You’re a busy person. I’m a busy person. Your shih tzu is probably also really busy and not getting enough exercise to stay fit and healthy.
Exercise is important for dogs, even for small breeds like Shih Tzus. Regular exercise is vital for maintaining physical fitness and mental wellbeing. It makes dogs happier, more engaged, and free of excess weight.
So how much exercise should Shih Tzu get? The short answer, of course, is as much as possible! But since we’re living in the real world here, all dog owners must work with their schedules. One thing’s for sure. The more exercise you give your Shih Tzu, the happier it will be.
If you don’t have time to regularly do exercise routines with them (you should, but hey, life happens), playing with them outside can make a significant improvement on their health compared to them not having physical activities.
There’s a big misconception that Shih Tzu are small enough that they don’t need a lot of physical activities to maintain their fitness. This is the furthest from the truth!
Shih Tzu exercise
In fact, as far as working breeds go, short-legged dogs like Shih Tzus have just about more muscle mass than other dog breeds. That’s why they have trouble with putting on weight despite not running around much.
That said, it doesn’t mean that you should push your Shih Tzu into activity beyond its physical limitations (that could lead to injuries or health problems). But given how active they are – and will always be – chances are you’ll get plenty of exercises regardless. Plus, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with letting them be dogs and not just sit around the house.
The Shih Tzu is active indoors too! You’ll often see your Shih Tzu frolicking around, running aimlessly and happily. They love to play with toys or even chase their tails. (This can actually be an outlet of pent-up energy.) Every little bit counts when it comes to exercise.
Shih Tzus don’t need a lot of space for physical activities. They don’t require running 10 miles per day – but they do need a minimum amount of walking or running each day to keep them happy. Just make sure that you always walk them on a leash because they may take off after something interesting, like squirrels, in pursuit.
If you can, you should take their leash off when they’re in a safe area. This would be ideal if you have a fenced-in yard, like in the video. However, don’t forget to watch them and make sure that they can’t run out of the fence’s perimeter by accident.
You could also go for walks with your Shih Tzu accompanied by a good friend who has another dog or two. You’ll all get some physical activity merrily walking around the neighborhood (and maybe even meeting new people!). The walk will include stopping at different areas so everyone can sniff things and do their business – which makes up an additional part of their exercise routine too!
Toys are another thing that can contribute to how much exercise your Shih Tzu gets. Make sure it’s not just unsupervised play – you should be always close by your dog, watching its behavior and what toys are safe for its use. It’s always a good idea to check new toys out in person first before giving them to your pup.
Even if you may have left the toy outside for months without any problems, there might have been a small manufacturing defect that wasn’t detectable from the packaging or pictures online (for example, lead paint). You don’t want Shih Tzus ingesting or swallowing foreign objects like this.
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