If you want your pup to be happy and healthy they need a lot of good exercises. The following are some ways to utilize walking and playing efficiently and not go overboard.
Ways not to exercise your pup too much
Many people get a dog because they have dreamed about going on long nature walks, and truly it’s a real joy when you have a dog and the two of you get to explore the park or take a walk in the country. But when you first get a puppy, you must take into consideration that he’s really just a baby! Like a human baby, he has limited physical stamina. You can even hurt your new pup if you exercise them too much in their first few weeks or months.
A pup’s bones are still growing until they reach the age of sexual maturity, which is quite different depending on the breed of dog. In some breeds, the growth plates inside their bones, which grow as the dog grows, remain soft for quite some time. That is why too much exercise can injure a puppy. And the rest of a pup’s bones are softer than adult dog bones too and that means they can break a bone easier.
Plus, a pup’s ligaments and tendons are still developing as well as the puppy grows and matures. These two are more likely to get injured if you exercise your pup too hard or use the wrong type of playing or exercising.
Guidelines for walking and exercising puppies
After all that you may be worried and try to overprotect your pup. However, if you merely follow some simple guidelines, it will all be fine. Firstly, don’t forget that pups do need to be exercised as that’s the way their bones get more dense and strong. Then they will have strong bones and are less likely to get hurt when they are adults.
How long should a puppy be walked?
Puppies should not go walking all over the countryside or on local roadways as you lead them on their leash. Actually, it’s best if you walk a puppy about five minutes for each month of their age. So if your puppy is two months old that means 10 minutes of walking done twice a day. If you have a large breed dog like a Great Dane, they mature slower so they should be walked even less time than that.
And don’t rush the walks. Let them relax, get to smell around, and investigate their environment. They need to learn and grow their minds too besides their bodies! Exploring things in their environment is crucial to them developing normally.
So, just walk about two minutes, then stop so the puppy can relax and do some sniffing, etc. And if they flop over and refuse to walk or they seem to be tired, then back off and stop the walk and take them back home.
Playing time is important as well!
Even if your dog seems to have energy that won’t stop, they are pretty good at limiting themselves, so it’s vital to let them play at their own pace. If you have noticed, most young pups will race around like crazy for a minute or two, and then they suddenly need to lay down and take a nap.
And it is not just their developing bodies you must be concerned about. Pups also don’t have a well-developed cardiovascular system, so they do not have a lot of endurance at this age. All they can do is those mad dashes of energy as they are building up their systems to have more stamina later when they are adults.
Using play as part of a pup’s exercise sessions
Self-motivated play ought to make up most of your pup’s first year of exercise sessions, as well as types of training and interaction with you like brain games. When playing with puppies, it needs to stay low-key. Be sure if you play tug of war type games that you are doing it gently and don’t pull on it up or down sharply or you could hurt your pup’s delicate back or neck. And don’t let them jump on or off furniture or anywhere else until your veterinarian gives the ok.
Exercise toys for puppies
Playing with your pup with some kind of interactive toy is great for their exercise sessions. This builds their brain as well as their body. It’s good to try things like a Kong toy stuffed with treats, or make a treasure trail in your yard so the pup can smell out a trail of treats or kibble. It is fun for them as well as helps create a strong bond between you and your dog.
Even though you are limited as to what your puppy can do for exercise, remember that their little brains also soak up everything so it’s a good time to consider taking them to a puppy class to find out what is the best thing you can be teaching your pup.
During these first few weeks and months with your pup, you are building up your bond, as well as teaching them to be safe in their new environment and that people are fun to play and be with. You bond with them via playing, games and being gentle when you handle them. There will be lots of time later to do things like those longed for long rambling country walks when they are older.
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