Good health isn't just a necessity for humans, but it's necessary for animals as well. If you're a proud Shih Tzu owner, it's important that you provide your pup with regular exercise. This keeps your dog active, helps wards off obesity, and keep your pet as healthy as possible. Exercise in dogs, just as with humans, can lead to a longer lifespan and a higher quality of life.
If you live in an urban area or you work outside of the house all of the time, you may think it's impossible to give your pet the exercise that he or she needs. However, it's important to remember that Shih Tzus require very little exercise, and you don't even have to leave your house. Even playing with other pets in the household can count as exercise for your Shih Tzu.
The most common form of exercise that is fit for Shih Tzus is walking. You don't have to go on a marathon sprint with your pet. Typically, a half-mile walk, or about 15 minutes, is sufficient for daily exercise. You can even walk around your yard or neighborhood, if you don't have anywhere else to go. You can also take a trip to a park or dog park, but make sure that you have a harness or collar and leash on your pet to prevent your pup from getting lost.
It's important to note that if you exercise your dog outside, you may have to bathe him or her more often. Because a Shih Tzu's hair is prone to mats and tangling, you'll need to wash your dog often with a shampoo designed for use on dogs. You also need to take care when walking your pet in wooded areas to prevent burrs from becoming entangled in the fur.
If you prefer to keep your pet indoors, you can engage in a variety of games with your pet. Grab a ball or your Shih Tzu's favorite toy and have fun around the house. The important thing to remember here is to make sure your dog is active, and make sure you carve out time each day for this type of play.
Not only does partaking in exercise with your pet daily help keep him or her healthy, but it's also a great way to bond with your dog. Your dog will become accustomed to this daily routine and will even come to enjoy the time spent with you.
If you have a younger Shih Tzu, you can plan to engage in exercise and play for up to an hour. Older dogs that are less active may require less time. It is important that you recognize the signs of fatigue in your dog. Unlike other breeds, the Shih Tzu is not nearly as active. Yoou want to make sure that you provide your pet with exercise but don't overdo it. If the dog is panting excessively or struggling to breathe, it's just too much. Make sure that you provide your Shih Tzu with plenty of fresh water, and you don't take him out in extreme heat, since these dogs are prone to overheating.
Giving your Shih Tzu much-needed exercise isn't difficult or time-consuming. Taking this small amount of time out of your day, each day, will help you bond with your pet, while keeping your pet healthy, active, and happy.