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Puppy Exercise Guidelines: Insights from Veterinary Experts for a Healthy Start

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healthy puppy exercise guidelines

Welcoming a puppy into your home is an exciting journey, and part of ensuring their well-being involves providing the right amount of exercise. To shed light on this important topic, we’ve gathered insights from reputable veterinary experts. In this article, we’ll explore recommended healthy puppy exercise guidelines for exercising your puppy, keeping their age, breed, and growth in mind.

Understanding Puppy Exercise Needs: Expert Advice from Veterinary Experts

Dr. Karen Becker – Integrative Wellness Veterinarian
Dr. Karen Becker emphasises that while exercise is vital for a puppy’s physical and mental development, moderation is key. Puppies should engage in short bursts of playtime throughout the day, focusing on activities that match their age and breed. Avoid excessive high-impact exercise that could stress growing joints and bones.

Dr. Sophia Yin – Veterinary Behaviourist
The late Dr. Sophia Yin highlighted the significance of structured play for puppies. She recommended five minutes of exercise per month of age, twice a day until a puppy is fully grown. This approach helps prevent overexertion and supports proper skeletal development.

British Veterinary Association (BVA)
The BVA emphasises that exercise should be tailored to a puppy’s age, breed, and individual characteristics. While some breeds are more active than others, all puppies benefit from controlled play, gentle walks, and mental stimulation. The BVA advises avoiding forced running or jumping for puppies under a year old.

Dr. Marty Becker – Fear-Free Certified Veterinarian
Dr. Marty Becker advises that a puppy’s exercise should focus on positive interactions and gradual progression. Leash training, interactive toys, and short, enjoyable walks are preferable for puppies. He suggests letting the puppy dictate the intensity and duration of play to prevent exhaustion.

Dr. Jean Dodds – Canine Haematologist and Immunologist
Dr. Jean Dodds emphasises the importance of avoiding excessive exercise, particularly in large and giant breeds. She recommends following a growth chart to monitor a puppy’s development and adjusting exercise accordingly. Controlled, low-impact activities are ideal for preventing orthopaedic issues.

Tailoring Exercise to Your Puppy’s Age and Breed:

Young Puppies (8-16 Weeks):

  • Short, frequent play sessions.
  • Gentle walks on soft surfaces.
  • Socialisation with other puppies and friendly dogs.

Adolescent Puppies (4-9 Months):

  • Gradually increasing playtime duration.
  • Structured walks to stimulate their mind.
  • Interactive toys for mental engagement.

Growing Puppies (9-18 Months):

  • Controlled play to prevent overexertion.
  • Structured walks or gentle hikes.
  • Obedience training for mental stimulation.

Puppy exercise is a balance between nurturing their physical development and safeguarding their joints and bones. The insights shared by reputable veterinary experts underscore the importance of age-appropriate, moderate exercise that supports growth without causing harm. Consulting your veterinarian, observing your puppy’s behaviour, and staying informed by trusted sources are essential steps in ensuring your puppy’s health and happiness as they grow into their paws. If you’d like to learn more about training a puppy, check out our obedience training page.

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