and smells.
You can train your dog to keep pace with you instead of trying to lunge ahead. If you aren’t a runner, another option is biking. Keep in mind. However, that biking with your dog can be risky if your dog isn’t very well-trained—you don’t want it running in front of you and tripping you up or darting to the side and knocking you off your bike.
As with humans, swimming is an activity that torches calories but is gentle on the joints at the same time. As a result, swimming can be ideal for dogs who suffer from arthritis and can’t run but still need to get in their daily exercise. Many people assume that all dogs are natural swimmers (the term dog paddle comes to mind), but in fact, swimming is an activity that requires lots of training and constant supervision.
Introduce your dog to shallow water at first, and if it seems afraid, don’t push it. Even once it becomes a more confident swimmer, you should always stay on hand. Much like with small children, you never know if they are going to accidentally stumble into a strong current or panic. As long as you follow proper precautions, both you and your dog can have a safe and fun time in the water.
#5. Going to a Dog Park
The great thing about dog parks is your dog has a rare opportunity to run around and play outside without a leash and can meet and interact with new dogs. Potential issues can arise if your dog doesn’t know how to play nicely with other dogs, so make sure that your dog is well socialized before ever braving the dog park.
Summing It Up
We hope you learned something about how much exercise does a dog need everyday and some exercises you can do with your dog. How much exercise does a dog need everyday can really depend on the dog, but any one of these exercises is sure to get him feeling happy and healthy.
If you have any more insight on how much exercise does a dog need everyday or would like to suggest other exercises that you can do with your dog, we would love to hear from you in the comments section below!