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How much exercise does my dog need?

Every dog needs daily exercise to expend extra energy and maintain health and fitness. Regular exercise also has significant day-to-day effects on a dog’s behavior as it can reduce some behaviors done out of anxiety or boredom. Dogs — particularly puppies and young dogs — have a lot of energy, and if they don’t get the chance to burn it off, destructive behavior is often the result. Are you also a dog owner? Then you have probably found yourself wondering….

“How much exercise does my dog actually need?”

As with people, the answer varies from dog to dog and is dependent on:

  • Breed
  • Size
  • Age
  • Health

There are, however, a few standard guidelines you can follow to make sure that your dog is getting all the exercise he or she needs.

How much exercise does a puppy need?

Puppies generally have more energy than adult dogs, and so require more exercise in short bursts. Since puppies are constantly growing, including several short walks or play sessions throughout the day is better than going for one really long walk, as this can be too hard on your puppy’s developing body. Ultimately, every puppy is different, and the more time you spend with your pup the more you will learn about how much exercise he or she needs to be happy and fit.

How much exercise does a adult dog need?

The amount of exercise your adult dog needs is mainly influenced by breed. High-energy breeds like Border Collies require a lot more exercise than lower-energy breeds like the Bulldog. They have high exercise needs and should get at least 60-90 minutes of higher intensity exercise daily, twice daily is even better.

“High-energy breeds are easily bored, so make them work!”

Keep the breed in mind when choosing a new puppy. It is not a good idea to buy an active dog breed unless you already lead an active lifestyle, and it is unrealistic to expect your tiny Poodle to join you for marathon training. And always be aware of your dogs health. If your adult dog has a medical condition like hip dysplasia or heart issues, talk with your vet about an appropriate exercise routine that will help your pup stay healthy without causing him discomfort.

How much exercise does a senior dog need?

Your senior dog might not be able to run as far as he or she once did, but exercise is just as important for old dogs as it is for puppies. Talk with your vet about exercising your senior dog, and also observe the behavior. As the owner, you know your dog best and and might know better than anybody how much exercise your dog can handle.

Weather considerations

Weather conditions are an important consideration if you want to do outdoor activities. Dogs too can be victims of frostbite or heat stroke. If it’s snowy make sure you clean your dogs’ paws after an outing to remove snow and salt buildup. In the summertime, paws can also be damaged on hot asphalt or abrasive surfaces like the sandy shore. During any weather, it’s important to keep your dog hydrated. Bring along a dog travel bowl and fill it from your own water bottle.

How active is my dog?

Do you want to know how active your pet is? Tractive Motion might be the perfect device for you then.

  • Daily activity tracking: Tractive MOTION tracks your pet’s activity 24 hours a day.
  • Pet Points: Set a daily goal of Pet Points and see the progress in the Tractive MOTION app.
  • Activity: Get detailed information about the time your pet is lazy, moderately active or high active.
  • Accelerometer: Monitors your dog’s movement and behavior.
  • Temperature & light: The device will show you the correlations between your pet’s activity and external influences like temperature or daylight.
  • Distance calculation: This new feature will show you the approximate distance your pet has covered.

How many Pet Points does my dog need?

The amount of Pet Points is calculated based on the size of the dog. A Chihuahua with a size of 21 cm reaches about 830 Pet Points per kilometre. Due to their size and breed Chihuahuas do not require that much movement. Long walks can actually do more damage to this tiny breed, as the body is not designed for hard work and hours of walking. An Australian Shepherd with a size of 54 cm reaches approximately 415 Pet Points per kilometre. The bigger the dog, the less Pet Points per kilometre. An Australian Shepherd requires more exercise than a Chihuahua and long walks are no problem for this breed.

For small dog breeds, like a Chihuahua, 500-1000 Pet Points a day will be enough, whereas bigger dog breeds will need around 3000-6000 a day. As mentioned above, the number of Pet Points is also dependent on various factors such as age, breed, health and mood. If they run the same distance, small dogs collect more Pet Points than large dogs.

However, there are exceptions: The Jack Russell Terrier is a tiny breed, but with a high energy level. The energetic Jack Russell needs lots of exercise and would, therefore, need more Pet Points than a Chihuahua.

Exercise is the key to a happy and healthy dog

No matter your dog’s age, exercise provides all dogs with mental stimulation and keeps them active, which can help prolong their lives and reduce the risk of obesity. Talk to your vet about your dog’s exercise needs and research the breed carefully before bringing a new puppy into your life.

How active is your dog? Which kind of activities are you doing with your dog? Please leave a comment below ☟



Sarah is a Certified Fitness Trainer, pet lover and the happy owner of a 2-year-old Japanese Spitz named Bailey. Sarah spends a lot of time outdoors, running, hiking and biking. She loves inspiring Tractives all over the world with weekly pet tricks and tips.

2 thoughts on “How much exercise does my dog need?

  1. Pingback: education for all
  2. i’ve a red and tan German Shepherd who doesn’t eat anything but meat and we go for a walk in the morning at about 7am and for a run in the evening for 30mins because i get tired then haha, from now on we’ll run for 50min if that’s alright. thanks for sharing

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