Dog Exercise: How Much Does He Really Need?
You’re late for an appointment. You’re exhausted after a long day at work. It’s raining, It’s too hot or cold outside or too early in the morning to get up and out of bed. As Buddy or Lucy stands expectantly by the door, you tell yourself that you’ll have more time this weekend for that long walk or the dog park. For now, a quick turn around the block is enough, right?
The answer is no.
Experts in dog behavior agree that too little exercise is causing epidemic levels of canine obesity, lethargy and behavioral problems. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, one in four dogs is now considered obese, and heart disease and diabetes are also on the rise.
Dog Exercise: Know Your Dog
How much exercise your dog needs depends on breed, age and general health. But the consensus among behaviorists and veterinarians is that one hour a day of exercise is required to keep your four-legged friend fit.
Dog Exercise: The Age Factor
Then there is the age factor. “A developing puppy will need more thoughtful exercise that does not tax their rapidly growing bodies,” says Sarah Wilson, celebrity dog trainer and author of nine books including My Smart Puppy. “The safest bets are short, easy walks, swimming and playing on non-slippery surfaces.” She recommends that pups play with pups their own size or with a calmer older dog. “Be similarly protective of your tiny dog,” she advises.
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