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How Much Exercise is Too Much for Your Puppy?

Have you proudly boasted to fellow pet parents that your puppy goes on two-mile hikes with you? While you are proud of your pup, it’s also a bit too much exercise for their growing bodies. Over-exercising your puppy can lead to bone and joint problems as well as other serious issues. Keep reading to find out if you are exercising your puppy too much.

How much exercise is too much?

Breeders, veterinarians, and trainers seem to agree on one thing and that’s too much exercise is equally as bad as not enough. While a chart explaining in great detail the number of amount puppies need would be helpful, real life is more complex.

Every puppy is different and a lot of factors come into play when it comes to exercise such as breed, age, and current medical conditions. Some puppies have mobility issues and underlying health issues that need to be addressed with a veterinarian while others are perfectly healthy. It’s up to you as a pet parent to find the right amount of exercise for your pup as they grow into an adult.

Here are signs your dog is getting too much exercise:

  • Damage to paw pads

  • Muscular pain

  • Heatstroke

  • Joint injury

  • Changes in behavior

  • Dehydration

  • Excessive drooling

  • Heavy panting

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Dizziness

  • Lethargy

  • Tremors

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting

  • Fever

How much exercise is the right amount?

So, how much exercise should your puppy have every day? The general rule is, exercise your pup for five minutes for each month of age and do it twice a day. For example, a puppy that is three months old requires 15 minutes of exercise twice a day. While this is the typical amount of exercise keep in mind your dog might require a bit more or less depending on their specific needs.

How to Safely Exercise Your Puppy

  • Keep your puppy hydrated.

  • Avoid exercising your puppy immediately before or after eating.

  • Walk at a normal pace.

  • Take short walks.

  • Stop immediately if your puppy seems tired or lies down.

  • Allow your dog to run around in a fenced-in yard. They will stop running around when they become tired.

  • Protect your puppy’s paws when walking in the snow or extremely hot pavement.

  • Give your puppy water as soon as you arrive home or carry a water bottle and portable bowl with you while on walks.

Beware of Overheating

Your happy peppy puppy might keep up with you while walking but they can easily become overheated on hot weather days. Keep a close eye on your puppy in harsh weather conditions and keep walks short or go outside when the sun is down.

Beware of the following signs your puppy is overheated:

  • Bright blue, red, purple, or gray gums

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Excessive drooling

  • Lack of urine

  • Rapid pulse

  • Dizziness

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Muscle tremors

If you suspect your puppy has heatstroke stop immediately, offer them fresh water, and rush them to the animal hospital.

Determining the right amount of exercise your puppy needs is easy when you read your pet's body language. However, if you are not sure how much to exercise your puppy, consult with a veterinarian for further assistance.


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