Although Chihuahuas can generally do anything a larger breed can, there are some dogs that should not be involved in certain physical activities. Puppies less than eight months old should avoid rigorous jumping, as the landing process can easily injure their immature legs. Overweight dogs can also easily injure their joints and ligaments, even when adjustments to the courses are made to compensate for their added size and related decreased abilities.
If you wish to involve your Chihuahua in any intense physical activity, it is best to first consult your veterinarian, just as you would your own physician before starting a new exercise regimen for yourself. Your vet is the best person to advise you on how to ease your very young or even older dog into these fun and worthwhile hobbies. An advanced training activity can be a great way to spend time with your Chihuahua, while doing something good for both of you. Taking the proper precautions will ensure that your dog gets the very most out of the pastime.
Although your Chihuahua will likely enjoy taking short walks with you, it is best to leave your dog home if you plan to jog or even walk at a brisk pace. Even the healthiest Chihuahua will quickly become exhausted after jogging at a human’s pace for just a short period of time.
This overexertion can lead to low blood sugar, seizure, or even a heart attack. Just like too much food, excessive exercise is not good for your Chihuahua’s health. If you are a runner, consider going jogging alone or with a friend.
Sports and Safety
You would never begin working out without taking the time to warm up, and neither should your Chihuahua! Just like a human being, a dog needs to raise his core body temperature, heart rate, and respiration rate before participating in any kind of sport or intense exercise to help prevent injuries. Blood pressure increases more quickly without a warm-up period, so just taking this easy step reduces the workload on your dog’s heart. Warming up also delivers much needed oxygen to the muscles, lowering the chance of muscle strain.
You can provide your dog with a sufficient warm-up period by simply setting aside a few extra minutes before any activity for a brief walk or toned-down version of the sport. Warming up can also improve skill and coordination, two vital components to success in most advanced training competitions.
When your dog is finished competing don’t forget to finish with a proper cooldown! This return to low-intensity activity will help your dog’s blood continue to circulate from the muscles and also help dissipate heat. You can use the same routine and activity level for your Chihuahua’s cool down as you did for his warmup.