How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need?

Updated: June 27, 2024

It goes beyond more than diet and updated checkups to help keep your furbabies healthy. One thing you also need to consider for your dog is exercise.

Just like how we need exercise to keep us physically fit and healthy, the same goes for dogs. Exercising for them helps tone their muscles, strengthens their body metabolism, stimulates them physically & mentally, encourages desirable behavior, and enhances their socialization skills.

All dogs need exercise – but since all dogs are different, they will differ in types and amount of exercise. In this article, we’ll talk about how much exercise is needed for your dog, some universal guidelines on getting your dog enough exercise, and the downsides if ever your furbaby is not able to get enough of or gets too much of it.

How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need?

The General Rule of Thumb

There is no singular answer to how much exercise is needed for every pet parent’s dog as the amount of exercise greatly depends on a lot of factors including breed, size, age, drive, physical condition, and overall health. According to 1800 PetMeds, there is a general rule of thumb that says dogs should exercise at around 30 minutes to 2 hours every day.

Large-sized dog breeds like German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and Retrievers need more exercise. Small-sized dog breeds like Malteses, Chihuahuas and short-nosed dog breeds like Pugs and Bulldogs don’t really demand too much exercise.

Exercise for Puppies

We can all attest that puppies are so full of energy! This is the reason why they need plenty of exercises. Remember that your pup is still growing and their bones have not yet fully developed yet, so brief walks to the park and playtime at home are considered to be more harmless options rather than taking long, exhausting walks and letting them do straining exercises.

It is always best to be safe because every puppy is different. Talk to your veterinarian about the best exercises suitable for your furbaby.

Exercise for Adult Dogs

Exercises for your adult dog vary are profoundly impacted by many factors like breed, size, age, drive, physical condition, and overall health (as mentioned above). High-energy dogs like American Pitbull Terriers, Beagles, and Border Collies require more exercise and physical activities than low-energy breeds like Basset Hounds, Chow Chows, and Bernese Mountain Dogs.

"All dogs need exercise – but since all dogs are different, they will differ in types and amount of exercise."

Also, acknowledge your furbaby’s age and health condition. If you have a dog with a medical condition like hip dysplasia or arthritis or if you have a senior dog, exercises are still a must but in moderation and with careful precautions. Exercises are meant to keep your furbaby stay fit and healthy, not cause them stress, pain, and discomfort instead.

Note: When choosing the dog breed for you, it is best to know more about the different exercise requirements of every breed you’re interested in. Your lifestyle must be able to match your furbaby’s energy and drive. You can’t be a couch potato and decide to get a Labrador Retriever. You also can’t be a fit-fanatic and expect your Shih Tzu to join you on your exercise programs and marathons.

How Should You Exercise Your Dog?

Large-sized breeds and obese dogs are predisposed to joint problems. This is why regular exercises are very essential for them - to keep their joints & muscles on top health and keep a healthy weight. Smaller-sized dogs, on the other hand, also need exercise a few minutes a day.

To exercise your dog, you can:

  • take your dog for a walk or a hike
  • go for a run
  • play fetch
  • visit the beach
  • go swimming
  • try an agility course
  • go trekking
  • play tug-of-war
  • exercise together!

Do not over-exercise your pup. Over-exercising can do more harm than good. According to PetMD, over-exercising can cause heatstroke, wear-and-tear on paw pads, sore muscles, heat sickness, joint injuries, and behavioral changes.

General Guidelines for Getting Your Dog Enough Exercise

According to Dog Time, here are some comprehensive guidelines in getting your dog enough exercise:

  • Active and high-energy dog breeds require at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise regularly.
  • Not all small-sized dog breeds get adequate exercise inside the house, opposite to traditional thinking. Pugs, for example, are predisposed to obesity and need more exercise and movements than they ordinarily get.
  • Good exercise uses both mental and physical muscles. Searching a different hiking trail, for example, stimulates your dog’s mental abilities as well as their physical ones.
  • It’s not okay to go out in notably warm or chilly weather. During those times, remain inside your house and instead teach tricks or play brain games to occupy and stimulate your furbaby’s mind.
  • Always keep in mind: A tired dog is a happy dog.

The Downsides of Not Getting Enough Exercise

If your furbaby does not get enough exercise, they may:

  • become overweight and obese
  • develop respiratory diseases
  • amplify their undesirable and destructive behaviors
  • develop orthopedic issues
  • become predisposed to joint stress
  • develop emotional distress

How Can Pet Parents® Help?

Always on the lookout for your furbaby’s well-being, Pet Parents® can help you even when you are exercising your dog, making you even more certain that your furbaby is safe, healthy, and fit.

You can provide Pet Parents® Hip and Joint SoftSupps® for your dog. This helps strengthen your furbaby’s hips and prevents the wear-and-tear of their joints. It contains Glucosamine for Dogs with PurforMSM® & Balanced Kollagen® that targets problems and issues in your dog like mobility, overall joint health, and joint health recovery. PurforMSM®, considered to be one of the purest forms of MSM in the world, may help sustain the cushion between joints to help support overall mobility & joint stress recovery.

Pet Parents® Hip and Joint SoftSupps® is also best paired with Pet Parents® Turmeric and Curcumin SoftSupps®. Pet Parents® Turmeric and Curcumin SoftSupps® helps promote not only healthy digestion but also contributes powerful joint & immune support and may help better your furbaby’s cognitive functions.

Exercising your dog is essential to help keep them stay fit, healthy, and do better in life. But all dogs are different and just like everything else, it is best to do everything in moderation. Always make sure you consult professionals first before coming up with exercise programs for your furbaby, to avoid doing more harm than good.

"Pet Parents® Turmeric and Curcumin SoftSupps® helps promote not only healthy digestion but also contributes powerful joint & immune support and may help better your furbaby’s cognitive functions."