When you own a small dog like a Chihuahua, it’s only natural to wonder how much exercise they need. Many people assume that they don’t need much. But is that generally true? Do they need walks and regular exercise? Or can it even be harmful?
Chihuahuas need a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise daily. Experts advise to split the 30 minutes into two short 15-minute walks. Because they are so small, they use a lot of energy to keep up with your longer strides. Every kilometer you walk feels like at least 2 to the Chihuahua. That’s why they only need two short runs a day.
Although they are small dogs and have a reputation for being picked up and carried everywhere, Chihuahuas are not an accessory.
Chihuahuas need just as much training, attention, and mental stimulation as any other dog.
However, when it comes to daily exercise, they have different needs. This article explains what a good exercise program for a Chihuahua looks like.
How Much Exercise Does a Chihuahua Need Every Day?
On average, an adult Chihuahua should be walked for about 30 minutes a day. This time should be spread throughout the day, preferably in the form of two or even three shorter walks.
Much depends on the age of your dog, the weather, its temperament, and its individual stamina. Chihuahua puppies may only need 5-10 minutes of exercise per day.
However, you should aim to walk them for at least 30 minutes a day.
Perhaps start with 15 minutes and observe your dog’s reaction. Always make sure that he does not overexert himself. It would be best if you slowly approached the maximum daily exercise.
You should also only take your Chihuahua for a walk when it is between 4 and 8 months old.
At this age, it is definitely better to take two short walks of 10 to 15 minutes each than one long walk.
When the Chihuahua is eight months old, you can extend the walks to about 20 minutes, with at least one break to rest and drink.
From the age of 1, your Chihuahua should have at least one 30-minute walk per day if it is in good health.
Chihuahuas tend to be hyperactive, and if they are left alone during the day, they have a lot of energy.
If a Chihuahua does not get enough exercise, it tends to engage in destructive behavior, such as chewing objects.
Chihuahuas that are 9 years and older are generally considered seniors. As they get older, they gradually slow down, and their urge to move may need to be curtailed.
A Chihuahua can live between 12 and 20 years. So whether a Chihuahua should be classified as a senior depends on how well it ages and how healthy it is overall.
Walks with your dog should be used as training and socialization.
Although Chihuahuas are considered by many to be lap dogs, they should be exposed to as many new people, places, and dogs as possible.
It is advisable to take your Chihuahua to dog-friendly places, as this will influence its behavior in the long term.
Chihuahuas can become anxious and possibly aggressive if they are not regularly exposed to new stimuli. In addition, regular contact with other dogs and people will help to curb the Chihuahua’s notorious barking.
A Chihuahua’s behavior is directly related to the amount of exercise it gets.
If you provide your dog with plenty of mental stimulation and exercise, he will be happy and well-behaved.
However, you should be aware of certain restrictions due to the size of the dog.
Can You Walk a Chihuahua Too Much?
You can indeed walk a Chihuahua too much. This can happen even with distances that are regarded as appropriate exercise distances for larger or more active dog breeds.
When you take your dog for a walk, you must make sure that he does not overexert himself.
This is especially important when it comes to puppies, as too much exercise is not good for young dogs.
Their growth plates are not yet fully developed, so the risk of them injuring themselves is greater than with adult dogs.
Chihuahuas should not exercise too much, as a link has been established between too much exercise and elbow dysplasia.
Exercising puppies is a balancing act. While too much exercise can be harmful to them, it is important that your puppy is still allowed to be active.
Chihuahuas are very energetic dogs and need an outlet to release this energy.
A good foundation of proper exercise and nutrition will help develop their muscles and ensure good physical health when they are older.
Chihuahua puppies should also not be walked until they have had all their vaccinations.
Until then, playing with them at home and giving them a safe area to run around is sufficient.
Trauma is one of the most common causes of death in Chihuahuas. So be careful when they are around other dogs or small children.
To prevent injury to your dog while walking, use a harness and long leash instead of a regular collar and leash.
Chihuahuas often pull on the lead when out walking as they are very curious.
A standard dog collar can injure their sensitive neck if they pull firmly on the lead.
Can I Go Jogging With My Chihuahua?
It would be best if you did not take your Chihuahua jogging. Due to their small stature, they tire very quickly, so this breed can easily overexert itself and even injure itself if it runs too fast.
Chihuahuas are such small dogs that they have to take many small steps to keep up with just one of your strides.
A simple walk already requires a lot of energy from your dog, which is why he should not walk for more than 30 minutes at a time.
Chihuahuas can’t keep up with you when jogging. So if you’re looking for a jogging companion, you’ll need a more active and larger breed, such as a Border Collie or a Husky.
There are a few things to consider when deciding what kind of exercise your Chihuahua should get and for how long.
If he doesn’t want to go for a walk, it’s usually because he senses that you are not motivated to take him for a walk.
They mimic your enthusiasm; the more you enjoy the walk, the more eager he will be to go with you.
You should also be aware that your Chihuahua can get cold very quickly in winter.
If it’s cold outside, you should wrap your Chihuahua in protective clothing before you take him for a walk as a precaution.
In summer, on the other hand, you need to pay attention to the temperature of the pavement, as your Chihuahua could easily burn its paws.
Even though there may sometimes be good reasons to skip a walk with your Chihuahua, you must not let him be idle.
Chihuahuas are prone to obesity, so proper exercise and control of food portions are crucial.
Other Possible Activities for Chihuahuas
There are many different activities you can do with your Chihuahua.
Chihuahuas are highly intelligent and quite capable of competing in obedience, agility, and other dog sports.
Many Chihuahuas also like other activities, such as playing outdoors and swimming, although they should be supervised.
Hiding Treats Or Toys
Hiding a toy or treat is a great game to play with your dog indoors.
Until your dog understands the game, you may have to lead him to the toy. However, he will usually learn it quickly.
You can make this game increasingly tricky by hiding the treat in hard-to-find places.
This game may seem like your Chihuahua is being made to work, but searching is a lot of fun for dogs and is also mentally stimulating.
There are many dog toys that also work well for Chihuahuas.
A ball-throwing machine like the iFetch automatically throws small tennis balls for your Chihuahua to chase and retrieve. This is a great way to keep your Chihuahua busy when you don’t have time.
The iDig gives your Chihuahua the opportunity to dig and burrow for treats. This not only uses up his energy but also gives him a sense of achievement when he finds the treat.
Toys like these are ideal if you have to leave your dog home alone or can’t play with him and want to keep him entertained.
Conclusion: How Much Exercise Does a Chihuahua Need?
Chihuahuas are lovely apartment dogs, and for good reason. They love interacting with people and need minimal exercise and grooming.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t take them for a walk.
Chihuahuas also need to stay active. It’s crucial for their health and emotional well-being.
Exercise for a Chihuahua just needs to be in a safe, structured, and appropriate amount.
If you take him for regular walks and make sure he is not overfed, you should have a happy, healthy Chihuahua that will be an excellent companion for many years to come.