Puppies are little bundles of energy that can get into a lot of trouble. That’s why exercise is so important for them to release that energy, but if the exercise is too strenuous, it can actually be detrimental to their health. What does safely exercising your puppy mean?
Depending on their breed, puppies are still growing until they reach between 1 and 2 years old. While they are still developing, stressing their bodies with excessive exercise can damage their growth plates and joints, leading to serious issues later in life, especially for larger breeds. Here are ways to safely exercise your puppy until they’re fully grown.
One of the best exercises for growing puppies is walking. Walking is fun and easy on joints. Try to keep walks on soft, flat surfaces like grass or soil rather than cement because it’s better for your pup’s joints.
Another activity that’s safe for all puppies is Dogo’s Basic Obedience Training Program. Teaching your dog new skills and basic commands like “Sit,” “Come,” and “Take-it” not only provides them with a bit of physical exercise, but it gives them a good amount of mental exercise too.
The Dogo Stay Active Program is the perfect way to keep your puppy exercised and teach them 12 new tricks and skills. These include “Spin,” “Twirl,” “Weave,” and “Jump.” The program teaches you how to warm up your dog, stretch their muscles, and help them relax after you’re done.
Exercises for Puppies to Avoid
While a sprint around your yard is OK for your puppy, jogging with you is not.
Other activities like very long walks, hikes, or running next to you as you cycle are not appropriate for young puppies. Until your puppy is fully grown, limit their exercise and always watch them for signs of puppy overexertion like panting, slowing down, and lameness.
Moderation in Puppy Exercise
Exercise your puppy in moderation to prevent bone deformities, hip dysplasia, and arthritis later in life. Three times a day, short walks, training sessions, and play sessions, with rests in between, are the key to keeping your puppy happy and healthy.
In between rests and short exercise sessions, provide your puppy with plenty of toys, including brain-teasing puzzle toys. And incorporate a few games like hide-and-seek, fetch, and tug-of-war into your puppy’s repertoire of exercises.