Both excess and lack of exercise can cause behavioral or health problems in dogs, so moderation is essential to ensure their full physical and mental well-being.
While there is a strong push for wellbeing and fitness in our modern society, it is not always good to overdo it with physical activity. A speech that affects both people and pets. Few people know how much exercise a dog has to do each day.
The goal should always be to find the right balance between rest and sport, in order to promote proper development and ensure a healthy life for the animal as well.
Precisely for this reason, we have decided to collect in this article all the necessary information and some useful advice to know how much exercise the dog must do every day .
The nature of dogs
Exercising, of course, is good for humans and also good for animals. Thanks to training, in fact, it is possible to strengthen the body, improve the immune system and prevent multiple diseases .
We are not just talking about diseases related to weight or obesity but also, and above all, problems that could affect circulation, heart, hormones and even the mind.
A dog that does little exercise is more prone to get sick , but also to engage in destructive behaviors.
All living beings need to discharge the accumulated energy: if it is not burned through physical activity, the risk is that it triggers situations of stress , anxiety and aggression.
But even an exercise excess must be avoided , as it can facilitate lesions, wounds, bone or muscle pain and so on. Overtraining can result in wrong attitudes, often of a destructive nature.
If a dog’s muscles ache from excessive fatigue, he will try to find relief by biting or chewing on what he finds.
How much exercise should the dog do each day?
Dogs, in general, are quiet living beings. They have a reputation as lazy animals , and not surprisingly: they are always willing to sleep many hours a day. Even in nature they never travel too far to look for food and prefer to be content with what they find nearby.
These are basic concepts that you need to keep in mind when you decide to let your four-legged friend do sports. On top of that, you should always consider the dog’s age, size and other physical characteristics .
Although they have an overactive and sometimes nervous personality, puppies should not be exercised too much . All the energy they possess is in fact spent through play, even in solitude.
Play quietly with your puppy, stimulate him and push him to move, but in moderation. Before his full development (between one and a half to two years) you will not have to take him out for a run or make him do extra exercises .
Only adult dogs (two to five years old) can exercise with you . Keep in mind that, like people, they need a warm-up phase: never start any activities or sports cold.
From the age of seven onwards, bones and joints begin to present problems , so physical activity should be reduced until it is finally necessary to eliminate it.
Furthermore, except in very specific cases indicated by the vet, it is not mandatory to force a dog to run outside or repeatedly chase a ball.
There is no rule as to how much extra activity should be assigned to your four-legged friend. In fact, with just three quality walks a day, you would largely satisfy your dog’s “sporting” needs .
We are talking about an hour and a half of walking a day . Perhaps many will be surprised by this value, but it is enough to make a simple consideration to better understand the subject.
Dogs do not walk in a straight line, so they walk many more meters than you , even more if there is a playmate in the park.
A gradual, natural and constant training is the most beneficial for the health of dogs . The walk has a purpose: it allows you to socialize and move.
Physical activity based on the size of the dog
To what has been said so far, it must be added that you cannot ignore the size and physical characteristics of your dog in relation to the possible physical activities to do together.
Small dogs not only have to put more effort into performing the same exercise as a medium or large dog – they also have a more delicate body. For breeds such as Chihuahua, Maltese, Shih Tzu , Pekingese and others, simple daily walks are more than just a recommended workout.
Their great colleagues must also be protected. Don’t forget that large dogs tend to suffer from joint problems . The Great Dane, the Scottish Greyhound, the Neapolitan Mastiff or the Newfoundland and others are a clear example of this.
Finally, specimens with short legs and long backs (Welsh Corgi Pembroke, Dachshund, Giant Dachshund and more) risk serious physical problems if they are trained with exaggeration.
To know how much exercise your dog needs to do every day, you first need to learn how to observe and get to know your pet .
We are not just talking about size, physical characteristics, age and state of health, but also about his personality and nature.
Don’t forget mental stimulation
When we talk about the health of the organism, we always think first of all about physical exercise. Few people even focus on mental stimulation .
It is useless for a dog to run after a ball for half an hour if he then comes home and doesn’t know what to do . Boredom also leads to destructive behavior and bad habits.
Since, as we have seen, three quality walks a day are sufficient for your pet’s physical health, it is good to devote yourself to understanding how to psychologically stimulate him.
Again, there is no reason to exaggerate. Think that 10 minutes a day are enough to mentally stimulate a dog .
These activities can also be done without having to buy toys. You can have fun making him chase smells, taking him for a walk to a new area to make him smell unusual objects, people and dogs. Or hide bits of food around the house and let him find them.
If you’re short of ideas, interactive toys are an excellent option. Let’s talk about dog puzzles or scented rugs – these are just some of the basic methods of mental stimulation for dogs.
Before deciding how much exercise to exercise your dog each day, there are many important things to consider.
Don’t make the mistake of neglecting mental exercise, as your four-legged friend’s happiness and good behavior also depend on it.