How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need in a Day

How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need in a Day

Author WDF Staff


One of the most important things future dog owners need to look at is the energy level of their future dog. Proper nutrition, vet visits, and training are necessary, but if you don’t provide your dog with enough daily exercise, they will become a nightmare to deal with. It is no wonder many dog owners ask themselves, “How much exercise does my dog need in a day?” The correct answer will depend on several things;

Exercise based on age

As you can imagine, senior dogs need a lot less exercise than puppies or adults. All dog owners need to adapt the amount of activity their dog receives based on their age. For example, puppies are energetic but in a different way than adult dogs. Puppies get short bursts of energy several times a day. You can notice them because your dog might get the “zoomies.” If you have a puppy, it is better to have a moderate amount of exercise several times a day. Try going for several walks and at least two playtimes in a day.

dog playing with a stick

Exercise based on breed

There are more than 400 different internationally recognized dog breeds, and they come in all shapes, sizes, and energy levels. Some breeds are simply more energetic than others. Bulldogs or Mastiffs are naturally lazy, so they will be perfectly happy with just a couple of walks a day. However, breeds like German Shorthaired Pointers or Border Collies will need a lot more than that. These dogs are some of the most active dog breeds in the world, so simple walks will not suffice. You should pick up additional activities like hiking or jogging with your dog.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Picking a dog with a different energy level than you is a recipe for disaster. If you lead an active life, pick an active breed. If you prefer a quiet, peaceful life at home, choose a low-energy dog breed.

Exercise based on health

Dog owners need to adapt the amount of exercise their dogs get based on their dog’s health. Dogs with cardiac or respiratory issues simply cannot be too active. If you have a dog with health issues, you should take it a bit slower with them. The best thing you can do is talk to your vet about the amount of exercise that is safe for your dog. Your vet knows the details regarding your dog’s health issues, so they will know how to recommend an exercise plan exactly for your dog.

dog agility

How to exercise your dog?

Many new dog owners don’t know where to start with exercising their dogs. It can seem confusing, especially if your neighborhood doesn’t have dog parks, tracks or you’re not close to any hiking trails. However, there are many productive ways to exercise and train your dog in and around your home. Here are some of our favorite ways to do it;

Indoor dog exercise

  • Hide and Seek - Hide and seek can be a fun game you can play with your dog at home. It will provide your dog with healthy physical and mental activity.
  • Chase - This is probably the easiest way to exercise your dog at home. Simply get your dog in a good mood, and start chasing them or get them to chase you.
  • Tug-O-War - Some dogs love playing Tug-O-War. You can get durable dog toys or use an old kitchen rag or towel.
  • Agility - According to AKC, you can make an agility course at home using household items like brooms, buckets, books, or any other obstacle your dog can get around.
  • Treadmill - If you have an insanely active dog at home, you might want to consider getting a dog treadmill. It is a great way to provide your dog with some exercise, and it will not break your budget.
  • Stairs - Going up and down the stairs is a great way to exercise your adult dog. This exercise is excellent for building muscle, and it’s great cardio. However, this is not an exercise puppies should do.

dog group training

Outdoor exercises

  • Fetch - Even if you don’t have a retrieving dog, you can teach your dog to play fetch. This is a fairly easy game all dogs can enjoy, and it is a great way to provide some much-needed exercise.
  • Hiking - If you love the outdoors and you are close to a hiking trail, it is an exercise your dog will enjoy. There are a few things to look out for in the woods, but you can be sure most dogs will absolutely love it.
  • Swimming - If you live close to the ocean or a lake, swimming might be the ideal exercise for your dog. You can even get a dog life jacket to help your dog stay afloat.
  • Cycling - Many dog owners prefer cycling over running. Plus, it is slightly easier. You can quickly get your dog used to running alongside your bike.
  • Obedience - Obedience is a dog sport you can start training your dog yourself. It is a great way to provide mental and physical exercise, and obedient dogs are usually a lot happier than those that haven’t been trained.
  • Dog sports - If you have dog sports organizations in your city or neighborhood, think about joining. It is an excellent way to get your dog active and provide them healthy activities. You can choose things like agility, bikejoring, skijoring, flyball, rally, or sledding.

In conclusion

The exact amount of exercise your dog needs depends on the dog’s age, breed, and health. If you have an active breed, you need to provide them with at least 1.5 hours of daily exercise. Low-energy breeds will be more than happy with 2 walks and playtime in the middle of the day. Make sure you talk to the breeder and your vet and ask them for advice because they will know your dog’s individual needs. Plus, exercising your dog will do wonders for your health.

World Dog Finder team

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