How Much Exercise Does a Chihuahua Need?

Although Chihuahuas are generally companions or lap dogs they still need plenty of exercise and stimulation. You’ll be surprised just how much energy your tiny friend has!

Your Chihuahua may be completely happy to be with you wherever you go, and do whatever you are doing, and it’s sometimes easy to overlook how much energy a Chihuahua actually has, but, as with any breed, to maintain good heart health and promote healthy muscles and joints a good 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day is essential. Of course, this will vary depending on your Chihuahua and their personality, and will vary a lot depending on you. Your Chihuahua will generally copy what you do, so, if you are very sedentary at home then your Chihuahua will likely be sedentary too… if you are active then your Chihuahua will be active too.

20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day is a minimum. It’s up to you whether you take your Chihuahua out once or twice a day, generally one good walk will be enough but it’s your choice. Just remember that if you are going out more than once a day to space the walks out so your Chihuahua has enough time to rest in between. Two walks a day may be better if you have to leave your Chihuahua at home all day whilst you are at work, a walk in the morning will give your Chihuahua plenty of stimulation and will tire them somewhat so they will likely sleep throughout the day instead of getting up to mischief! The same can be said when you return home after your day out, another walk will stimulate your Chihuahua again, ensuring they maintain a happy balance of exercise and sedentary behaviour.

If, like us, your Chihuahua is not a fan of bad weather and rain they may not be happy to go for a walk. You can exercise and stimulate your Chihuahua indoors if needs be, you can play games or encourage your Chihuahua to chase you and vice versa. Some fun games to play could be fetch or tug of war with their favourite toy. Another good idea to stimulate your Chihuahua is to hide some of their favourite treats around the house and encourage them to find them… this game will always be a favourite! It’s easy to overlook the extra stimulation your Chihuahua needs as they may follow you around all day which does give them some exercise, however, they do still need the extra play time. Obesity is as big a problem in the canine world as it is in the human world, Chihuahua’s, like any dog, can, over time, put weight on. This is very dangerous for a Chihuahua as their bones and joints will not easily carry the extra weight putting them in danger of needing medical attention. Exercise and a good diet should always ensure your chihuahua maintains a healthy weight.

If it is cold outside be sure to wrap your Chihuahua up, there is plenty of choice when it comes to clothing, such as hoodies, coats, boots, t-shirts, rain macs, you name it you can find a Chihuahua version. The Chihuahua’s ancestry starts in Mexico meaning these little dogs are from a warm climate and due to their size they will get cold very quickly. One of the most well-known traits of a Chihuahua is the tremble… this will be down to either excitement or because they are cold. If you are cold then your Chihuahua will definitely be cold, always bear that in mind when heading out anywhere.

Puppies may not need quite as much exercise as an adult Chihuahua and always be aware of their health, do not take your puppy out for a walk until it has had it’s jabs to protect them from canine disease and other harmful diseases and infections. A puppy will only need around 20 minutes of exercise a day, this is because, like a human baby, they will need a lot of rest.

It is always best to use a harness and lightweight lead for your Chihuahua as opposed to conventional collar and leads. This is because your Chihuahua’s neck is very tiny and very fragile and pulling on a collar could potentially harm them. You can be as careful as you can but you cannot prevent your Chihuahua from pulling so a harness is always a better option. Ensure you purchase the correct size harness for your dog and ensure you adjust it accordingly to it fits nice and comfortably. Some Chihuahua clothing will have built in harness fixtures, such as winter coats and rain macs, so when it is colder these may be a better option. A lightweight lead is also recommended, your Chihuahua doesn’t weigh a lot and carrying a heavy lead clip could potentially cause some discomfort whilst walking. There are plenty of option available to you, if you are unsure visit your local pet store with your Chihuahua where an assistant will be able to help you.

Your Chihuahua may surprise you at just how much play time they need! Chihuahua’s like to have fun so it’s always important to have plenty of soft toys and chew toys available for them to play with as well as your daily walks together.

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