A common question that Shih Tzu owners have is how often they should walk their dog. The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors, including the age and health of your dog, as well as the climate and size of your neighborhood.
Let’s look at the perfect daily routine and how often should you walk a Shih Tzu, so you can ensure that he or she gets enough exercise and stays healthy and happy!
How Often Should You Walk a Shih Tzu?
The first thing to consider is your dog’s age. Don’t start taking your puppy out for walks until they are fully vaccinated, usually around the 8-week mark. Puppies under the age of six months should not be walked for more than 20 minutes at a time.
For adult dogs, a good rule of thumb is to walk them for 30 minutes to an hour each day, though anything over an hour will probably be overdoing it.
Remember, Shih Tzu’s have short legs and generally tire easily. If you notice your Shih Tzu starting to pant, refusing to walk or lay down, that’s a sign that the walk is too long. You can always try breaking up the walks into 15-minute increments throughout the day.
Tips For Walking a Shih Tzu
When it comes to walking your Shih Tzu, there are a few things to keep in mind. If you live in a hot climate, it is important to walk your Shih Tzu in the cooler hours of the day, such as early morning or evening. If you live in a cold climate, make sure to bundle your dog up in a warm coat before heading out for a walk.
Another important factor to consider is the size of your neighborhood. If you live in a rural area with plenty of space to walk, your dog will likely be able to handle a longer walk than if you live in a crowded city.
In general, it is best to let your dog’s energy level be your guide. If he or she seems tired after a shorter walk, then stick to that distance. If your dog has plenty of energy and wants to keep going, feel free to extend the walk.
If walking on trails or in forests, be careful that there aren’t any of those tiny, sticky bur-bearing plants around while walking near trees or bushes. Burrs are seeds of plants that have pointy spikes around them.
These little barbs or spikes tend to bend towards the end of the plants which makes it really easy to adhere well to your dog’s coat and paws. If any of these burrs get stuck between the toes, it can be painful, and you will notice your pup limping.
They can be removed gradually and gently with tweezers or a dog brush. If you find you have to stop frequently to remove these burrs, it may be best to walk in an area that is free of them.
Consider your dog’s health. If your Shih Tzu has any medical conditions that make walking difficult, such as joint pain or arthritis, you will need to adjust the length and frequency of your walks accordingly.
Always check with your veterinarian before starting a new walking routine.
What To do If Your Shih Tzu Won’t Walk
There are a few things you can try if your Shih Tzu doesn’t seem interested in walking.
First, try using a different leash or harness that is more comfortable for them.
You can also try using treats or toys as a motivator. Offer plenty of praise during and after the walk.
Second, try breaking up the walk into shorter segments so your dog doesn’t get overwhelmed.
Finally, make sure you are walking at a pace that is comfortable for them. If they are constantly lagging behind or trying to turn around, it’s likely they are not enjoying the walk.
If all else fails, consult with a veterinarian or professional trainer for additional help.
The Importance of Exercise for Your Shih Tzu
Exercise is important for all dogs, but it can be especially beneficial for Shih Tzus. This breed is known for being relatively calm and low energy, which means they may not get as much exercise as other breeds.
Walking them regularly can help to keep them healthy and fit, both physically and mentally.
How to Know if Your Shih Tzu is Getting Enough Exercise
There are a few signs you can look for to see if your Shih Tzu is getting enough exercise.
For starters, they should have plenty of energy and be enthusiastic about walks or other activities.
Next, they should be able to maintain a healthy weight without difficulty.
They should also have regular bowel movements and not seem constipated. If you are concerned that your dog is not getting enough exercise, consult with a veterinarian for additional guidance.
How to Make Walks More Fun for Your Shih Tzu
Going for walks with your Shih Tzu should be a fun and enjoyable experience for both you and your pup. There are a few things you can do to help.
Try varying the route you take so they can explore new smells and sights. As mentioned earlier, you can also bring along their favorite toys or treats to keep things more fun and help with motivation.
Make sure you are walking at a pace that is comfortable for them so they can enjoy the experience.
Try to keep a positive attitude and be patient if they need to take a break. Remember, we want this to be a fun experience and not stressful.
Safety Tips for Walking your Shih Tzu
Safety should always be a priority when out walking with your Shih Tzu.
Make sure you are using a leash or harness that is comfortable for them, fits them correctly and that they cannot easily slip out of.
Choose a route that is safe and free from hazards. Be aware of your dog’s body language and look for signs that they are getting tired or uncomfortable.
If you are walking in an area with other dogs, always keep them on a leash and under control at all times. Be prepared to scoop up your dog if necessary.
Remember, the key to a happy and healthy Shih Tzu is finding the perfect walking routine for your pup! By taking into account your dog’s age, health, and the size of your neighborhood, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu gets the exercise he or she needs.
As always, if you have any concerns about your dog’s ability to walk safely, consult with a veterinarian.
So, get out there and enjoy some quality time with your furry friend!