Back to the list

Exercising with a Dog. What is Healthy?

author Lucy Byrne | Sport and travel

How much exercise a day is optimal for a dog with regard to its size and age? What happens if you exercise a bit too much with your dog? And how to avoid it in a perfect case? A universal manual doesn’t exist, it is based on your and mainly your dog’s physical shape and other factors such as age and weight and its health.

There are some dogs who are able to walk tens of kilometres in the mountains and different dogs which do not like even getting out of a house or flat. You also have to consider this. You won’t make a world-class athlete from a couch potato. You can try smaller steps, one by one. However, you can also tire a dog which is used to physical activities.

But what about the opposite problem? By that, I mean the lack of time. When time is your main enemy (it happens to me a lot recently) and you are very busy during work day, you might be wondering how to compensate for the exercises with your dog. Can I do exercises with a dog at home? Can it be connected to some training for myself?

If you’re dealing with the first or the second problem, a key to a solution is to create a training plan. Don’t get scared, you don’t need a table with a precise time schedule and indicators both of you have to achieve. Doing exercises with a dog regularly is what’s important.

Even a trained dog can get too much tired if you skip training for a month and then go to a dogtrekking race. However, even an untrained dog will enjoy a short run for a couple of hundred metres. It is said that to keep a dog active and healthy, you should devote AT LEAST 20–30 minutes to walking every day. I would multiply it three times with an adult dog.

Some cynologists even say that you should add 5 minutes of walking every month when a puppy grows. So with a three-month old puppy, you should exercise 15 minutes up to twice a day. In six months, it should be 30 minutes. An adult dog should be active between 30 minutes to 2 hours a day. You can walk, run, swim or only play with a ball.

If you and your dog feel that it’s time to take it to the next level, you can start doing some dog sports. Nowadays, running with a dog or dogtrekking is very popular. Also, mushing is a great sport in all its variants. Each breed is good for another type of dog sport, of course. Short-nose breeds tend to suffer from respiration problems more but their body structure is good and therefore they are good at pulling loads, for example.

No matter what dog you have at home, devote it at least an hour a day, so you nor it will get lazy. You’ll definitely enjoy your time together. Let’s exercise with our dogs!