forget to give them some mental enrichment as well – this is a form of exercise
As a basic guide; for
every month of the puppy’s age they can have about five minutes of low impact
activity, twice a day. So a six month old pup can get half an hour of gentle exercise,
breeds grow much slower rate than the average dog. It can take up to two
years for growth plates to fully develop.
The biggest phase of growth occurs between the ages of four and
eight months. After this time, the growth plates should be fused or close to.
the risk of irreparable damage, it is recommended dogs not be started in any high
impact activity until they’re around a year old.
The growth plates most commonly
subject to injury are found at the elbow, between the ulna and radial bones of
the front legs. Damage to these plates can cause one of the bones to stop
growing while the other will continue to grow normally. The end result of
this abnormal growth pattern is bowed legs and possibly an affected gait, which
in turn can cause ailments such as early onset arthritis.
Knowing how much exercise a puppy needs is hard. The
“ideal” is constantly different because of the pup’s changing age and stage. The
type of exercise also affects what amount is appropriate. Leashed walking is
low-impact and is good in short bursts whereas high-impact
activities like running and jumping, should be discouraged or monitored extremely
When an injury is sustained before
the growth plates have closed, healing can be compromised and could result in
various developmental deformities in the leg or joint, or the prevention the
growth plate from fully developing.
Growth plates in a puppy are
extremely vulnerable to injury, typically these injuries are caused most commonly
by too much exercise or impact on the long bones that are just too hard.
Exercise should match a pup’s development;
gradually increasing as the puppy grows. The increase should be consistent
with the stage the growth plates are at.
Growth plates are areas of cartilage
that develop at the end of the long bones in the legs. As the puppy
grows, they harden, essentially turning to bone.
There is a
very real risk of damage that is possible while your puppy hasn’t yet finished
growing and is still developing.
often portray themselves as constantly needing something to do. Many people
seem to think that it’s impossible for them to over do it, particularly when it
comes to exerscise. Owners think that what a puppy needs is to be tired out to
the point of exhaustion, but most people don’t know about the development of
the puppy’s growth plates.