How Much Exercise Does My Dog Need?
Calling all dog parents! Let’s start with some burning questions: Are you a newbie owner? Is your pooch packing on a few extra pounds? Are they bored? Or treating your loafers like chew toys?
One word: EXERCISE. It’s vital for a healthy, non-problem-child pooch. (And it can be good for your BMI, too!)
Your dog’s breed and age are the two factors that determine how much exercise they need. Check out these tips to be sure your pooch is getting the right amount of physical activity every day.
Start with Your Dog’s Breed Group
Your dog’s breed group helps determine their exercise needs.
Sporting group dogs are energetic, natural athletes who should get approximately 90 minutes of high-intensity exercise. They enjoy long, brisk walks, hikes in the woods, swimming and playing fetch.
Examples: Retrievers, pointers, setters and spaniels
Blue-collar pooches in the working group are happiest when they have a job to do. They need about one to two hours of fun, pant-inducing activity every day. Take them for long walks or hikes, or create a homemade agility course in your backyard.
Examples: Boxers, Alaskan malamutes, Rottweilers and Siberian huskies
Sixty to 90 minutes of vigorous exercise and play daily? That’s what most high-IQ, high-energy herding group dogs need. You can’t go wrong with activities that challenge them physically and mentally, like long power walks and fun games like fetch, chase and Frisbee.
Examples: Shepherds, collies and sheepdogs
Sight hound dogs need roughly 30 minutes of regular exercise, and scent hound dogs should get about one hour of intense exercise. Take sight hounds on walks or have them do a couple of sprint workouts each week. Scent hounds need longer periods of vigorous activity and love hiking, jogging or playing tracking games in the woods. (Shocking, we know.)
Examples: Afghan hounds, greyhounds, whippets, beagles, bloodhounds and basset hounds
Short-legged terrier group breeds need about 30 minutes of exercise every day, while their longer-legged counterparts need one hour or more. Ideal exercises include fast-paced walks, hikes in the forest and chasing their favorite squeaky ball in the backyard or park.
Examples: Jack Russell terriers, West Highland white terriers (Westies), Yorkshire terriers (Yorkies) and schnauzers
Most petite pups in the toy group are lap dogs, but they should still get approximately 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise — they tend to get too husky when they don’t get proper workouts. Plus, toy dogs can really get their hearts pumping in a small area, so consider complementing your daily walks with indoor dog exercise.
Examples: Chihuahuas, Pomeranians and Maltese
here are a ton of different breeds in the nonsporting group, so start with 30 minutes of daily exercise and adjust. Each breed’s exercise needs are unique, and short-nosed dogs, like bulldogs and Shih Tzus, should only have short periods of moderate activity.
Examples: Dalmatians, bulldogs, chow chows and poodles
If you’re the proud parent of a mutt who’s mushed your heart, just follow the exercise suggestions for the most dominant breed or two. (Or ask your vet!)
Factor in Your Dog’s Age
When figuring out how to exercise with your dog, consider your dog’s age. Each stage has unique exercise requirements.
Puppy Exercise Needs
Puppies are balls of energy that do best with short bursts of exercise. (Think zoomies in the backyard.) The best activities are short, easy walks, a few play sessions throughout the day and, of course, obedience training. Avoid long walks and running because they can be too hard on your pup’s growing bones and joints.
Adult Dog Exercise Needs
Healthy adult dogs can do just about anything! Whether it’s walking, running, hiking, swimming, or playing tug-of-war or fetch, they’ll be getting the exercise they need to stay healthy and happy — plus they’ll enjoy spending time with you.
Senior Dog Exercise Needs
Although your senior dog might move at a slightly slower pace than before, they still need exercise and playtime. You may want to shorten walks and fetch time, though, and do other low-impact activities like learning new tricks.
Fuel Your Dog Every Day
Finally, make sure your dog is properly fueled for their next workout. Feed them high-quality, nutritionally balanced IAMS™ food that’s tailored for their unique size and life stage.
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- adp_description_block233How to Keep Your Adult or Mature Dog’s Heart Healthy
About 10% of all dogs develop some form of heart disease during their lifetime, and that risk increases with their age. We know you want to keep their heart healthy because they keep your heart happy. Here are some ways you can help your dog’s ticker stay in tip-top shape.
Feed a healthy diet.
A healthy diet affects every part of your dog’s body, including their big loyal heart. Being overweight makes the heart work harder, so make sure they eat a healthy, nutritious diet every day. And keep those treats to a minimum — no matter how much they beg.
Make sure they get regular exercise.
Dogs dig cardio, and it’ll do your heart good, too. Whether you both prefer fetch, running, walks, surfing, whatever ... it’s all good as long as it gets your dog’s heart pumping.
Be a heartworm-hater.
Heartworms are nasty — and sometimes deadly — parasites that infect dogs through mosquito bites. Like their name suggests, they live and breed in a dog’s heart, lungs and blood vessels. Fortunately, there are a number of preventive medications your dog can take to keep them safe. Check with your vet for options that work best for you and your pup.
Brush your dog’s teeth.
Plaque, tartar and bacteria in your dog’s mouth can get into their bloodstream and cause heart issues. Brushing their teeth and giving occasional dental treats can help keep their smiles bright and hearts healthy.
Know the dog breeds most susceptible to heart disease.
Some breeds, such as Chihuahuas, miniature and toy poodles, boxers, English bulldogs and Great Danes, are more prone to heart disease. If your pet is one of these breeds, keep a watchful eye out for the signs of heart issues, and talk to your vet about possible preventive measures you can take.
Know the signs of heart disease in dogs.
Some symptoms of heart disease in dogs include:
- Frequent coughing
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of energy
- Tiring easily or not wanting to play or go for walks
- Changes in weight
- Trouble sleeping
- A swollen abdomen
However, these symptoms could be indicative of many health issues, so you should consult your vet to be sure.
Go to regular vet checkups.
One dog year is about five to seven people years, and a lot can happen in that time. Regular vet visits, especially for older dogs, can help identify problems early on so you can start treating them sooner.
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