How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need?

It’s crucial that dogs get enough exercise. If dogs don’t get the mental and physical stimulation from outdoor walks every day, they are likely to develop negative behavioural tendencies, gain weight and become unhappy. Numerous factors will influence how much exercise your dog will need daily. 

Do Bigger Dogs Need More Exercise Than Smaller Dogs? 

The size of your dog will be a factor when determining how much exercise they need. Larger dogs generally have higher energy levels, but it can depend on the temperament of the dog itself as to whether or not they are more or less active.

Dogs with bigger bodies and longer legs –– like Poodles or Labradors –– will be able to cover longer distances using much less effort than a dog with shorter legs, such as Daschunds or Pugs. Which means bigger dogs can go on longer walks, while smaller dogs may struggle with long distances and may need to be carried if they’re worn out.

Larger dogs are more likely to develop problems with their joints as they carry around more weight with them every day. If they gain extra weight, it can really put a strain on their joints, so make sure they’re getting enough steady exercise and eating the right food to maintain a healthy weight. Food that’s low in fat will help control your dog’s weight, while food that’s rich in Omega-3 fatty acids –– such as Angell Petco’s Superior Adult complete dog food –– will help promote healthy joints and keep your dog active throughout their lives.

Do Older Dogs Need Less Exercise Than Younger Dogs?

Older dogs typically need less exercise than younger dogs. Larger dogs age more quickly than smaller dogs, but typically a canine’s metabolism will slow down from around seven years old. 

Senior dogs tend to become less active as they have less energy. As they age, their joints won’t be as supple as they used to be, so it’s important not to overwork an older dog as it’ll likely cause them discomfort. Using salmon oil is a great way to revitalise your older dog as it has anti-inflammatory properties, helping to keep joints supple while helping to maintain their eyesight and cognitive function in later life.

Along with levels of exercise, they’ll need different nutrition as they enter their later years, so consider switching them to a maintenance diet. Dog food that’s high in protein and low in fat –– like Angell Petco’s Superior Maintenance food –– will help your dog maintain muscle mass while avoiding putting on excess weight.

How Much Exercise Do Young Dogs Need?

Dogs between the ages of 6-24 months often have seemingly boundless energy. They’re still learning, making new friends and experiencing the world for the first time, so it’s fine to let them have a bit more playtime or take them on slightly longer walks.

But, that doesn’t mean your puppy needs hours and hours of exercise. Their bones and joints are still developing, so working them too hard could lead to tissue damage or joint problems in later life. It’s best to avoid excessive or intense exercise until your puppy has fully grown at around 18 months of age. 

If you have a new puppy, make sure they’re getting the proper nutrition to fuel their learning and give them the energy they need to explore. Angell Petco’s Superior Puppy dog food is rich in Omega-3 and high in protein which will give your puppy the best possible start in life.

Do Different Dog Breeds Need Different Levels of Exercise?

Some breeds are inherently more active than others. Border Collies are typically one of the most active breeds, requiring at least two hours of exercise a day. Highly intelligent breeds need lots of mental stimulation, so playing games like fetch can benefit them mentally and physically. 

Other breeds are inherently less active. Bulldogs and Basset Hounds typically require less exercise than other breeds, making them more suited to living in flats or apartments. As they’re less likely to bound around like other dogs, they’re more susceptible to putting on weight. You should be careful with how much you feed them and give them enough exercise so they can stay fit and healthy. 

Conclusion: How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need?

The right level of exercise will keep your dog content. Overworking your dog will lead to sore paws, joint injuries and aching muscles, while a lack of exercise can lead to adverse behavioural changes and weight gain. 

It’s important to get the balance right, so speak to your veterinarian about your dog’s exercise routine. Every dog is different, so getting professional advice is the best way to ensure your dog stays happy and healthy throughout their lives.

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