Exercising your dog is essential to keep them in tip-top condition. The right amount of exercise will keep your dog mentally stimulated and physically in shape, preventing a variety of boredom related behavioural problems, as well as common diseases related to having an overweight dog.
How long should I walk my dog for?
Taking your dog out for a walk should be a daily necessity, come rain or shine your dog will need a walk. No matter what the weather your dog will need exercising and now that there are various coats and boots available for your dog, they will be prepared for any weather.
How long you take them out can vary depending on what breed you have. When researching about what dog breed you want, it is very important to realise how much exercise they really need!
Check out our breed-specific daily walking guidelines below:
- 20 mins – Bichon Frise, Lhasa Apso, Pug, Shih Tzu
- 20 to 40 mins – Yorkshire Terrier, Miniature Dachshund, English Bulldog
- 40 to 60 mins – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Cairn Terrier, Cocker Spaniel, Great Dane, Miniature Schnauzer, Miniature/Toy poodles, Shetland sheepdog.
- 60 to 80 mins – Basset Hound, Douge de Bordeaux, Tibetan Terrier, Wet Highland Terrier, Whippet
- 80 to 100 mins – Golden Retriever, Siberian husky
- 100 to 120 mins – Border Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- 2 hours + – Border Collie, Boxer, Dalmatian, English Springer Spaniel, German Shepherd, Labrador, Rottweiler, Weimaraner.
Exercising puppies is important to make sure they grow up to be fit and healthy, however jogging isn’t good for them as it can damage their joints. Meanwhile overly long walks can lead to early onset arthritis or even skeletal damage, but don’t forget your puppy will still need walking every day. The general rule when walking a puppy is five minutes per month of age, for example if your puppy is four months old, you would take them out for 20 minutes a day.
Some breeds, with shorter snouts, such as boxers, bulldogs and pugs may have difficulty breathing if they work too hard, if this becomes a further problem please come into The Vet for a consultation to discuss your options.
Older dogs that suffer from arthritis will need frequent shorter walks instead of longer. You’ll find that younger dogs can usually go further and faster than older ones, and therefore you will need to be patient with your golden oldie. If your dog seems to be in pain whilst walking or is finding it difficult to manoeuvre, you should talk to your vet regarding medication to help reduce the discomfort.
Are there any other activities that will help my dog stay healthy?
Scent games; you can keep your dog’s mind active and test them by playing scent games. Hide treats around the house, this will keep them distracted whilst you are out or have things to do.
Agility lessons; these classes are full of challenges for you and your dog. Tubes, jumps and seesaws will be available for you to use, this will test your dog’s physical and mental agility, leaving them well and truly exercised!
If you’re ever unsure about your dog’s health and diet or if you need further advice on exercise, please bring your pet into The Vet for a free weight consultation.