Exercising your dog

Time to read: 3 mins

Dogs need different levels of exercise throughout their life. The type and amount of exercise your dog needs will also depend on the size and breed they are. Exercise is important to help keep your dog fit and healthy, but it’s also needed for their mental well-being too. Dogs are naturally sociable creatures and need to be stimulated in many ways.

Puppies need short walks. They have loads of energy to use up and may still be toilet training so regular walks, little and often can help with this.  Lead exercise is safer until you can be confident that your pup will come back when called. You need to build up a bond with your puppy and practice recall before letting them roam off the lead. Bones and joints are still growing and forming so ensure you don’t over exercise during this life stage as this could affect the dog in later life.

Adolescent dogs can be more boisterous and may have even more energy to use up! Some dogs can develop behaviour issues at this age due to new hormones running around their bodies as they hit puberty. Males and females who haven’t been neutered may be more likely to run away during this phase so remember this when out walking.  Joints are still forming, and muscles are growing during this life stage – too much exercise is just as dangerous as not enough and this is particularly true for large breed dogs such as Labradors and German Shepherds.

Adult dogs should be into a nice routine by now. They can go for longer walks and many breeds enjoy the added challenge of hill walking or exercising on the beach. Toy and small breed dogs should still be walked little and often though to protect their joints for later in life.

Senior dogs may start to slow down a bit. A short stroll to do their business a couple of times a day may be all they need. Get to know what is normal for your dog and if you notice them struggling or becoming stiff after rest then speak to your vet for information on how you can help support them through the “golden years”. There are many different enrichment exercises and forms of physiotherapy that can help keep your older dog moving.

If you would like any more information on this or any other pet health related queries, our team of Registered Veterinary Nurses is here to help: https://scratchandpatch.co.uk/features/careline/

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