Taking your puppy for a walk is a fantastic way to bond with your new pet. Furthermore, it offers you both plenty of mental and physical health benefits. However, the last thing you want is to leave your pup overly tired. Knowing how far a 12-week-old puppy can walk is essential as a new pet owner.
Each puppy has a unique list of requirements, including how much exercise they need per day. This can depend on their age, breed, health conditions, and so on. As their owner, it is your responsibility to meet their needs with plenty of walks. Likewise, you should be familiar with how far your 12-week-old puppy can walk to avoid overexerting them and what to do if your pup becomes overly tired.
How Far Can Your 12 Week Old Puppy Walk?
A 12 week old puppy can walk up to ten miles. It is imperative to let your pup set the pace. However, at 12 weeks, dogs should be getting around 30 minutes of exercise per day. This can be split into sessions to account for their energy levels.
The initial three months of a puppy’s life are the most important for socialization. During this time, puppies should be exposed to as many new people, animals, stimuli, and environments as possible while avoiding overstimulation, which manifests as excessive fear, withdrawal, or avoidance behavior.
It is considered safe to walk your new pup anywhere between half a mile and ten miles. However, your walking distance depends on your puppy’s energy levels. It is imperative to let your pup set the pace of your walks.
Furthermore, at 12 weeks, dogs need at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. This can be split into sessions to account for fatigue.
However, each puppy is unique, and there are several considerations to take when determining the ideal walking distance for your pup. Before making any changes to your new pet’s lifestyle, it is best to consult with your veterinarian.
Breed Vs The Distance 12-Week-Old Puppies Can Walk
Excessive exercise may cause problems in larger breed dogs because big dogs grow faster than their smaller counterparts but mature more slowly. Excessive activity in a larger breed puppy can result in orthopedic issues and arthritis.
Furthermore, brachycephalic dogs with short muzzles, such as pugs, have a lower tolerance for exercise because they overheat more quickly and have difficulty breathing. Some breeds, such as working, herding, and sporting dogs, require more exercise, even as puppies.
Weather Vs The Distance 12-Week-Old Puppies Can Walk
Temperature extremes can be dangerous for young puppies since they are susceptible to overheating and dying from heat exhaustion. Likewise, the extreme cold can be as harmful to your pup. Puppies may require a coat or sweater in cold weather to keep them warm.
Breeds with short muzzles are especially vulnerable to weather extremes because of their difficulties breathing during exertion. Furthermore, if the ground is too hot or cold, it may cause damage to your dog’s footpads.
Be cautious when walking your pup in snowy conditions since surfaces that have been salted to thaw snow can be hazardous to dogs.
Surfaces Vs The Distance 12-Week-Old Puppies Can Walk
An essential step in your puppy’s socialization process is acclimatizing your new pup to walking on various surfaces. Begin by exploring common surfaces such as grass, sidewalks, and dirt trails. The more positive stimuli your puppy is exposed to, the more confident and adaptable they are as they mature.
This is especially important for service dog puppies in training, who need to be comfortable encountering sand, grass, pavement, metal grates, and so on.
However, you must try not to walk your dog on any surfaces that may be harmful to them. Areas where you can lose your footing, such as slippery surfaces or along sharp edges, are better avoided.
Like extreme climates, the temperatures of surfaces on which you walk can be harmful to your pup. Ensure the surface temperature is safe by placing your palm on the ground – if it is uncomfortable for you, you should avoid taking your dog out on that surface.
Dangerous temperatures are prevalent on surfaces like blacktop. As a rule, you should err on the side of caution to avoid any harm.
Likewise, walking your puppy on surfaces that contain chemicals, such as salt to melt snow or weed control, is dangerous as it can be toxic to dogs.
How Do You Know if You Are Overexercising Your Puppy?
However enjoyable your walks are, too many walks are not a good thing. Although we encourage our pups to get enough exercise, it is possible to overdo it. Excessive exercise can harm your puppy’s musculoskeletal development.
This is especially true of a puppy’s still-developing growth plates. Excessive walking and exercise can also lead to the development of arthritis at a young age. Furthermore, overexercising your puppy can cause severe tiredness, limping, and even overheating.
If you notice your puppy yelping when moving or limping, you should take them to the vet to determine if your walk routine is too vigorous.
Signs that your puppy may be overly tired include:
- They experience stiffness during or after exercise
- They experience excessive sleepiness after exercise
- They lag behind you on your walks
- They excessively pant, drool, or vomit.
- They exhibit confusion, lack of coordination, or even a lack of consciousness
If your puppy exhibits any of these signs, make sure you ease up on the walks and give your pup some rest days until the soreness eases. Additionally, carry some snacks and fresh water with you on your walks so that you can relieve signs of over-exhaustion.
When Should You Start Leash Training Your Puppy?
Leash training should start as soon as you bring your puppy home, which should be around 4–6 weeks old. Puppies are constantly learning at this age, so they’ll quickly become leash walking experts with the correct number of treats and encouragement.
However, remember that puppies have a short attention span. During a training session, they could quickly become bored and tired. As a result, you should reward your puppy with a 10–15-minute break. Keep in mind that puppies aren’t fully vaccinated at this age, so you should only train at home until all vaccines have been administered.
Generally, you can walk your 12-week-old puppy up to ten miles as part of the 30 minutes of exercise they need per day. However, since each dog has their own set of needs and abilities depending on its age, breed, health conditions, and so on, it is imperative to let your pup set the pace on your walks. Furthermore, it would help to keep an eye on them to monitor for any overexertion.