Do Chihuahuas Enjoy Walks
As most of us know, Chihuahuas are sassy, full of energy, and a tiny dog breed that everyone adores. Like any dog breed, Chihuahuas love their walks and their time spent outdoors where they can explore and roam free. However, Chi's do not need as many walks as one would believe, even though they tend to follow you everywhere you go.
According to researchers, Chihuahuas do not need more than 30 minutes of walking a day. This being said, you can gradually increase this number if you are patient and prepared to work on the fitness aspect with your sassy little friend.
Chihuahuas are all about balance. While exercise and activity are essential for a dog like Chi since they are a walking contradiction, being the smallest dog yet having the stamina that can measure up to much larger breeds, you have to find the right balance in order not to exhaust your puppy. Chi's can quickly adapt to any living environment. However, due to their abundance of stamina, they need their shot of daily exercise to release their pent-up energy. Otherwise, they can become hyper, and because of that, they have tendencies of destructive behavior, such as chewing, barking, or even being restless and grumpy. Because of this, you need to keep your Chi well-exercised and walk them daily. They will be well-behaved and happy. Just keep in mind that there are restrictions on how much you can actually walk your Chi.
Chihuahua Walking Requirements by Age.
While it may seem hard to believe, some restrictions should be implemented regarding walks, depending on your Chi's age. Even with their stamina levels, if you just throw them into the ring, it will not bode well for your fur-baby since they are sensitive. This is why we have broken down what you should do regarding walking, starting with puppies and ending with senior Chihuahuas.
When you purchase or adopt a Chihuahua puppy, you need to take the necessary measurements to keep them safe. If your Chi hasn't received their shots, you should keep them away from the outside world but still provide them with enough space to get rid of their excessive energy.
Your puppy should have the option to exercise, run around, and walk as much as they need to. Just be careful not to over-exercise them. They will still need to be ''potty'' trained, and you can take them around your yard and around the block for short walks, to get you started, just make sure you are not forcing them. This is a crucial factor because many veterinarians believe that over-exercising your Chi can cause growth issues, cause elbow dysplasia (when the joint slips out of the socket or the fit become worn), and have other consequences for your Chihuahua in the long run. Puppies are growing and sensitive, just like human children.
Allowing your puppy to be active is vital. Walks and any kind of exercise enable a Chihuahua puppy to release pent-up energy. It fits those developing muscles, enhances good physical health, and sets up a healthy basis for a lifetime of satisfying walking needs, and this goes hand in hand with a proper diet.
In order to be able to go for long walks and play around, a Chihuahua puppy will need to build endurance. This is why we have broken down the walking and activity needs for your Chihuahua, which we hope will help you.
- 2 to 4 Months old Chihuahua puppy - This is a very sensitive time for any Chi, as they still receive their shots. Because of this, walks need to be limited until your puppy has complete protection. In order to meet the exercise needs of your Chi, we recommend you take them on short walks around the block unless you have a yard where they can roam free. Always make sure you keep your Chi on a leash and harness due to their training period.
- 4 to 8 Months old Chihuahua puppy - Once the shots have been taken care of, walks are a must-have to any Chihuahua's daily exercise routine. 3 shorter walks are recommended during the morning, afternoon, and evening to cover the entire day. The walks should be between 15 to 20 minutes, or if you see that your Chi is eager to walk more, you can walk them for a longer time. Here are some tips for walking your puppy, which we hope will help you in the long run:
- Always check the surface on which your Chi is walking. Especially in the summer. Pavements can heat up quickly. Maybe opt for a walk through the grass.
- While trained to walk on a leash, a pairing with a harness is a better option. for your Chihuahua's walks. It will prevent any potential injuries and provide you with better control.
- Keeping your Chihuahua close and safe is of the utmost importance. Unlike the flexy leashes, which are usually 3 meters or longer (almost 10 feet), maybe stick to the regular ones initially.
- Perfect time to teach your Chihuahua to properly walk on the leash and learn the ''heel'' command. Be patient with them.
