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You’ve probably heard how important it is to exercise your puppy, especially if you have a high-energy one!
But is it possible to give your puppy too much exercise? And how can you tell if that’s what’s happening?
In this article, we’ll talk about what happens when you give a puppy too much exercise and what you can do to prevent it.
What happens if you over exercise a puppy?
For your puppy to grow up happy and healthy, he needs to get in some exercise. Making sure that he gets enough daily exercise will also prevent boredom and keep him out of trouble.
But is it possible to give your puppy too much exercise? The short answer to that question is, unfortunately, yes. While you need to give your puppy at least some exercise every day, giving him too much could also cause problems.
There are a few things that can happen when you push your puppy too hard. Before we get into them, and how you can tell if your puppy is over exercised, take a look at these related articles:
- My Puppy Doesn’t Sleep Enough, What Can I Do?
- My Puppy Is Going Crazy All of a Sudden, What Can I Do?
- How to Stop Puppy Witching Hour Biting
Can you overstimulate a puppy?
It is very possible for your puppy to get overstimulated. In fact, it’s more likely for puppies to get overstimulated than adult dogs.
That’s because the world is so much newer to a puppy. And encountering a whole bunch of brand-new things in a short time can be pretty overstimulating.
When dogs get overstimmed, a few things can happen. For one thing, your puppy might stop listening to what you’re telling him. This could get him into some serious trouble. Him not following your commands is a major way you can tell your puppy is over exercised.
If your puppy seems sore and fatigued, has worn-down paw pads or a lame leg, or he stops listening to you, he may be over exercised. You should make sure you stick to an age-appropriate amount of activity, and get possible injuries and heat exhaustion checked by a vet.
If you would like to learn more about overstimulation in dogs, check out these articles:
- My Dog Gets Overstimulated at Daycare, What Can I Do?
- My Dog Gets Overstimulated After a Walk, What Do I Do?
- How to Calm an Overstimulated Dog
How long should puppies be exercised for?
It’s important to strike a balance between bored and overstiumulation by giving your dog a healthy amount of exercise every day. But for how long exactly should you be exercising your puppy?
The answer isn’t straighforward, because a lot of it comes down to your puppy as an individual. You can monitor your puppy’s behavior to tell if he’s over exercised—or gets too little activity, for that matter.
You can also use this general rule of thumb: take your puppy’s age in months and multiply by five. That’s the number of minutes of exercise he should be getting about twice a day. You might need to adjust this number slightly depending on your own puppy’s specific needs.
What happens when you exercise a puppy too much?
So what are the actual consequences of giving your dog too much exercise?
The main—and most immediate—issues that arise with too much exercise are exhaustion and over excitement. This isn’t fun for you puppy, and makes it hard for him to listen to you. You may also find that puppies tend to get into trouble when over excited or over tired.
A tired dog is a happy dog, but: You can tell when your puppy is over exercised, because he’ll start misbehaving!
Worse, too much vigorous exercise could also affect your puppy’s physical development. At this age, your puppy’s growth plates aren’t done developing yet. Too much high-impact exercise could affect his growth plates.
How to tell if my puppy is over exercised
You should be paying close attention to your puppy’s overall behavior and health. There are a few important signs that tell you a puppy might be getting over exercised.
Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion in puppies
It’s always fun to go outside on play on a warm day. But if it’s too hot, this could be actively dangerous for your puppy.
Always pay close attention to the weather to make sure your dog doesn’t get too hot—or too cold.
If your dog gets heat exhaustion, it’s time to take him back inside. Dogs who have heat exhaustion will pant excessively, seem lethargic, or have difficulty breathing.
Heat exhaustion is essentially one stage before heat stroke, which can be fatal. Make sure you know these 13 signs and symptoms for heat stroke in dogs.
Your puppy has a lame leg
If you give your puppy too much exercise, you might notice that he starts limping slightly. As soon as you notice any sign of injury like this, it’s time to stop playing immediately.
You should check your puppy over for injury. Sometimes a lame leg is just a sign of being tired. Other times, it’s a sign that your puppy has actually injured himself.
