Why your dog needs exercise as much as you do?
Dogs need exercise to stay fit and trim just like humans do. Letting your dog run outside in the backyard might seem like enough, but dogs need varied activities to stay healthy and work out every part of their bodies. Letting your dog run around outside is equivalent to you taking a walk–it’s a great way to get exercise, but it doesn’t improve your strength or work out every muscle. Taking a direct involvement in your dog’s exercise regimen is the only way to improve their health.
Dogs are naturally full of energy. While some dogs might be a little resistant to a new routine, your dog will love spending more time outside and having fun with their owner. Before long, your dog will look forward to their daily exercise. With this guide, you’ll be able to develop a healthy exercise regimen that helps you and your dog get into shape.
In this article we will learn:
Short tips on training equipment for your dog
What are the benefits of walking your dog?
Walking your dog is probably already part of your daily routine. However, walking your dog isn’t just a way to burn off energy–it offers numerous health benefits that keep your dog fit and active. Here’s just a few reasons why you should walk your dog every day:
- Your dog burns off energy, especially if you take them for a walk before bed
- Going for a walk helps your dog relax and de-stress
- You’ll spend quality time with your dog, which is particularly important when they’re young
- Your dog builds muscle and strong bones
- You and your dog can enjoy the fresh air and get out the house for a while
- Your dog enjoys better circulation and a stronger cardiovascular system
- If you’re worried about your dog’s weight, going for a walk helps them slim down
- Seeing new areas improves you and your dog’s mental health
- Going for a walk can improve other health conditions that your dog may suffer from
Experts recommend taking your dog out for a 30-minute walk each day. Longer walks are better but don’t overexert your dog or force them to walk for several hours at a time. Going for a walk should be a positive experience that your dog looks forward to, not a daily chore that they dread.
High-energy dogs might require longer walks than others. Conversely, if you’re just starting out with an older dog, you might want to start with 30-minute walks and gradually increase their length. If you’re not already walking your dog on a daily basis, incorporate it into their routine as soon as possible.
How much exercise does a dog need?
Generally, your dog needs at least 30 minutes of exercise a day (this is the very minimum for all breeds). Ideally, your dog needs one or two hours, but 30 minutes works if you’re pressed for time. However, not all dogs need the same amount of exercise. As a rule of thumb, large and high-energy dogs need more time to play, while small and low-energy dogs don’t need as much exercise. Additionally, old or sick dogs might not be able to tolerate as much exercise as others. Puppies are full of energy, but they are developing and growing, so strenuous exercise is not advised to avoid injuries. Talk to your vet to see how much exercise your breed needs to stay healthy.
In case you want to learn more details about dog walking duration regarding your specific breed or dog type check out the next section right below.
Activity and exercise (general)
Dog breed size can hint about the amount of exercise required. But if you don’t want to make mistakes, visit our complete guide on the subject:
Here is a summary of dog walking duration matters:
The amount of activity required can be divided into three levels:
- Low (30 minutes daily)
- Moderate-intermediate (one hour per day)
- High (more than 2 hours per day, 2+ hours)
Time required per day:
Many small breeds (like toy breeds) need just 30 minutes a day of exercise, but most small breeds are in the intermediate level (1 hour per day).
Many medium-sized breeds require 1 hour of walking per day, but some require 2+ hours
Large breeds, in general, need 2+ hours of exercise per day, but some breeds just need 1 hour.
Overall, most breeds in the dog universe of breeds (to be exact more than half of the about 222 existing breeds) require one hour of exercise per day.
Since these are rules of thumb, you may want to check the requirements of exercise of your specific dog breed by click here <internal link to the alphabetic list of dog breeds>
Does exercising with your dog have benefits for you?
