How Much is Too Much Dog Exercise?

Though exercise needs are based on a dog’s age, breed, size and overall health, your dog should spend between 30 minutes to two hours on an activity every day. Breeds in the hunting, working, or herding groups (e.g., Labrador retrievers, hounds, collies and shepherds) will need the most exercise. If your dog is in one of these groups and is in good health, she should be getting at least 30 minutes of rigorous exercise along with her 1-2 hours of daily activity.

 

Requirements aren’t as easily established for every other dog. Because most dogs are of mixed heritage, their needs will be different depending on the breed they are descended from. If your dog is a short nosed breed, like a Bulldog, for example, he will not need a lot of daily exercise. A casual walk around the neighborhood will be sufficient. Pay attention to your dog’s signals. If he is restless or pacing, he is probably itching to get out for a nice long walk. If, on the other hand, your dog is content to just lie around, there may not be such a great need for exercise. A short walk will be enough to keep everything in order.

 

Dogs that are less active or older may have conditions that are slowing them down. Whether it is because of too much weight, achy joints and muscles, or they just like to mellow out most of the time, they still need some activity to keep the body working as it should.

 

Even dogs that are handicapped, like those that use specially equipped wheelchairs or carts, often enjoy a walk through the neighborhood. Some can even continue to take part in water activities!

 

If you have any concerns about whether your dog can handle a long walk or whether you should implement an exercise plan for her, talk to your veterinarian. You don’t want to pressure your dog into doing things that are too strenuous or you could end up with bigger problems. Start slow if your dog has not been accustomed to being physically active, and observe her response, adding more activities or more mileage as she gets stronger. Your dog should be happily tired, not exhausted, when you are done exercising her for the day.