Why Exercise is Vital for the Health of Shih Poo

As a Shih Poo owner, you want nothing but the best for your furry companion. One of the most important aspects of their well-being is exercise. It’s important to know why exercise is crucial for your Shih Poo’s health and how much exercise they need. Regular exercise can help prevent health issues, maintain a healthy weight, boost mental health, and improve behavior. However, it’s important to keep in mind the do’s and don’ts of Shih Poo exercise to ensure your pet’s safety and comfort. Let’s dive into the world of Shih Poo exercise and explore its benefits.

Why Exercise is Important for Shih Poo’s Health

Why Exercise Is Important For Shih Poo'S Health
We all know that exercise is essential for maintaining good health, and this is true not only for us humans but also for our furry friends. In particular, for a Shih Poo, a regular exercise routine is necessary to keep them healthy, happy and well-behaved. By providing them with the right amount and types of exercise, they will be able to maintain a healthy weight, avoid health issues, and improve their mental well-being. So, let’s explore why exercise is critical for the health of Shih Poo’s, and discover some best practices to follow to ensure your pet stays happy and healthy. To learn more about exercise routines for Shih Poo’s or the best exercises to do inside or outside, check out these links: Shih Poo exercise routine, best indoor exercises for Shih Poo, fun Shih Poo exercises, and tips to keep Shih Poo fit.

Helps Maintain Healthy Weight

Regular exercise is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight in Shih Poos. Without adequate exercise, these furry friends can become overweight and suffer from a range of health problems. Here are some ways in which exercise helps Shih Poos maintain a healthy weight:

  • Burns Calories: Like humans, Shih Poos need to burn calories to maintain a healthy body weight. Exercise helps burn excess calories and prevents them from being stored as fat in the body. This, in turn, helps prevent obesity and related health problems like joint pain, heart disease, and diabetes.
  • Increases Metabolism: Exercise increases the metabolism in Shih Poos, which means that their bodies can digest food and nutrients more efficiently. When the body’s metabolism is slow or sluggish, it can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
  • Improves Digestion: Regular exercise helps improve digestion in Shih Poos, which means that they can absorb essential nutrients from their food more efficiently. This can help maintain a healthy body weight and prevent health problems that are associated with poor nutrition.
  • Builds Muscle: Exercise doesn’t just burn fat, it also helps build muscle in Shih Poos. This is important because muscle burns more calories than fat, so having more muscle mass can help maintain a healthy body weight even when not exercising.

Exercise is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight in Shih Poos. It helps burn calories, increases metabolism, improves digestion and builds muscle, all of which contribute to maintaining a healthy body weight and preventing health problems associated with obesity.

Prevents Health Issues

Regular exercise not only helps in maintaining a healthy weight, but it also plays a crucial role in preventing various health issues in Shih Poos. Here are some of the health issues that can be prevented by exercising your Shih Poo regularly:

  • Obesity: Obesity is a common health issue among dogs that can lead to various other health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and joint issues. Regular exercise can help to maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity in Shih Poos.
  • Joint Issues: Shih Poos are prone to joint problems such as hip dysplasia and patellar luxation. Exercise can help to strengthen muscles and improve joint flexibility, which in turn can prevent such issues. However, it is essential to avoid over-exercising your Shih Poo, as it can put extra stress on the joints.
  • Digestive Issues: Lack of exercise can also lead to digestive issues such as constipation and bloating in Shih Poos. Regular exercise can help to keep the digestive system healthy and prevent such issues.
  • Anxiety: Shih Poos can be prone to anxiety and other behavioral issues. Regular exercise can help to reduce stress and anxiety in dogs and improve their overall behavior.

In addition to the above-mentioned health issues, regular exercise can also help to prevent other health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory issues. It is essential to provide your Shih Poo with regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being. However, it is important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate amount and type of exercise for your Shih Poo to prevent any potential health issues.

Boosts Mental Health and Improves Behavior

Exercise not only improves physical health but also boosts mental health and improves behavior in Shih Poos. Here are some of the ways exercise can benefit your furry friend’s mental wellbeing and behavior:

  • Stress relief: Just like humans, dogs can also feel stressed and anxious. Regular exercise can help release endorphins, the feel-good hormones, which can reduce stress and anxiety levels in Shih Poos. Exercise can also provide your furry friend with an outlet to release any pent-up energy or frustration.
  • Mood enhancement: Exercise can also enhance the mood of Shih Poos. When dogs exercise, their brains release serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that are associated with happiness and pleasure. This can promote a happier and more contented overall disposition for your Shih Poo.
  • Improved behavior: Shih Poos that don’t get enough exercise can become bored or even destructive. Regular exercise can help reduce bad behaviors like chewing, digging, or excessive barking as well as redirect all that extra energy accumulated from not exercising. Exercise can also help build your dog’s self-confidence and trust, which can result in improved behavior, especially toward other dogs and people.

