How much exercise does your dog need?

How much exercise does your dog need?

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How much exercise does your dog need?

The decision to bring a dog into your home as a family pet is a big one -- they require constant stimulation and attention as puppies, not to mention training, obedience schooling and let's not forget those daily walks.

But how much exercise do dogs really need? 

When it comes to keeping your dog healthy, daily exercise is key, according to Tara Atkinson, owner of Thank Dog! Bootcamp Canada.

"Not only does exercise control your dog's weight and increase muscle and bone density, but it can also slow down the aging process," explains Atkinson. "Plus, if any surgeries arise, a healthy body will be able to fight and bounce back."

Walking provides mental and physical benefits

While daily walks for your dog are essential for their physical well-being, Atkinson adds that a jaunt around the neighbourhood with your furry friend is beneficial for their mental health as well.

"The basic morning or afternoon walk satisfies their curious nature and urge to keep moving forward," she explains. "A healthy walk is what keeps a dog vital and well-balanced. If a dog does not get adequate daily exercise, behavioural issues will usually arise, such as destruction, anxiety or aggression."

How long should you walk your dog?

A daily walk should be around 30 to 60 minutes in length to maintain a healthy dog, but certain breeds require more activity and stimulation. Small breeds that have a lot of energy, like Jack Russell terriers and Yorkies, can get a good workout by sprinting around the backyard or dog park, in addition to their daily walk. For dogs prone to obesity, like beagles, a stricter diet should be supplemented with an active lifestyle to keep the pounds off. 


A tired dog is a good dog in most cases. If your pooch can rest in a relaxed state while you continue on with your day, behavioural problems are unlikely to arise. Atkinson also adds that a dog that receives enough exercise will generally live two to three years longer than a dog that doesn't receive enough cardio.

Page 1 of 2 -- From working out with your dog to snowshoeing, discover four awesome exercise ideas for your pup on page 2. Great exercise ideas for your dog
Looking for a way to switch up your dog's exercise routine? Atkinson shares four activities that will have a big impact on your dog's physical and mental well-being, not to mention keep your pup happy.

1. Make your dog your workout partner
Create a lasting bond with your dog by mixing quality time with a fun workout for both of you. Atkinson's Thank Dog! Bootcamp Canada is the nation's first outdoor fitness program that combines obedience training, weight training, cardiovascular training, and nutrition training for dogs and their people.

2. Work up a sweat and cool down
If your summers are spent at the cottage, cool off with your pup in the fresh water lake. Dock diving is a great way for your dog to get a cardio workout and to stay cool in the summer heat.

3. Take it to the beach or dog park

If you don't have a cottage to go to, you can always hit up a local beach or dog park. If you're at a beach, tossing a Frisbee or playing fetch in the heavy sand with your pooch adds an extra bit of exertion.

4 Go snowshoeing
During the winter months, take your four-legged friend into the woods on a snowshoeing trail. Not only will he enjoy the crisp fresh air, walking through deep snow is a physically demanding workout for your dog.

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How much exercise does your dog need?