For many across the country, new work from home policies, quarantines, social distancing, and loneliness all added to the appeal of adding a new puppy to the home. Whether the timing was right for a pandemic puppy or owners had been planning on a new puppy for a while, there’s no doubt pet ownership is on the rise.
Bringing a puppy home for the first time can be exciting, with owners anxious to get out for ‘walkies’ as soon as possible. But too much exercise especially high-impact exercise, can be bad for puppies and increase the chance of broken bones.
“When a puppy is born, its bones are not fully formed,” said Veterinarian Dr. Craig Prior, B.V.Sc., C.V.J., member of YuMOVE veterinary advisory board. “The age at which the growth plates close or stop growing varies hugely between individuals, breeds and joints, but tends to be somewhere between six months and two-and-a-half years, with an average of about a year.
Some studies have suggested that too much exercise before these growth plates close can put strain on joints and increase the risk of various bone and joint conditions.”
Here’s a helpful chart to reference before taking your puppy out.
Puppy’s Age in Weeks
Puppy’s Age in Months
Maximum Amount of Exercise
10 minutes twice a day
15 minutes twice a day
20 minutes twice a day
25 minutes twice a day
30 minutes twice a day
Other tips to keep in mind when walking puppies include:
- Walk don’t run – Until your puppy is fully grown, avoid taking them for a jog, cycle ride, or any other type of vigorous exercise.
- Pay attention- While you’re walking, pay attention to your puppy, and stop if you notice them getting tired – even if it’s been less than the recommended exercise time.
- Vaccinations- avoid other dogs and public areas until 5-7 days after vaccination round two to keep them from getting sick.
- Heat- puppies, like adult dogs and humans, can be at risk for heatstroke if temperatures get too hot. Keep puppies inside if the temperature exceeds 90 degrees and pay attention to the pavement temperature as the ground can get much hotter than the surrounding air. Hold the back of your hand to the pavement for 10 seconds. If you can’t hold for the full amount, it’s too hot for your puppy as well.
- Play- Gentle tug of war games and rolling a ball slowly for your pup is okay, but Charging after a ball that has been thrown, or excessive rough and tumble with a larger dog should be avoided.
Pet owners should talk with their veterinarian about any questions or concerns with their puppy’s activity or growing hips/joints. Being proactive and taking steps to optimize the health of your younger dog once they get to be about three years of age is a good thing as well! It means they’ll be less likely to develop problems with stiffness and mobility as they grow older. Supplements can be used by younger dogs- not recommended for use on puppies- but be sure to look for a product designed especially to support active and growing joints such as YuMOVE Young & Active joint support for dogs 5 years and younger.
Interviews, additional veterinarian advice and supporting documentation available upon request. For more information on hip/joint health and keeping pets active for life, please visit https://yumove.com/blogs/health-guides.
YuMOVE is clinically proven* and the #1 hip and joint supplement in the UK** now available in the US. YuMOVE is on a mission to keep pets ‘active for life’ which is why we are committed to making the best joint support products in the world. Packed with unique ActivEase® Green Lipped Mussels, sustainably sourced from select New Zealand bays, YuMOVE is full of antioxidants and Omega 3. Its unique premium formula aids joint development supports active joints and structure and promotes mobility. www.yumove.com
*Study conducted by the Royal Veterinary College of London, United Kingdom
**Kynetec VetTrak data, sales through veterinary wholesalers, February 2021
Lintbells, the UK's #1 Vet Recommended Dog Joint Supplement company, currently helps more than 1 million dogs across Europe and the United States. In March 2019, Lintbells officially entered the US Market with the introduction of their most popular product abroad, YuMOVE Soft Chews. This joint supplement promotes joint and cartilage health in dogs of all breeds and sizes. Made from all-natural, human-grade, non-GMO ingredients, the secret to YuMOVE Soft Chews' success comes from Lintbells own ActivEaseÂ® Green Lipped Mussel (or GLM). GLM, a superfood derived from the purest sources in New Zealand, is an essential ingredient with extraordinary properties that improves joint function, mobility, and reduces discomfort in our dogs. This unique ingredient, rich with more Omega 3s than any other GLM, is naturally anti-inflammatory, meaning our dog's stiff joints are eased naturally. To learn more, visit www.yumove.com