Exercise is super important for all dogs - whether they are puppies or seniors, tiny or massive. Even dogs who are homebodies need it. Exercise helps alleviate boredom and promotes a healthy lifestyle. But sometimes it’s tough to figure out just how much exercise your dog needs. So how much exercise should my dog get?
Daily Exercise Needs
In general, dogs need between 30 minutes and two hours of exercise a day depending on their age, breed and health. Age is one of the biggest factors affecting how much exercise a dog needs. Here is a breakdown of exercise requirements for puppies versus adults.
Puppies are full of energy, so you’d think they would need more exercise than at any other stage of life. But that’s actually not the case because they tire out quite quickly. Puppies are always growing need lots of sleep, so short but regular exercise is great for them. A good rule of thumb is five minutes of exercise per month of age up to twice a day, until fully grown. So a three month old can handle around 15 minutes of exercise twice a day, while a four month old can go up to 20 minutes, etc.
Adult dogs typically require more exercise than puppies. But several factors - such as age, weight, health and breed - play into your dog’s specific needs. In fact, your dog’s breed is a great guide for how much exercise to give them.
For instance, the sporting and herding breeds need more rigorous exercise, typically 60-90 minutes per day. Rigorous exercise can be running, hiking, fetch, and playing with other dogs. In general, dog breeds that need more exercise include, but are not limited to, retrievers, shepherds, scent hounds and terriers.
On the other hand, some dog breeds have lower energy and thus only need around 30-60 minutes of exercise a day. These types of dogs include Brachycephalic (flat-faced or short-nosed) breeds like Bulldogs and Pugs, toy breeds like Chihuahuas and Yorkies, and giant breeds like Great Danes and Newfoundlands.
Every dog is different
All of these are good guidelines for how much exercise and activity your dog needs. But it’s important to keep in mind that every dog is different and you may need to adjust accordingly.