What is the appropriate amount of exercise for my puppy?
March 08, 2024

What is the appropriate amount of exercise for my puppy?

Welcoming a puppy home is an exhilarating experience, but it requires thorough preparation before their arrival! Exercise is among the crucial aspects to consider, alongside training, feeding, and grooming. Have you pondered the amount of exercise your puppy requires? Keep reading to discover more!

Does it vary by breed?

A standard rule is 5 minutes per month of age, twice a day, for all puppies. For instance, a 3-month-old puppy has an exercise limit of two 15-minute sessions daily. Alternatively, you can opt for a single 30-minute session of gentle exercise, but consult your vet for guidance tailored to your pup's development. It's essential to factor in breed characteristics; brachycephalic breeds like bulldogs and pugs struggle with temperature regulation, posing a risk during exercise, especially in warmer months.

Exercise should be approached with caution during your puppy's development. Larger breeds require more time to reach full development compared to smaller breeds, which are typically fully grown between 6 months to 1 year of age. For instance, Great Danes may take up to 2 years to reach their full size. This information is crucial to consider when planning your pup's exercise routine.

Both on and off the lead.

It's recommended to acclimate your puppy to wearing a collar and lead promptly. Don't be alarmed if they engage in a game of chewing the lead whenever you move; this behaviour tends to diminish with time. Once vaccinated, taking your pup for a walk around the block is an ideal way to introduce exercise and socialisation. As mentioned earlier, adhering to the 5-minute rule is advisable to avoid over-exerting your puppy.

An excellent method for off-lead exercise with your pup involves engaging them at home with an assortment of entertaining toys to keep them mentally stimulated. As your puppy matures, you can bring them to secure open spaces for an enjoyable game of fetch. It's wise to ensure your pup gets some exercise before leaving them alone, even for a brief period. This allows them to release excess energy and reduces the risk of developing separation anxiety if they are not sufficiently tired.

Should I vary the type of exercise?

Initially, your puppy will dedicate most of their day to sleeping and producing essential growth hormones. As time progresses, it's beneficial to vary your puppy's exercise routine. One way to do this is by introducing new toys for them to play with. Be mindful not to overwhelm your pup with too many toys at once, as they may lose interest and turn to chewing your furniture instead!

As your puppy gains confidence, aim to introduce them to new walking routes, such as around the block, down the high street, or through the woods. This not only keeps things interesting for your pup but also provides valuable mental stimulation.

What constitutes excessive exercise?

As mentioned earlier, there is a general guideline for puppy owners, but specific breed characteristics can play a role. Over-exercising your puppy is not advisable, as it can disrupt crucial growth periods, potentially resulting in future health issues.

Initiating a conversation with your puppy's breeder to understand their specific requirements is an excellent first step. Additionally, consult your vet for advice on the appropriate amount of exercise as your puppy grows. Watch for behavioural cues in your puppy that signal they've had enough exercise, such as:

  • Excessive panting
  • Resting during exercise
  • Withdrawal from play
  • Lack of focus or failure to respond to commands

So remember:

  • Adhere to the 5-minute guideline upon initially bringing your pup home
  • Alternate between on and off-lead exercise sessions
  • Consult the breeder or your vet regarding your pup's unique requirements and future exercise plans
  • Maintain variety to keep your pup mentally and physically stimulated.
  • Pay attention to your pup's body language, as it may signal overexertion—allow them to relax

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Interested in staying updated on our newest tips, event updates, and blogs? Join our community by subscribing to our newsletter! Click here.

more puppy news
What's the perfect age to re-home your puppy?
Puppy welfare
September 20, 2023

When can I bring my puppy home?

We know all about the excitement of a new puppy coming to live with you in their forever home, but this transition needs to happen at a point in their development where the puppy will be able to adjust properly.

If my puppy cries, should I pick them up?
Puppy welfare
October 31, 2019

If my puppy cries, should I pick them up?

My puppy is crying. What do I do? should I pick them up? It’s a good question. At Paws in Work we’re always aware of the needs of the puppies who come with us to our events...

puppy on a blanket
Puppy welfare
September 25, 2019

How to overcome your puppy’s fears

Even when they are given all of the love in the world, your puppy friend may well show some signs of anxiety in certain situations. Let’s have a look at some of the most common things a puppy might be fretting about.

We have heaps of puppy news to keep you updated on - sign up!

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive updates and promotional offers, our latest litter availability, and to stay in touch with our blog.