How Long Should I Play with My Puppy before bed?
Exercising your puppy is essential to keep them fit, healthy, and free from diseases. It’s also good for you!
Exercising our dog means we are also getting some exercise and improving our cardiovascular health.
The best way to determine how long you should play with your puppy is with the five-minute rule, which is 5 minutes of playtime or exercise per month of age.
For example, if your puppy is three months old, then you can play with them for 15 minutes each day.
Although a tired dog is a good dog, you must make sure not to over-exercise a puppy. Otherwise, they may be injured or stressed from any strenuous activities.
Physiotherapist Laurie Edge-Hughes states that the puppy’s growth plates close at 14 months old. Until then, they cannot engage in activities that may cause bone deformations.
Especially with large-breed dogs, playtime should be shorter. This is because they are more prone to damage to the joints.
Always stop them from running too fast, jumping off the couch, and running up and down the stairs.
The five-minute rule takes a lot of practice. And remember that this isn’t the only thing to consider.
As mentioned, some puppies may need more or less exercise depending on their breed and health. If they have any health issues you will need to be gentle with them and stick to shorter playtimes.
Long playtimes are not only dangerous, but also too demanding for a young dog that is not yet used to structured walks. In the meantime, you can start to leash-train your puppy to prepare them!
When leash-training, make sure to use a leash that is fit for training. It should be as soft and durable as PetSafe Nylon Dog Leash, which is just the right size for a puppy.
PetSafe Nylon Dog Leash – Strong, Durable, Traditional Style Leash with Easy to Use Bolt Snap – 1
Have Multiple Puppy Play Sessions Daily
You also want to split playtime into multiple sessions. For example, a three-month-old puppy who needs 15 minutes of playtime a day can have three 5-minute play-times instead.
Aside from keeping them excited and well-behaved, splitting play-times into multiple sessions will help your pup recover physically from each playtime.
It will also place less stress on their growth plates.
The best way to do this is by splitting playtime into at least three sessions a day.
Two of these could be short walks in the yard for leash-training, while the third could be a fun game.
Remember that this five-minute rule is simply a starting point. Get to know your puppy more and you’ll be able to determine how much playtime they need before bed.
Learn about their breed, check their genetic history, consult your vet, and watch how they react to longer play-times before bed.
Keep it safe by starting with the five-minute rule then increasing the time of each session to see if your puppy is handling it well.
Talk it out with your vet if you are still unsure about how long to play with your puppy. But experts always say not getting enough exercise is far more dangerous than too much.
What Time Should You Play with Your Puppy?
There is no exact right time for puppy play-times. When they can have their short multiple sessions is completely up to you.
The best time for training and play is when they are full of energy. This will give them an outlet to expend their energy, instead of letting it out with destructive behavior.
The only rule to follow here is to not let them play and run around within one hour after they have eaten. Otherwise, it can lead to stomach pain or canine bloat.
Feel free to play with your puppy in short bursts as long as they haven’t eaten within that hour.
Once you have established the right times to play with them, keep it consistent so they get used to the routine.
How to Play with Your Puppy
Playing with your puppy can be as simple as letting them roll around the floor! However, you can step up your game by stimulating both mental and physical aspects.
Having a variety of options for play is ideal because it provides multiple positive experiences for your furry friend.
Again, you can even use playtime to leash-train them or teach them basic commands as long as you keep agility play to a minimum.
Here are some ideas for play with your puppy:
tug of war
hide and seek.
You may also try having your puppy play with another puppy, but only if both have received all their vaccines.
Playtime helps puppies build social skills with fellow dogs and human beings. They need to socialize during their early months to avoid behavioral and social problems.
The most important thing to consider when playing with your puppy is consistency. Vary the type of your puppy’s activities but keep it to the same amount of time each day.
Is the 5 Minute Rule a Myth?
One of the most popular answers to how long a puppy should exercise per day (and this includes playtime) is 5 minutes for every month of age. This means an eight-week-old puppy should get 40 minutes of exercise in.
Although this is a good starting point, not all dogs are created equal. Some puppies will need a lot more playtime, other puppies will require a lot less playtime. You need to take into account the breed, gender, and general energy level of the puppy.
It’s also important not to split it up into multiple exercise sessions throughout the day. Instead of doing just one 40 minute session (which would be WAY too long for an eight-week-old puppy), you’d be better off splitting it up into four sessions of 10 minutes.
Puppy Playtime is Important
As you can tell, ensuring your puppy gets enough playtime each time is important for their physical, mental, and emotional needs. However, you want to make sure you don’t overdo it with the playtime and exercise since their growth plates haven’t closed.
Start off with the five-minute rule. If your dog is completely exhausted by the end of the playtime, then you know you played a little too long. The goal is to leave them wanting “just a few more minutes.”