Who can resist the adorable Poodle? This dog breed is extremely popular due to its looks, lack of shedding, and hypoallergenic claim. (No dog is truly hypoallergenic.) When you bring a Poodle into your home, it’s important to learn as much about them as possible.
One of the most crucial parts of keeping a Poodle happy and healthy is ensuring they are getting enough exercise each day. While you may consider this breed a lapdog, that simply isn’t the case. Poodles require up to 60 minutes of exercise per day. Let’s learn more about Poodles and why they need activity in their lives.
When exercising your Poodle you need to keep a few things in mind. The activity needs to have a duration. Tossing the ball once isn’t enough but if your Poodle wants to play a 20-minute game of fetch or take a walk of the same duration, then they are exercising. You also want a little exertion in the mix. If you and your Poodle are taking a walk, which is one of the best exercises for the breed, then keep up a brisk pace that helps them burn off a bit of energy.
You have to remember, however, that taking your pet on a walk or playing fetch once throughout the day isn’t enough. A Poodle needs at least an hour of exercise and you’ll find that walking is a perfect exercise for this due to it being low-impact. Exercise time should be broken up into 20-minute or 30-minute intervals throughout the day according to their age and needs.
A Poodle’s Exercise Needs by Life Stages
We mentioned that a Poodle needs at least an hour of exercise each day. Just like children, your Poodle grows and changes which means their exercise needs to change with them. Let’s take a look at the various stages of a Poodle’s life cycle and its needs at each point.
Poodle puppies are simply adorable. They are also full of energy. While your puppy is growing, they need exercise to dispel this energy and avoid becoming too rambunctious. Breaking up exercise into 20-minute intervals is great for young pups. Taking a nice walk helps them get used to the world around them, the leash, and being with you.
The important thing to remember with Poodles at this age, however, is that they are still growing. You don’t want to push too much exercise on them or their growth plates could be damaged. You may see your pup playing in the house and think taking them out for another walk, even after they’ve already had their hour of exercise, is a good idea. That’s not necessarily the case. Let your pup play and rest as they need to.
A good rule of thumb when determining how much time you should walk your puppy is to use 5-minute intervals per month of age. A 3-month-old puppy would walk for 15 minutes a day. A 4-month puppy would walk for 20-minutes and so on. You can even break the walks into smaller intervals while your puppy is growing into the routine. By the time they are considered an adult, they will be on the right track to getting their 60-minutes of exercise each day. Always remember though, that exercise doesn’t need to be done at one time. It should be broken up into timed intervals throughout the day.
Now that your Poodle is an adult it needs 60-minutes of exercise. Yes, schedules and commitments can make this hard, but it is best for your dog’s overall health. You and your Poodle can decide how best to split this time up. Does your schedule work best with 2, 30-minute walks? If so, make that your routine. You can do it in the morning and the evening.
If you choose 20-minute sessions, taking a morning walk allows your pet to eliminate after a long night of sleep. Then taking them back out when you return home from your day helps exert the energy they’ve pent up while you were away. Then you can add in one more good walk before the 2 of you settle down to relax for the evening.
After around the age of 7, your Poodle is considered a senior. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s time to let them kick back and take life easy. No, exercise is still important for dogs at this age. They may walk a little slower but the low-impact workout of a good walk is good for their aging bodies. You may even find that dogs suffering from joint or bone issues feel relieved when it comes to exercising.
When Not to Exercise
If your Poodle is sick or has been injured, it’s always best to follow your vet’s care instructions. If the veterinarian tells you to keep them walking, do it. At times, however, especially with injuries, your vet may say to avoid walking and let your Poodle heal up. Following the advice of your veterinarian is always the best way to ensure your Poodle stays happy and healthy.
Why Exercise Is Important
When we think of exercise our minds instantly think of our body’s health. Yes, exercise will help keep your Poodle’s blood flowing, fight obesity, and build proper muscle tone. But did you know it’s also good for their social and behavioral health? Yes, proper exercise can help ensure your Poodle is burning off excess energy that when not done can lead them to get into trouble around the house.
Poodles often turn to barking or possible aggressive behavior when they are experiencing a bit of cabin fever or boredom. A proper exercise schedule helps avoid the potential for these problems and helps you better bond with your dog. You’ll even notice their social awareness improves as they experience the world.
While walking can be considered the perfect exercise for your Poodle, you can be creative when determining the schedule you and your pet abide by. The most important thing to remember is to ensure your Poodle is getting the right amount of exercise on a given day. By doing this at a young age you are starting them off on the right foot to a healthy and happy life by your side.
Featured Image Credit: dpw50, Pixabay