Basic questions I hear are: "She is so little, isn't just running around the house or back yard good"?
- Turning the dog loose in the backyard isn't enough -- aerobic exercise should be continuous with few breaks. Dr. Susan Nelson, K-State veterinarian and assistant professor of clinical sciences.
- In general, larger and working dogs have higher energy needs, and smaller/toy breeds need less exercise.
- Ideally, dogs should get out twice daily for exercise. Times may vary from 15-60 minutes, depending on your individual pet.
- Swimming is a non-joint stressing exercise for dogs, just as it is for people. It is a great option during the hot summer months when heat exhaustion is a concern. Retrievers are at the top of the pack for this activity.
- Active breeds need a minimum of 30 minutes of hard aerobic exercise most days of the week, preferably daily.
- Not all toy or small breeds get enough exercise inside the house (contrary to popular belief). Pugs, for example, are prone to obesity and need much more exercise than they usually get.
- It's not safe to go out in extremely hot or cold weather. During such periods, stay inside and teach tricks to engage your dog's mind, throw toys, or run up and down the stairs together.
- Good exercise uses both mental and physical muscles. Exploring a new hiking trail, for example, engages your dog's mind as well as his body.
- Live by the philosophy that a tired dog is a good dog.
Here is what the ASPCA says: "On-leash running, inline skating or bicycling These are great ways to exercise a healthy dog".
BENEFITS TO OWNERS: Did you know that dog owners walk an average of 300 minutes per week, whereas people without dogs walk only about 168 minutes? Apparently, our dogs motivate us to stay active!
- For More Information and where I found some of my research:
- (Also, check out the behavioral issues that come from a dog not getting enough exercise in these articles):