How Much Exercise Do Puppies Need?
Puppies need exercise, but you have to make sure you don’t exceed the puppy exercise limits. Puppies can play and walk, and these are great ways of exercising and socializing. The puppy exercise amount depends on the age, the breed and the energy level of the dog.
Puppy Exercise Limits
- Unlike adult dogs, puppies get tired after a few minutes of exercise, as they don’t have endurance.
- Puppy exercise amount differs from one breed to another, according to the energy level of the dog.
- You will know when your puppy is tired, as he will not show any more interest in playing or exercising.
- Don’t push these limits; in time, your puppy will develop endurance and will be able to exercise for longer.
How to Exercise a Puppy
Walks are the most recommended type of exercise for puppies. Start with short walks and slowly increase their duration and intensity. You can also play a few games with your puppy or give him toys.
Use exercise jumping to promote your dog’s development and coordination. The jumps should be no higher than the dog’s wrist at first, or his elbow in more advanced stages.
The puppy’s response to exercise is to increase muscle mass. Puppies may develop their muscles in the first few weeks after starting the exercise program. However, the tendons and ligaments of a puppy cannot develop so fast, and injuries may occur. To avoid these, don’t increase the intensity or duration of the workout too fast. Make progressive changes and make sure the puppy doesn’t get too tired.
The skeleton of the puppy is fully developed when the growth plates close. This should occur at the age of 6 months, but it depends on the breed (in the Great Dane it occurs after the age of 12 months).
Avoid any endurance training, if the skeleton of the dog is not fully developed. Otherwise your dog may get injured or have a deformed skeleton.
Puppy Exercise Schedule
The puppy exercise schedule should be approved by a vet and you should exercise with your dog at the same hours every day, to establish a habit.
Depending on the energy level of your puppy, you may take him out for walks even twice per day. The exercise time can be as little as 5 minutes, but again, a higher energy level dog will need more. Add 5 extra minutes for every month of age until the dog reaches maturity (6 to 12 months).
Make sure that your dog doesn’t exercise in extreme heat or cold. A puppy regulates his body temperature much slower than adults, and he can easily get heat strokes or colds.
Make sure your puppy is vaccinated before you take him out for walks, to prevent infections and diseases. Remember that your puppy must be in full health to be able to exercise.