Friday, January 6, 2017

How Much Exercise Does My Dog Really Need?

It’s no secret that in addition to the dog food your pet eats, exercise is one of the most important factors in your dog’s health. What many people underestimate is how much of an impact exercise has on a dog’s behavior as well. If a dog isn’t getting enough exercise on a consistent basis, the odds of it having behavioral problems are quite high. Common examples of these types of problems are excessive barking, tearing up furniture or not listening.

The Right Amount of Exercise for Your Specific Dog

Although the problems we covered above can create a significant headache for dog owners, the good news is exercise can solve them. The rule of thumb for dogs is to get thirty to sixty minutes of exercise a day. However, the big caveat to that rule is exactly how much exercise a dog needs depends on its breed and age. Health factors can also impact the optimal amount of daily exercise for a pooch.

With an active breed in the hunting, working, or herding groups, shoot for at least half an hour of challenging aerobic exercise a day and one to two hours of regular activity. While smaller breeds and older dogs don’t require that same level of intensity, getting out of the house to exercise is still very important. Just remember that dog and human steps are not created equal. One block for us may be several blocks for a small breed. Puppies and very small sized dogs should not be forced to run at the pace of an adult human as this is too much of a strain for them. Also be sure that you always use caution when the weather gets very hot and cold. It’s also great to provide your dog with variety by rotating the spots where you take it to exercise.

By making it a priority to help your dog get the type of exercise it needs (which can include walking, running, dog parks, fetch or just playing), you’ll be able to curb obesity and help prevent many of the health problems it can cause, including heart disease and diabetes.

An Important Note About Breeds and Rescues

If you’re thinking about adopting a dog, it’s worth looking into the types of exercise that are best for the different breeds you’re considering. This will help ensure you choose a dog that’s a perfect fit for your lifestyle. The table in this article has the specific energy levels for over a dozen different breeds.

Based on that information and other factors, you may decide there’s a specific breed you want to bring home. There are many breed specific rescues, which means you can get the exact dog you want by adopting instead of buying it. You can find different breed specific rescues in Texas by checking out or simply searching Google.

It’s also worth mentioning that regardless of whether a dog comes from a breed specific rescue or other organization, not all rescues have had a traumatic experience. Some were owner surrenders as pups or even still in their mom's belly, which means the person who brings them home will be the biggest influence on their behavior and training.

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