Signs that a Dog Needs More Exercise

Both adult dogs and puppies can sometimes behave like children on a sugar rush. They need to burn their energy, and if you don’t give them a way to do it, they will find their own! Sometimes, these ways of burning their fuel will waste all the training efforts and could take an enormous toll on their personality, mental health, and physical well-being. 

For this reason, it is vital to know the signs that show that a dog or puppy is not exercising enough throughout the day. These are the 5 most common signs that show that a dog might need 20 extra minutes of walking!

1. Destructive Behavior

If you notice that your dog is biting, chewing, scratching or tearing things around the house, or if you see that they break their toys in record time, it is highly likely that your dog is trying to drain his contained energy. Of course, this is not only really dangerous for them, as they could suffer a gastrointestinal obstruction or an intoxication by accidentally swallowing the objects they’re chewing, but it’s also really expensive for the owner, due to the vet bills and the cost of replacement of the objects. So, if your dog has destructive behavior, better to run that extra mile with him, literally!

2. Daily or Nightly Hyperactivity

Another way dogs use to drain the energy they are not draining through exercise is by running or playing excessively around the house. These bursts of energy that have puppies running from one side of the house to the other can become really noisy and bothersome at 3 A.M., when the owners are trying to catch some sleep. Either if they happen at daytime or nighttime, sudden episodes of running, jumping, vocalizing or playing by themselves are a clear sign that a dog needs to exercise more. 


3. Excessively curious behavior

Dogs with a sense of curiosity are seen as smart and adorable while doing their best to understand the world around them. Moreover, it’s also a part of nature, as being curious is part of their survival instinct. However, if your dog is at all times browsing the house or apartment, smelling the floor or the air, following every step of every moving person, or wanting to participate in every activity the owner does, that’s often a sign of excessive boredom and energy accumulation. They’re just trying to keep themselves busy!

4. Attention seeking

Your pet will always know the perfect way to catch your attention: growling, howling, barking, licking your hands or feet, jumping on top of you, or bringing you their favorite toy. However, these gestures could mean basically anything, from begging for a meal to asking for pets. If you see that your dog’s water bowl is full and fresh, they already ate, and pets do not seem to calm them, it might be time for a short session of exercise. Playing, walking, running or asking them to perform tricks will surely help them burn a little more energy!

5. Weight Gain

This one is more a physical sign than a behavioral sign, which appears after weeks or months of eating an unbalanced diet or after lack of enough exercise. Even if your dog’s behavior is not as energetic as the average and they fail to give you any other sign, their physique doesn’t lie: when there’s not enough ways to burn energy, your dog will likely gain weight. If this sign goes ignored without implementing the proper healthy habits your dog needs, he might become obese and suffer from metabolic, pancreatic, gastrointestinal, locomotive or cardiovascular diseases, so it’s important to pay attention to your dog’s complexion. 


Providing your dog with enough opportunities to exercise, plenty of fresh water and a balanced diet will keep them living a happy and healthy life. For this reason, it’s vital to know if your concept of “enough exercise” matches theirs. Communication, even between species, is the key!



Blog Post written by:
Maria Rondon
A head of health science faculty