If your puppy continues walking with a limp for more than a couple of minutes, then you should make an appointment with your vet. They’ll take a look at your puppy’s leg to make sure he hasn’t hurt himself.
Worn paw pads
Another way you can tell if your puppy is getting over exercised is by taking a look at his paw pads.
Problems like over-walking can result in his paw pads being worn down. This can be uncomfortable as well as painful if they get too worn.
To help your puppy with his worn paw pads, try taking him for shorter walks and building up to longer ones.
You can also purchase balm and booties for your dog’s feet to help protect them.
Sore muscles and joints
When we humans get a lot of exercise, we tend to feel pretty sore afterward. We can also experience pain in our joints if we get too much.
The same is true for your puppy. If it seems like his muscles or his joints are sore, then that could signify that he’s getting a little too much exercise.
Always pay attention to the way your dog behaves after you exercise him. If he seems like he’s sore or he’s in pain, then it’s probably time to pull back on the exercising a bit.
Signs of fatigue
Another major sign that will tell you if your puppy is getting over exercised is if he’s showing physical signs of fatigue.
While doing things like walking your dog, make sure you know the signs that he’s getting too tired. So how do you tell if your dog is tired of walking?
If your dog is walking too long, you might find that he starts lagging behind on walks, or seems like he has much lower energy levels.
Dogs that get fatigued may also have trouble listening to commands.
Finally, you may find that your dog is super thirsty and needs to keep stopping for a drink. Or you may notice that he’s panting excessively or yawning a lot.
If he shows any of these signs, it’s high time to turn around—and to make your next walk a shorter one.
Puppy walking tips and age guide
Walking a dog is a great way for both of you to get in some exercise. But you might have some questions about walking your puppy.
Let’s go over some helpful ways to make sure you and your puppy both have a good time on your walk.
Tips for walking your puppy
There are a few basic things you should know about walking your puppy before we get into anything else.
The first thing to know is that your puppy should be vaccinated. Check out your puppy vaccinations schedule to make sure that he has all the appropriate vaccines when he needs them.
Making sure that your puppy is vaccinated is both important for his own health and for the health of other dogs in your area.
Another thing you are going to want to work on before you start walking your puppy is obedience training. You need to make sure your puppy has a good grasp of things like “sit,” “come,” and “stay.” “Heel” is another important command he needs to know.
Before taking your dog outside for a walk, try practicing inside your house on a leash. Once he’s got the basics of walking down, you can take him to your backyard for some more practice.
Don’t start taking your puppy for his walks until you know he can walk well on a leash and that he can listen well to you while walking.
How to exercise an 8 week old puppy?
At 8 weeks old, your puppy might be a bit too young to be going on walks.
And remember, using the rule of thumb, he should only be getting about 10 minutes of exercise twice per day. You need to be mindful about how much you are exercising him, as well as what kind of exercise he’s getting.
His little body is still doing lots of developing. At this age, he’s not going to be ready for much vigorous activity. Make sure you can tell before your puppy gets over exercised!
Instead, focus on playing games inside the house that are both gentle and fun. Don’t do anything too high-impact with your puppy.
It’s also a good idea to exercise your puppy’s brain. These 10 brain games for dogs to play at home should give you some good ideas.
How far should a 3 month old puppy walk?
You can apply the same general rule of thumb to walking your puppy as you would any type of exercise.
At three months old, your puppy should get around 15 minutes of exercise twice per day.
That said, make sure you are paying close attention to your puppy when you go for walks. Remember, the rule of thumb is just that—a general guideline to follow. You might need to customize it to fit your own puppy’s needs.
If he starts showing any signs of fatigue, then you should get him back home.
On the other hand, if you have a super high-energy puppy, then taking him for slightly longer walks might be beneficial. Just remember not to go too far and pay attention to over tired puppy signs.
Related topic: For dog training in general I highly recommend you get a program that walks you through step by step, such as Braintrainingfordogs. Certified dog trainer Adrienne Farricelli teaches you to train your dog to be the best dog he can by be using mental stimulation! Check out Dogpackr’s review to see if this is a fit for you!
