Managing the exercise needs of a multi dog household
Posted in Chiropractic Treatments for Dogs

I am the proud parent of 2 dogs, Benji is a 6½ year old Golden Retriever, I picked from his litter when he was just a few weeks old, and Gracie, who is an 8½ year old, mini Jack Russell cross. Gracie came to us 4 years ago, having suffered years of neglect and starvation, she now lives like the Queen she truly is. We also have Dolly in our family too, who is Grandma Carrie’s, 3 year old Australian Labradoodle, she is mad as a box of frogs, with a heart and soul made out of pure gold. You will often see Dolly and my daughter Frankie agility training together on my social media.

My good friend’s Dean and Nikkie have 31 Huskies, one of my clients has 14 (I think) Affen Pinschers, another client of mine has 5 Golden Retrievers, another client has 11 dog’s, nearly all rescues, I think you get the idea. What makes up your perfect number of dog’s in your family is entirely individual, and it isn’t up to anyone else to judge your choices.

In clinic, as part of my onboarding of new patient protocols, amongst other things,  I ask these questions; 

  • How many people and animals does your dog live with?
  • What does your dog’s average daily routine look like?

The reasons for my questions are many and layered, and not only give me an insight into what may be contributing to the patient’s musculoskeletal dysfunction, but also how we can go about meeting their needs as well as all the other dog’s needs in the home.

Ever heard the saying; “failing to plan means planning to fail”?

What I want to do is set up my client and their dog to succeed in their rehab journey. We can’t do this though, if we don’t take into account the needs of every other dog in the household, be that 2 or 12. 

How do we do this?

Let’s take it back to the “Dog Centred Approach”, which means we treat every dog as an individual and we address their needs independently of the needs of every other dog and person in the household. Often problems arise, when we assume all dog’s in our family require the same amount and type of exercise daily. This can lead to over exercising, risking injury, and often over exuberant younger dogs knocking over, and bumping into older, less robust dogs. 

The Solution? 

Plan your weekly schedule for each of your dogs’ exercise needs, including;

  • Age of each dog
  • Type of exercise planned
  • Training schedules and goals
  • Length of time exercising 
  • Which dogs work well with other dogs
  • Which dogs DON’T get on
  • Resting schedule

It’s important to remember, not every dog needs the same amount of exercise every day. Alternating rest days for your dogs ensures everyone is getting the rest and sleep they need. This will ultimately lead to happier, healthier dogs and fewer injuries.


About the Author:

Dani Paizis MSc MMAA AHPR Veterinary Chiropractor

Dani is a veterinary chiropractor, specialising in the rehabilitation of the canine patient. Practicing a welfare first, dog-centred, multimodal approach to canine wellness. Dani lives in Harrogate with her husband, two daughters and their lovely dogs Benji and Gracie.

You can contact Dani directly by email at:


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