Shipping Text / Shipping Price

Optimeal® Blog

Optimeal® Blog

How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need?

By Bridget Reed


Every dog needs a chance to exercise, whether a walk, a run, or a swim in the pond. Your pup probably loves their daily exercise, and it provides a great opportunity for you to get out of the house and spend some time with your dog on a long walk.

However, you might wonder what kind of physical activity your dog is best suited for and how much of an exercise routine they need. The truth is that some dogs have a lot more energy than others. 

Depending on their breed, age, and personality, you might find your pooch is a ball of energy or that they prefer to spend most of their day lounging on the couch.

We have the answers if you want to know the right amount of exercise for your pup. Read on to find out how much time you should spend exercising your dog daily and our suggestions on the many different activities you can do together. 

It’s a great chance for you and your pup to try something new and burn some calories simultaneously.

How Much Exercise Does My Puppy Need?

Puppies are learning and growing every day, and exercise is one of the best ways to keep them healthy and fit.

Your puppy might have bursts of energy, followed by exhausted naptime, several times a day. During the “zoomies,” they’ll usually run around as fast as they possibly can, possibly colliding with walls or furniture if they haven’t got the hang of momentum yet. But wait a few more minutes, and pretty soon, they’ll be yawning and settling down for a snooze.

With all that energy, it might seem like puppies can exercise just fine on their own. However, they’ll still benefit from some guided playtime and strolls by their pet parent’s side.

Because puppies tend to have less endurance than adult dogs, we recommend giving them a few short opportunities for exercise throughout the day. Save the long hikes for when they’re all grown up, and give your puppy a quick session of tug-of-war or fetch.

You might find your puppy’s need for exercise changes as they grow, so be ready to switch up your schedule to accommodate them. Talk to your vet for tips on getting your dog the activity they need, and consider bringing them to a dog park or making some doggy friends. It’s a great way to socialize your pup and let them play.

How Much Exercise Does My Adult Dog Need?

Your adult dog should get a walk every day, but in some cases, they’ll want a lot more playtime than that. You can’t always predict how much exercise your dog will need, but there are a few different factors you can use to take an educated guess.

First, your dog’s breed plays a major role in how active they’ll be. Some dogs are better suited for life on the go, while others prefer lazy afternoons and long naps.

Along with breed, your dog’s age, health, and personality can all influence the exercise they’ll need. Here are a few of the things that might impact your dog’s level of activity:


With the vast variety represented by every dog breed, you might find your dog needs much more or less exercise than average. Some breeds won’t have the stamina and energy for sustained exercise, while others live for a chance to run wild.

Brachycephalic dogs typically have the lowest exercise requirements. These short-nosed, flat-faced dogs include bulldogs, pugs, and boxers. They don’t need intense exercise, and 30 minutes of moderate walking is usually enough to wear them out for the day.

Sighthounds, giant breeds, and toy breeds tend to have lower energy than their relatives. Sighthounds include sleek, skinny pups such as greyhounds and Irish wolfhounds. They like running for short bursts but don’t need more than 45-60 minutes of exercise daily. 

Great Danes, Newfoundlands, and other gentle giants prefer moderate exercise for up to 45 minutes daily. Small breeds and toy breeds like Chihuahuas and Yorkies have similar requirements, and 30 to 60 minutes of regular exercise will keep them fit and happy.

On the other hand, sporting and herding dogs have some of the highest exercise requirements, preferring at least one to two hours daily. These include popular dogs such as golden retrievers and Labradors, as well as huskies and border collies.

Working dogs like Dobermans and terriers such as the Jack Russel will also need at least an hour of exercise and play every day.

Last, scent hounds like the beagle, basset hound, and American foxhound will need lots of activity, with at least 60 to 90 minutes of exercise daily. As you can see, there’s a wide range of different needs from one breed to the next.


Depending on your dog's age, you can expect them to prefer more or less activity. Very young dogs will benefit from lots of exercise in short bursts. They’ll also enjoy frequent breaks for a chance to relax and recover.

Adult dogs will often have the highest exercise needs. However, as they age, they may begin to slow down. Your elderly dog may prefer naps over long hikes and spend a lot more time on their dog bed.

Older dogs can get mental stimulation with new puzzle toys and tricks and slow, short walks that give them time to sniff around. If your senior dog doesn’t appear uncomfortable with their walks, continue getting them out in the fresh air. 


If your dog has chronic health conditions, some types of exercise might be painful. Giant breeds such as Saint Bernards can have persistent joint problems due to their weight. Running and brisk walking might be too painful for them to handle, but they’ll probably enjoy a chance to go swimming.


