Puppy Exercise

Puppy exercise is necessary to ensure normal growth, good appetite and healthy joint formation. Although daily exercise improves the overall health of the puppy, overworking the pet may lead to excessive stress on the body and health conditions. Since individual puppy breeds differ in weight, growth and genetic predisposition, pet owners should identify an exercise routine that keeps the dog active physically and prevents boredom.

Types of Activities Suitable for Physical Exercise

  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Running
  • Indoor activities

Physical Exercise for Puppies

Pet owners should start physical exercise as early as 6 weeks of age. Although the nature of activity should be less strenuous, puppies at this age should be taken for short walks and encouraged to swim occasionally. As pets advance in age they may be taken for longer walks and should eventually be taught to jog alongside the pet owner, few times a week. Instead of the routine walk, pet owners may alternatively play fetch with puppies and use soft toys to entertain the pet.


Although daily exercise is necessary, puppies shouldn't be exercised outdoors in bad weather conditions. If the weather is extremely hot or humid, puppies should be given plenty of fresh water to keep them hydrated. Alternatively, pets may be kept indoors and kept active with indoor games. Running or jogging should begin when the pet is nearly 12 months old. This is an important guideline as the bones aren't fully developed and maybe soft until the age of 18 weeks. Excessive exercise or vigorous activity could cause joint or bone damage and dislocation. It's thus important to avoid strenuous exercises such as high jumps or heavy physical training. Pet owners should also choose a soft terrain while taking young pets out on a walk.

Healthy Activities for Puppies

Puppies may be taken to dog parks where they can interact with other pets and build social skills. It's also advisable to choose new terrains while walking the puppy to avoid boredom and keep the pet's mind active. Pet owners should choose an exercise regime that suits the pets breed and overall health condition. Puppies that refuse to play certain games or engage in certain activities shouldn't be forced into play. Swimming in particular is an activity that's loved by certain breeds and dreaded by others. Regardless of the age and breed, walking is the safest exercise that may begin at a very early age. Walks should be nearly 15 to 20 minutes long and maintained at a moderate pace.

Importance of Puppy Exercise

Along with puppy exercise it's necessary to conduct routine vet checks to determine if the puppy is healthy and within the normal weight range. Exercise is important to maintain optimal pet health as several large breed dogs are susceptible to obesity, canine arthritis and degenerative joint diseases. Thus if pets are exercised from an early age it helps prevent weight problems later in life.

There are several toys commercially available for play. It's important to read labels and choose toys that are age appropriate and items that don't pose as choking hazards.