Many new puppy owners wonder how to make sure that their puppies are getting adequate exercise. One needs to approach this subject with caution as puppies will not know how much is too much. They will need their owners to monitor and manage the amounts of exercise and make sure that it is safe for their pup’s growing body. Your veterinarian is a great resource for questions concerning activities appropriate for your puppy.
Owners must take into account that their golden retriever puppy is a developing large breed dog. Large breed puppies’ bodies are growing at a fast pace and it is very easy for them to hurt their developing joints and growth plates by too much exercise, too much stop and start play, overly aggressive play, hard surfaces, and jumping up and down onto high surfaces. Stairclimbing, mountain trails, excessive climbing should be avoided as well as jogging or running a puppy. Please do not let your puppy jump off of any high surfaces.
A good rule of thumb is to take short walks , think five minutes per month old as a guideline. For example: A four month old puppy should get five minutes x 4 months equals about a 20 minute walk. Puppies will enjoy short walks and will also still need lengthy nap times to rest . Use your puppy walk time to bond with your puppy, work on leash skills, learn how to sit when distractions present themselves.
Playing in the yard on a soft surface is a great place for exercise and some running is certainly to be expected, but pay attention to your pup and his or her aggressiveness in play. They can become overexcited and they don’t know how to monitor this for themselves as they are still babies. Consider the following for exercise:
- Five minutes per month old for walking and play periods
- Soft surfaces for play and walks rather than hard
- Monitoring play with other dogs, matching size and energy of dog, amount of time, and stopping play if it is too rough
- Limiting too much stop and start until growth plates are fully developed
- Training in a class, in the yard, or with family members in the house is also a great form of exercise and satisfies your puppy’s need for mental stimulation
- Set up stations for training in the yard as a form of exercise
- Don’t expect to get your full adult exercise with your puppy, they are still babies and aren’t ready to do what human adults and or other adult dogs do
- Spend time taking your puppy to lots of new places where he or she can learn social skills and face fears
- 100 new experiences in 100 days will help your puppy to become socialized and well rounded
- Get your puppy checked out by your vet if you suspect an injury
- Make sure your puppy is on a large breed puppy formula dog food
- Don’t give your growing puppy any additional supplements until growth plates are fully developed and closed and without running it by your vet
I am going to post an article that I have found helpful here. Your veterinarian is a great resource for keeping your puppy healthy and safe. Hope you find the article below helpful.
CLICK HERE for article from Ready to Go Vet Rehab ( Note: this website is having a security issue “connection not secure” so please be aware of that before clicking)
Snowy Day Walk with Lilly and Gemma