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Exercise for a puppy

TracyG
September 18th, 2005, 10:00 AM
HI there! I have a question regarding how much and the type of exercise for a puppy. Please excuse the length of this post! Indy (my golden retriever) is now 13 weeks. We've been to 2 puppy classes and it's great! SHe gets a chance to play with other puppies once a week and plays really well with them. My question is regarding her daily exercise. At the moment, we go outside first thing in the morning for her to "eliminate" and then back in to eat. About 30-40 minutes after she eats, we go outside again and after she elimiates, we play fetch or with the frisbee or we run around the back yard for 15 minutes or so and then come inside to play some more. We usually work on our "puppy push ups" or whatever we've done in puppy class and then she runs around the basement with a favorite toy. All in all, she's playing for about 30 minutes. Then, it's into her exercise pen while I go to work. We've arranged to have people come at noon to let her out and let her run around a bit. When I get home from work (around 4:30), we go outside, play and then go for a walk around the neighbourhood. Back inside for dinner and outside again similar to the morning (play outside and inside) and then back to the pen. We do this again around 8 and before bed (around 10:30). I usually put her back in either her crate or her pen after playing for about 30-40 minutes so she doesn't pee in the house. Is this enough exercise?? Should we be doing a morning walk as well?? Is this crating her too much at this age? Any other ideas for games that puppies like to play? Also, should the morning play session be first thing in the morning or after she eats?

StaceyB
September 18th, 2005, 10:13 AM
Hide and seek is a great game. The crating time is fine, as she learns the rules of the home you will be able to give small bits of freedom. Walking is great for socializing and building up muscles, joints, etc. It is not all that good for burning excess energy unless you went on a very long one but for your puppys age I wouldn't suggesr it at this time.

TracyG
September 18th, 2005, 11:03 AM
Thanks Stacey! I usually go on the walks for a change of scenery, new things for Indy to smell and to meet new people etc. I walk at a relatively fast pace but I usually do some type of running or game either before and/or afterwards for the "exercise" part. Don't worry...I never let her run on the pavement!

Prin
September 18th, 2005, 02:37 PM
Because Goldens are still moderately big dogs, I would limit the amount of vigorous exercise until the doggy is done developing its bones and joints... For example, no running on cement or asphalt... :) But you seem to be doing ok. :)

tenderfoot
September 18th, 2005, 05:56 PM
You want to imitate nature as best you can. Puppies sleep, potty, play, eat and sleep - typically in that order. It sounds like you are keeping Indy very busy and thats good - becareful of too much forced exercise like Prin said.
One thing that jumped out was the eating and then playing hard afterwards in the morning. If you are feeding a raw meat diet ignore my next words, but if you are feeding kibble listen. Most kibble expands with moisture and heat in the dogs stomach and intestines. Heavy exercise after eating can cause problems with bloat and gastric torsion. The stomach is heavy wtih food and water and it can cause it to flip - this can be life threatening.
It would be better to play first let Indy rest for 10-15 minutes and then feed and potty and then into the crate or ex-pen. Food can be a natural sleep aid - as your body works to digest the food you often become sleepy and require rest.
It would also be best to have a 3rd meal at lunch instead of 2 bigger meals at each end of the day. As Indy matures then you can scale back to 2 meals a day - at about 6 months.

TracyG
September 18th, 2005, 06:38 PM
Thanks Tenderfoot! I had recently changed our "walk" from after dinner to when I get home as I had heard about the "bloat" issue. I just wanted to double check that that was an issue. I will change our habits in the morning!
As for the feedings, Indy was fed two meals a day when she was at the breeder and she recommended we keep to the same schedule. Indy is gaining weight nicely and the vet didn't seem concerned about her meals at all. I will keep my eye on her and will remember to ask again at our next vet visit.
Thanks!

tenderfoot
September 18th, 2005, 07:04 PM
More frequent smaller meals are in response to the bloat issue aswell. Bigger meals can cause more problems.

mona_b
September 25th, 2005, 10:51 PM
It's VERY VERY rare for a 13 week old pup to get Bloat.It occurs in adult dogs.Usually around 2-4 years of age.But the chances double over the age of 7.And mostly in Males.

But I did have a friend who lost her 8 month old St.Bernard to it.And her vet said that he has never seen Bloat in a dog that young.

I agree with what Prin said about no vigerous exercise.For this I would wait till about 14 months of age.

I have always fed my dogs as pups 3 meals a day.And my dog,now 9 still gets fed 3 times a day.And he is one of the top breeds prone to Bloat.

I would definately not have the playtime right after feedings.I know if I do some running after I eat I get cramps.This can also happen in puppies/dogs...They need to let the food settle.I have known some dogs to actually throw up after running around after they have eaten.

StaceyB
September 25th, 2005, 10:57 PM
Same goes for eating right before they exercise. I would leave some wait time before and after.