Caissie Canine Instruction: “How much daily exercise does my dog need?”
Updated: Mar 2
Good morning, welcome to Doggie Dialogue,
Often, our clients have asked, “how much daily exercise does my dog need?”
Some experts would suggest approximately 2-3 hours of physical and mental stimulation throughout the day. However, every breed is unique and it is important as a canine handler to consider the dogs age, size, and overall health. We have found, in our experience and feedback from professionals, most dogs require a daily walk (or two).
Some dogs absolutely love the snow, but there are also some dogs who could certainly do without. Here’s what we recommend for your winter walks in Canada:
· In extreme temperatures such as -10 and below, it has been recommended that if you have a small dog or puppy, do not avoid physical activity but rather, provide your dog with a quick 10-15-minute walk.
· For a larger dog, in extreme temperatures such as -10 and below, a 20-30-minute walk has been recommended
· Dogs with short coats or low body fat would benefit with a sweater or water-resistant coat. For example, Rottweilers, French bulldogs, Dalmation, and Chihuahua’s are to name a few that would benefit from a winter coat.
· In extreme heat such as 75 degrees and up, it is important to consider the time of day. Taking your walk early in the morning or in the late evening after dinner are optimal time frames for both yourself and your dog. However, in the event your schedule does not permit you to go on early morning or late evening walks, consider shorter (15-20 minute) walks. We also recommend bringing water for yourself and your pet!
· Look for shade – this is always important, our dogs are exerting a lot of energy on their walks – whether you are in the woods, on a path, or walking through your neighbourhood; our pets always benefit from breaks and appreciate the shade.
· Bring plenty of water – Hydration is key on summer walks!
· No extra exertion – for example, it is important to remember that dogs can have heat stroke. Be mindful of the length of your walk and play.
A few of our clients have purchased doggie treadmills for indoor walking which is a great product to ensure adequate canine activity and overall health.
Not only does your dog need physical exercise, but they also need mental stimulation as well. With mental stimulation, all the fun can be done indoors, in small spaces, and with a few simple toys.
Stimulating activities for dogs can be the following:
2. Fetch (even if you roll the ball/toy on the floor)
3. Some dogs love the “treat dispenser” – this can be a great toy or puzzle for your dog (find at your local pet store)
4. Dogs also enjoy the rubber “kong” products
All the above, will challenge and stimulate your dog’s brain no matter the age or size of your dog.
Some of our clients have also enrolled their dog into dog sports, such as flyball, dock diving, scent work, area search, obedience, and/or agility.
In fact, we have a few champions in our group. “SHANKLY” the duck toller is a dock diving champ,
“JAVA” a chocolate Lab is a graduate and champ of our Level 1 & 2 obedience training,
“HONEY” is a graduate of our level 1 obedience as well,
and “MISA” a Dalmatian graduated and a champion of our C.C.I. tracking and area search program.