If you “Google” how much exercise a dog needs, you’ll probably find that the average dog (if there is such a thing) requires between 30-60 minutes per day. However, a dog’s exercise needs are based on multiple factors, including breed, age, size and overall health. Here are some factors and tips to consider as you determine what’s the best level for your dog.
Tracking via an app
If you really want to track your dogs’ exercise to make sure they are getting what they need, there are products available, like Whistle, that calculate your dog’s requirements and then track whether your dog is getting enough activity. Whistle, like a human FitBit or other wearable, categorizes movement between resting, playing, going for a walk, or other activity. At the end of the day, you can check the app to see how and what your dog is doing.
Your dog’s breed plays a part in how much activity they need. Hunting and working breeds like Vizlas, shepherds, collies, retrievers, and herding dogs are bred to be active, so these breeds will need the most exercise. They really need vigorous outside exercise on a daily basis.
The brachycephalic or ‘short-nosed’ dogs like bulldogs and pugs are on the opposite end of the exercise spectrum. These dogs generally need less exercise than other breeds. For some of these dogs, exercise needs to be controlled due to their breathing limitations, but a walk around the block will usually do the trick.
What happens if you don’t exercise your dog?
A dog that doesn’t get his proper dose of activity is going to be bored. And boredom is one of the leading causes of destruction in a home. If your dog is mentally and physically tired, this is much less likely to happen. Go for a nice long walk or jog together and then play some mental stimulation games at home. Lack of activity can also lead to dogs being overweight, and just like with people, that comes with plenty of heart risks – another reason to make sure you dog is getting adequate exercise.
How can you work in exercise for your dog?
‘Exercise’ doesn’t just mean ‘walks’. Mix up your routine and find new ways of achieving your dog’s activity requirements. You can explore new routes and trails together, try a dog sport like scent work or agility activities, let your dog do some swimming in the pool or lake, teach your dog to use the iFetch automatic ball launchers or iDig digging toys, or meet up with some other canine companions for a doggy play date.
Just like humans can engage in a variety of activities that add up to step count or overall exercise for the day, the same applies to dogs. Any activity your dog does counts as exercise – from the “zoomies” around the room to a game of tug-of-war with their favorite plush. With the weather getting cooler, it’s not always possible to spend time taking your pup on long walks outside. That’s why we came up with the iFetch automatic ball throwers, the Frenzy brain game, and the iDig digging toys. There are so many things your dog can do inside to get the exercise they need. Just be mindful of making these activities (and others) available. You’ll both be happy and ready for a good night’s sleep at the end of the day.