For most pet parents, taking walks and playing with their pups is the highlight of the day. And if there was such as thing as a tail-wag-ometer, we reckon dogs would score playtime a ten every time. But exercise isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. How much your furry friend requires hinges on a lot of things, including their breed and age. Knowing when to go and when to stop is extra important with younger dogs because they’re still growing. So, how much exercise does a puppy need? Before we get into the nitty-gritty, it’s important to note that exercise and food go hand in hand. Your pup will thrive on high-quality complete food, preferably one that’s been portioned to suit their needs, just like Butternut Box meals. Exactly as you’d fuel up your car (well, maybe not exactly…) you need to fuel up your pooch. That way they’ll be ready to roll – and not just onto their backs for a tickle.
No excess energy to burn
Puppies are hardworking little things. They can add as much as 10% to their bodyweight each week and seem to be jet-propelled, which is why they need appropriate dog food to keep them from burning out. Butternut Box meals are pawfect for toddling pooches because we make sure they’re getting exactly the right number of calorie in every meal. Just remember to pupdate us with their details as they grow so we can adjust their portions accordingly. Even though they’re energetic from all their delicious food, puppies actually need much less exercise than you might think. All that growing leaves them without all that much energy left over. Here at Butternut Box, we follow the guidelines from Avidog-Zink. They recommend starting off with adventures of 5 to 15 minutes in duration for puppies aged from 5 and a half weeks. You can gradually build up from there to fit in with your dog’s development.
Slow & steady wins the race
How much exercise your pooch needs doesn’t just depend on their age – breed and build should also be factored in. Tibetan Spaniels aren’t going to need as much exercise as Boxers, for example. So it’s recommended that you discuss what’s best with your vet and check out The Kennel Club’s Breed Information Centre, too. The key thing is to start slowly with puppies. They’re growing fast and their bodies are changing dramatically. If you overdo the exercise it can actually be dangerous for their development, leading to health issues like damaged joints and early arthritis. So go easy and take it at a gentle pace – prolonged running is definitely to be avoided. And along the way, look out for signs that they’ve had enough – lying down mid-walk and stubbornly refusing to take another step isn’t unheard of.
Don’t forget to try new things
Picture this. You’ve been with your pet parents for a few weeks now and every day they take you on a walk down the same road, past that fence you peed on the other day and back home again. That same trip over and over. Sounds boring, right? We bet your dog thinks the same. The PDSA website recommends you mix things up with your pooch, trying different routes and alternating walks with games and opportunities for socialising. And The Blue Cross agrees. It’s not only good for their physical wellbeing but their mental health too, as it helps develop their confidence and understanding of the world. So, to make sure we’re all pup to date: the amount of exercise depends on their age and breed, and variety is the spice of life. And food makes a difference too. While you get the exercise regime sorted out, why not let Butternut Box look after nutrition? With perfectly portioned pouches and drool-worthy recipes made with freshly prepared veg and protein, we know how to walk the walk when it comes to dog meals.