Westies can be a fun and sassy breed. Unfortunately, they also can become fluffy little couch potatoes when left to their own devices.
Loved ones of this breed need to plan for healthy exercise in their Westie’s day so they can get the activity that they need to lead a long and healthy life. Exactly how much exercise does a Westie need? The exact amount depends on your pup’s age, size, and health.
How Much Exercise Does My Westie Need?
Getting enough exercise is one of the most important things that people can do for their health. The same is true of dogs.
Some dogs are more active than others. Terriers tend to be a more active breed, needing a great deal of exercise in order to be at their best health physically and emotionally.
However, Westies have shorter legs than many other breeds and are not large dogs. Therefore they will not need as much exercise as large, leggy terriers.
Age also makes a difference. Puppies and young dogs tend to be very active and not need any encouragement to engage in healthy movement. Older dogs, on the other hand, need more urging to be active.
There are several proven benefits of exercise for dogs of all breeds. These include:
- Longer lifespan
- Lower risk of serious diseases such as heart and kidney disease
- Stronger bones and muscles
- Better cardiovascular health
- Improved psychological and social health
- More sound and restful sleep
- Deeper bond with the owner who exercises them
- Less likely to engage in problem behaviors
For most Westies, the ideal amount of exercise is two half hour sessions of brisk movement every day. However, this can be too much for older dogs or for adult dogs that have not been exercised regularly. In addition, it may be too much for a very young puppy with short legs.
Every dog deserves these benefits. Fortunately, it is easy to get your pup out and about.
Fun Ideas for Exercising With Your Dog
Getting into a healthy routine is one of the best things you can do for your dog’s mental and physical health. Begin small, with just a few minutes of vigorous exercise twice a day. Gradually build up to a half hour twice a day.
Many dogs enjoy a brisk walk or jog for their exercise. This gives them a change to explore their neighborhood as well. If they enjoy meeting other dogs, you can invite a friend or neighbor with a dog to come along.
If your dog gets bored, walking in parks or other scenic outdoor places can be a nice change. Try alternating between walking and running to build up your dog’s cardiovascular health.
There are many obedience classes for dogs where they can meet new friends and learn new skills. Some Westies also enjoy dog parks.
Playing with frisbees and balls also will keep Westies active. They love to retrieve items that are thrown for them.
Regardless of the activity that you choose, keep safety as the foremost concern. Keep them away from cars, bicycles, and other fast-moving items that can hurt them. Remember that Westies love to chase, so they usually need to be leashed in public.
In addition, avoid exercising them in extreme temperatures. They are very small, so they overheat and dehydrate quickly. Bring water along even on temperate days.
Make sure the ground is safe for their feet, without being too hot or cold. Look out for broken glass and other sharp items. Check your dog’s feet after every walk to ensure there are no minor injuries.
Your dog will quickly come to love exercise. It is a great way to be healthy as a family and to spend time together.
What If My Dog Does Not Want to Exercise?
Some dogs are initially resistant to exercise, especially if they have been sedentary for a long time. These dogs need a lot of patience and encouragement. You will have to start slowly and actively search for activities that they prefer.
If a dog suddenly decides they do not want to exercise, they may have something wrong. Take them to a cook place and offer them water. Observe their behavior, such as whether they look overheated and are panting.
Some dogs become resistant to exercise when they have hurt feet or another problem. You should talk to your veterinarian if your dog suddenly is refusing to participate in activities they formerly enjoyed.
Westies can have very strong personalities, so there is a good chance that they are refusing to exercise because they prefer another activity at that moment. In these cases, gentle pushing and a reward system are called for.
Most dogs in good health will eventually start exercising with pleasure once they have gotten used to the idea. This is especially true if their favorite humans consistently exercise along with them.
In summary, the average Westie needs two half-hour periods every day of brisk exercise. Although it can be difficult to get some dogs to start exercising, most eventually come to love it. There are a wide variety of activities that will be fun both for your Westie and for your entire family.