Like humans, our dogs need exercise to be fit and healthy. However, every dog breed has different exercise needs. Energetic dog breeds like Labradors need about 2 hours of exercise daily; however, lazy dog breeds like Bulldogs don’t need much.
So, where do our Basset Hounds stand? How much exercise do Basset hounds need?
A healthy adult Basset Hound needs about 20 to 60 minutes of exercise daily. Their exercise routine can be spread across the day and must include physical activities like walking, running, and playing.
However, every basset hound has different exercise needs based on age, fitness level, and overall health.
Further in this article, we will understand more about how much exercise basset hounds need as per their age. I will also list down some of the best exercises for them and answer some of the most common questions on this topic.
Exercise Requirements for Basset Hounds at Different Age
How Much Exercise do Basset Hound Puppies Need?
Young Basset Hound puppies already get plenty of exercise while curiously exploring the world around them.
They are also likely getting potty-trained, which means you will be taking your puppy outside at least 4-6 times for potty breaks, and that’s enough exercise for them.
How Much Exercise do Adult Basset Hounds Need?
Adult Bassets could benefit from an hour of exercise daily. You may divide this into two or three shorter sessions followed by a game of fetch.
How Much Exercise do Senior Basset Hounds Need?
Senior Basset Hounds sleep a lot, and many Basset owners reduce their exercise time. This should not be the case. You still need to take your senior Basset out for a walk atleast twice a day.
Regular exercise is essential to prevent obesity and mental issues like dementia in your aging buddy.
Naturally, if your Basset has any health issues, please get a clearance from your vet regarding how much exercise is appropriate for it.
For example, arthritic Bassets might benefit from controlled exercise on a leash instead of running or jogging. You could even consider low-impact activities like swimming since these are far less stressful on your dog’s joints.
How Far Should I Walk my Basset Hound?
Healthy adult Bassets over 12 months can walk 2 to 2.5 miles per day (3 to 4 km). You can divide this into two or three shorter walks.
Always take into account your dog’s age, fitness levels, and overall health. Remember, Bassets have short legs and tend to overheat quickly. So pause from time to time and make sure your dog is comfortable. Offer plenty of water on hot days.
If your Basset turns to go back home, you might want to respect their decision. Most dogs will let their owners know when they are tired.
What are The Dangers of Under-Exercising a Basset Hound?
Exercise is not only good for your Basset’s body but is also beneficial for their mind. You and your pooch will both feel good after a walk, so you must continue the routine even into your Basset’s golden years.
Little to no exercise is extremely detrimental for their mental and physical well-being. Without daily exercise, Bassets could get bored, frustrated, and even depressed.
Under-exercised Bassets could also pack on the pounds easily, and obesity is extremely harmful to your pet’s already fragile back.
So, get into an exercise routine and make your stubborn pet exercise every day. Daily exercise will condition and tone your dog’s muscles, stimulate metabolism, and also keep your dog’s mind active.
Could I Over-Exercise My Basset Hound?
There is a chance you could over-exercise your Basset Hound. Over-exercising means suddenly increasing the duration of your pet’s walks without allowing time for its body to adjust.
For example, if your Basset was used to walking twice a day for 15 minutes each but suddenly increase the duration to 1 hour, it could suffer from body pain or soreness due to a lack of preparation.
Basset puppies that do not have well-developed growth plates are at risk of deformation or stunted development due to over-exercise.
Unfortunately, young Bassets are notorious for being fearless and may walk or run for as long as you want them, just to please you. Unfortunately, this could lead to poor body development in the young dog.
Here are some signs that you may be over-exercising your Basset:
- Muscle soreness – your pet might have a weird gait while walking. They may seem uncomfortable moving around. They may even refuse to walk the next day.
- Rough paw pads – worn out, blistered, and bleeding paw pads are a sign of over-exertion. Please refrain from walking your pet and if needed, use special boots, socks, or bandages to dress the paws. Get clearance from your vet before walking your Basset.
- Joint injuries – Basset Hounds are susceptible to joint and back-related issues because of their short legs and long backs. Over-exercising could exacerbate these issues. This is why it is important to get a clearance from your vet regarding the optimum duration of exercise for your dog. Some canine joint issues are chronic, and some can have lasting effects. So, please follow your vet’s advice.
If you plan on going for really long walks, make sure your Basset gets used to them first. Start slow and increase the duration each day. This will make your dog fitter and help them endure longer walks easily.
Best Exercises for Basset Hounds
You could have several forms of exercise to keep your Basset Hound healthy and happy.
- Walking is the best activity for most dogs. Some Bassets are reluctant to walk on cold and rainy days. In such a case, you’d need to use some creative methods to get your pet moving. Sometimes, you just have to be persistent since some Bassets are rather stubborn.
- Game of fetch – Most Bassets love playing fetch with balls, sticks, rope toys, or Frisbees.
- Agility – Bassets are agile dogs, and young Bassets love working around obstacles. Agility courses can keep your dog fit, prevent obesity, increase endurance, and even strengthen the bones.
- Digging – add a digging pit in your yard and have your dog dig out treats and toys. This will keep your dog mentally alert and happy.
FAQs – How Much Exercise Do Basset Hounds Need?
Can Basset Hounds run?
Yes, healthy Bassets enjoy running. They can even run at speeds of 15 to 30 mph. However, they have short legs, which could keep them from running too long at a stretch.
Can Basset Hounds swim?
Some Basset Hounds do enjoy swimming. However, they aren’t natural-born swimmers due to their short legs. You need to train your Basset to swim. Make sure your pet wears a swimming vest before entering the water.
Does my Basset Hound need a coat on cold days?
Most Basset Hounds do not like wearing coats. However, their bellies tend to get cold due to their short legs, so you may want to use a raincoat or a light jacket when you walk your Basset in cold/wet weather. It is best to limit your pet’s exposure to the cold.
Conclusion – How Much Exercise Do Basset Hounds Need?
Bassets can benefit from an hour of exercise daily. This applies to most adult, healthy Bassets, but the exact amount of exercise will depend on your pet’s age and overall fitness level.
Always get a clearance from your vet regarding the optimum amount of exercise suitable for your buddy.