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How to Exercise Dogs During Pregnancy

Updated February 21, 2017

During the course of your dog's pregnancy, you should make the right changes to prepare for delivery. These changes may include new feeding routines, temperature monitoring, whelping preparation and adjustments to the dog's exercise routine. Exercise is important for a bitch throughout her approximate nine-week pregnancy, as excess weight can lead to delivery complications. By giving her the right exercise in the proper amounts, you can better ensure not only the mother's health, but also the health of the pups.

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  1. Walk your pregnant dog each day. If your dog enjoys jogging, playing catch or engaging in other rigorous activities, you can safely do these as well. Just make sure to provide some form of exercise every day for at least 60 minutes, but avoid exercising in hot weather. On hot days, save your exercise for the cooler morning or evening. As a dog approaches the eighth week of pregnancy, eliminate any rigorous exercising and stick to walking.

  2. Increase the amount of exercise (though not the intensity) as you gradually increase the food intake throughout the course of the pregnancy. By the eighth week of pregnancy, a dog should be eating approximately twice her normal amount of food, so in order to maintain a healthy metabolism, you must devote additional time to exercising. Though you do not need to double the amount of exercise, your dog should get at least 90 minutes of exercise per day, spread over three or four short sessions.

  3. Reduce the length of each exercise session during the eighth week of pregnancy. Continue to provide your dog with daily exercise, but keep your walks under 20 minutes. You may need to take four or five walks per day to provide a pregnant dog with ample exercise, but she should be nearing the whelping stage at this point in her pregnancy, and therefore, should exercise in a way that maintains her healthy metabolism without compromising the health of her pups. Short, frequent walks will help her to stay healthy without overexerting herself, according to Pet Bits for You.

  4. Stop all exercise when a dog begins the whelping stage. When delivery time nears, your dog will most often retire to a quiet, isolated place to await the birth. At this point, just keep a close watch on her but allow her to remain in her present location. Whelping dogs are easily traumatised and you should therefore maintain a quiet, peaceful atmosphere.

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