How much exercise needs a Westie?
West Highland Terriers, often referred to as “Westies”, are small but high energy dogs. They are described as almost tireless, lively little dogs.
Every dog owner knows the importance of maintaining your dog’s health, and that includes sufficient exercise.
So how much exercise does a Westie really need? The answer is based on several factors to consider. The amount of exercise needed for your Westie largely depends on its age and type of activity. One hour of exercise a day should be ideal for an adult Westie, but puppies generally have different needs.
Because any puppy’s bones and muscles are growing and developing, it’s best to avoid strenuous exercise. Instead, letting your Westie puppy play freely with toys is a good idea. Be sure to choose toys that are intended specifically for puppies, however.
You can begin to take your Westie puppy for brief walks around the time they reach four months old, but it’s best to confirm with your vet first. Puppies under three to four months usually haven’t had all their necessary vaccinations, and so it isn’t safe for them to be walked in public yet.
Generally, the rule to follow for walking a puppy is 5 minutes for each month of age. So for a five month old puppy, a walk for 20 to 25 minutes is enough. However, you should still keep an eye on your puppy for signs of tiredness, like panting or slowing down. Because puppies are still growing, walking can become too tiring for them.
When dogs age, their activity and energy levels decrease. It’s still necessary to keep them somewhat active, because their joints need the activity. Exercising also helps them to remain at a healthy weight.
Taking your older Westie for daily walks is good, as long as they’re short. If your dog shows signs of tiredness, it’s best to end the walk. Walking on grass, if possible, is a great idea because it’ll be easier for your older Westie to walk on.
Alternatively, toys that will stimulate your dog – such as puzzle toys – are also ideal activity for your older Westie.
Dogs often develop arthritis and other joint problems as they grow older. Exercise can become difficult for them. But fortunately, there are activities that may help your older Westie. You can talk to your veterinarian about hydrotherapy or swimming if your dog suffers from joint pain.
Overall, Westies are usually high energy and active dogs. Following these guidelines may ensure that your Westie gets adequate exercise and activity for their mental and physical health. Of course, consulting with a doctor is always a good idea, though.
Types of exercise for a full grown Westie
Now that we’ve clarified how much exercise Westies need at different ages, it’s time to review different exercises that adult age Westies can enjoy.
Fast, high-energy activities
Quick high-energy activities are great for a full grown Westie, because of their hyper personalities. To keep your Westie happy – and out of trouble – consider these activities.
Playing a game of fetch is a great way to alleviate any excessive energy that your Westie may have. They usually love balls or other toys that can be thrown. If you grow tired of throwing the toys yourself, you could even purchase an automatic ball launcher, so your Westie won’t need your help to play fetch.
Another activity that’s suitable for Westies is catching frisbees. Of course, you may have to throw them at a low level because Westies are small dogs, but they can also sometimes jump high enough to catch it in the air.
Setting up an obstacle course in your backyard or in your home is a great way to give your Westie some stimulating exercise. Hurdle jumps, tunnels, and hoops are perfect for Westies, and you can purchase agility sets online.
Tug of War
This is a popular game among terrier breeds, and that includes Westies. Pick your dog’s favorite toy, and let them try to pull it away from you. Not only will it burn extra energy, but your Westie will also likely enjoy this activity.
Stimulating toys and activities
Although energy-burning toys are great for Westies, stimulating toys are also a good way to keep them busy. When terriers get bored, they will often resort to finding ways to entertain themeselves – which can often lead to trouble! Digging, unnecessary barking, inappropriate chewing, and escaping are all examples of what may happen if your Westie becomes bored. Fortunately, there are many toys that are designed to keep your dog’s attention.
These are ideal for breeds like Westies, because they’re designed to challenge their skills and minds. Westies are extremely smart dogs, and puzzle toys are the perfect thing to keep their active minds as busy as possible. You can find puzzle toys in most pet stores, or on the Internet.
Strong chew toys are another ideal way to keep your Westie occupied. Chewing also releases endorphins that’ll relax your dog and make them feel good.
Treat toys and scent toys
Another type of toy that’s great for a Westie is toys that are designed to stimulate your dog’s scent. Toys that dispense treats are a great idea, and they’ll keep your dog busy for hours.
How do I know if my Westie has had too much exercise?
Although it’s likely that your Westie won’t become too exhausted, it’s still important to be able to recognize the signs of a dog who has had too much exercise.
Signs that your Westie may be getting too much exercise include:
• Frequent panting while exercising, or afterwards
• Excess thirstiness
• Lagging and struggling to keep up
• Inability to focus
• Sleeping or laying more than usual
If my Westie still seems bored or doesn’t want to exercise, what should I do?
If you’ve tried a few different activities and nothing seems to keep your Westie occupied, you can try other options. If your Westie doesn’t seem to enjoy toys, try going for walks or runs instead. Chances are, you’ll be able to find something your Westie will enjoy. If you truly feel like you have tried every option, you can also consult your veterinarian.
These are some suggestions for ways to give your Westie terrier adequate excercise. Their breed is known for being intelligent, high-energy dogs, and so activity is a great way to keep your Westie happy and healthy.