With loads of energy yet such tiny bodies, it can be hard to know exactly how much exercise your dachshund needs. Too little exercise and you risk weight gain that can be dangerous for their backs, but too much exercise as pups can affect their physical development. Just like humans, dachshunds’ need for exercise will change as they age, so read on to learn about their exercise needs at different stages of their lives.
How much exercise does a puppy need?
Ages 0 – 12 months
A good rule of thumb when your dachshund isn’t yet fully grown is five minutes of exercise for every month of age. Until they’re between four and six months old, light play in your house or backyard is preferred before slowly starting to build up to walks. Never underestimate the power of a good play session — just because you don’t work up a sweat throwing a mini tennis ball doesn’t mean it isn’t a workout for your dachshund! While you may want to take your pup on long, meandering walks from the very beginning, starting slow and making sure they’re getting plenty of rest will help set the foundation for a healthy adult dachshund.
How much exercise does an adult dachshund need?
Ages 1 – 7 years
The answer depends slightly on what type of dachshund you have. Standard doxies, for example, need at least an hour of exercise every day, while miniatures only need a minimum of half an hour. Once they’re fully developed and their growth plates have closed — which happens around their first birthday — you don’t run the same risk of overexercising, so if your dachshund has the energy for longer walks or play sessions, go ahead and get active! With hunting genes in their DNA, the breed is prime for lots of activity. That said, be mindful of your pup’s energy levels, and don’t push them further than they’re able to go. While they’re known to be a stubborn breed, they’ll let you know when their little legs can’t take any more movement for the day.
How much exercise does an older dachshund need?
Doxies slow down as they age, understandably. To keep their muscles and bones strong, 30 minutes of exercise per day is still recommended. That said, you’ll likely want to take walks at a slower pace or go for a couple of shorter walks.
What kind of exercise can I do with my dachshund?
Just like with humans, there’s no singular prescribed type of exercise for doxies. Neighborhood walks and playtime are standard and feasible in most environments, but some dachshunds like hiking, swimming, or practicing agility courses. Keep in mind that their 30 to 60 minutes of exercise don’t need to happen all at once, either. You can split it up into multiple walks or play sessions throughout the day to keep your dachshund from getting bored. As a reminder, letting your pup out for a pee break is a great change of scenery, but doesn’t give them the same amount of exercise as an actual walk or game of fetch.
Ultimately, exercise is key for both your dachshund’s mental and physical health. The more variety in their activity, the more stimulated they are! And while you don’t need to take your dachshund out for hours and hours of exercise each day, ensuring that you’re thinking of them as active pups and not simply snuggle companions will help keep them healthy and strong for years to come.