At last some concrete science about exercising puppies. And before we go any further, here are the author’s credentials –
” Dr. Darryl L. Millis is a Diplomate of both the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, and a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner. He is a Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Director of the CARES Center for Veterinary Sports Medicine at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, where he has taught veterinary orthopedics for over 25 years. “
So you assume he knows what he’s talking about! Here are his findings
” There is no evidence that normal exercise causes damage to growth plates of puppies. In fact, jogging exercise (such as on a treadmill) appears to be beneficial to normal joints. “
” Young beagle dogs jogging 4 km/d (2.5 miles), at a speed of 4 km/h (2.5 mph) at a 15-degree incline on a treadmill for 15 weeks had no damage to cartilage and a 6% increase in cartilage stiffness and an 11% increase in cartilage thickness, all positive changes. “
It’s a long article but well worth reading. In a nutshell, avoid jarring, high impact exercise, avoid stairs and avoid obesity, but there doesn’t seem to be any harm in taking a young dog for a gentle jog. In fact, it appears to be a good thing to do.
Great to see some good science with a reputable source. I have yet to find the origin of the “5 minutes exercise per month of age” guideline which is always doing the rounds.
Feel free to discuss.