- Avoid walks when the temperature is very high. While clothes can protect your Chi, a heatstroke is never a nice thing to experience.
- If you plan to take long walks with your Chi, make sure you stop and rest. Bring water bottles with you because hydration is vital.
- 8 Months to 1 Year Chihuahua puppy - At this point, you can plan longer walks or even hikes with your Chi. Just make sure not to over-exhaust them. Take breaks after every 20 - 30 minutes, and make sure you bring plenty of water.
1 Year to 6 Years - As they get older and if they are in good health, your Chi will need at least one walk a day for at least 30 minutes. You can cut the 3 walks a day to two by this age if you see that your Chi functions well and doesn't have accidents in your house or apartment. Besides walking, you can always include other activities, such as swimming, playing fetch, or anything else that comes to mind, just to keep things interesting.
If your Chi is cooped up indoors most of the day, make sure you find appropriate activities for them to do because they can ''destroy'' your house unless they release their pent-up energy, which they have plenty of.
9 Years and Older - As every living creature ages, so does your sassy little friend. Like any other dog breed, Chihuahuas are considered senior dogs from one point in their lives. However, vets usually determine that based on their overall health status. Some dogs can get to the ripe age of 15 and still be very active. As your fur baby ages, they slow down, and their hearing and sight deteriorate as well. This is why walks and other types of exercise need to be toned down a bit.
Running With Your Chihuahua - Tips and Tricks on Best Achieving the long-term Physical Condition.
Chihuahuas are famous for being very athletic and having a lot of stamina, even though it might not be believable due to their size. This being said, you can run with your Chi. That is the simple answer. However, you have to keep in mind a couple of things before starting training for your next ''marathon''.
- They cannot run as fast as larger dog breeds. You would need to adjust your speed. Instead of sprinting, try jogging and see whether your tiny baby can keep up with you.
- They cannot run long distances. This being said, you can start short and expand that longevity over time.
- Be aware that Chihuahuas will always have a physical limit, even with training. They cannot run for miles on end without stopping.
Tips for Walks and Other Types of Exercise You can Enjoy with Your Chihuahua.
- Motivation - It may not seem like much, but it is important to give your Chi proper motivation to go on walks. Many owners complain that their puppy doesn't want to go outside or do any activities, and this is due to a lack of stimulation. The more you enjoy walking your dog, the more they will as well.
- Pay attention to any possible injuries - Dogs are very good at hiding pain or tiredness. Because of this, pay attention to your puppy and make sure they don't over-exhaust or injure themselves.
- Staying warm during cold or snowy days - You can walk your Chi in any weather. Just make sure they stay warm. They are one very sensitive breed, so a good winter coat or some boots will make a world of difference and allow for longer walks and play dates at the park.
- Maintain their physical condition - Daily walks are a must to keep your Chi in tip-top shape. Make sure you don't miss them unless they have had surgery of any kind or an injury that prevents them from walking.
- Fear of traffic - This one is not as common but can be very bad for your Chi's mental health. Some dogs are simply scared of traffic. You can work with your Chi on this and first keep them away from traffic during your walks and then slowly introduce them back. Avoid high-ways or busy streets in the beginning.
- Lawn chemicals - Many outdoor areas are treated with different kinds of chemicals to serve as a repellant from bugs and other pests. We recommend you avoid these areas on your walks, as the chemicals can cause allergies and even skin conditions.
- Indoor playing - If you cannot take your Chi outside due to a storm or some other reason, make sure you keep them entertained. Think of different ways to play fetch indoors or hide and seek, it is up to you. Just make sure they release some of that pent-up energy.
As discussed, Chi's are definitely a breed that loves to be walked and should be. Just be aware of their limitations at all times. No one is born with the strength and condition to run marathons and play 24/7.
It is always better to start slow and progress over time than start strong and hope for the best while your Chi might suffer.
Train your Chihuahua utilizing positive reinforcement methods such as food prizes, praise, and play, and you will soon find that they can memorize anything you can teach, no matter how difficult.