It is important for puppies to be taken out for exercise every day in a safe and secure area in order to keep them fit and healthy, help them acclimatise to their new surroundings and prevent them from becoming frustrated and lazy. Owners must not restrict exercise to just the garden (however large). Exploring new environments and socialising with other dogs is essential to a young puppy's development.
However, puppies do not require as much exercise as adult dogs. Too much exercise for a growing puppy, especially jumping and games like fetch can cause damage to its developing joints due to the sudden acceleration and deceleration forces that are placed across them, which can lead to early arthritis. Owners should also try and avoid playing games that involve hiding toys or balls as the mental stimulation involved can tire puppies out more than purely physical exercise, causing them to sleep excessively.
Exercise and walks short be kept short to start with. Experts suggest that puppies should be given five minutes of exercise for every month of age (up to twice a day) until they are fully grown. For example, 15 minutes of exercise when three months old, 20 minutes when four months old, etc. Once they reach the age of 9 months owners can extend the length of their walks depending on the breed of the dog. Puppies must never exercise on a full stomach as this can contribute to bloating.
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