One of the greatest and most admirable traits that all dogs have is that it really is the little things that make them happy. A short walk in the park is sure to have them smiling from ear to ear, tongue flopping about. It’s enough to keep them happy, but is it enough to keep them healthy?
Every dog is different, but one thing is the same – dogs need ample amounts of daily exercise to stay healthy and live a long life!
How much exercise does my dog need?
Let’s take a look at the daily average step count of the top 10 breeds in the U.S. according to Fi’s data:
Labrador Retriever: 15.2K
German Shepherd: 16.6K
Siberian Husky: 13.9K
Golden Retriever: 14.6K
Australian Shepherd: 17.5K
American Pit Bull Terrier: 14.1K
Border Collie: 17.3K
Australian Cattle Dog: 17.8K
If you don’t have a dog activity tracker yet, it might be a little tough for you to determine just how long of a walk you’d need to go on with your dog for them to meet this average, but for reference, Fi dog Pharrell the Border Collie went on a 2.5 mile walk the other day and racked up 14,000 steps. If your dog is bigger or smaller, this may affect how much distance they’re able to cover in a single step, but hopefully this is a good starting point! It’s also important to remember that if you have a short-legged dog like a Corgi or Dachshund, they’ll cover a lot less ground per step.
So this is the average amount of daily exercise for some of the most popular breeds in America, but are these dogs actually getting the right amount of exercise every single day? Fi’s data tells us… maybe not!
Among all of these breeds, they’re only meeting their step goals 51% of the time. That’s like getting to the park, only to turn right around and head home – the fun is just beginning and there are so many more zoomies to be released!
Of the breeds listed above, Beagles meet their step goals the most – on average, 66% of the time. Huskies on the other hand, are at the bottom of the list, meeting their goals only 40% of the time.
Something that most dog owners don’t realize is that one walk around the block isn’t cutting it for their dogs physical or mental health like they think it is. Many of the most popular breeds in the US are the ones that require the most activity, so a good rule of thumb is to get in 2 decent walks per day, and maybe even a game of fetch if you have the time.
What are the best ways to make sure they’re getting enough exercise?
It’s all about variety! Switching up your dog’s exercise regime will not only keep them physically strong, but mentally strong too.
Try fetch one day and agility the next, or even just walk a different route than you normally do. The change in surroundings, smells, and the challenge to keep up with a new activity will fulfill their needs even more than sticking with the same walk around the block. Daily mental stimulation doesn’t only fight boredom, but also keeps the brain young by preventing the decline in cognitive abilities, like memory loss, confusion, and lack of awareness.
Meeting up with other dog’s is also a great way to change up your routine! Let them tire each other out, while also working on your dog’s socialization skills.