Pet Exercise: Dog
Exercise & Activity

Daily exercise is one of the best ways to promote overall health and well-being. We’re not just talking about humans. Did you know the same is true for your pooch?

Keeping your pet active with regular exercise not only helps them stay physically fit but also gives them an outlet for their seemingly boundless energy and curiosity. That means that when they’re busy playing with you, they don’t have time to steal underwear out of the laundry basket or tear a hole through your couch cushions.

Curious to learn more about physical exercise for your pet? Your friends at AskVet have all the information you need

Exercise should be part of every dog’s daily routine. Aside from keeping your pet in shape, consistent exercise can also:

  • Reduce the likelihood of health issues, such as arthritis, obesity, and high blood pressure
  • Provide mental stimulation and decrease the risk of depression.
  • Teach good behavior while encouraging one-on-one bonding with the pet parent.

But just like humans, every pet is different. The best exercise regimen for your furry friend will depend on their species, breed, and age.

How Much Physical Exercise Do Dogs Need?

Puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs all have different exercise needs. To avoid exhaustion, joint and bone issues, and injury, always monitor your dog’s exercise sessions and keep in mind the following rules:

PUPPIES
Your pup’s bones and joints are still developing, so puppy exercise should be limited to five minutes for each month they are old, three times a day.

ADULT DOGS
This is highly dependent on breed, but most adult dogs need between 30 minutes and two hours of exercise daily. If you have a low-energy dog breed, they likely don’t need more than a routine walk around the neighborhood. On the other paw, if you have a high-energy breed, a long walk plus extra playtime is sure to get their tail waggin’!

SENIOR DOGS
You may not be able to teach an older dog new tricks, but you can (and should) still take them for short workouts to keep their muscles strong, curb the onset of age-related ailments, and promote healthy bowel function.

Don’t Sit, Get Fit: Ways to Exercise Your Dog

You can never go wrong with a “W-A-L-K” (wink, wink), but there are a number of other exciting puppy activities you can introduce to keep your canine companion fit.

Take a hike

An adventure through the forest or trails offers new sights and smells for your little explorer. Just make sure to check your dog’s body for ticks afterward.

Doggy paddle

For pups that can swim, a trip to the lake offers a serious dog workout.

Go fetch

All you need is a ball or Frisbee—or the stick your pup found in the creek!

Dog park playdates

Dog parks allow your pup to run, play, and socialize with other dogs.

Build an agility course

Household items such as boxes, chairs, or hula hoops can be used to create a challenging agility course.

To ensure you choose the best workout for your furry friend, reach out to the experts at AskVet. We can offer advice for your pet’s specific fitness needs, as well as answers to any health-related questions about your dog’s breed.

When you go to the gym, you work with a trainer. When you use AskVet, you get the same for your pet—plus a doctor and friend, all in one place.

Best Toys for Exercise and Enrichment for Your Dog

For most pet parents, it’s hard to squeeze an exciting outdoor adventure into every day. But with the right toys, your pup can still enjoy a serious bout of exercise, whether in the backyard, at a nearby park, or even in your living room (with a few safety precautions and furniture adjustments, of course).

Try these pup-approved favorites to start:

Snuffle mat

For a touch of mental stimulation and hours of distraction, place canine cookies or kibble within the fringe of a snuffle mat. Once your pup smells their favorite treats, they won’t stop until they’ve sniffed and clawed them out of this bathmat-like toy.

Knotted tug rope

Play tug-o-war with your pup using a sturdy rope toy, knotted for easy grip. Not only does playing help you build a strong relationship with your dog, but it also helps drain their energy and exercise their aggression in a controlled way. Many dogs also enjoy simply chewing on the rope, resulting in hours of effort-free distraction. Just make sure they don’t accidentally swallow any strands!

Food-filled rubber toy

For another combination of mental and physical stimulation, hollow food-filled toys fit the bill. You can fill a rubber Kong or similar toy with treats or peanut butter for your pup to shake or lick out. As they work to earn their treat, the rubber toy often bounces away from them, adding exercise to their cognitive challenge.

Ball chucker

A fan favorite of dogs and owners everywhere, plastic ball launchers are perfect for expending your pup’s energy without draining yours. With a ball chucker, most people can throw a tennis ball farther than they ever could with their bare hands, meaning your pup has to run at least twice as far and should tire out twice as quickly.

Get Fit with AskVet Licensed Veterinarians

The experts at AskVet are qualified, experienced, and always on the clock.

Make confident, intelligent decisions about your pet’s health care, by making the most of AskVet’s 24/7, virtual veterinarians and by scheduling appointments with your very own Certified Pet Lifestyle Expert.

At AskVet we take a lifestyle approach to pet wellness. We believe when you live a healthy lifestyle, so does your pet. The hardest part can be finding that wellness balance—we’re here to make it easy.

With the AskVet mobile app you can:

Chat with a licensed vet 24/7 when you have questions about your pet’s daily exercise or health.

Work with your Certified Pet Lifestyle Expert to develop a diet that works for you and your four legged friend.

Enjoy a personalized, guided experience as we anticipate your daily needs.

Shop recommended food, supplements, and treats to add into your healthy routines at exclusive AskVet rates.

Get all your exercise questions answered and personalized guidance to build a healthy lifestyle for your pet.

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