When should you begin to run a young dog?

In my years of being in the Pet industry it has always surprised me that one small yet extremely important detail isn’t discussed more with owners of new puppies. OK Granted there is ALOT to know & take in when you get a new puppy, but I would like to discuss this huge issue that could potentially save that puppy a world of pain once its an adult.

Basically, running a puppy is a huge no no! Why? Let me explain…..

When you get your puppy, he or she has up to two years of growing to do (depending on breed of course) Smaller dogs would be a year, large & giant breeds 2 years. This means that they are not fully developed. Like a human baby who has bones & organs to grow until they reach adulthood, puppies are no different. Puppies, like babies, have something called growth plates. These plates are open when a dog is young. They allow the puppy to grow & flourish to the size they are suppose to be. If something were to disrupt these plates from doing their job, the outcome can be damaging and irreversible.

So lets discuss what can upset this important process…. RUNNING. Thats right something so simple as running can have detrimental effects on your dogs life.

What do I mean by running? I mean, if you put those sneakers on, grab the leash & puppy and go out to run a few kilometres for exercise. Big NO!  A natural form of play is ok! Once your pup hits adulthood you can run to your hearts desire!

Some breeds of dogs that are susceptible to Hip Dysplasia or Elbow Dysplasia fall into what I would call “the crucial category” its crucial that you take care of those bones & growth plates whilst a puppy. The breeds that fall into this category are: Labradors, Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers, Bernese Mountain dogs, Newfoundlands, Bearded collies, Dogue De Bordeaux, Mastiff and German Shepherds just to name a few.

So how long do you wait?

As a general rule light activity is recommended, however not to start until the 9-12 months age. Use this light activity to start building towards full activity. I must emphasise the words LIGHT ACTIVITY. 12-24months would be moderate activity and 24months onwards you could then go with the full activity of running, but only if you must. Remember not all breeds are built as runners! A good daily walk is just as beneficial! This slow build up of activity is the best way to go to take care of your dogs health in general. When doing any activity try softer surfaces such as grass as apposed to the pavement, this will be beneficial to the building of your puppies ligaments and muscle tissue around the bones. It is important that your puppy does get the appropriate exercise, but its all about monitoring that your puppy isn’t over doing it. I also want to point out if your puppy shows that he wants to run, it doesn’t mean its good for him, after all he’s a baby and babies don’t know what are good or bad for them!

To make sure your puppies growth is heading in the right direction, always feed a premium well balanced food! I cannot stress to you enough how important it is to do your research on dog food! There are so many foods out there and some of them really shouldn’t be on the market! So I cannot recommend enough researching what foods are good!

I won’t go too much into food, I will save that for another day, but what I will recommend to you if you get yourself a puppy, put him or her onto a premium puppy food. Keep the little breeds on puppy food for 1 year and large /giant breeds for 2 years. They need the extra calcium, amongst other things, for the growth! Just like babies, food is so very important for puppies!

Lets finish up with some puppy facts!

•Puppies are born blind, deaf, and toothless.

•A puppy spends about fourteen hours of every day sleeping.

•They develop their sense of smell at the age of three weeks.

•During the first week of a puppy’s life, it spends 90% of its days sleeping and 10% eating. A lot of growth happens during these first few weeks!

Thats it from me this week, if you ever need any advice you can just call me! I am always happy to help! Have a great week!

Share this post