In 2021, Dachshunds elbowed out Pembroke Welsh Corgis to become the 10th most popular dog breed in the US. This only makes sense, given how loving and adorable these dwarfish pups are. But like any other dog breed, dachshunds require tons of love and care to keep them healthy and thriving. An integral part of taking care of your dachshund is exercising it now and then.
But how much exercise does a dachshund need?
Although pint-sized, dachshunds still need plenty of exercise to keep them healthy and active. An adult dachshund needs at least one hour of exercise each day, while pups need only half of that. This exercise could involve walking, running, or even swimming. Anything goes as long as your dachshund is active. Keep reading to learn more about exercising your dachshund and keeping them healthy.
How Much Exercise Is Enough for an Adult Dachshund?
Dachshunds reach their full maturity when they’re about eight months old. They might still show slight growth, but this eventually stops. Adult dachshunds need exercise for mental stimulation and good health.
A fully developed adult dachshund will need about 50 to 60 minutes of exercise each day. But since they have short legs, walking and sprinting might not be their favorite pastime. Split their walking sessions into two to avoid wearing them out
How Much Exercise Is Enough for a Dachshund Puppy?
You can start exercising your dachshund pups as soon as they’re three months old. Puppies need at least 5 minutes of exercise a day to help with their growth and development. You can bump this up to 10 minutes for older puppies; just don’t over-exercise them.
It’s worth noting that you don’t necessarily have to walk your puppies to give them exercise. Any form of play still counts as exercise. You could also get tailor-made exercise routines for your puppies on the Internet.
How Much Exercise Does a Senior Dachshund Need?
Once your dachshund hits the seven-year mark, it becomes a senior. You might not notice the aging because it’ll look pretty much the same over the years. However, you might notice your pooch getting a little less active. This begs the question of whether you should even exercise your senior dachshund in the first place.
A senior dachshund still needs exercise, but just 10 minutes will do. Anything else will strain the poor fella.
What Types of Exercises Are Good for Dachshunds?
There are plenty of exercises that your dachshund could engage in, but some are a little better than the rest. If you want the absolute best for your pooch, here are some exercises to consider.
As basic as it sounds, walking is great exercise for your pet. The best part is that you don’t need to purchase extra equipment. All you need is a good leash, and you’re good to go. Interestingly, walking your dog can improve your health and peace of mind.
Dogs love to play fetch, and dachshunds are no exception. It’s a lot of fun for them, and it also uses up a lot of energy, which is the hallmark of great exercise. What’s more, it teaches them to learn commands and respond to them appropriately.
Because of the dachshund’s short legs, throwing the ball too far away is no good. Instead, consider rolling the ball a little distance away and letting them retrieve it. Also, you’ll need a smaller ball because dachshunds have small mouths.
Hide and Seek
Ignite your dachshund’s hunting instincts with a simple game of hide and seek. Hide one of their favorite toys in a room, then bring it inside and let them find it. Most times, you’ll have to issue a command like “find” to initiate the search. Just don’t issue the command in a harsh manner, or it might scare the dog.
Football is another fun game you and your dachshund could engage in. Kick a small ball around and let your dachshund nudge it back to you with its nose. A lightweight and fluffy ball works best, but you can also use a large one as long as it’s not too heavy.
If your dachshund is notorious for digging up your lawn, consider creating a digging pit with sand where your dog can dig to their heart’s content. To play the digging game, all you have to do is bury your dog’s favorite toy in the sand and let them dig it up. Repeat until you or your dog has had enough.
If you’re looking to up the ante, you could always take your dog to an agility course. These are great because they allow your dog to engage in various exercises, targeting different muscles. The exercises include walking, running, and even swimming. However, steer clear of courses that require jumping since dachshunds are predisposed to back problems. It’s always a good idea to switch agility courses every now and then or even create one at home.
Is There Such a Thing as Over-Exercising Your Dachshund?
Yes, you can over-exercise your pet and end up doing more harm than good. This could lead to muscle soreness and, in severe cases, muscle or ligament injuries. If this happens, you’ll have to wait for a couple of days before you can exercise your dog again.
Plus, you’ll be putting them through a lot of unnecessary pain.
Only exercise your dachshund for the period described above. This is especially true for puppies that haven’t closed their muscle plates yet. If you don’t, you might stunt or stop their growth altogether.
The Dos and Don’ts of Exercising Your Dachshund
Exercising your dog properly is key to getting the most out of their exercise sessions. Here are the dos and don’ts of dachshund exercising.
Now that you know how much exercise is sufficient for your dachshund, the ball is in your court. Decide on what type of exercise is best suited for your pooch and get to exercising. Don’t forget to consult with your vet before starting, and always remember to carry water for your exercise sessions.
If you notice your dog acting strangely before, during, or after exercising, call your vet ASAP. It could be a muscle injury that worsens with time. All the best exercising with your dachshund.
Featured Image Credit: JeannieR, Shutterstock