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How much exercise for a puppy?

Species: Dog
Breed: golden
Age: Less than 3 mon
Hi Dr Marie,

I'm pleased to report Max is doing well.. changing from Iams to p/d resolved his diahrea and all of those objects he swallowed eventially passed. You'd be amazed what a puppy can swallow.

Max is now 3.5 months old and 27 lbs.

Three weeks ago I took him walking downtown for atleast an hour. This past weekend we went walking for a good 45 minutes. Aside from sleeping well that night he exhibited absolutely no signs of discomfort that day or the next.

The reason for my email is I was recently told by a breeder you should never take a puppy his age on a walk longer than 30 minutes.

It was just those two walks, but needless to say we won't do that again until he's atleast 1.5 yrs old.

But I'm concerned now that I may have done irreperable harm to his bones or joints that may not show up until later.

Also, what is a safe number of stairs/day for him to walk?

Thanks again.

Jay


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Jay! I'm so glad to hear that Max is feeling better!

I have no problem with Max going for long walks. The reason why some people say to limit exercise is that there is fear that we could cause damage to growth plates in growing dogs. However, my belief is that the only dogs that we would see problems in are dogs that already have a joint problem. I have never, in 12 years of practice treated a dog that was injured because of too much exercise as a puppy. Realistically if too much exercise could damage joints then we would put limits on how much exercise children could do.

So I would say go ahead and do the long walks. If Max is TOTALLY exhausted or really sore the next day then you may want to shorten the walks a little bit.

Sounds like you guys are having fun!

Dr. Marie



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.