Under a new law, German dog owners will be required to walk their dogs twice a day.
Germany's Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner has announced the new law will be introduced based on data showing the country's 9.4 million dogs are not getting the exercise they need to stay healthy.
Changes to the Hundeverordnung, or Dogs Act, will mean that, from next year, dog owners will be required to take their dogs out for at least one hour, twice a day.
According to Klöckner, the new rules were drafted after findings showed dogs need a "sufficient measure of activity and contact with environmental stimuli".
Tethering dogs on a chain or a lead for long periods of time could also soon be banned in the country.
Dogs in Germany will not be able to be left home alone all day, and someone will be required to look after the pet "several times a day".
"Dogs are not cuddly toys. They also have their own needs, which need to be taken into account," Klöckner said.
The new law has caused controversy in Germany this week. Many wonder if it would be possible for the government to check on the 9.4 million dogs in the 19 per cent of German households with dogs as pets.
A spokesperson for the ministry of agriculture clarified it would be up to the local state authorities to enforce the law.
However, even people within Klöckner's own party, the Christian Democratic Union, have openly criticised the law.
Saskia Ludwig, a CDU MP, pointed out some dogs cannot cope with being out in the current heatwave the country is under.
"VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURE: I will not be taking my Rhodesian Ridgeback for two rounds of walks in 32 degrees heat, rather we will jump in the river for a refreshing cool down instead," the MP tweeted.