Dogs require different care to maintain their health, food, hygiene and physical activity depending on the stage of their life in which they are. While a senior animal needs to compensate for the loss of muscle mass and the reduction of its metabolism, a puppy needs to guarantee the optimal development of its organism and to strengthen its immune system to reach adulthood in good health.
If you decided to adopt a new best friend to fill your home with joy, it is important that you know the importance of exercising him early to promote his healthy and happy growth. And to know how much exercise a puppy should do, we invite you to continue reading this article.
Tips to start exercising your puppy
Before taking your puppy to exercise and expose him to outdoor walks, it is essential to confirm that his vaccination and deworming schedule are up to date. It is also essential to consult your trusted veterinarian regarding the animal’s health status to ensure its physical fitness.
If your puppy has not yet completed his basic vaccination cycle, you can use early stimulation exercises to promote the development of his physical, emotional, cognitive and social capacities from his first weeks of life.
Counting on the “fit” veterinarian, your puppy will be happy and ready to discover a new world with you. But we must think about their physical preparation slowly and gradually . So, the ideal is to start with gentle, low-impact activities, such as short walks. interspersed with rest periods. Little by little, your best friend will get stronger and will be able to incorporate new exercises progressively. Then, runs, gallops, ups and downs, etc. will be welcome, always interspersed with walks and rest periods, of course. This is so because too much exercise, or too intense physical activity, can seriously impair the development of the puppy’s bones and joints, and we will explain why later.
Another important care to avoid exposing the well-being of your puppy with physical activity during the hottest days is to prevent heat stroke, burns and dehydration. Remember to provide shade and cool water during walks, and prefer to exercise during the early morning, late afternoon or at night. And watch out for surfaces that get very hot, such as concrete and asphalt.
And how much exercise does a puppy need?
Depends. Most experts usually recommend for one to two walks a day, 20 to 40 minutes each, for healthy puppies with the approval of the veterinarian. However, to know exactly how much exercise a puppy should do, factors such as breed, size, weight, health status, etc. must be considered.
For example, breeds with larger muscles, such as the Rottweiler, the Argentine Dogo, or the Pit Bull, often require more intense exercise to achieve optimal physical conditioning. If we also talk about breeds considered potentially dangerous, such as those mentioned above, regular physical activity is essential to help in their socialization and training process, and also to avoid tension overload that can lead to aggressive behaviors associated with stress, present not only in these breeds, but in any dog. However, the benefits of physical exercise for a puppy do not depend only on the amount or intensity. Constancy is decisivewhen we want to provide the positive effects of physical activity for the development of our best friend. Exercises should be part of a healthy routine, which also requires a balanced diet and adequate preventive medicine.
Excessive exercises are a health risk for your puppy
We talk a lot about the risks of a sedentary lifestyle to the health of our furry loved ones, but we must understand that excessive exercises can be detrimental to the healthy development of a puppy. Your little companion will need a lot of rest and a few hours of sleep to grow up healthy and happy.
Excessive physical activity usually impacts directly on the joints of dogs, accelerating the wear and tear to which they are subjected. In dogs with a large or giant bearing, whether mixed or of a defined breed, this phenomenon significantly increases the risk of degenerative musculoskeletal diseases, such as hip and elbow dysplasia.
And snub-nosed dogs, frequently associated with brachiocephalic dog syndrome, such as the French bulldog or pug, can suffer from shortness of breath when subjected to excessive or very intense exercise. For this reason, many times, owners are scared when they think that their dog is drowning thanks to its respiratory difficulty, and for this reason it is important to emphasize the importance of not causing this difficulty. To avoid these extreme situations, we should prefer the use of a harness during walks and take frequent breaks to recover your cardiorespiratory rhythm.
If you notice that your dog is breathing with difficulty or irregularly, has a cough or is panting very heavily during walks, do not hesitate to quickly go to the vet.
Training is also an exercise
Training is one of the best exercises that you can propose to your new best friend, since it allows you to stimulate not only their body, but also their cognitive and social skills. And you can propose yourself the basic obedience exercises to start teaching him the fundamental orders of his education, such as recognizing his name, answering your calls, sitting down, walking next to you, etc. Of course, at the same time, do not neglect his socialization, so important to make him learn to interact with other animals and people, as well as teach him to inhibit his bite and where he should relieve himself.