We all know that exercise is an important part of good health. But it’s easy to forget that dogs need their exercise, too. Just like humans have to hit the gym if they’re not getting enough exercise through the course of their days, dogs can need a little extra workout time, too.
And just as exercise supports good physical and mental health in humans, it can promote positive mental health and good behavior in pets. But how much exercise is the right amount for your canine friend? In this post from Normandale Veterinary Hospital in Edina, Minnesota, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about exercise and your dog. Give our veterinarians a call when it’s time to schedule your pet’s next checkup.
The Importance of Getting Enough Exercise
There are plenty of great reasons to prioritize your dog’s exercise. Most dog owners don’t realize that a number of health and behavior problems can be traced back to insufficient exercise.
These are just a few of the top benefits of exercise for dogs:
● It gives your dog a chance to burn off some energy.
● It may help to reduce destructive behaviors around the house.
● It can protect your dog against depression and anxiety.
● It helps to socialize your pet.
● It may reduce barking and whining.
Deciding How Much Exercise Your Pet Needs
Your pet’s age, breed, weight, personality, and health can all play a role in determining how much exercise she needs to be getting. Some breeds tend to have higher energy levels and require more exercise, while others require less activity. Likewise, your pet’s medical health can affect her exercise needs just as much as a person’s can. All dogs require at least 20 minutes to a half-hour of exercise each day, but if your pet is a more active breed, she may require more time.
Here is a quick rule of thumb to follow when determining how much exercise your pet needs:
● Flat-faced (brachycephalic) dogs like pugs tend to need 20-30 minutes of exercise per day.
● Small breeds like chihuahuas need 20-30 minutes.
● Sighthounds and racing breeds usually need 30-45 minutes of fast walking and sprints.
● Giant breeds need 30-45 minutes but may require lower impact walking due to their tendency to have bone and joint problems.
● Terriers like Yorkies and Jack Russells and scent hounds like beagles need about 60-90 minutes of exercise.
● Sporting breeds like retrievers, herding breeds like corgis and collies, and working breeds like huskies and rottweilers require 60 to 120 minutes per day.
Schedule Your Dog’s Exercise Checkup Today
When humans need exercise, it’s best to check with their doctors before starting a new exercise program. Just like their humans, dogs should have regular health checks, especially when you’re thinking about changing your exercise program. To schedule your veterinarian care appointment, call Normandale Veterinary Hospital at 952-831-8272 or contact us online today.