It’s important to note that while exercise can help improve or alleviate some behavior issues, it may not completely solve them. If you are experiencing serious or persistent behavior issues with your Shih Poo, it is best to consult with a professional dog trainer or veterinarian for more specialized advice.

How Much Exercise Does a Shih Poo Need?

How Much Exercise Does A Shih Poo Need?
Determining how much exercise your Shih Poo needs can be a bit of a conundrum. Every dog has different needs, and there are a variety of factors to consider when deciding how much exercise your furry friend should be getting. However, ensuring that your Shih Poo is getting enough exercise is incredibly important for their overall health and wellbeing. In this section, we will delve into the factors that determine how much exercise your Shih Poo needs, recommended exercise routines, and the importance of regular exercise for your dog’s physical and mental health.

Factors That Determine the Required Exercise

Before diving into the recommended exercise for Shih Poo’s, it’s important to consider the factors that determine the required exercise for this breed. These factors will help you customize the exercise routine that perfectly fit your Shih Poo’s needs.

Factors That Determine the Required Exercise:
AgeAs Shih Poo’s age, their stamina may decrease, and they may require less intense exercise.
Health ConditionIf your Shih Poo has specific health concerns, such as respiratory or orthopedic problems, their exercise routine may require modifications.
Size and WeightShih Poo’s who are overweight or have a larger body size may require more exercise to maintain a healthy weight.
Activity LevelShih Poo’s who have a high energy level may require more physical activity to avoid behavioral issues.

By taking these factors into consideration, you can have a better understanding of how much exercise your Shih Poo needs to keep them healthy and happy. Remember to consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your Shih Poo’s exercise routine.

Recommended Exercise for Shih Poo

To keep your Shih Poo healthy, it’s essential to provide them with enough exercise. But what type of exercise is suitable for them? Here are some recommendations:

  • Walking: One of the most popular and easiest exercises for Shih Poos is walking. It’s a low-impact exercise that can help keep them in shape. Aim to walk your Shih Poo at least twice a day for at least 20 minutes each time.
  • Playing Fetch: Shih Poos love to play! And playing fetch can be a fun way to exercise. Select a safe and secure area, and play catch with your pup using a toy made for dogs.
  • Swimming: Swimming is an excellent exercise for Shih Poos, especially during the summer months. Many Shih Poos naturally love water, but some might not. If you’re not sure whether your Shih Poo likes swimming, introduce them to it slowly and supervise them at all times.
  • Hiking: Shih Poos love to explore, and hiking is an excellent way to do that and stay active. Be sure to bring plenty of water and take breaks to rest as needed.
  • Agility Training: Agility training can be a fun and challenging exercise for Shih Poos. It involves navigating an obstacle course, which can improve their agility, balance, and coordination.

Remember to start slow and gradually increase the intensity and duration of the exercises. Also, don’t forget to provide enough water and consider the weather conditions. If you’re unsure of what type of exercise is suitable for your Shih Poo, consult with your veterinarian.

Sample Exercise Routine for Shih Poo’s Daily Needs

As we have already discussed, exercise is crucial for the health and well-being of Shih Poo. But what kind of exercise routine should you follow for your furry friend? Here’s a sample exercise routine that you can follow to keep your Shih Poo healthy and fit:

Brisk Walk30 minutesOnce a day
Playtime20-30 minutesTwice a day
Agility Training15-20 minutesOnce or twice a week
Swimming15-20 minutesOnce or twice a week

Please note that this is just a sample routine, and you can tailor it according to your Shih Poo’s individual needs and preferences. If your dog is still active after their daily walk, then you can extend their playtime or add in some more mentally stimulating activities like puzzle games or obedience training.

Also, keep in mind that although exercise is essential, it should never be overdone. Make sure to monitor your Shih Poo’s behavior and energy levels during and after exercise sessions. If you notice any signs of exhaustion or discomfort, it’s time to give them a break.

Remember, regular exercise not only keeps your Shih Poo physically fit but also positively impacts their mental health and behavior. So, make sure to incorporate it into your pet’s daily routine!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Shih Poo Exercise

The Do'S And Don'Ts Of Shih Poo Exercise
As much as exercise is important for your Shih Poo’s health, it is equally important to know the right way to exercise them. Following the right do’s and don’ts can make a huge difference in your pet’s overall well-being. In this section, we will discuss some important tips and tricks to keep in mind while exercising your Shih Poo. So, let’s dive in and explore the best practices for a healthy and happy Shih Poo!


