How much exercise does my dog really need?

The amount of physical exercise a dog needs varies by breed and age. A young retriever for example, would be difficult to tire no matter how many walks you took in a day! The bigger problem is that while we usually pay attention to physical exercise, we usually completely ignore mental stimulation for our pets … a critical component of exercise! This leads to boredom, and boredom leads to destructiveness.

Provided your dog is getting two or three good walks a day (or a trip to the dog park and play in a safe fenced-in yard), I would focus more on adding mental stimulation to your dog’s daily routine.

Imagine if you had to sit in an empty room, alone, all day long … nothing to read, no clock, no television and no games. You’d probably go a little stir-crazy yourself, so it’s not surprising that your dog may get bored and resort to games like “chew up the couch”!

Mental stimulation of dogs is easy and fun! Here are a few helpful hints to help get you started: