Bringing home a new dog is exciting. And if your new dog is a puppy, it’s hard not to gush over their cuteness and eagerness to play. In fact, puppies have so much energy to engage in activities the whole day. This makes you wonder: Why do puppies have so much energy? And how can all that energy come from a tiny wee?
A puppy’s boundless energy can be explained by how curious they are about the world around them. They are experiencing things for the first time, and they are just starting to learn how their body works. Exploring all the things that they encounter is just so exhilarating for them.
However, while it’s fun to play with puppies, their energy can be difficult to keep up with most of the time. The good news is that they will calm down as they grow older, but in the meantime, there are several ways on how to tire out a puppy in a healthy way.
Puppy Exercise Guide
How much exercise should a puppy get?
Engaging your puppy in exercise can help calm them down. But how much exercise is recommended? The thing is, while puppies have high energy levels, it doesn’t mean that they require tons of physical activity and exercise day by day. It is important to know that too much can negatively affect their health.
Remember that what you want is to calm them down and not overtire them as this can result in an array of health issues, including early arthritis. At the same time, too much exercise can also affect a puppy’s growth.
So how much exercise should a puppy get? As a guide, count how many months your puppy is then multiply it by 5. The number you get is the minutes of puppy exercise recommended at a time, and this can be done up to two to three times per day.
If your puppy is 5 months old for example, then they will be needing 25 minutes of puppy exercise at a time, and up to two to three times daily. Continue following this guide depending on how many months old your puppy is until they reach adulthood (12-18 months old).
However, do note that apart from their age, the answer is also dependent on other factors such as their breed and health. Meanwhile, there are a few standard guidelines that can be followed to ensure that your puppy get’s the right amount of exercise that they need.
Physical and Mental Exercise
Both physical and mental exercises are recommended for dogs. According to research, the right amount of physical exercise not just helps calm your puppy down, it also aids in their growth and development. Meanwhile, exercising the brain is as important as physical exercise. Because your puppy is still developing their cognitive abilities, providing mental stimulation will encourage problem-solving and enhance memory.
Such mentally stimulating activities will also prevent your puppy from developing destructive behaviors since they are being amused. Not only that, just like physical exercise, mental exercise also helps tire your puppy out.
How much sleep does your puppy need?
It’s true that puppies have a high amount of energy, but at the same time, they sleep a lot too. When a puppy sleeps, their brains process the information it gets when the puppy is awake, which is a lot when puppies are concerned.
For a puppy, the normal amount of sleep that you can expect in a day is 18-20 hours. While it may seem like a lot, it is actually okay and is good for their health and development.
Best Solutions for Tiring Out a Puppy
So what are the solutions to calm a high-energy puppy? Below are some ways on how to tire out a puppy in a way that benefits them and you too since you get to have some me-time as well.
1. Let your puppy sniff during your walks
Apart from the physical activity involved in walking, letting your puppy sniff is mentally stimulating for them. As you may already know, a dog has a heightened sense of smell, and walks are the perfect venue for them to discover a multitude of scents.
Every sniff exercises your puppy’s brain since they’re trying to figure out the many different scents that they can detect all around.
2. Train your puppy to calm down
If exercise still doesn’t calm your puppy down, you can teach them to calm down by using positive reinforcement training. Because a puppy that is seeking your attention welcomes any kind of attention, what you want to do is to only give them attention when they are behaving well or calming down, and ignore them when they are being too rowdy and energetic.
When they calm down, you can praise and reward them. That way, they get to understand how to behave. Sit or Down commands help them understand the proper behavior. Dog training is easier when they’re still a puppy, so it’s best to do it as soon as possible.
3. Change-up your routes when walking
Try different routes every now and then. That way, you’re pup will be able to discover more things, see new sights, and smell more scents. This may be refreshing for you too as you get to explore different sights.
4. Get your puppy a long leash
A long leash is not only good for training, it may also help calm your puppy down. With a long leash, your puppy can more freely explore, but at the same time, you’ll still have control if needed.
Read more: How to Leash Train a Dog or Puppy
5. Toys and games
Another way to tire out your puppy is to engage them with toys and games to keep them stimulated. For example, you can use food puzzles or freeze your puppy’s cong toy (with treats such as peanut butter inside). Yes, there are a variety of indoor busters that can help entertain your dog and calm them down.
While your puppy is still in the developmental stages, it’s great to have people who can guide you while taking care of your puppy. Petcube’s Online Vet makes it easier for you to do so. With the Online Vet service, you can talk with certified veterinarians 24/7, wherever you may be.
It becomes more personalized because you can easily chat with a vet about raising your puppy as well as other concerns you may have. That way, you'll feel at ease knowing that you're equipped with information, and you'll know what to do whenever problems arise.
Why is my puppy so tired?
Remember that a high energy puppy doesn't mean that you should make your puppy exhausted. While physical and mental exercises are good for your puppy's health, too much can lead to a very tired puppy.
Consider the guide above to determine the right amount of exercise that your puppy needs. Meanwhile, some symptoms that show that your puppy is overtired include: licking their lips, biting, panting, excessive thirst, and increased vocalization. These are signs that you should let your puppy rest.
My puppy gets aggressive when tired. How come?
When your puppy gets overstimulated and thus tired, they may exhibit aggressive behaviors such as biting, running around wildly, and ruining your things. In such cases, the best thing to do is to calm your dog down. This includes keeping them away from busy environments and situations with too much stimulation.