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Exercise Requirements for Chihuahuas

Exercise Requirements for Chihuahuas

Exercise is Important

Just like people, dogs need exercise to stay healthy.  Even tiny dogs like Chihuahuas need a certain amount of daily physical exercise to keep their heart and lungs strong.  Also small breed dogs have a tendency to become overweight and a daily exercise program can help prevent this from happening.

Overweight dogs of any breed have more issues with joint pain and mobility especially as they age.  Both short and long haired Chihuahuas are prone to problems with their knees and any additional weight that they carry makes these problems worse. 

So many things that we have been told about ourselves apply to our pets as well.  We all know that as we age it is important to keep our minds active as well as our bodies.  Learning new skills or exercising our brains helps keep us mentally sharp.  Your Chihuahua has the same needs.  Mental exercise is as important as physical exercise is keeping your Chi happy and healthy.

Types of Physical Exercise

Physical exercise can take almost any form you wish.  Most owners like the tried and true leash walk for exercise.  Chihuahuas are naturally curious and will love to walk where there are interesting sights and smells to keep them engaged.  Just remember that your Chi’s legs are a lot shorter than your own.  What seems like a decent sized walk for you may seem endless to your Chi. 

A Chihuahua needs only about half an hour of physical activity daily.  This can be broken up into a couple of sessions so that your Chi gets the benefit of two bonding times with you.  Your Chi will also be active by itself during the remainder of the day so he or she should be getting additional exercise as well.

One of the joys of Chihuahua ownership is the fact that they don’t need to go outside for a walk every day.  Their exercise requirements can be met simply by playing in the house.  This means on horrible rainy days there is no need to go outside.  So when you look out the window and see your neighbour with their Golden Retriever battling typhoon size winds, you can pat yourself on the back for having the good sense to own a Chi.

If a walk is out of the question, try throwing a ball inside or having your Chi chase a rope toy you drag behind you.  Some Chis go crazy for laser pointers and spend endless minutes chasing that little red light.  Even a game of tug of war can provide exercise to your Chi’s muscles.

Mental Exercise

Don’t forget to exercise your Chi’s brain along with the body.  Using food puzzles is a great way to keep their brain active.  Food puzzles are literally toys that have openings for food rewards.  Your Chi’s job will be to figure out how to get the food out.  Some of these puzzles can keep them occupied for quite a while.  If you hang out with other Chi owners, these types of food puzzles make wonderful Chihuahua gifts to give your friends.

Another mental exercise is to teach your Chi to search.  Take one of the yummiest treats you can find and hide it for your Chi to find.  Make the search really easy to start so that your little one gets the idea.  In fact, the first time you try this, carry your Chi with you while you place the treat in another room, leave the room and then tell your Chi to “search”.  You can lead them back to the treat if necessary.  Very soon your Chi will know that “search” means to look for a treat somewhere in the house.

Keeping your Chi mentally and physically active is not a daunting task.  Chihuahuas are loving and curious and enjoy spending time with you, so use exercise time as a bonding exercise to deepen the relationship between you and your Chi.

 

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