How much exercise does your dog really need?

As responsible dog owners, it is essential to ensure that our furry companions are leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle. One crucial aspect of their well-being is exercise. But how much exercise do dogs really need?

Understanding your dog’s exercise needs

When it comes to determining the appropriate amount of exercise for your dog, several factors come into play, including:

  1. Age: The exercise needs of dogs vary with age. Puppies have boundless energy and require plenty of playtime to help them develop physically and mentally. However, it is important to strike a balance to avoid overexertion, as their growing bodies are still delicate. Adult dogs generally require more exercise, while senior dogs may require less but still benefit from regular gentle activity.
  2. Breed: Different dog breeds have varying exercise requirements. High-energy breeds such as Border Collies and Dalmatians need more exercise to keep them mentally stimulated and prevent behaviour problems. On the other hand, smaller or brachycephalic breeds like Bulldogs and Pugs may have limitations due to their physical characteristics. It is crucial to understand your specific breed’s needs and adapt exercise routines accordingly.
  3. Other Factors: Apart from age and breed, other factors such as health, weight, and temperament also influence your dog’s exercise needs. Dogs with certain health conditions or overweight dogs may require modified exercise routines to prevent strain on their joints. Additionally, a dog’s temperament, such as being more active or laid-back, should also be considered when determining their exercise requirements.

What are the signs that your dog may not be getting enough exercise?

  • They are restless or destructive indoors
  • They have excessive barking or whining
  • They are gaining weight
  • They seem lethargic or uninterested in playing

If you’re concerned that your dog isn’t getting enough exercise, the vets at Cameron Veterinary Services can help. They can create a personalised exercise plan that’s right for your dog’s age, breed and temperament.

Incorporating exercise into your dog’s daily routine

Here are a few tips for making sure your dog gets the exercise they need:

  • Daily Walks: Regular walks are the foundation of a dog’s exercise routine. Aim for at least 30 minutes to an hour of walking per day, depending on your dog’s age and breed. This not only provides physical exercise but also mental stimulation as they explore their surroundings.
  • Interactive Play: Engaging your dog in interactive play sessions can be a great way to burn off excess energy. Games like fetch, tug-of-war, and hide-and-seek provide both physical exercise and mental stimulation. Experiment with different toys and activities to find what your dog enjoys the most.
  • Dog sports and activities: For high-energy breeds, participating in dog sports such as agility work or obedience training can be an excellent outlet for their energy. These activities provide both physical exercise and mental challenges for more energetic dogs.
  • Mental Stimulation: Incorporating mental stimulation into your dog’s routine is equally important. Puzzle toys, treat-dispensing toys, and obedience training exercises keep their minds active and prevent boredom.

By providing your dog with the right amount of exercise, you can help them stay happy, healthy, and well-behaved.

  • Start slow: Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your dog’s exercise to prevent injuries.
  • Know your dog’s limits: Pay attention to signs of fatigue or overheating and provide plenty of water breaks during outdoor activities.
  • Stay consistent: Aim for daily exercise sessions to maintain your dog’s physical and mental well-being.
  • Make it fun: Incorporate games and rewards into your dog’s exercise routine to keep them engaged and motivated.

Understanding your dog’s exercise needs is crucial for their overall health and well-being. If you need more information or personalised advice about the right amount of exercise for your dog, our vets can help.

To make an appointment at our Gawler East vet clinic, call us on 08 8318 1801, or book online.

You can also find a range of dog toys, leads, collars and harnesses to make exercising your dog even easier at our brand-new online pet supplies store. And as an opening special, you can enjoy 10% off your purchase.