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Exercise

Maltipoo Exercise and Activity Requirements

Overview

While the Maltipoo is most certainly an indoor companion dog, exercise is very important in regard to keeping your Maltipoo healthy.

Both outdoor and indoor exercise is recommended. This will keep your puppy or dog's whole body healthy...It keep the blood flowing, keeps muscles strong, will give your Maltipoo a healthy appetite and help him sleep better at night. 

And just as importantly it will aid in the behavior of your dog. Studies show us that when a dog is offered enough exercise, behavioral issues are greatly reduced. Regular brisk walks allow a dog to release pent-up energy that would otherwise be directed in negative ways.
Outdoor Exercise

It is important that you do not bring your Maltipoo puppy outside where they can come into contact with other dogs until they have had all of their puppy shots. Once they are protected, you may begin!

It is important to note that exercise is important no matter what the age of your Maltipoo...whether he or she is 3 months old or 10 years old, this is an vital element to good health. Some people mistakenly believe that small dogs do not need structured exercise, however even with the small size of the Maltipoo, this is an important aspect to overall good health.

There are some elements to consider before you head out of the door and begin running around or going for a walk. Walking your Maltipoo will be a rewarding and fun task, as you enjoy the weather and explore the neighborhood together. However, let's first look at some things that must be addressed... 
Cold Weather

The Maltipoo can get chilled rather easily and this is especially true for small puppies. This is not to say that your pup cannot be taken outside or engage in any other activities that another dog would; but you may need to take a few precautions. 
walking a Maltipoo
Sofia, 17 months old
Photo courtesy of Pam Hicks
On cold days, you will want to put a sweater on your pup to protect against harsh cold weather and chilly winds. This is especially important if your Maltipoo has the common Straight and Silky coat type. On days that are below 32 degrees Fahrenheit ( 0 degrees Celsius), try to limit your outdoor time at 20 minutes. Dabbing some nose butter on the nose can protect against chapping and for icy cold surfaces, paw wax will keep the pads from cracking.
Do be aware that on days that are above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it is perfectly alright to allow your Maltipoo to run around in the snow for up to 20 minutes....many puppies and dogs just love the snow. Dress up warm yourself, because outdoor play should be supervised.  Do be sure that the area in which you allow him or her to play in the snow does not have chemicals on it (More just ahead on this subject).

If you live in an area in which it snows and/or has ice storms, you will also want to take precautions. One of the most harmful elements to the Maltipoo is "Ice Melt"....given many different names, this is the chemical that is often put down on snow and ice to melt it and in some cases, it has substances to help a person avoid slipping. The chemicals in this can cause damage to the paws of the Maltipoo.

During snowy weather, you will want to shovel a path to the designated bathroom area and make sure that no ice melt is put down. If there is snow on the ground and potential "Ice Melt" chemicals on the roads or sidewalks, and you wish to take your Maltipoo for a walk, it is highly advised to use  quality paw wax or slip on booties.
Hot Weather

In hot months when it is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4 Celsius), you will want to limit any cardio outdoor exercise to 20 minutes and walk your puppy or dog early in the day or later in the evening when temperatures are a bit lower. A Maltipoo can easily become overheated and this can lead to the health issue of heat exhaustion.

When you go for a walk or wish to offer exercise in which your Maltipoo will be running around in this type of weather, be sure to bring along water for your Maltipoo. You may wish to bring a bottled water and a collapsible bowl or a travel mug which holds water and the cover doubles as the drinking dish.

Be aware of pavement, sand or other surfaces that may be hotter than you think. You, of course, will not be aware of just how hot these surfaces can heat up when you are wearing shoes....However if they are hot enough that you cannot stand barefoot on them, they are hot enough to cause burns on your Maltipoo's paws. Therefore, you will want to strongly consider putting dog shoes on your pup's paws or a quality wax. This not only will protect him or her from burns...it will also protect them against other hazards, such as small pebbles that can get stuck in the cracks of the paws or slivers that can pierce the paw.
Maltipoo jumping
Nilla | 6 years old | Owner: Melanie Day
How Much Exercise is Needed

For optimal health for your Maltipoo, at least 30 minutes of exercise should be given each day at a minimum. This can either be outdoors or indoors (if the weather is not suitable). For hyper puppies and young adults, since this is an active breed with high energy, often two walks per day of 20 minute sessions is best.

Exercise does not necessarily need to be a walk. Playing catch, chase and other activities will offer the needed cardio. Not only does this keep a dog's body healthy, it also allows him to release pent up energy that otherwise may be manifested as behavioral problems including excessive barking and destructive chewing.
The Best Time

Dogs do best when they have a regular schedules routine. Maltipoos have an amazing inner time clock...when given a routine, they will know when it is time to exercise and they will look forward to it. 
While you do need to schedule this so that it fits into your day, often one walk before you leave for the day and one walk in the evening works best. If you will be leaving your puppy or dog home alone, he will benefit from having some time outside with you once you get home.  A good jaunt roughly 2 hours before bedtime can help a dog sleep better at night. Do take care not to exercise your Maltipoo too close to bedtime since an increase in adrenaline can make it difficult for a dog to settle down and relax.
Indoor Exercise & Games

There will be plenty of days when outdoor activities are not ideal. On these days, there are many ways to offer exercise for your Maltipoo inside the home. A great way to provide this is to play Hide & Seek. This is a game that your dog will love and begin to look forward to. It is best to play this with a new and special toy that is only used for this game and put away when the game is over.

Begin by making sure your Maltipoo is paying attention to you. Have the special toy in your hand and be sure that your pup sees where you hide it.... Begin with an easy spot, such as under a sofa cushion or under a pillow that is placed on the floor. Encourage him or her to find it...this can be done by pretending that you are looking for it as well. Since your Maltipoo will know where the toy was hidden, it should only take a moment for him or her to find it. When they do, be sure to act very excited with happy words and praise. This will prompt your Maltipoo for more! Then, it will be time to make the game more challenging. If you dog has not yet learned the "Sit" command, this can be a great time to introduce it as you command them to sit as you hid the doggie toy. If they are too young to be patient enough for command training while playing, simply move around quickly and slip the toy in a "harder to find" spot. As the game progresses, you can put it in another room and encourage your Maltipoo to run around and search.

When it is time for the game to end, make the final reward be praise and a small yummy treat. This will be the signal for your Maltipoo to understand that the treat means that the game is over until the next day.

Another great way to provide a fun indoor activity is to simply offer an ice cube to your Maltipoo on a floor that is hard, such as the kitchen's linoleum floor. Your pup will be very amused, trying to hold on to the slippery cube as it slides across the room. This is also a wonderful aide for teething puppies as the cold cube will give relief to sore gums.

Note: Since the Maltipoo is prone to luxating patella (slipped kneecap) and hip dysplasia (slipped hip joint and socket), common health issues with this breed, be sure that exercise does not include jumping from heights....For example, a young puppy should not be jumping down from the sofa.  
See Also: Maltipoo Q&A Blog > Can a Maltipoo be walked too much?
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