As dog owners, exercise is a big part of our life. Daily walks, fetch, and other physical activities keep our dogs fit, healthy, and happy. However, it’s essential to provide them with the right amount and type of exercise.
You have to meet your dog’s minimal requirements, but it’s also crucial not to overdo it. Too much exercise can be as bad or even worse than not enough. So you should know your dog’s limits and how much exercise is too much.
How Much Exercise Is Too Much For A Dog?
In general, 1 to 2 hours of exercise per day is what most dogs can handle safely. More than that might be too much and cause more harm than good. However, every dog has a different exercise limit and tolerance. The breed, age, health, fitness level, and many other factors will influence how much is too much.
For example, a Border Collie will generally need and tolerate much more exercise than a Bulldog. Besides, a puppy won’t have the same limits as an adult or senior dog. Therefore, there’s no one-fits-all answer to how much exercise is too much.
Just like humans, dogs are all different. Nonetheless, a good and safe rule of thumb is no more than 60 minutes of exercise per day. You can probably do more if your dog is more active and energetic than average. But over 2 hours of exercise per day is too much for most dogs.
As walking is one of the principal sources of physical activity for a dog, you might wonder how long it can or should be. The 1 or 2 hours of maximum daily exercise should include walks, but not exclusively that. So here’s how much walking is too much for a dog.
How Long Of A Walk Is Too Much For A Dog?
Most dogs can walk for 30 to 60 minutes every day without any problem as long as they are healthy and in good physical condition. Ideally, it should be divided into 2 or 3 shorter walks instead of a long one. Some dogs can tolerate up to 2 hours of walking per day.
Again, how much you should walk your dog will depend on several elements. But anything around 45 minutes per day is generally a good number to aim for. Over 1 hour of daily walking might be too much for some dogs. Still, it’s hard to over-exercise a dog with such a moderate and low-impact physical activity.
Things To Consider Not To Exercise Your Dog Too Much!
Now that you have a general idea of how much exercise is too much for most dogs, it’s time to focus on yours. As I already said, many factors will come into play. So let’s analyze each of them to understand better your dog’s exercise tolerance and limits!
How old your dog is will highly influence the amount and type of physical activity he can handle. As he grows up, his exercise needs will change a lot. The recommendations above mainly refer to adults. But what if you have a young pup or an old dog?
How Much Exercise Is Too Much For A Puppy?
A puppy can’t tolerate as much exercise as an adult dog. In general, anything over 10 minutes per month of age per day is too much for puppies. They should also avoid high-impact and extended physical activity. For example, a 4-months-old puppy can’t have more than 40 minutes of daily exercise.
Ideally, it should be divided into two sessions or more. It can include walking, free playtime, or moderate and low-impact physical activity. Puppies might have a lot of energy, but they haven’t built up stamina yet, and are still growing.
It makes them more likely to get over-exercise and suffer from intense physical activity. That’s why it’s essential not to push your puppy too much and respect his conditions. Otherwise, you’re likely to hurt, injure, and cause him more harm than good.
How Much Exercise Is Too Much For A Senior Dog?
After a certain age, your dog will handle less exercise because of decreasing energy levels and health conditions. Arthritis and joint problems are common in senior dogs, so intense physical activity can be painful for them. Over 1 hour of exercise is generally too much for an older dog.
Anything between 30 to 60 minutes should be enough. Ideally, it should be divided into short sessions of moderate physical activity. Extended and high-impact exercise is not appropriate nor safe for a senior dog.
Most dogs will start to slow down around 7 or 8 years old. It can be sooner for larger breeds and later for smaller ones. When it happens, you should adapt your dog’s exercise regimen to its new reality and limits.
Another piece of information that can help you know how much exercise is too much for your dog is the breed. Some breeds are much more active, energetic, and athletic than others. Thus, they will be able to handle more physical activity.
For example, an Australian Shepherd will have a much higher exercise tolerance than a Chihuahua or a Pug. So the breed should help you understand your dog’s limits. However, keep in mind that every dog is unique.
The recommendations and guidelines provided above were referring to healthy dogs. If your dog has any health problem or condition, it can highly influence how much exercise he can tolerate. That’s why you consult your vet to make sure everything is good.
