Beagle Exercise Needs: The Authoritative Guide
I love to exercise with my beagle regardless if it’s on the trails or on a treadmill. For anyone of us fortunate enough to have one, the workout can provide lots of fun for both dog owner and dog alike. As beagles are scent hounds, they have a large pool of energy reserves to draw upon from. They are an incredibly hearty breed.
To help keep them in peak physical and emotional shape, they need daily physical + mental exercise. Which lead me to research my question: How much exercise do beagles need?
Basic Guidelines Of Exercise For Your Beagle
A good guideline for beagle puppies is to walk 5 minutes for every month of your puppy’s life, up to twice a day. An adult beagle needs 60-90 minutes of exercise each day. Senior beagles need about 30-60 minutes of exercise a day, split up in 2 or more sessions. Let’s dive further.
Benefits Of Exercise
- Keeps their weight in an optimal range.
- Maintains their musculoskeletal (skeleton, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints and other connective tissue), cardiovascular, and digestive systems in excellent condition.
- Improves their ability to be a calm, balanced individual (“A tired dog is a good dog”).
Beagles should be able to enjoy a hybrid of moderate to intense exercise, to keep their energy levels in check, and to help develop their physiques.
Most Beagles love to simply run around. If taken to a park or open field, this breed will enjoy roaming free. Do, however, always keep your dog supervised or in a secure environment, and be sure that if you ever take your Beagle off of his leash or harness, that it is legal and safe to do so.
Below we will discuss together different aspects involving your beagle’s exercise regimen, and how to make it safe and enjoyable for both you and your family alike.
What Age Is Okay To Begin Exercise?
Before you decide your puppy or dog into the great unknown, you’ll want to ensure that they have had a full veterinary check-up and are up to date with their vaccinations.
The first consideration to have a pause in terms of extensive or intense exercise for puppies is something called “growth plates.” Growth plates are soft areas that sit at the ends of the long bones in puppies and young dogs. Rapidly dividing cells, they allow bones to become longer until the end of puberty. In puppies, the plates gradually close as their hormonal changes approach puberty. This closure is normally completed by approximately 18 months old.
Until this process completes, it renders them more vulnerable to injury. To avoid putting too much strain on them during this critical time, self-directed play should be the majority of their exercise. This includes free play, exploring, and noodling around. Otherwise, you run the risk of disrupting the normal growth of their bones.
After the age of 18 months, you can “release the hound” so to say, and allow them to more freely engage in more structured walks or jogs, in addition to their normal physical activity. Believe me, they’ll love it. They’re naturally energetic, so it’ll be more than welcome.
As a dog owner, you must supervise your dog at all times and ensure the dog is kept within calling distance and under control. It is in your best interest to provide your pet with obedience training and socialization skills necessary to become a well-mannered and socially well-adjusted dog.
Accessibility to clean water for your beagle must be a constant, whether they are exercising or not. In addition, be aware of the environment he or she will be encountering, in terms of terrain and temperature specifically.
Terrain is something many dog owners don’t think about it intrinsically.
For example: When was the last time you went running walking on scalding or freezing pavement, with your bare feet? Exactly. Well, the same principle applies to your dog. Would you want to rock over incredibly rocky terrain with your bare feet either? Probably not.
Now, I’m not encouraging you to avoid these scenarios. Realistically, that’s not possible in their entirety. Just be mindful of the duration and intensity of the variable.
Temperature is another element. Clothing for your dog in the colder elements is not unreasonable. On the opposite side of the spectrum: Heatstroke is something to be particularly mindful of, as this occurs if your beagle cannot regulate their own body temperature, due to extreme conditions. Avoid subjecting your 4-legged loved one to extreme temperatures. A good rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t want to subject yourself to the same environment for an extended period of time under the same conditions, you definitely don’t want them to either.
What Are Some Exercise Ideas For Your Beagle? [Time For Some Fun!]
Is bar none, one of the best forms of low-intensity physical exercise for beagles.
Your beagle should be provided a walked for a minimum of 20 minutes, 1 or 2 times daily at a moderately brisk pace.
Bear in mind, you’ll want to take into account the walking pace of your dog, not yourself. A beagle puppy’s stride is going to be shorter than that of an adult beagle.
The walk should be at a pace where your beagle is moving along steadily, but never out of breath. If they are panting excessively, are falling behind, or stop and lay down they have probably had enough. It is probably a good idea to end the walk. If they are happily trotting along you can choose to walk a bit further.
You may be surprised at times at not how they can keep with you, but how you can keep with them. The average adult Beagle can run at about 20 mph (32.2 km/h) while the average male human jogs at 8.5mph (13.35 km/h) and the average woman at 6.5mph (10.46 km/h). Impressive to say the least.
Tug of War
Playing tug of war with your dog is a fun, great way to give your dog plenty of physical and mental exercise. It’s a game that relies on manners, therefore it’s a great way to work on your dog’s impulse control; i.e. the game stops if your teeth touch my hand.
A word of caution when working with puppies. If your dog hasn’t mastered basic bite inhibition, they will probably struggle to play by the rules. If you want to save your hands from those sharp teeth remember to work on teaching your puppy not to bite before attempting a game of tug.
Reminder: Remember to put up your dog’s tug toy away when not in use. Many tug toys are made with rope or other materials that can pose a potential choking hazard for your dog.
Playing fetch with your dog is a fun and interactive way to exercise your dog.
It truly can make for endless fun — as long as your beagle actually retrieves the ball, which he still struggles with stubbornly sometimes. Initially, my beagle would just grab the ball and either run with it incessantly or try to bury it. Eventually, he’s learned to properly retrieve it.
Granted, beagles can be rather stubborn in terms of actually bringing the item back that you’ve just thrown. After all, they’re not a retriever. You’ll likely be going chasing after them to get the item back, and then subsequently engage in the aforementioned tug of war.
However, with practice, anything is possible.
Follow the Dog
Instead of walking your dog, have your dog walk you. Wherever they go, you follow. Let your dog’s interests guide your adventure. You may up become a lot more aware of rogue chipmunks, that you might not have noticed otherwise. You’ll be amazed where their nose may take you.
Hiding treats behind furniture, inside boxes, or across the yard is a really fun game for dogs, but it can be difficult yet fun, as well. Your dog already has a huge advantage–their nose. Take frequent breaks and keep sessions within 5 minutes increments.
Other Ideas + Products
We attached a list that we’ve compiled of items, we’ve personally used for our beagles over time. It’s rather comprehensive, in case you realize that you may be in need of something. The list is here.
A healthy body results in a healthy mind. Exercise is beneficial for every beagle, young or old; you just need to adjust the amount of exercise to suit your dog’s age, fitness level, and health status.
Exercise not only benefits all dogs on a physical level, but it will help him on a mental level too.
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