Exercise is extremely important for chihuahuas. As a chihuahua owner, you shouldn’t skip their exercise sessions, but again, you may have a question: How often should Chihuahuas be walked?
While walking is one of the most beneficial exercises, does it hold true for Chihuahuas too?
In this article, we will discuss all the things about:
- How often should Chihuahuas walk?
- Are you over-exercising your Chihuahua?
- Points of caution
- And much more…
How Often Should Chihuahuas Be Walked?
A Chihuahua of around 8 months to 1 year age will need a daily good walk of about 20-30 minutes. You can divide this walk into a smaller duration of 2 walks a day. An adult Chihuahua between 1 year to 6 years age in good health will need a minimum 1 good walk per day, lasting at least 30 minutes.
How Often Should Chihuahuas Be Walked?
1. Chihuahua Puppies
Chihuahua puppies are energetic but vulnerable to bacteria and can get tired. Hence, it is important to keep in mind not to over-exert your Chihuahua puppy.
Apart from this, while they are playful and energetic, they can be sensitive and vulnerable to bacteria, and allergies. Therefore, bacteria can always be present as a concern with you, as the owner.
Chihuahuas can often have a skin allergy called ‘atopy’. During this allergic reaction, chihuahua’s feet, ears, skin folds, and belly can be prominently affected. So, it is also very important that you take Chi out for a walk at clean and hygienic places.
Below is the recommended exercise for chihuahua puppies:
A. 2-4 months
- Short walks of 5 minutes twice a day: Take your 2-4 months adorable Chihuahua puppies on short walks, around the yard. Long walks are not recommended because they can make these puppies tired. You should just take your Chi puppy for 1 to 2 short walks, of just around 5 to 7 minutes each.
- Safe & suitable environment: Chihuahua puppies can be prone to developing allergies from insects, unsuitable environments, and more. Therefore, you should make it a priority to walk them in a safe and suitable environment.
- Must be leashed: Since Chihuahua puppies learn a lot of things during the puppy stage, they are quite inquisitive puppies. However, these puppies can be considered as a target by other animals. Therefore, you should leash your puppies for their safety.
B. 4-8 months
- 2 small walks of 15-20 minutes per day: To make sure that your chihuahua does not get tired easily, and they are able to explore their environments and learn, 4-8 months of chihuahuas should be walked twice a day from 15-20 minutes.
- Use a harness instead of a collar: In comparison to a collar, a harness would be a much more delicate form for a chihuahua puppy. Chihuahuas can have the habit of pulling on the lead, and in this case, a harness can always be a better option. You can buy the Voyager Step- In Air Dog Harness for your adorable chihuahua.
- Use a 6 ft leash: Puppies are delicate beings. Longer leashes are made for dogs that are grown and trained. Puppies need to be at a safe distance from their owner for protection. A 6ft leash will help you provide the chihuahua puppy enough length to explore without compromising their safety.
- Teach the ‘heel’ command: Learning the heel command will allow your chihuahua to walk at the same pace you are walking. They will learn to walk beside you. This will not only instill discipline in them at an early age but will also establish more control over the Chihuahua’s actions.
C. 8 months- 1year
- Longer walks of 20-30 minutes: As your puppy is growing, they can now have longer walks because they are becoming stronger. From 8 months to 1 year, take your chihuahua on a walk of 20-30 minutes.
- Rehydrate in between: It is essential to take care of your chihuahua’s hydration. Do not forget to take water for your chihuahuas during the walks. If you live in a tropical region or warm place, you have to be extra careful with your chihuahuas’ hydration.
A. 1-6 years
- At Least 1 good walk of 30 minutes: As your chihuahuas have progressed into an adult, you can now take them for a 30 minutes walk. It is essential to take at least 1 walk. You can even give them two walks a day. One during the morning, and one walk during the night, would work fine.
- Exercising is a must to build interaction & social skills: Chihuahuas are energetic dogs, and they are playful. Therefore, you should establish exercise routines with your chihuahua. It can be a great form for their energy to engage in. Moreover, exercising will give your chihuahuas more bonding and social skills.
- Take trips to dog-friendly places: Take your chihuahuas on trips to dog-friendly places. This can give chihuahuas the opportunity the chance to interact with other dogs. Eventually, such trips can ease loneliness and reduce stress for these adorable pets.
- Socialize: Allow them to socialize
Also Read: How Smart Is Your Chihuahua?
- Senior dogs require vet attention: To make sure that your senior chihuahua is healthy and does not have any hidden medical conditions, take them for medical checkups.
- Easy but active exercise paired with a good diet: Chihuahuas who have reached the age of above 9 years would require a good diet and active exercise. At a senior age, you cannot compromise with these elements because they will eventually affect the health of your dog.
How Much Exercise Is Too Much Exercise For A Chihuahua?
The limit to which you can make your Chi exercise is dependent mainly on three factors:
You Chi will need different duration of exercises as per his age. You can take a look at the above section, and as per your Chihuahua’s age, decide the duration of his exercise.
2. Fitness Level
Exercising needs also depend upon how frequently your Chihuahua goes for a walk, or if he has just started his regular walks.
