Puppies And Exercise: How Much Is Too Much?

A cute puppy plays fetch in the backyard with his owner. Games like fetch, hide-and-seek, tugging, and chasing are great ways to play with your pup.
I’m often asked, “Is there such a thing as TOO much exercise for a puppy?” I feel that as long as you are careful and attentive to your puppy, the puppy is the best one to tell you what too much exercise is. Puppies often do not have enough muscle tone to take long runs, but there are always exceptions. Most puppies will tell you when they have hit their limit, and it is vital to resist pushing them beyond this point.

Some Things to Be Cautious About

Dangers of Over-Exercising Puppies

Your puppy is growing just like a human child, and its bones need time to mature. Over-exercising them during the puppy phase could damage growth plates, leading to conditions such as early onset arthritis or hip dysplasia. If you are too hot, assume your puppy is hot. Provide water to your puppy, or try to run in a cooler area to avoid overheating.

Be Consistent with Exercising Puppy

The weekend marathon after a week of couch potato life is very hard on the joints. Just like humans, daily exercise is essential for puppies, and they need physical activity to stay healthy and help them grow strong muscles and bones.

Be Cautious with Your Puppy's Feet

Running on cement (especially hot cement) can cause sloughing of the foot pads, so try to have breaks on softer surfaces or at least work your puppy up to the harder surfaces to give them a chance to form the necessary calluses.

Be Aware of Your Puppy's Limits

Until you understand your puppy’s stamina, be sure that you can stop when your puppy starts to lag. That means taking the short route five times instead of the long way once. If you feel that the furry friend cannot go as far as he should, consult a vet to see if there is a health reason for the intolerance.

How Much Exercise Is Appropriate for Puppies?

Watch for any signs that they’re tired, like barely moving or walking at slower speeds than usual. It is essential to regulate your puppy’s activity level from the start. You can do this by ensuring they’re not over-exercised or taxed in any way, leading them towards joint damage later on down the road. Puppies are naturally excited and rarely show signs of fatigue, so you must be giving them plenty of rest time.

Breed Type

If you have a breed that’s at risk for joint conditions such as hip dysplasia, it is important to exercise them wisely and sensibly. Discourage them from jumping up and skidding because it puts a lot of strain on the puppy’s joints.

Breed Size

Make sure you know roughly how long your pup will be growing before they reach their full size because until then, their joints and growth plates risk damage if given too much exercise! Most dogs are fully developed by one year, but larger breeds such as Greyhounds and Great Danes may take 18 months to two years before they reach full size.
A puppy chews on a football toy. This article gives tips and points to consider when exercising your four-legged friend. Read here for all the details.

Examples of Exercises for Puppies

If you want your puppy to be healthy and happy, they need to have not only good physical fitness but also mental health. Here are some examples of ways to get your furry friend moving.


Walks are an excellent way for you and your pup to get some exercise, but puppies must be fully vaccinated before starting. Walking with your puppy allows them to explore their surroundings, smells, and sounds. When building their walking stamina, always take it easy on the pup and stop if they begin to lag. Make sure that they have enough energy left to make it home.

Mental Exercise

Just as a dog needs to exercise its body, it also requires mental stimulation. Snuffle mats, and puzzle feeders are a great way to stimulate your pup mentally and keep them occupied.


The best way to keep your pup happy and healthy is by playing with them inside and out! Remember that they need plenty of rest, so don’t overdo it. Wrestling, romping, chasing, and tugging are all engaging ways to play with your pup.


Keeping your pup’s mind active and stimulated is vital to stay happy. Teaching your furry friend some basic commands will keep their brains working and give you something new that the two of you can explore! Keep training sessions short and allow time for plenty of rest.

Run, Run, Run

It’s perfectly fine to allow your puppy to run freely around your home at their own pace. However, they should not go on a run with you since their bones are still developing.

How to Safely Exercise a Puppy Before Fully Vaccinated

Keeping your puppy vaccinated and off the ground in public places is important – here are some tips for keeping them occupied while you wait.
After a short walk and some playtime, this cute puppy takes a much deserved nap. Giving your pup plenty of rest is vital for their growth and development.

Puppy Exercise Safety Tips

Keeping your puppy vaccinated and off the ground in public places is important – here are some tips for keeping them occupied while you wait.

When to Contact Your Veterinarian

If you are concerned about your puppy’s health and fitness level or notice lameness, we recommend reaching out to your vet. The doctor will examine your puppy to determine joint issues. You could be exercising your pup too much and need to rest more.
How do you exercise your puppy beyond the walk?

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