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How Much Playtime Should a Puppy Have?

Many new puppy owners ask this question to anyone that will listen and get different answers each way.  You don’t want your puppy to be a constant ball of energy because he doesn’t get out enough but you don’t want him to sleep the day away either.  So how much playtime is too much…or not enough?

Most dog trainers, vets and other experts say that dogs need a minimum of 1 hour of exercise per day.  Your young puppy will more than likely want more than that as puppies have more energy and need more interaction to keep them focused and entertained.  Giving your puppy different things to experience is helpful to his growth and energy level as well.  Puppies have a very short attention span so going for a small walk on the same sidewalk at the same time every day is eventually going to be boring for him.  Take him different places, allow him to see and investigate different smells, people and animals.  All of this will help with his socialization as he grows as well.

If you find that your puppy has tons of energy at night and doesn’t want o go to bed, taking him for a long walk an hour or so before bed time may be just what he needs.  Or giving him some extra playtime throughout the day.  Remember that a bored dog is a destructive dog.  Chewing your shoes, getting in to the garbage and stealing everything in sight could be a plea for more playtime, not just bad behavior for the fun of it.

But how do you get him to calm down?  Some puppies can just go and go and go and never run out of steam.  A good trick is to give him a treat that will take him awhile to eat such as a rawhide or a Kong stuffed with treats.  This will give him time to cool down and relax.  And give you a breather as well!

Remember, you don’t want to wear your puppy out to the point where he doesn’t have any energy at all.  Playtime is bonding time for you and your new furry family member.  Don’t skimp on time that you’ll never get back – puppyhood!