In a single walk, your adorable Chihuahuas can be walked for 20-30 minutes. As per Dr. Wailani Sung, DVM, 30 minutes is the minimum amount of activity they need in a day to burn the necessary calories and do it in the form of exercise as well.
In a collective amount of 20-30 minutes, you can give your Chihuahuas more time to engage with the outside environment in a single walk.
Depending upon your Chi’s fitness level, he can have:
- A single walk of 20 to 30 minutes
- 15-minute walk, twice a day
- 10 to 15 minutes walk, thrice a day
3. Overall Health
If your Chihuahua is fit and fine, you can follow the information provided in the above section, and decide the duration of walks.
However, in case he is suffering from any mobility or joint issues or diseases like patellar luxation, then it is best to consult a vet, and discuss with him the ideal amount of exercise your pet needs.
Signs and Symptoms of Over Exercising Your Chihuahua
Below are the signs that you may be over-exercising your poor Chi:
- Soreness and stiffness in muscles
- Lagging behind and slowness while walking or any other form of exercise
- Resisting for walks/exercise
- Showing extreme exhaustion after the exercise
- Overheating of body, and rapid pulse
Adverse Effects of Over Exercising Your Chihuahua
1. Growth Impediments
According to Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM, excessive exercise can cause the bones of the Chi dogs to develop abnormally. This can also lead to severe joint issues at an older stage of his life. This is because over-exercising causes damage to the growth plate of the long bones.
If you think that your chihuahua has a growth disorder, there can be symptoms such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Dermatological issues
- Movement difficulty
2. Elbow Dysplasia
Elbow dysplasia is one of the side effects that your Chi can suffer, due to excessive or incorrect exercises. Elbow dysplasia is commonly present with giant dogs such as Golden Retrievers. However, that does not mean that this concern can not arise with your chihuahua.
According to PetMD, Elbow dysplasia deals with the abnormal development of the elbow joint. If no treatment is taken, it can worsen and can lead to permanent damage.
Clinical signs for Elbow dysplasia can be seen as early as the age of 4 months. It can lead to arthritis as well. It could also be possible that you may not be able to notice this problem with the pet. It could go unnoticed. Proper scrutiny from the veterinarian is essential to tame the effects of this developmental problem.
Thus, over exercising your Chihuahua puts him at risk of various adverse and unwanted effects, and hence, should always be avoided.
3 Things To Take Care While Exercising Your Chihuahua
1. Keep them motivated
Chihuahuas are energetic and playful, but like every dog, they can lose the motivation to exercise. Failure to meet the exercise requirements would create adverse effects on your chihuahua’s health. Therefore, try to keep your chihuahuas motivated. You can try this stimulating puzzle exercise.
2. Do not over-exercise
Too much of anything can create its own concerning conditions. Just like that, too much exercise can wear out your chihuahua. Yes, it is essential to exercise, but overdoing it can create other problems.
Below are few signs that indicate that you are over-exercising your Chi:
- You may witness them as extremely tired
- Their body may ache and have pains
- They can be exhausted, and may not have the energy to engage in any other activity.
Therefore, take note of such symptoms. Over-exercising can become a prominent problem for your chihuahua. This can sometimes lead to some serious conditions too.
3. If it’s cold, make them wear a sweater
Clothing is not just needed to make your dogs look extra adorable and fashionable. However, chihuahuas need their clothing for more than these purposes. Make your chihuahuas wear sweaters when it is cold.
Chihuahuas tend to get cold easily, therefore, a sweater is essential for them.
If you are taking your Chi out for a walk during the cold autumn and winter season, don’t forget to make your Chi wear a sweater. Try this knitwear for your incredible chihuahua.
And of course, in case of snowfall or rainfall, it is best to protect your Chi by making him wear a raincoat.
Do Chihuahuas Like Walking?
Chihuahuas enjoy walking. Therefore, the concern whether your chihuahua would enjoy the walks would never be the concern for the owner. Distribute your walks into 30 minutes; single time. Twice for 15-20 minutes, or thrice for 10-15 minutes. Your chihuahua will not only remain healthy but happy as well with these walks.
However, the age of the chihuahua should always be kept in mind to decide how many times and for how long your chihuahua should be walked.
What Are The Benefits Of Exercise for Chihuahua?
Some of the benefits of exercise for chihuahua are:
- Health improvement: Just like the saying goes the same for humans, chihuahuas’ health will witness improvement with exercise. Regular exercise will give your chihuahua a lesser risk of heart-related medical issues. They can also reduce the power of catching infections quickly. They can overall boost chihuahuas’ immunity.
- Keep aggressive and unwanted behavior away: Does your Chihuahuas has a habit of unnecessarily barking too much? Through the means of exercises, chihuahuas such behavioral habits will become more balanced and controllable.
- Obesity Prevention: Your Chihuahua can easily gain weight without exercise. Therefore, to get rid of the unhealthy excess weight, certain preventions are crucial. Obesity can create troubles for chihuahua such as arthritis and more.
- A stronger relationship with your dog: As you continue to have many exercises with your chihuahua, you will also deepen your bond with them.