A well-exercised dog is a happy dog. Sufficient exercise is a key part in keeping your dog healthy, happy, and away from destructive habits such as chewing. In general, dogs need at least 30 minutes of aerobic  exercise each day. Along with that 30 minutes, your dog should also get at least 15 minutes of interactive play each day as well. For young dogs especially, twice-daily walks (outside of potty breaks) are a necessity- one in the morning and one in the evening. Along with walking, there are many other options to exercise your dog. To avoid your dog getting bored, try switching exercise routines up every once in awhile.

Jogging
With proper leash training, dogs over one-year-old can make great jogging partners. Puppies however should be left at home due to the risk of joint problems. Jogging is a great way to keep both you and your companion in great physical shape. It is important to keep in mind your dog’s abilities and to remember that especially with age sometimes they cannot run the same pace and distance that you can. When introducing your dog to jogging, make the process gradual and refrain from doing too much too fast. 

Playing Fetch
Fetch is a great way to exercise your dog that is fun for everyone. To teach your dog to play fetch, try bringing bits of kibble or treats outside with you. Every time your dog retrieves the ball and brings it back, reward them with a yummy treat. To make sure your dog gets enough exercise, keep throwing the ball until she is noticeably tired. When playing fetch with your dog, it is important to remember to go to a safe off-leash area that is relatively free of any distractions. 

Dog Sports
Agility, swimming, Flyball, and many other sports are becoming popular with average pet owners, not just competitors. This means there are many outlets that offer classes and opportunities for dogs to participate. There is likely to be at least one sport that is suitable for your dog’s personality and fitness level.

Keep weather in mind
Before exercising your dog outside, make sure to check the weather conditions. Avoid going outside in extremely hot or cold weather conditions. In these conditions, try providing them with treat-dispensing toys to keep them entertained.

Never exercise your dog by tying them to a moving vehicle. This is incredibly dangerous and could severely injure your dog.

If you would like information from an Anti-Cruelty Behavior Specialist regarding this behavior topic, please call 312-645-8253 or email behavior@anticruelty.org.

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