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Exercising Your Puppy

It is important to remember that a puppy will need much less exercise than an adult dog. While a puppy is growing, his joints are still developing and over-exercise can lead to problems later.

The British Kennel Club suggests that you can work out the time you should spend exercising your puppy using this rule of thumb: Five minutes of exercise per month of age, split up to twice a day. For example if the puppy is four months old they can exercise for 20 minutes (preferably split into two walks of 10 minutes each). By the time he reaches one year, the dog should be capable of 30-60 minute walks.  

Until your puppy has his vaccination booster course completed (usually at around 12 weeks old), he should only socialise with other vaccinated dogs in private gardens that only vaccinated dogs have access to. It is important that he does socialise so that he learns the manners that will allow him to safely interact with other dogs and people when he is older.  

When your puppy’s vaccination course is completed, he can be taken to public areas. It is important to be aware of where you can and cannot let him off the leash. If you do let him off the leash, it is very important that he is fully trained to come back to you on command.

Large-breed puppies are more at risk of joint problems later on in life due to the speed at which they grow and the increased weight their joints have to bear compared to smaller dogs. Owners of these breeds of puppies need to take more care when exercising them than those with smaller breed of dogs. Exercise for large breed puppies should be of a low-impact variety that reduces the risk of muscles being strained and joints damaged.

Large breed dog owners should also be aware that exercising your dog on a full stomach can lead to bloat, so exercise before a meal, or wait until it has digested before walkies.  

Please note that this article is intended as a guide. Please discuss any concerns you may have with your vet.