Claire Hargrave - BSc(Hons), MSc, PGCE, C Sci, C Chem, MRSC, DAS(CABC), CCAB

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How much exercise does my puppy need?

Claire Hargrave - BSc(Hons), MSc, PGCE, C Sci, C Chem, MRSC, DAS(CABC), CCAB
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Exercise will keep your puppy fit and healthy, if you follow a few rules. Puppies need daily exercise, so the more you can do to make it interesting and varied, the more you’ll both enjoy it.

Change your walking route from time to time, and let your puppy experience a variety of environments – include trips to the beach, local park and woodland for example – and introduce a variety of activities such as games of fetch or chase, with plenty of rewarding pats and hugs.

Regular exercise will build your Puppy’s energy levels, keep their weight stable, and maintain strong, healthy cardiovascular and immune systems into adulthood.

Puppies can appear to have endless reserves of energy but even puppies can be over-exercised. When walking, keep an eye on the distances you cover. A dog that zigzags back and forth can cover up to five times the distance of their owner. Warning signs of too much exercise or exercise-related damage are stiffness when rising, and limping. Lots of older dogs may appear stiff when rising but your puppy shouldn’t, that is not a good sign. So take it easy to keep it fun!

Things to remember when exercising your puppy

– Never exercise your puppy too soon after feeding.

– Vary your exercise routine, and consider matching your puppy’s activities to their breed.

– Consider using a head collar or harness, rather than a lead. See our article looking at the pros and cons of halts, harnesses and leads.

– Provide plenty of fresh water after exercise.

– Keep an eye on your puppy when outside, in case they try to eat or drink something they shouldn’t.

– In cold weather, wipe pads after walking to clean them of snow or salt; in hot weather, avoid tarmac and exercising when it’s very hot.

Claire Hargrave - BSc(Hons), MSc, PGCE, C Sci, C Chem, MRSC, DAS(CABC), CCAB

Claire Hargrave is the only Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist accredited by the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) working in Wales. She is also a member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors. As the animal behaviour profession is as yet unregulated, and to ensure that a behaviourist has an adequate level of practical and theoretical experience, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Dogs Trust and the R.S.P.C.A. advise veterinary surgeons and members of the public to ensure that they only seek advice from behaviourists accredited by ASAB or who hold APBC membership.

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