These related articles will help you deal with over tiredness symptoms in puppies:
- 10 Signs and Symptoms Your Dog Is Over Tired or Exhausted!
- Why Is My Puppy Over Tired After Daycare?
- My Over Tired Puppy Won’t Sleep—What Can I Do?
How far can a 4 month old puppy walk?
At four months, your puppy will be able to walk around 20 minutes twice a day.
As you would with any puppy or dog, pay close attention to him while you’re walking. If he starts acting super tired, then it’s a good idea to turn around and head back home.
You will also need to remember to take your puppy’s individual needs into account. While 20 minutes may be enough for some puppies, others will need a little more.
If you have a particularly low-energy puppy, then 20 minutes twice a day may even end up being too much.
If you are ever uncertain about the amount of exercise your dog is getting, then you can always speak to your vet. They’ll be able to help you determine if your dog is getting too much or too little exercise.
How far can I walk my puppy at 5 months?
Once your dog reaches five months old, he can go for 25-minute walks about twice per day.
While walking is a really great way to get your dog some exercise, it’s not the only thing you should be focusing on. There are other ways to make sure that your puppy is getting in his much-needed exercise too.
Things like playtime at home can also be a great way for your puppy to burn energy. It’s a good idea to get in a mix of different ways to exercise your dog. This will keep things from getting boring and it will let your dog’s body exercise in different ways.
How much exercise for a 6 month old puppy?
At six months old, your puppy is probably still bursting with energy! The good news is that at this age, he can start going for longer walks.
He may even be able to go for short jogs and hikes!
Hiking is a great way to explore with your dog and build a stronger bond. If you are thinking about taking your dog for hikes, these related articles will be helpful:
- How Far Can a Dog Hike In a Day? Probably More Than You Think!
- Can Small Dogs Hike Long Distances? 9 Tips to Make It Work
- Best Gear for Hiking with Dogs
Over exercised puppy FAQ
Do you still have some questions about over exercising your puppy? Here are the answers you’ve been looking for.
Is there a puppy exercise chart?
It certainly would be convenient if there was a chart you could follow to make sure your puppy was getting enough exercise! Unfortunately, as every pup is different, there isn’t any such thing.
You can always follow the general rule: five minutes of exercise per month of age about twice a day. But ultimately, it is going to come down to your own dog’s specific needs.
For some puppies, you only need to follow the rule of thumb to ensure they’re getting the exercise they need.
Other puppies may need a little more or a little less. You’ll be able to tell if your puppy is getting enough exercise based on his overall behavior. If he’s well behaved and relaxed, you’re probably giving him exactly the right amount.
If he’s acting out or refusing to listen, something probably needs to change!
Can you over exercise a dog?
It’s possible to over exercise a puppy. And, in fact, over exercising a puppy could lead to some serious problems later on.
But what about an adult dog?
It’s totally possible to give an adult dog too much exercise. While you’ll likely find your adult dog’s threshold much higher than when he was a puppy, there is still a threshold there.
If you’re giving your dog too much exercise, you’ll find he shows a lot of the same symptoms as puppies. He might start misbehaving, or he could start acting fatigued.
Your work with your dog isn’t done when he starts being a puppy! Always pay close attention to your dog’s behavior to make sure he’s getting the right amount of exercise.
How can I tell if dog is getting enough exercise?
Remember the saying—a tired dog is a happy dog!
If your dog is getting too little or too much exercise, he’s not going to be happy or well-behaved.
But If your dog is getting just the right amount, he will be. You should find that your dog is generally calm and relaxed without being exhausted.
What’s the treatment for dog overexertion?
If your dog has been overexerted, the best thing to do is let him rest.
Don’t take him for any more exercise until he’s built up his strength and energy again. Then, work on being proactive and lowering the amount of exercise he gets to something healthier and more sustainable.
If you are concerned about your dog’s wellbeing, consider visiting your vet.
Getting exercise is important for your puppy. But if he gets too much, this could lead to some major problems.
Always monitor your dog to make sure he’s getting the right amount of exercise. This will keep him happy and healthy.