Can you Overwalk a puppy?

Answered by Antonio Sutton

It is possible to overwalk a puppy and it can have negative consequences on their growth and development. Puppies have delicate joints that are still developing, and excessive exercise can cause injury or strain on these growing bones and muscles. It is important to strike a balance between providing enough exercise for your puppy’s energy needs and avoiding overexertion.

When it comes to exercising a puppy, it is important to consider their age, breed, and individual energy levels. Generally, puppies should have short, frequent exercise sessions that gradually increase in duration as they grow older. This allows their bodies to adapt and build strength without overwhelming their still developing joints.

Forced exercise, which involves pushing or dragging a puppy beyond their limits, can be particularly harmful. While it is important to encourage physical activity, it should always be done in a way that is comfortable and safe for the puppy. This means paying attention to their cues and allowing them to rest when they are tired.

One guideline to follow is the “five-minute rule.” This suggests that puppies should have five minutes of exercise per month of age, up to twice a day. For example, a three-month-old puppy should have no more than 15 minutes of exercise at a time, while a six-month-old puppy can handle 30 minutes. However, it is important to remember that this is just a general guideline and individual puppies may have different exercise needs.

It is also important to consider the type of exercise you are providing for your puppy. High-impact activities such as running or jumping should be avoided until their joints have fully developed. Instead, opt for low-impact exercises like walking, playing fetch on soft surfaces, or swimming, which are gentler on their growing bodies.

I learned this lesson firsthand when I got my Labrador Retriever puppy. Being an active breed, I assumed he needed a lot of exercise and would often take him on long walks and runs. However, I soon noticed that he would become tired and reluctant to move after these outings. Concerned, I consulted with my veterinarian who explained the importance of not overexercising a growing puppy.

Since then, I have adjusted my puppy’s exercise routine to shorter, more frequent walks and play sessions. I also make sure to provide mental stimulation through training and puzzle toys to tire him out without putting excessive strain on his developing joints.

While exercise is important for a puppy’s physical and mental well-being, it is crucial to provide them with appropriate amounts and types of exercise to avoid overexertion and potential joint damage. Consulting with a veterinarian can provide guidance specific to your puppy’s breed and individual needs. Remember, it is always better to err on the side of caution and gradually increase exercise as your puppy grows.