If you have trouble fitting exercise into your routine, exercising with your dog has plenty of benefits for you. You’ll get the chance to stretch your legs, enjoy the fresh air and even get a full workout. Here’s some exercises that you can enjoy with your dog:
- Playing fetch in the park
- Hiking or swimming in the state park
- Running or jogging
- Stretching and doing yoga (yes, there’s yoga for dogs)
- Doing sit-ups, push-ups and other exercises you can train your dog to do
- Boating, kayaking and paddleboarding
- Bicycling while your dog runs next to you
- Playing a dog-friendly sport like soccer or tennis
- Actively engaging your dog with toys
- Running up the stairs
Working out gets your blood pumping, builds strong bones, encourages cardiovascular health, sheds extra weight, relieves stress and gives you the energy that you need to tackle anything. As you build muscle strength, you’ll be able to upgrade your exercise routine and take on more strenuous workouts. Your dog will get healthier at the same time, motivating you to keep going.
Can you track your dog’s exercise?
To monitor your dog’s progress, consider getting a GPS exercise tracking device. A tracking device keeps track of your dog’s mobility, sleep cycle, stress level and other statistics. This device gives you an idea of how much exercise your dog’s getting. You’ll also be able to track certain health conditions and bring this information to your vet.
Some GPS exercise tracking devices with dogs are compatible with human devices like FitBits and Apple Watches. If possible, you could sync up your dog’s tracker with your own device so you can watch your progress at the same time. This motivates you to stay active for both you and your dog.
Are dog walkers good for dogs?
Don’t have time to take your dog out every evening? If you’re busy, hire a dog walker in your area. A dog walker gives your dog the exercise that they need while you take care of other responsibilities. Most dog walkers charge a reasonable fee for their services. Just keep in mind that your dog might not get a lot of personal attention if their walker has to manage several dogs at once. Additionally, a dog walker won’t take your dog hiking or swimming, so it’s important to set aside time for strenuous activities with your dog.
An extra bonus of having your dog exercised by a dog walker is the company of other dog pals. This is a life-enriching opportunity because dogs are able to socialize.
What are exercise pens?
Exercise pens allow your dog to move around and play without getting too far. They’re similar to playpens for toddlers–your dog can have fun without getting free range of the house or yard. Exercise pens are particularly useful if you plan on traveling with your dog. When you can’t let your dog roam around, you can set up the pen so they can stretch their legs.
Exercise pens come in a variety of sizes and materials. Some offer a metal fence, while others are made of fabric, like a tent. Many owners buy exercise pens for puppies so they don’t get into trouble when they’re left alone. If you need time to take care of other responsibilities, you can let your dog play in an exercise pen for a few hours. Just make sure you don’t use an exercise pen as a replacement for real exercise–your dog still needs to get out of the house and run around.
How do you exercise with your dog at home?
If you can’t make it to the dog park, you can exercise at home in a variety of ways. Take your dog out to the backyard to run laps or play a game of fetch. Don’t have a large backyard? Go for a walk around the neighborhood, or play games in a designated indoor space. There’s always a way to exercise with your dog.
Games you can play with your dog
Even if you’ve trained your dog, you could always teach them a new trick. When you make it fun, your dog thinks you’re just playing a game. Training your dog gets you both on your feet and helps you get some exercise. You can train your dog indoors or outdoors, making it a great activity for rainy days.
Other indoor games include hide-and-seek, treasure hunts and tug-of-war. You can also buy your dog puzzle toys that require them to solve the puzzle to get the treat inside. This keeps your dog active and gives them a mental workout. Plus, it gives you a break if you need to take care of other responsibilities.
Training equipment for your dog
Give your dog a variety of toys so they can engage in active play. This includes balls, ropes, frisbees, rubber toys and other toys that keep your dog moving. If your dog doesn’t get a lot of exercise, an active toy helps them get used to moving around and strengthening their muscles. Make sure you pick up toys that encourage you to play with your dog so you don’t get in the habit of throwing them a toy and walking away.
Your dog needs to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day to stay in shape. Getting exercise isn’t just good for your dog–it helps you stay healthy and live an active lifestyle. When you exercise with your dog, you’ll have a workout partner that encourages you to stay fit. As a result, your dog will build muscle strength, shed extra weight and improve circulation, making them happier and healthier after all. Plus, you’ll have a reason to get outside and enjoy the scenery if you spend a lot of time indoors. Use these tips to give your dog an active lifestyle.