Despite a Shih Tzu’s small size, they need exercise. In fact, exercising your Shih Tzu is very important to its overall health and longevity.
They need outdoor romps just as much as larger dogs do. Exercise will keep their muscles strong and their heart healthy.
Shih Tzu’s are so cute and cuddly; many owners shower them with too many treats without giving them adequate exercise.
It doesn’t take too many extra calorie meals to make an 8 pound (3.63 kilogram) animal tip the scale in the direction of the overweight.
Being overweight can be harmful to your Shih Tzu’s health because their little bodies do not handle extra weight well. Excess weight puts a lot of pressure on their joints and internal organs, which can pose a threat to their natural health.
If you currently own an overweight Shih Tzu, and you would like to put him or her on an exercise program, remember, Shih Tzu’s should never be exercised in hot weather.
These little dogs are not built for heat; therefore, prolonged heat exposure can cause them serious harm. Shih Tzu’s do not do well in the heat because of their short nose and heavy coat.
If you are going to exercise your Shih Tzu, make sure you do it when it is cool. Morning walks or evening strolls are best.
In addition to exercising your Shih Tzu, limit the snacks and the extra calories that your dog consumes throughout the day. Adult Shih Tzus only need two to three meals daily.
Here Are Some Tips for Exercising Your Shih Tzu
Your Shih Tzu can get much of his daily exercise requirements by playing indoor fetch games with a favorite toy. However, this is not an invitation to pull back on a daily walk for dog and owner. A daily walk is an excellent way for dog and owner to do some much-required bonding.
Also, there is something about getting to go on walks that helps alleviate behavioral issues. All Shih Tzu owners need to adopt a daily routine of activity, which will ensure the dog’s physical and mental health.
Shih Tzu’s grow and develop fast, which can cause muscle and joint problems. As a result, the dog’s activity levels can vary throughout his lifetime. However, do not let this keep you from walking your Shih Tzu. This breed is happiest when given a variety of tasks to complete.
All dog owners know that a well-behaved dog is an exhausted one. If you want to keep your Shih Tzu properly exercised, then a minimum of one hour daily of activity, 3-5 days a week, is the requirement. Exercise ensures that your dog gets to burn any excess energy constructively.
Do not let your Shih Tzu’s size fool you! Even though it is small, a Shih Tzu left alone without any way to release excess energy constructively, is known to cause damage on a massive scale to a house or yard. At times, something as simple as letting your dog run around within an enclosed area in the back yard or a dog park is all that is needed.
Swimming is also an excellent way of exercising your Shih Tzu. It is also easy on the dog’s muscles and joints.
Another excellent way for Shih Tzu owners to keep them fit and busy is by entering them into competitions such as agility courses. These competitions are both physically and mentally challenging for canines. Do not worry if your dog does not get it right away; the more he practices, the better he will get. This activity is great for all dogs, which includes neutered dogs as well as mixed breeds.
During the times when you are just not up for a walk or competition training, a safe yard for your Shih Tzu to explore would work just as well. A safe fenced in yard is a great way to keep them out of trouble. However, a cooped-up Shih Tzu is not a happy one. These dogs possess an innate inclination for digging. Therefore, do not leave your dog unattended for an extended amount of time. It does not take long for a Shih Tzu to dig its way to freedom.
One way to solve the digging issue is to set aside an area just for digging, which is much better than trying to discourage a behavior that is intuitive to the breed. Remember, this activity not only satisfies the dog’s needs, but it also helps to get rid of extra energy. To discourage digging in other areas of the yard, keep it wet.