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When it comes to exercise, you pup is no different from you. Your puppy needs exercise to properly develop their joints, boost their mood and maintain a healthy weight. Walking your puppy is a great way to exercise your pup while being able to provide mental stimulation and socialization.
As such small and not-so-coordinated creatures, it can be tough to know how much walking and exercise your growing puppy needs. While each puppy is different, here’s a basis of how far you can walk a puppy and what you can expect.
While you shouldn’t walk your puppy where they may come in contact with other dogs until they’ve had all their vaccinations, you can still practice getting your puppy ready for actual walks.
Try introducing them to the collar and leash. If you have a yard, it’s safe to take short walks (no longer than 10 minutes) at a time.
If you don’t have a yard, you can try walking your puppy around your apartment to introduce them to things like the stairs or the concept of walking next to you.
Three-month-old puppies can safely get up to 15 minutes of walking. But be careful! Slow and steady is the way to go.
Allow your puppy to stop and smell their surroundings. A slow pace will also help them get used to walking on a leash. Be sure to bring a small baggy of treats along to reward them for good behavior.
The older your puppy gets, the farther they can walk. A good rule is to take however many months your dog is and to multiply it by 5.
This means a four-month-old puppy can get up to 20 minutes of exercise. This may also be an appropriate time to introduce them to training methods such as “heel”. Remember to keep them on a short leash.
Being consistent with the amount of exercise your puppy gets is key to building your pup’s stamina. But while walking your puppy regularly is great for building endurance, it’s always a good idea to be in tune with your puppy’s behavior. Are they panting or slowing down? Do they seem nervous?
Keep an eye out for signs your pup may be uncomfortable. Remember that each puppy is different and to never force physical activity.