Dog Exercise: How Much? How Often?

How Much Exercise Does My Dog Need?

The exercise needs of your dog will vary depending on your dog’s breed and age. On average, dogs need thirty minutes to two hours of activity. For your specific dog, it is important to observe their behavior to identify how much exercise they need in comparison to other dogs.

Signs your dog needs more exercise:

              Due to Too Much Energy

  • Excessive activity (restless and antsy)
  • Destructive behavior
  • Pulling on the leash during walks
  • Barking or whining
  • Overweight or obese
  • Stiffness or a lack of endurance

              Due to a Lack of Movement

  • Overweight or obese
  • Stiffness or a lack of endurance

Signs your dog got too much exercise:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Lagging behind on walks
  • Reluctance to move
  • Sore or sensitive pads
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Extreme fatigueShould I Get a Dog - Puppy

Dog Exercise Needs by Age

Puppies:

Giving puppies the exercise they need each day is essential to their physical development. Exercising your puppy can also help train them to go to the bathroom at a certain time. For every month until your puppy is full grown, you can exercise your dog for an additional five minutes. So a three-month old puppy can be exercised for up to 15 minutes, twice a day.

Adult Dogs:

Adult dogs require between thirty minutes to two hours daily. The amount of exercise that your dog needs will depend on their breed group.

Senior Dogs:

As seniors, your dog may need slower walks that are shorter in length. Although it will depend on your dog’s overall health and their breed. Observe your dog and adjust accordingly.

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Dog Exercise Needs by Size

Small Dogs: Smaller dogs need less exercise because the same amount of work it takes for you to walk a mile will take much more work for smaller dogs.

Large Dogs: Medium to large dogs have more energy needs than small dogs because they were typically bred for herding, hunting, or other work.

Giant Dogs: Dogs like Great Danes and Mastiffs typically have lower energy needs than some medium to large dogs.

Flat-nosed Dogs: Some flat-nosed breeds have respiratory issues that can make excessive exercise difficult. Observe your dog to make sure they stay safe!

Heartworm Preventative Medication - Dog

Dog Exercise Needs by Breed

Toy Dogs (like Bichon Frise, Lhasa Apso, Pugs): Require no more than 40 minutes of exercise each day and preferably no less than 20 minutes of exercise each day.

Hunting and Terrier Dogs (like West Highland Terriers, Basset Hounds, Whippets, Great Dane*): Since hunting and terrier dogs were bred to hunt small rodents, birds, and more they have higher energy needs. These breeds should have between 40 and 80 minutes of exercise daily.

Working Dogs (like Siberian Husky, Border Terriers*, Border Collie, Rottweiler, Weimaraner): Working dogs are also breeds meant to be moving, and out and about throughout the day so they have higher energy needs. This group should have a minimum of 80 minutes to two hours of exercise each day.

It is most important to observe your dog in order to confirm how much exercise they need – don’t overwork your dog.

 brown dog

Dog Exercise Ideas

We recommend splitting up your dog’s exercise throughout the day. It will reduce exhaustion and break up the day!

Indoor Dog Exercise Ideas:

Outdoor Dog Exercise Ideas:

  • Dog walk in the park, beach, or forest
  • A visit to a local dog park
  • Visit a neighbor
  • On-leash skating or bicycling
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Agility Training
  • Visit a nearby dog-friendly café
  • Tracking games

Discover a new dog toy to keep you and your dog fit today!

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