How Much Exercise Do Dogs Need?
The appropriate amount of exercise varies
significantly based on breed, size, age, health, physiological status (pregnant female dog) and energy levels. Tailoring exercise routines to match your dog's needs is essential to ensure their well-being. However, before starting any exercise regime it's important to consult with your veterinarian for the overall health and well being of your dog to determine their fitness for different types of activities and to safely carry them out.
A Dog’s Exercise Requirements Based on Breed/Size
Generally recommendations have suggested that smaller breeds require less intense and shorter (up to 30 mins) exercises compared to medium and larger breeds (1 to 2 hours)
many of which are known to have higher activity levels making them ideal for use as working or sporting dogs. It is important to fit pick a breed that matches your activity levels to get the most of of each other
- Small Breeds (e.g., Chihuahua, Pomeranian)
Small breeds typically have higher energy levels and can benefit from short bursts of activity throughout the day.
- Medium Breeds (e.g., Beagle, Bulldog)
Medium-sized dogs require moderate exercise to prevent weight gain and maintain muscle tone. Implementing walks, playtime, and mentally stimulating activities in your dog’s daily routine is ideal for their overall health and wellbeing.
- Large Breeds (e.g., Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever)
Large breeds have varying energy levels. To help expel some of their excess energy activities like running, hiking, and interactive play can really help with this. However, be cautious with high-impact exercise to protect their joints, especially during growth phases.
- Giant Breeds (e.g., Great Dane, Saint Bernard)
Giant breeds have slower growth rates compared to smaller breeds during transition from puppy to adult stages and tend to be less active. It’s best to focus on low-impact exercises daily, such as controlled walks and gentle play.
A Dog’s Exercise Requirements Based on Life Stage
Regardless of size, puppies have higher energy levels and need frequent play, socialisation and short walks. However, they should only engage in intense exercise once their growth plates close to prevent joint issues.
- Adult dogs
The level of physical activity for an adult dog is greatly impacted by the breed. Breeds with high energy levels, like border collies, demand considerably more exercise than breeds with lower energy levels, like bulldogs.
Considering your dog's health is equally crucial. If your adult dog is dealing with a medical condition like a heart problem, you'll need to establish a suitable exercise regimen with your veterinarian.
- Senior Dogs
Senior dogs have lower energy levels and may have mobility issues. Aim for gentle, low-impact exercise to keep them active without causing strain.
: Always consider your dog's health – if they have any medical conditions or are recovering from an injury, consult your veterinarian for appropriate exercise recommendations.
How To Exercise Your Dog?
There are plenty of ways to exercise with your dog, from walking, running, hiking and sledding to learning new commands and tricks like retrieving, disc sports and swimming. Just remember that if your dog has been inactive for an extended period or is dealing with physical issues, a sudden increase in activity could lead to discomfort or pain, so match the activity to your dog's health.
The Importance of Nutrition for Regular Exercise
Nutrition isn't just a matter of sustenance; it's the cornerstone of your dog's overall health and vitality. A complete and balanced diet will help to support your dog’s energy levels, and muscle development.
Think of nutrition as the fuel that powers your dog's every move. The proper blend of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates provides the energy needed for their exercise routines. At Eukanuba, we know the unique energy demands of different breeds and activity levels. This is why our formulations are designed to supply your dog with nutrition to help your dog get active and ready for the next adventure.
Exercise Safeguards Your Dog's Physical Health
From maintaining a healthy weight to joint care, exercise is the key to health, mental well being, and connection for our cherished canine friends. Eukanuba is proud to be a supportive player on this journey of vitality and well-being for you and your best friend.
For over 50 years, we’ve used nutritional science to fuel dogs’ athletic abilities, helping to unleash their full potential. Check out our article on prepping your dog for a workout
, and grab that lead today!
Royal Canin SAS, 2020. The Dog Encyclopedia. Royal Canin SAS, Aimargues, France. 884 pages.