Fitness Level & Energy
The more stamina and energy your dog has, the more exercise he will be able to handle. It’s obvious, but with regular physical activity, the body adapts and develops a better tolerance to it over time.
So you can improve your dog’s fitness level. Just make sure not to overdo it. Let your dog slowly build up endurance and strength. Then, athleticism will come, and he should gradually be able to do more exercise.
Weight & Size
Your dog’s weight and size will also impact how much exercise is too much. Obesity can lead to many problems, including a lower tolerance to physical activity. Exercising an overweight dog more than he can handle is a common mistake.
Besides that, the size is another factor you should consider. Smaller dogs are generally more likely to be over-exercised than medium and large ones. With their short legs and tiny body, they will tire and reach their limits much more quickly.
Have you ever run when it was hot outside? If it’s the case, you probably didn’t go as fast and keep running for as long as usual. It’s the same thing for your dog, but it’s even worse because he can’t tolerate heat as well as you are.
Thus, please consider the temperature when you exercise together. If your dog can usually handle up to 60 minutes of physical activity, 30 to 45 minutes might be too much if it’s hot and sunny outside.
Type Of Exercise
The exercise itself can also impact how much of it your dog can take. The intensity, duration, and difficulty will make his tolerance vary a lot. For example, 1 hour of walking per day is fine for most dogs. But 1 hour of running or high-impact exercise might be too much.
So, How Much Exercise Is Too Much For Your Dog?
With all the factors that come into play, it’s nearly impossible for me to tell you how much exercise your dog can safely do. Therefore, you have to figure it out on your own. Make sure to consider age, breed, health, fitness level, energy, and anything else that can impact your dog’s exercise tolerance.
Another person that can help you is a veterinarian or any other professional in pet care. Together, you should be able to prepare a specific exercise regimen for your dog. Then, you will simply have to follow it and adjust along the way if necessary.
How Can You Tell If Your Dog Is Over-Exercised?
If your dog is getting too much exercise, he will react a certain way. Therefore, it’s essential to look out for symptoms. Even if you think you know and respect your dog’s limits, paying attention to signs of overexertion is the best way to avoid any problem.
Signs & Symptoms That Your Dog Is Getting Too Much Exercise!
- Excessive Panting, Drooling, or Sweating.
- Extreme Thirst.
- Unusual Fatigue.
- Not Keeping Up.
- Rapid Pulse.
- Sleeping More Than Usual.
- Exhaustion After Exercise.
- Behavioral Changes.
- Slower To Respond.
- Muscle Soreness.
- Paws Injuries.
- Loss Of Appetite.
Tips To Avoid Exercising Your Dog Too Much!
Too much exercise can be harmful and cause severe problems to your dog. But that won’t stop him from going past his limits if you push him too hard. So here are some guidelines to help you avoid overexerting a dog.
Start Out Slow & Gradually Improve!
Exercise tolerance is something that your dog will build up over time. Don’t expect him to keep up with you in a marathon just because he has an extra pair of legs.
So you should start with moderate and short sessions of physical activity. Then, you can gradually improve.
Pay Attention To Your Dog When You Exercise!
While doing anything with your dog, your principal focus must be on him. Otherwise, how can you notice if there’s something wrong?
That’s why you must watch over your dog before, during, and after exercise. It will allow you to notice any unusual signs and avoid many problems.
Consider Exercising Without Your Dog!
You don’t have to take your dog everywhere, especially if it’s for his own safety. So you can run, hike, or do activities alone if you think it’s too much for him. However, it’s always a good idea to adapt your exercise routine to include your dog in it.
Last Thoughts About How Much Exercise Is Too Much For A Dog!
Finally, most dogs can’t handle more than 1 or 2 hours of exercise per day. But every dog has a different limit and tolerance. It will mainly depend on the age, breed, health, and fitness level.
Now it’s time to find how much exercise is too much for your dog. With that in mind, it will be much easier to stay active and have fun together without overdoing it. So let’s figure out what amount and type of physical activity your dog can safely enjoy.
Let’s Exercise That Dog, But Not Too Much!