Your Dog Needs to Get Out!

Physical and mental exercise are vital for a dog's health and emotional balance. Together with daily companionship, regular exercise will make it much easier to live with and train your dog.

photo: happy cocker spaniel swimming on the spot in pool looking up at camera

Be Informed

  • Physical exercise is important for a dog's physical and mental well-being.
  • Even if a dog is old, injured or disabled, there is usually some form of exercise that is beneficial.
  • Physical exertion makes dogs happy, easier to train, more manageable and helps control their weight.
  • Mental exercise - anything that stimulates a dog's mind - is good for their mental health and tires them out.
  • Allowing a dog to use their natural and breed specific abilities and instincts makes for healthier, happier companions.
  • Young dogs, who are not fully grown, can suffer bone and joint problems when exercised too hard.
  • Learn about signs of common injuries and how to prevent or manage them.

Be Mindful

  • Think about the activity requirements of a particular dog/breed before you get a dog.
  • Make sure your chosen dog fits your lifestyle in regards to activity requirements.
  • Consider the type of exercise carefully according to your dog's breed and age.
  • Find out what games or activities your dog really loves. Don't make the decision for them.
  • Be careful not to over-exercise a dog who is not fully grown.
  • Never force a dog to exercise.
  • If you take your dog jogging or cycling, think about your dog's well-being first.
  • Dogs do not show pain as we do. Always make sure your dog is healthy and a willing participant.
  • Allow time for sniffing, exploring and toilet stops.
  • Allow for recovery and 'quiet' time between bouts of physical and mental stimulation.
  • If you can't give your dog sufficient exercise, find someone else who can do it for you.

Be Pro-active

  • Find a type of exercise that you and your dog can enjoy together.
  • Develop a habit of exercising your dog daily, e.g. before and/or after work.
  • Take up a dog sport, such as agility, flyball or nose work.
  • Join or start a dog walking group.
  • Don't make excuses on rainy days. Grab your raincoats and go.
  • Play games with your dog.
  • Throw away the food bowl and let your dog work for their food.
  • Do fun training with your dog and use food and toys as reward.
  • If your dog likes water, take them swimming.
  • If your dog likes chasing, teach them to fetch and retrieve balls or frisbees.
  • Instead of not allowing your dog to get wet and dirty, pack some towels.

How much exercise does your dog need?, blog post by Dr Susan O'Dell

Exercising Dogs, PDF by Dr Katrina Ward

Exercise, blog post by Positively®, Victoria Stilwell

How Much Exercise is Too Much for My Puppy?, blog post by Dr Vivian Carroll

Turning Your Dog Into Your Workout Partner, by Dr Karen Becker

Running With Your Dog: How to Train Fido to Run at Your Side, by Dr Sophia Yin

Jack Russell Superstar: The Amazing & True Tale of Jesse the Jack, a hilarious video showing how to have fun with your dog and keep their mind active.

Hiking With Your Dog In Australia, useful info on locations, gear and more for hiking with your dog.

Waggle, Canine Adventure Gear