How much exercise does a puppy need?

Ready to get in the exercise groove with your new pup?

If you just brought home your puppy, you’ve likely already noticed their enthusiasm for play.
Though they may seem full of boundless energy, it’s important to know how much playtime is right for your pup! Use this quick breakdown of puppy play guidelines to ensure your new best friend stays happy and healthy!

Veterinarians and Hills recommend starting your pup off with one to two short walks and 15-minute play sessions each day. Their exercise time should increase as they age — around five additional minutes of exercise each month.

Is there such a thing as too much exercise?

Unfortunately, according to experts, there’s no direct answer. However, too little exercise can present some serious issues. Lack of exercise can negatively affect your dog’s behavior and mental well-being, causing boredom, anxiety, and an increased risk of muscle or joint injuries. Make sure you’re carving out at least one or two walks a day for your pup to get the exercise they need (slowly increasing the time as they grow). During any play-time or outdoor exercise, it’s good practice to monitor your dog’s behavior to gauge when it’s time to wrap it up and head back home.

Understand your dog’s breed.

A Dachshund and a German Shepherd puppy may love their exercise and playtime equally, but a German Shepherd puppy will likely have much more tolerance and stamina. It’s important to consider your dog’s breed. A mile walk won’t be a good idea for a bulldog puppy, whereas a Border Collie may relish in a good hike. And speaking of bulldogs … brachycephalic (smoosh-faced) dogs need a little more TLC when it comes to exercise (especially in warmer weather). For these pups, it’s best to consult with your vet about how much indoor/outdoor exercise is safe and appropriate for them.

Other types of exercise.

Besides a good walk, there are so many other fun ways to initiate more play and exercise for your new puppy. It’ll even foster bonding opportunities for you both! Ideas include chasing, tug-of-war, wrestling, romping, ball throwing, and more!

That being said, it’s important to know that your puppy’s energy and exercise needs will change as they grow, and both physical and mental stimulation are equally important for their long-term health and wellbeing. If you’re unsure about how much exercise is too much … or too little … it’s always best to consult with your vet!

Another great benefit to staying on top of your pet’s exercise is helping you stay on top of your own! So relish in it together and make it a fun experience for you both. Long walks and plentiful exercise don’t come without risks though. That’s where Companion Protect® (CP) steps in. We’re here to help you (and your wallet) when the unexpected accident or injury occurs. So see why shelters, vet clinics, and pet parents just like you are trusting CP to help with the care pets need when they need it most. Fetch a quick quote today!

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Sources: Rover, AKC, Purina

Shayne Storey with her friend, Helga, the pig!SHAYNE STOREY
Marketing Specialist

Shayne has a few years experience in digital marketing, content creation and animal care, with her previous role as New Media Intern at The Humane League. In her free-time she loves to cycle (with her dog on her back) and practice yoga. A social cause she cares about is climate change, the welfare of factory farmed animals, and racial equality. Her favorite food is vegan mac & cheese.