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How Much Exercise Does A Shih Tzu Need?

Shih Tzus are small but energetic dogs that require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy.


But how much exercise does a Shih Tzu really need?


This guide will provide a comprehensive answer to this question and help you ensure your Shih Tzu is getting the right amount of physical activity.

Article Contents

Understanding Your Shih Tzu's Exercise Needs

Shih Tzus are a toy breed, meaning they are small in size and have a low energy level compared to larger breeds. However, they are still an active breed that needs regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental health.


The amount of exercise a Shih Tzu needs will depend on several factors, including age, weight, and health.


Generally, Shih Tzus need at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day, such as a brisk walk or a play session in the park.

Different Types of Exercise for Shih Tzus

Taking your Shih Tzu for a daily walk is a great way to provide them with physical activity and fresh air. Aim for at least 30 minutes of walking every day.

This is a fun and interactive way to provide your Shih Tzu with exercise. You can play fetch in the park or in your backyard.

Swimming is a great low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints and helps improve overall fitness.

Training sessions can provide both mental and physical stimulation for your Shih Tzu. Basic obedience training and agility training are great options.

The Benefits of Regular Exercise for Shih Tzus

Regular exercise can provide a variety of benefits for your Shih Tzu, including:

Exercise helps burn excess calories, which can help maintain a healthy weight.

Regular exercise can improve overall physical health, including joint health, cardiovascular function, and muscle tone.

Exercise can help reduce behavioral problems, such as excessive barking, chewing, and digging.

Exercise can help improve mental health by reducing stress and anxiety, and increasing feelings of happiness and well-being.

Tips for Exercise with Your Shih Tzu

If your Shih Tzu is new to exercise, start with short, 10-minute sessions and gradually increase the duration and intensity over time.

Always make sure your Shih Tzu is wearing a secure collar and ID tag and is under your control at all times.

If your Shih Tzu seems tired or uninterested in exercise, take a break and try again later.

shih tzu exercise

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FAQs - How Much Exercise Does A Shih Tzu Need

How Much Exercise Does A Shih Tzu Puppy Need?


Shih Tzu puppies have different exercise needs than adult Shih Tzus. Puppies have a lot of energy and need more exercise and playtime to support their physical and mental development.


It’s recommended that Shih Tzu puppies get around 45 minutes to an hour of exercise per day, split into several short sessions.


This can include playtime, short walks, and basic obedience training. As they grow into adulthood, their exercise needs will decrease to around 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day. It’s important to gradually increase the intensity and duration of exercise as a puppy grows, to prevent over-exertion and injury.

How Much Exercise Does A Senior Shih Tzu Puppy Need?


The exercise needs of a senior Shih Tzu may differ from those of a healthy adult.


As dogs age, they tend to become less active and have reduced endurance, making it important to adjust their exercise routine accordingly.


Senior Shih Tzus generally need less exercise, with a recommended 30 minutes of low-impact activities per day, such as slow walks or gentle play.


Avoid overexerting a senior dog, and be mindful of any health issues that may affect their ability to exercise.


It’s important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best exercise plan for a senior Shih Tzu, taking into account their individual health status and any medical conditions.


Exercise is essential for the overall health and happiness of your Shih Tzu.


By providing your Shih Tzu with at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day, you can ensure they are getting the physical and mental stimulation they need.


Whether it’s a walk in the park, a play session, or a swim, there are many different types of exercise that your Shih Tzu can enjoy.


With the right amount and type of exercise, you can help your Shih Tzu stay healthy, happy, and fit for life.

Further Reading

If you would like to dig deeper into all areas of caring for your Shih Tzu we recommend you check out the book below.

shih tzu complete guide book cover

Using interviews with 17 top Shih Tzu breeders, author and experienced Shih Tzu owner Molly Weinfurter has created an in-depth look at what it takes to successfully live with, raise, and train a Shih Tzu.


This book has a 4.5 out of 5 rating on Amazon with over 220 reviews.

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