Regular exercise is the key to a healthy and happy puppy. But making it part of their routine doesn’t have to be dull – mix it up a little with a brisk walk, jog or some games.
Exercising your puppy
All dogs, no matter what type they are, need at least half an hour of exercise a day.
Making exercise fun
Enrol your puppy in an obedience or agility class. Even if he’s already trained, a refresher class will provide an opportunity to interact with other dogs and an outlet for his energy. Check with breeders and dog clubs for further information.
Exercising all year round
- Check your puppy’s health with your vet before beginning an exercise program during winter.
- In the winter, dress up warmly before going for a walk. Find a place with a windbreak if you want to play any games.
- Alternatively, consider training your dog on a treadmill. As crazy as it might sound, you can teach your puppy to build up his endurance slowly. Never leave him unattended and don’t allow the leash to dangle.
Dos and Don’ts
- Do consider your puppy’s needs and present physical condition. Always talk to your vet before embarking on any program.
- Do go slow! If you have not exercised your dog regularly and decide to launch a regular exercise program, begin with short periods of activity and gradually increase the time, speed and distance.
- Do begin walking or running your dog on soft surfaces such as dirt, sand or grass so his pads toughen.
- Do keep your dog on a leash to give you control when walking or running.
- Do place a reflective collar on your dog, use a bright coloured leash and wear white or light coloured clothing when exercising at night, so the two of you can be seen.
- Don’t exercise your dog immediately before or after he has eaten – a full stomach may cause digestive upsets or even serious medical conditions.
- Don’t go out in the middle of the day. Running in the heat is dangerous for dogs.
- Finally, don’t raise a couch potato! Puppy exercise will help them live longer, healthier lives and can help prevent negative puppy behaviour.
About the Purina PetCare Advice Centre
The Purina PetCare Advice Centre brings together a team with in-depth knowledge, experience and special interests with the skills to advise about health and nutrition, behaviour, training, socialisation, as well as basic first aid for your cat or dog. Our team of dedicated pet lovers can also provide information about Purina products and services to help you give your pet the best possible care. If you've got a question about any aspect of pet care, then ask the Purina PetCare Advice team.