Some dogs simply prefer specific activities. Your dog might love running by your side but refuse to fetch. The best thing you can do is experiment with various activities and see which type of exercise your dog likes best.


You might have to get creative if the weather is frequently too hot or too cold for outdoor activity. Sometimes, you’ll need to allow your dog to run around your house or apartment and get indoor exercise. You can invest in a few good dog toys for tug-of-war or other games.

How Can I Keep My Dog Healthy and Fit?

There are two main components to taking care of your dog’s health and wellness.

First, exercise is vital to every pup. Whether you have an old pug or a young, energetic pit bull, you’ll need to give them a chance to walk, play, and investigate the world to keep them physically and mentally sharp.

Along with exercise, diet is critical to maintaining your dog’s health. We recommend picking a complete and balanced dog food with meat as a first ingredient. 

Our Chicken & Veggies Recipe for All Adult Breeds is a great choice for any active dog; the fresh chicken will give them the energy they need, while our added minerals and vitamins will help them build strong muscles.

For more options, check out our collection of premium dog food. Our recipes are high in protein and contain the antioxidants your dog needs to support their immune system, without the GMO ingredients or artificial preservatives that might compromise their health. You can shop Optimeal® using our store locator or order our food online today.

What Are the Best Ways To Exercise My Dog?

If you’re looking for suggestions on how to get your dog the exercise they need, look no further. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best ways to get your pup active today.

Walking or Hiking

Walking your dog is never a bad idea. In most cases, your dog will need at least one to two daily walks to stay healthy, fit, and happy. Walks are great for their physical and mental health and can burn a lot of energy along the way.

Hiking can also be a great way to spend time with your pup, as long as they’re fit and ready for the trail. Make sure you keep an eye on them and stop for a break if they seem tired or overheated. Bring plenty of water and snacks, and you and your dog will have a great time.


While you might not be able to teach your dog to ride a bike, you can certainly train them to run alongside you. If you have a high-energy dog who needs lots of exercise, cycling can be a great way to get them the daily activity they need.

However, gradually build up your dog’s fitness, with frequent breaks when necessary. Don’t push them too hard; be ready to stop if they seem exhausted.


Swimming is a great activity for larger dogs. It’s gentle on their joints and gives them a whole-body workout. However, some dogs don’t like water, so it can help to do your research beforehand. 

If your pup enjoys a nice swim, it’s a great way for them to burn off some energy on a hot summer day. Feel free to join them in the water as well.


Running is another good way for you and your dog to get some exercise together. However, you should gradually build up their stamina before you take off. 

You can start by jogging lightly during a normal walk, then slowing down and giving them a chance to catch their breath. Running can also be hard on the joints, so it’s not the best choice for giant breeds.

Playing Games

Dogs love games just as much as humans, and you can experiment with various options. Games are a great way to get your dog to use multiple skills at once, whether it's frisbee, flyball, or hide and seek. We recommend trying different toys and games to find one your dog will love. 


Fetch is a classic way to spend time with your dog and practice your throwing skills simultaneously. All you need is a park, lawn, or wide grassy space. You can use a tennis ball, a stick, or any other dog toy; however, you might have to persuade your dog to drop it once they return.


Agility involves setting up an obstacle course and training your dog to complete it. You can use homemade obstacles or pre-built tunnels, hurdles, and other gadgets. You can also train your dog alongside other pups, so they get a chance to socialize.

Obedience Training

Teaching your dog tricks can keep them mentally stimulated and give them a chance to exercise. You can always refresh them on basic commands or try something new and complicated that will give them a chance to concentrate and learn.

Daily training is a great way to stave off boredom and strengthen your bond with your dog.

Burning Off Your Dog’s Energy

Along with the options listed above, there are many more ways you can exercise alongside your dog. No matter what kind of activity you and your pup prefer, you’re sure to find a great way to spend some time with your pup and get them enough exercise in the meantime.

Exercise is a vital part of your dog’s life, and it’s also great for your physical health. Allowing yourself to get out of the house, try new things, and spend time with your dog can have many benefits. Besides, your pup will be more than happy to join you on your next trip to the park.


How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need Every Day? | American Kennel Club

How much exercise does your dog need? | PDSA

Dog Exercise Needs By Breed (Basic Guide & Time Chart) | Fairmount Pet Service

How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need? | Fetch

← Older Post Newer Post →

0 THOUGHTS ON “How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need?” :


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *