Walking and taking your dog out for a bathroom trip are daily routines that many owners set in place from very early on with their pups. But are we doing enough? There are many characteristics, from breed to age, which vary how long your dog should be spending exercising and how often they should be let out for potty breaks.
Puppies need a significantly less amount of exercise than fully-grown dogs, as their joints are still developing, and over-exercising can damage those joints leading to arthritis. A good estimate is based on their age, giving 5 minutes of exercise per month of age, for example 20 minutes exercise for a 4 month old puppy.
Once your pup is fully grown, their breed plays a big part in the frequency of their walks. High energy breeds need more exercise, whereas smaller types require less exercise. The following list will give a better idea of the recommended amount for each breed type:
- Gundog – Retriever, Spaniel, Pointers and Setters need more than two hours exercise daily
- Terrier- Jack Russell, Border Terrier and Welsh Terrier need up to one hour daily
- Toy- Chihuahua, Pug, Bichon Frise need up to 30 minutes daily
- Utility- Dalmatian, Shih Tzu, Bulldog need up to one hour daily
- Working- Doberman, Boxer, Siberian Husky need over two hours daily
The frequency that you should let your pup out to urinate depends again on age and overall health. A average healthy dog will produce around 15 ml of urine for each pound of body weight per day, so follow the pointers for how your pups bladder will change through time:
- Puppy- At 2 months old your puppy will need to go out every 30 minutes, backed up with a puppy pad indoors to work on reducing the number of accidents. At 3 months they will still need to go out every hour or two.
- Adult dog- Size will affect how often your adult dog will need to urinate; larger dogs need at least 3 toilet breaks a day, whereas smaller dogs will likely need 4 or 5 breaks a day. This is most important after waking up and after meal times.
- Senior dog- Older dogs are more likely to have illnesses such as kidney disease or diabetes which leads to more frequent urination, so make sure they’re able to relieve themselves every 2-3 hours. As dogs age they may experience incontinence which can be helped by medication prescribed by the vet, but some older pups have no problems with continuing to go out 4 or 5 times daily.