Making sure that you’re exercising your puppy enough is something many new dog owners worry about, but how many people do you know who worry about the opposite? While this is often less of a concern to owners of furry friends, making sure you don’t over-exercise your pup is just as important.
So what do vets have to say about giving your puppy exercise? Are there ways to identify whether or not your pup has gone on a walk for too long? And are there ways to increase the amount your furry friend is able to exercise over time? If you’re worried about the health of your dog, allow me to break down everything you need to know.
Risks of Over-Exercising Your Puppy
If you’re worried about the potential consequences of giving your puppy too much exercise, you may want to continue reading. Too much exercise all at once just might result in pain, discomfort, and mobility issues for your pup. Because this is the case, you may want to ultimately limit the amount of time your pup has with their dog harness and leash set.
Exhaustion or Lethargy
If your puppy is generally pretty energetic following your regular walks but you notice they refuse to get up more recently, this may be a sign they’re exhausted or lethargic. While it’s relatively normal for puppies to take a little break following an exercise session, just like humans, your dog staying in an exhausted state is a good sign it’s time to dial back the distance you’re walking and the amount of time spent with the dog harness and leash set.
Resistance to Exercise
If your puppy is getting too much exercise, they may communicate this with you by eventually resisting going outside for their regular walks. They may even run away when you start to grab their dog harness and leash set. This is because they may begin associating exercise with discomfort and growing overtired, rather than something they look forward to and consider to be a fun activity with their master.
Mobility Issues Later in Life
Even if your puppy doesn’t display any resistance or issues following your exercise sessions, they may have mobility problems later on in their life. Especially for breeds that are more likely to endure mobility issues and movement-related pain, this is a big issue you’ll want to avoid. By overexercising your pup, you may be risking their quality of life in the long run. Reduce the time your pup spends with their dog harness and leash set, especially if this is something your vet suggests.
Your puppy may also start to become pretty anxious if they begin to associate exercise with exhaustion. They may become afraid of you, of going outside, or of their leash, for example. In order to properly maintain the mental health of your dog for the long term, it’s necessary to give your pup the exercise they need and avoid overusing their dog harness and leash set.
Other Injuries or Medical Problems
There are also other injuries or medical problems that could begin to present themselves after giving your puppy too much exercise. Especially if you do not slowly build up the amount of exercise your dog gets on a daily basis, there’s a risk of serious injuries and significant veterinarian bills. Because of this, it’s essential to listen to your vet’s recommendations for how much you should exercise your pup and how to best increase the distance your furry friend is willing to walk with you.
Signs of Too Much Exercise
If you’re on the lookout for signs of overexercising in your puppy, the following might be a helpful list for you to utilize.
Wear and Tear on Paw Pads
If you notice that your puppy’s feet are beginning to look especially worn or cut up, this is a strong sign that they’ve been running around on their paws too much. If you’re worried about the well-being of your pup, consider checking their paw pads on a regular basis.
If you try to pet your dog and realize something feels off, it may be important to trust your gut. Muscle tone and size will generally feel different from stiff muscles, so if something feels unfamiliar it may be a good idea to pay your vet a visit.
Temperature is also a good sign that you’re overexercising your puppy. If your pup’s temperature reaches 106 degrees Fahrenheit, this should be considered a bit of an emergency and you should rush your pet to the emergency vet. In the case you find yourself worrying about this, consider checking your dog’s temperature following each walk.
If you notice your puppy reacting in pain while moving or putting weight on a particular limb or paw, this is a good sign they’re injured. Joint pain is especially likely following overexercise, so please try to be careful while you’re giving your pet exercise.
You may also notice that your puppy is changing his behavior if they’re being overexercised. Specifically, they may refuse to continue exercising and plop down onto the pavement while you’re walking. They may also try to run away or react in fear if you bring up walking or start to head over to their dog harness and leash set.