Wondering how much exercise your puppy needs? Here’s what you should know to keep your puppy healthy!
Whether you’re a new puppy parent or have taken care of dogs all your life, it is easy to understand how important exercise is to our furry little friends. However, for puppies, much like humans, there isn’t a universal exercise plan that will work for all of them.
Benefits from Exercising for Your Puppy
Have you heard the saying “A tired dog is a happy dog”? Here are some of the many benefits that your puppy will experience from regular exercise.
It Keeps Your Puppy Healthy
Like us, our puppies need to exercise to stay in their best shape. Exercise can improve the physical health of puppies in a variety of ways. Exercise helps puppies to strengthen their muscles and bones and can help them to stay lean and fit.
Exercise also helps to improve the cardiovascular system and can reduce the risk of developing certain diseases. Exercise can also help puppies to maintain their energy levels and increase their overall happiness.
Keeps Your Puppy Happy
Regular exercise will keep your puppy happy. Without exercise, your pup will become bored and is likely to start engaging in behaviors that you may not want, such as chewing on electronic cords and furniture. Not only is this costly, but it can be dangerous for your dog.
There also may be other negative behaviors that a puppy will pick up, such as barking inappropriately, digging, and anxiousness. Lack of proper exercise can even stir aggression in some dogs.
Exercising will also help you start creating a stronger bond with your puppy, helping them build up their trust in you. They will also feel that they are the center of your world, boosting their emotional well-being.
You will also start to see your dog’s confidence rise as you take them across different surroundings among different animals, including humans. Socialization will come naturally to a dog that is regularly exercising outside.
How Much Exercise Does My Puppy Need?
There are a couple of things to consider when exercising a puppy. You have to consider their stamina and what activity is best for them.
Since puppies are still growing, their stamina will be significantly less than that of an adult dog. Puppies have plenty of energy but usually in short bursts of activity. When first starting your puppy’s exercise regimen, it will be best to start with short 5-15 minute increments at least twice daily.
Slowly building up to longer intervals of playtime and training will help keep their joints and bones healthy, so start with short walks before taking them out for a long or challenging walk.
How to Build an Exercise Routine for your Puppy
When you start building an exercise routine for your puppy, it is important to keep both the dog’s mind and body engaged and busy during your exercise activities. Switch things up to keep them happy and engaged with what you are doing together. Whether it’s a hike on the trails or a fun run at the beach, make sure not to press your puppy or yourself too hard.
Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind when building that first exercise routine for your puppy:
1. Start off slow and ease into it. Allow the puppy to build stamina and get used to the routine before you increase the intensity or length of the exercise.
2. Mix it up. Variety is the spice of life, and this holds true for your pup’s exercise routine. Mix up the type of exercises you do each day. Try taking your pup for a walk one day and then playing fetch the next. This will keep your pup from getting bored and help them stay engaged.
3. Make it fun for your fur baby! Exercise should be an exciting and fun time for your pup, so make sure you incorporate lots of playtime into your routine.
4. Consistency. As with any workout routine, consistency is key. Stick to a schedule and commit yourself and your pup to follow it.
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Things to Look Out For
Here are a few things to keep an eye out for as you start being more active with your puppy:
Dehydration in dogs due to exercise can be a serious problem. Dogs can quickly dehydrate during strenuous exercise, especially in hot weather. Signs of dehydration in dogs include lethargy, weakness, excessive panting, dry gums, and sunken eyes.
If your dog shows any of these signs, it is important to take them to the vet immediately. To prevent dehydration, it is important to ensure that your dog has plenty of water available before, during, and after exercise. If you are exercising in hot weather, it is also important to take regular breaks to allow your dog to cool off and rehydrate.
Paw Pad Burns
One of the things that dog owners, especially those who own puppies, should watch for is the temperature of the terrain they and their puppies will be walking or playing on. We tend to forget how hot the ground can be since we are insulated with shoes however dogs can easily burn the pads of their paws.
This can be a serious injury for puppies, and great care should be taken to make sure the ground you will be traversing isn’t too hot. If the days are warmer, you may want to schedule your exercise time in the morning or at night, when it is the coolest.
The best way to avoid paw burn is to take your pup to an OpenPark where pets can play safely in any weather.
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Exercising with your puppy is a great way to bond and make them happy. Make sure that you start slow, in 5-15 minutes increments twice a day until they build their stamina, and then you can increase the length and intensity of the exercise.
Ensure you reward them with a protein-packed treat and plenty of water afterward.