Dogs, like us, need regular exercise to maintain a high level of health and fitness. Not only this, dogs become bored and restless when they don’t go for regular walks, runs and play sessions!
When can you start taking your dog for exercise?
When you pick up a new puppy, you may want to get them accustomed to their new home before taking them out for regular exercise. The general rule is that you can start taking your puppy out for regular exercise once they reach three months of age.
Please note, however, that just because you have a farm or working puppy in a suburban home it doesn’t mean they need more exercise! The dos and don’ts outlined below can work across all dog breeds when it comes to providing them with regular, healthy exercise…
The dos & don’ts of taking your doggo out for exercise
Dont: Take your puppy for high intensity workouts when they are still puppies! Exercises like running, hiking, agility and going with you as you ride are awesome for dogs but only when they are fully matured. If they happen to be injured in one of these exercises before their bodies have matured the injury could carry on throughout life and cause deformities.
Do: Remember that most dogs don’t finish developing their bodies until they are around 18 months old. Therefore, you shouldn’t overexert them when they are still a little puppy! Their muscles, joints, tendons and bones have to be strong before they can take on strenuous exercises like jumping or climbing, so such exercises should be avoided until they are fully developed.
Don’t: Take them on extensive exercises without providing them with a break! Puppies need breaks and aren’t keen on jumping straight into long workout sessions. Extensive workout sessions can be harmful to the doggo’s body, so allow them a break here and there so that their bodies can recover from the exercise.
Do: Gradually increase the intensity of their workout. The intensity of your dog’s workout can increase the older and more mature they become. You want to build them up to stronger workouts in a safe, positive and constructive manner, allowing them to acclimatise to longer walks/runs etc. as they become more developed.
Don’t: Play too intensely with your super new puppy! They might get a bit excited and want to immediately play their favourite new game in a high intensity manner, but this can cause trouble for their bodies/teeth etc.
Do: Provide them with regular break times. Even if you’re just taking your pup for a small walk around the block to get them used to the idea of exercise, it’s still a good idea to allow them to have a rest throughout the session. This is especially so if it’s hot outside.
Dont: Provide them with too much exercise as a means of tuckering them out. Sure, puppies can be a handful – the world is new to them and they want to explore many aspects of it. However, you shouldn’t increase their workout intensity simply so they get tired out and don’t cause a ruckus in the evening!
Dogs need to be conditioned to go for walks at a level that is safe and healthy for them – suddenly increasing a puppy’s workout intensity could be a bit much for their bodies.