Puppies can have so much energy, pet parents are often tempted to give them lots of exercise, particularly once they have had their vaccinations.
But how much is too much?
A pup’s bones do most of their growing and developing between 4-8 months, with larger breeds growing right up to as much as 18-20 months.
The image below shows a 2-week-old puppy – you can see clearly that the bones have a lot of growing to do before they make fully formed joints!
You should socialise your puppy and let them experience the world – but it is important to do this safely. If you are unsure of the vaccination status of other dogs, for example, in parks, then take them out to dog-free areas until your puppy is fully vaccinated. You can also carry your puppy around to avoid contact with other dogs and soiled areas.
Mental stimulation is also just as valuable as physical exercise. Let your puppy play with toys such as food puzzles or Kongs – this will help to tire out your energetic puppy and keep them occupied!
So how much exercise should you give a puppy?
Here’s what our resident vet nurse Chelsey says;
“We focus so much on wanting to get our puppies trained well to fit into our lifestyles but often forget to allow them to be puppies. Exercise and training are important but so is exploration, play and just being a dog. I use the Kennel Club recommendations of increasing walks by 5 minutes for each month of age twice a day until they are fully grown (this will vary between large and small breeds). This period sets them up for life so it is important that we ensure it will be a long and healthy one.”
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