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Barks & Mewsings

The Trupanion blog

How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need Every Day

By: Kelli Rascoe

Black and white dog witting with a basketball on the court

It’s a great time to get out and get moving with your furry friends. In fact, daily physical activity is mentally, physically, and emotionally beneficial for your dog. While you might be ready to hit the trail and run that 5K, is your pet ready and up for the challenge? We sat down with Trupanion pet program team to find out how much exercise does a dog need every day and ways to incorporate physical activity into your day.

How much exercise does your dog need daily?

Whether you have a new puppy or a multi-dog household, exercise is a wonderful way to add enrichment to your pet’s life. Naturally, all dogs should live an active lifestyle.

While you want your best friend to be in top physical health, is there an average number of minutes per day you need to achieve ultimate wellness for your furry friend? Marmol weighs in on the popular pet topic:

“This is not something that can be calculated on a broad spectrum. It’s important that all dogs get up and moving every day to stay happy and healthy, but it needs to be gauged on a pup by pup basis. Every individual has different needs. For instance, my two are both pit bull/pit bull mixes. They both start off high energy and can run nonstop, but Bailey tires out much quicker than Gary and we have to call it a day before we overexert her.”

White and brown spotted dog sitting at the playground

Try out different forms of exercise and see what works for your furry friend

Every dog is different and you may need to personalize their fitness program based on their needs.

For example, a 6 month old puppy may need a different exercise plan than an adult dog with medical conditions. Consider trying out different activities to see what your best friend likes and you can modify if needed.

Factors to consider when exercising your dog

Whether you have a Wire-haired Dachshund or an English bulldog, your dog's breed is just one of the factors to think about when you prep your pet for exercise. Consider the following list from Marmol:

  • Age
  • Energy Level
  • Breed

In addition, consider if your dog has any medical conditions and plan accordingly. Although your pet may not be able to do all forms of exercise, it may help you pick which options work best for your furry friend. Further, a leisurely dog walk is a great option for all pups. For more on collars and leashes, check out this article.

Do certain breeds need more exercise than others?

All dog breeds benefit from daily exercise, but one breed stands out. Marmol points out a dog breed that is typically always ready to play and interact –

“Working breeds! They need jobs and it’s built into every inch of their being. They may need to work their brains and their bodies and they will need a lot of it. Cattle dogs, Border Collies, Shepherds, etc. When choosing one of these breeds you need to make sure that your lifestyle is able to fit in the amount of exercise that they need.”

A dog wearing a little sweater goes for a walk at the park

Tips to incorporate exercise into your dog’s daily routine:

Ready to start a new routine with your best friend? Fortunately, Marmol dishes on some essential tips for incorporating exercise into your day.

Daily walks

Perfect time to get their legs going, their heart rates up, and a great time to incorporate some training.

Figure out what your pups like

Do they prefer long urban hikes in your neighborhood? Chasing balls in the backyard? Playdates with their siblings or neighbors? Going to the dog park? Try different things out, never be afraid to switch things up.

Variety keeps them interested and engaged

Just like you, your furry family members like to try new and fun things. Consider introducing new activities to keep them learning.

Start slow

It may take time for your pet to become accustomed to the new activity or schedule change, give them time to adapt.

Have fun

Whether you’re hiking with your dog or playing a game of fetch, remember to have fun. Naturally, exercise and interacting with your furry family member is a wonderful time to solidify the human-pet bond.

Black and white dog relaxing at the park next to his toy ball

How much exercise does a dog need every day: Depends on your furry family member

Exercise is a fun way for your dog to learn new skills, exert energy, and bond with you. Further, by taking your time introducing your puppy to exercise and checking in with your veterinarian, your furry family member will look forward to spending time with you every day.

To learn more about pet activities, read Five Indoor Dog Activities to Consider with Your Best Friend.

A dog and cat snuggle

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Welcome to the Trupanion blog. A place to celebrate pets, pet health and medical insurance for cats and dogs.

This blog is designed to be a community where pet owners can learn and share. The views expressed in each post are the opinion of the author and not necessarily endorsed by Trupanion. Always consult your veterinarian for professional advice.

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