Dog exercise and staying healthy

While for many of us “exercise” and “fun” don’t always go together in the same sentence, training for our canine friends always brings out their happy side of wagging their tails. However, dog exercise isn’t just about keeping your pet bored. Walking your dog every day is also key to keeping him physically and mentally in shape and healthy. Fortunately, there is plenty of fun and easy ways to tick off the “dog training” chore every day, but before we get into these top dog exercise ideas, here is what makes an active dog a happy dog.

The benefits of dog exercise

Keeping your dog active and well trained doesn’t just keep your pet in shape. Dog exercises have many advantages:

  • Prevents obesity by burning excess calories.
  • Keeps them well behaved as they don’t have to look for creative ways to entertain themselves, like furniture or the bark of a storm.
  • Keeps your brain active, especially if you include dog brain games and puzzles as part of your exercise routine.
  • It’s a great stress reliever as dog exercise can help you both blow off some steam.
  • Reduces the chance of health problems like arthritis, hip dysplasia, or obesity problems like diabetes or heart disease.
  • Creates a stronger bond when you’re on the go and exercise in many different ways.

Types of dog exercises

Helping your dog stay in shape shouldn’t be a chore for either of you. Dog exercises should be fun and varied; It doesn’t just have to belong, time-consuming hikes. If your dog does the same exercise every day, he’ll be just as bored as you. When you shake things up by changing things up in your routine, every day becomes exciting and you are both happier exercising. Sometimes you may even forget that you are burning energy.

Take your dog for a walk

Plan out a variety of dog walks that you can change regularly and try to create some playtime with games and challenges. Make sure your dog can release all of its pent-up energy but don’t stretch your dog too far. Think how much they can walk around before they get tired and make sure they have the energy to come back again.

To fetch

If your dog has more energy than you (which is often the case!), Play fetch with a ball or flying disc. This type of exercise for dogs is always fun and means they can run long distances without leaving their eyesight – and you won’t get tired either. This is especially beneficial for puppies and young dogs who have seemingly endless enthusiasm when it comes to playing with them.

Tug of war

With positive reinforcement in the form of hugs and pats (but not too many treats as this can lead to weight problems), many dogs enjoy wearing your limb! Instead of sticks that can splinter and potentially damage your teeth, throat, or stomach, choose fun throwing toys like balls or squeaky shapes that you can also play tug of war with.

Dog sport

Another form of dog exercise that you should consider is dog sports. Dog sports can be gentle or vigorous or involve teamwork or solo training – in short, there is something for everyone! For more information on the different dog sports, you can enjoy with your pet, see our article.


Swimming is a great canine exercise that will help improve blood flow and increase metabolism. It is also gentle on the joints, so it is a great choice for all dogs and especially dogs suffering from arthritis or dysplasia.

No matter what activity you end up enjoying together, always remember that your dog likes to spend time with you. So make this time extra special instead of frolic in the same old park every day. Meeting new dogs and following new scents is part of the fun!

Dog exercise for different breeds

Of course, some breeds naturally want to be more frequent and stronger than others. Different breeds prefer different activities, so there are a variety of different canine exercises you might want to consider.

You can choose your exercises and games based on the role your dog was originally bred for. Terriers love to dig; Dogs that love to chase things prefer sharp bursts of movement, and pastoral breeds especially love dog sports. Learn more about how to address your dog’s instinctive likes for exercise and play, and discover your dog’s built-in talents and incorporate them into the exercise!

Puppy on grass

How does age affect your dog’s movement?

It is natural for dog exercises to change as your dog grows up and matures. The following should be considered as energy levels and physical abilities change.

Exercise for puppies

Before putting together a whole list of dog training ideas for your puppy, you need to take into account that a puppy’s physical abilities are limited and that their bones are still growing and that they are much more prone to injury. As a rule of thumb, puppies shouldn’t have more than 5 minutes of exercise twice a day per month. Find out early on how walking and playing are different from our simple guide to puppy exercise.

Exercise for older dogs

When your dog is older, they may prefer a quieter, more leisurely stroll, but that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy a change of scenery either. You can still vary their walks and the terrain they drive, making sure they have plenty of interesting things to see and sniff out.

What to do if your dog is not used to exercise

If your dog is not used to regular exercise but you have decided to start a routine, start off carefully – it will be easier for both of you and you can build some stamina. Start your dog training routine with short periods of activity at slow speeds and gradually increase time, speed, and distance until your dog gets the right amount of exercise for its size, breed, and weight. (If you are not sure what the amount is, contact your veterinarian.)

Your dog will be happier if he walks or walks on soft surfaces like dirt, sand, or grass until his footpads become harder. It is worthwhile to keep your dog on a leash first so that he does not start off alone while walking or running. However, if you have a strong or enthusiastic pet, a head collar or harness will give you more control and peace of mind! Make sure your dog has good recall training when walking on a leash.

If your dog has had medical problems in the past, you can work with your veterinarian to plan a good canine exercise program that is beneficial for their needs.

Should Dogs Exercise After Eating?

It is recommended that pet owners avoid training dogs immediately before or after their dog eats, as a full stomach combined with walking or running can cause indigestion. Additionally, your dog will really benefit from having enough water with meals, which will keep them well hydrated and ready for exercise!

Dog exercise and weather

Dog on snow

Whether it’s wet and cold or warm and sunny, your dog still needs a regular dose of exercise to stay in top shape. Of course, very warm or very cold weather presents you and your dog with additional challenges – for example, your canine friend can suffer from frostbite just like humans. For more information, see our article on grooming your dog all year round.

Train your dog in winter

If your dog has walked in the snow, wipe its paws and remove any snow or ice, or salt that might get caught in the fur.

Train your dog in summer

During the summer months, your dog can suffer from sunburn and heatstroke during their fun walks with the dog. In addition, hot asphalt can damage your dog’s feet. Therefore, be particularly careful when working on the road. You might consider buying your dog a pair of boots if they have very sensitive feet and then they’re ready for any occasion!

Regardless of what activity your dog shares with you, remember that training together should be fun, varied, and satisfying for both of you – and with a sense of adventure, you will never go wrong!

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