Do Westies Need a Lot of Exercise?

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You open the door and suddenly you are assaulted by a cute, little ball of fluff. This is how most pet owners are greeted when they get home from work, especially if you are an owner of a Westie! This little pup packs a lot of energy in that small package and you would think that because of all that energy they would need a lot of exercises, right? 

Well, they do, but just because they have all that energy doesn’t mean that they cannot become lazy. (If you want more information on Westies check out WestieVibes.com).

This means it's up to you to get your dog off the couch and into the fresh air for some much-needed exercise. If you want your Westie to live their full life cycle and do it in health, then exercise is super important (as it is for humans and other dog breeds alike). But just how much exercise do they need? In this article, we are going to give you some insights into that as well as some fun ideas for exercises and what to do if they don’t want to.

DO WESTIES NEED A LOT OF EXERCISE_

Exercise: How Much Do They Need?

The exact amount of exercise required by your Westie depends on things like age, size and their overall health. The one thing that you as a pet owner needs to know is that exercise is exceptionally important to their health both now and in the future.

Westies are a terrier and they tend to be energetic which means they may need a great deal more exercise than other breeds. There are different sized terriers and because the Westie is one of the smaller, they will not require as much as longer-legged, larger members of the family.

Another factor in deciding how much exercise your Westie needs is age. You wouldn’t roll grandma out on the track and say, ‘run some laps — it will make you feel better,’ would you? However, you may do that to your young kid or even that teenager.

So just like with humans, you need to adjust just how much exercise your Westie gets proportionate to their age and energy levels. That does not mean that the older dog does not need exercise; in fact, they need more encouragement to get it, but it does mean that maybe the exercise you choose is a little gentler on them. If you get a good routine going, there are a lot of great benefits for your Westie. Benefits like:

  • Decreases risk of serious illnesses
  • Longer life
  • Enhanced bone and muscle strength
  • Improved mood
  • Better bond with the owner
  • Risk of behavioral problem lessened

Ideally, for Westies, you should plan on 2.5 hours of exercise a day. This exercise should be brisk and high energy. This can differ for puppies and elderly dogs. Finding the right routine that works with your schedule and your dog's health needs can be challenging, so below we give you a few ideas that could help you with that.

Tips and Ideas for Exercises

Building that routine needs to start small. Just like you do not hit the gym for a four-hour training session when you haven't been there in a while, your dog needs to build up stamina and cardio strength. Here are a few tips and ideas that could help you out:

  • Start small and build to the full 2.5-hour session. Try doing a few minutes multiple times a day of high energy exercise
  • Taking your Westie on a walk or jog with you can get them that exercise and allow them to get the lay of the land
  • Changing up your scenery as well as the pace can help your Westie stay engaged while building their stamina
  • Maybe try an obedience class or visit the local dog park so that they get their exercise while getting their socialization in as well
  • Frisbees and balls are great ways to get their exercise. They were originally bred for hunting so retrieving anything thrown is good for them
  • Make sure that wherever you choose to exercise them is far from anything fast moving like cars and bicycles so that they can keep from getting injured. They may decide that that large metal object is something they should chase
  • Don’t exercise them in extremely high or low temperatures outdoors. They get dehydrated rather quickly so also make sure you bring water with you as you exercise them when it is warm out
  • Make sure to keep an eye on the ground, not only for debris that could injure them but also the temperature — both of which could lead to injuries.

These are just some ideas. With a consistent focus on ensuring that your Westie gets enough exercise, you and they will become more reliant on this time. But what if they don’t want to exercise?

What If They Don’t Want to Play?

If the pup has been living a lazy life, they may be a little resistant to the idea of getting out there. If this is the case, you need to be patient and as we said above, start slow. You may also want to keep an eye for exercises or activities that elicit movement and concentrate on them; after all Westies can be quite stubborn.

If, however, your Westie suddenly decides that they are not having it then you may want to consider there may be something wrong. Make sure they’re fully hydrated and check for injuries. If their resistance continues you may want to visit your vet to make sure there is not a more serious issue.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the best rule of thumb is that a typical Westie needs roughly two-and-a-half hours of high-energy exercise every day. By taking your time and starting slow while paying attention to what your Westie like you can create an exercise routine that will have you and your best friend together for longer, and be healthier too.

Francis Ross

    Francis Ross

    Her experience as a veterinarian stretching back more than fifteen years, Francis D. Ross has spent ten years of clinical practice as an equine veterinarian and companion animal practitioner. She has also done work as a regulatory veterinarian for the government, giving her a unique and useful perspective of the policies that affect animals’ and animal owners’ day-to-day lives. An avid writer, she specializes in formal educational pieces and casual blog posts alike, and she has done guest spots on many animal-related podcasts.