What Type of Exercise is Best for My Dog?
The right amount of exercise is important for our families, including our dogs!
Being physically active helps us reduce stress and live long, happy lives. It has the same effects for our pets too! Exercising your pet also reduces destructive behavior like chewing your shoes, or nosing into your trashcan. After all, they get restless just like humans. Committing to an active lifestyle will keep you and your pup feeling healthy and happy.
But what type of exercise is best for your dog? It really depends upon the breed and age of your dog. Breeds like Retrievers thrive in the water and love playing fetch! But not all dogs are made for rigorous physical activity. Some small breeds are better suited to just relax in your lap. And, as we’re sure you know, puppies need much more activity than older dogs.
Here are some suggestions based on the size and breed of your dog. We also recommend regular vet visits to make sure your dog is healthy enough for the exercise plan you’ve established.
What type of exercise is best for my small breed?
Small breeds like Terriers, Poodles, and Beagles are very energetic and need more than a walk around the block. Most active dog breeds need an average of 30-60 minutes of exercise each day to be physically and mentally happy companions. Other breeds like Havaneses, Bulldogs, Basset Hounds, and Shih-tzus will be glad to lay in your lap all day long! Even though these breeds won’t make good running partners, they still need a few short bursts of exercise each day like a quick game of fetch or tug-of-war.
What type of exercise is best for my medium to large breed?
Breeds like Retrievers, Australian Huskies, Collies, Dalmatians, and Weimaraners require lots of exercise. They thrive in an active family who has plenty of time to take them on walks, hikes, or trips to the park. These dogs were developed with a purpose in mind. Whether hunting or herding sheep, they will be most happy when worked hard! The good news is that they will be ready to relax with you at the end of a long day.
Which breeds are not so good at exercise?
Although all dogs need SOME exercise, not all dogs do well when exercised. Dogs with short noses and very short legs just aren’t built for heavy strenuous exercise. Bulldogs, Pekingese, and Pugs are not efficient breathers and can overheat easily when exercising in hot weather. A light stroll might be all that these dogs can handle so don’t push them too far.
What are some exercise ideas for my dog?
There are lots of ways to get your pet moving. The added benefit is that it gets you (and your family) out of the house too! Here are a few of our recommendations:
- Dog parks are always fun for your dog as they offer him a chance to play off leash with other dogs. Many outdoor restaurants are now catering to dog families, with outdoor areas for dogs and owners to mingle.
- If your dog doesn’t play nicely with other dogs, get out into nature and find a new hiking trail or swimming spot.
- Get creative! Set up a little obstacle course in the backyard and change it up every week to challenge your pup’s mind as well as his body.
- Sign up for a fun walk or pet parade in your city. It’s estimated that over 70 million dogs are owned in the U.S. If your town doesn’t have a walk that’s dog friendly, start one! Your fellow dog owners will thank you.
- Teach them new tricks! Joining an agility group in your area will give them lots of exercise while strengthening your bond with them through training.
- Get an iFetch! You’ll love watching your dog fetch to their heart’s content. And best of all, once your dog has mastered the technique, she can play fetch while you’re away (or show off for you while you’re there).
Keep your dog healthy by incorporating the right exercise into your daily routine. Whether it’s a stroll around the block or agility classes, your dog will be happier and live longer!