How much exercise are you and your dog really getting? 

Time and again we’re told that regular exercise is crucial to our wellbeing, but how about for our canine friends? Is it enough to just feed them properly? How can daily walks improve their health and livelihood?

Studies as well as experience show that dogs who are getting daily exercise and care are healthier and happier. When dogs are regularly exercised, they are more calm at home and less restless when left alone. However, just like feeding, choosing the right amount of exercise for your dog should depend on several factors. According to age, size, and type of breed, here are a few points that need addressing:

1. Puppies require daily walking for proper muscle development. Their high energy levels need to be released in some form of constructive activity, and providing consistent exercise is a better option than allowing them to store excessive energy. This can lead to destructive behaviour such as chewing or digging.

2. Large dogs do not necessarily need more exercise than small dogs. In fact, many large breeds like the Mastiff or Great Dane would rather relax and sit on the porch all day. Nevertheless, they also need their daily 30 minute walk. On the other hand, many types of small breeds such as the Jack Russell Terrier or Chihuahua will need a similar routine.

3. Your dog's breed is also a big factor on the amount of exercise required. For instance, dogs that were originally bred to herd such as the Australian Cattle Dog, Border Collie, and German Shepherd need to be exercised daily. Another example of a breed that requires daily exercise are those that were originally bred to hunt. Examples of these dogs are Beagles, Retrievers, and Terriers. And finally, sled dogs such as the Siberian Husky, Samoyed, and Alaskan malamute share the same high level of energy and therefore, need to be exercised on a regular basis.

Although scheduling long exercise sessions during the week is a great idea, it often seems like a difficult commitment, so we recommend a more flexible routine. Simply remember that shorter daily walks are a better option for both yourself and your prized pooch, and you’ll soon reap the physical and of course, mental rewards.