When it comes to ensuring the safety and well-being of your Shih Poo during exercise, there are several do’s that you should follow. These include:

  • Do consult with your veterinarian: Prior to beginning any exercise routine with your Shih Poo, it’s essential that you consult with your veterinarian. They can help you determine the appropriate level of exercise for your pet, taking into consideration factors like their age, weight, and overall health.
  • Do start slow: Just like humans, dogs need to ease into new exercise routines. Start with short walks around the block or low-impact playtime, and gradually increase the intensity and duration of the workout over time.
  • Do pay attention to signs of fatigue or distress: It’s important that you monitor your Shih Poo during exercise for signs of fatigue or distress, such as excessive panting, drooling, or slowing down. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to take a break and rest.
  • Do provide plenty of water: Keeping your Shih Poo hydrated is crucial during exercise. Be sure to bring plenty of water along to keep your pet cool and hydrated.
  • Do incorporate mental stimulation: Exercise doesn’t just have to be physical – it can also involve mental stimulation. Consider adding training drills or puzzle toys to your Shih Poo’s exercise routine to help keep their mind engaged.

By following these simple do’s, you can ensure that your Shih Poo stays safe, healthy, and happy during exercise.


When it comes to exercise for your Shih Poo, certain things should be avoided to ensure your furry friend stays safe and healthy. Here are some important “don’ts” to keep in mind:

  • Don’t overdo it: While exercise is important, too much of it can be harmful to your Shih Poo’s health. Do not push them beyond their limits and make sure they get enough rest.
  • Don’t exercise in extreme weather: Extreme temperatures can be dangerous for your Shih Poo. Avoid exercising your dog outside in extremely hot or cold weather, as it can lead to heatstroke or hypothermia.
  • Don’t exercise on hard surfaces: Your Shih Poo’s joints and paws are delicate, so it’s best to avoid exercising on hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt. Instead, opt for grassy areas to prevent injuries to their paws and joints.
  • Don’t forget to hydrate: Adequate hydration is vital for your dog’s health. Always make sure to carry a water bottle and offer frequent water breaks during and after exercise.
  • Don’t ignore signs of fatigue: It’s important to pay attention to your Shih Poo’s body language and behavior to avoid pushing them too hard. Signs of fatigue can include excessive panting, drooling, and lethargy. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to take a break and give your dog some rest.
  • Don’t exercise right after meals: Just like humans, dogs need time to digest their food properly. It’s recommended to wait at least an hour after your Shih Poo’s meal to start exercising.

By following these simple “don’ts,” you can help ensure that your Shih Poo gets the most out of their exercise routine without putting their health at risk.

Benefits of Regular Exercise for Shih Poo’s Health

Benefits Of Regular Exercise For Shih Poo'S Health
As a Shih Poo owner, you undoubtedly want to keep your furry friend happy and healthy. While giving them plenty of attention, feeding them nutritious food, and taking them to the vet are all important factors, exercise is just as crucial for their well-being. Regular physical activity can provide numerous benefits for your Shih Poo’s health, from improving cardiovascular health to stimulating their mental well-being. In this section, we’ll explore the various advantages that come with making exercise a regular part of your Shih Poo’s routine.

Improve Cardiovascular Health

Regular exercise can have a significant impact on a Shih Poo’s cardiovascular health, leading to a stronger and healthier heart. The heart is a muscle, and just like any other muscle in the body, it needs to be worked to maintain its health and function properly. Exercise helps to stimulate the cardiovascular system, which includes the heart, lungs, and blood vessels, leading to numerous benefits.

Benefits of Improved Cardiovascular Health

Reduced Risk of Heart DiseaseRegular exercise helps to lower blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol levels, and improve circulation, all of which lead to a reduced risk of heart disease.
Improved Energy LevelsExercise helps to increase the amount of oxygen the body receives, leading to increased energy levels and improved overall health.
Increased EnduranceA stronger cardiovascular system means that a Shih Poo can exercise for longer periods of time without tiring as quickly.
Reduced StressRegular exercise has been shown to reduce stress levels, which can have a positive impact on overall heart health.

How Exercise Improves Cardiovascular Health

During exercise, the heart pumps blood faster to meet the body’s increased oxygen demands. Over time, this increased demand helps to strengthen the heart, allowing it to pump more efficiently and with less effort. Additionally, regular exercise can help to lower blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol levels, leading to a healthier cardiovascular system overall.

Types of Exercises for Improved Cardiovascular Health

To improve cardiovascular health, Shih Poos should engage in aerobic exercises that increase the heart rate and breathing rate. Examples of aerobic exercises include brisk walking, playing fetch, and swimming. These types of exercises help to increase oxygen intake, leading to numerous cardiovascular benefits.

Considerations for Safe Exercise

Before beginning any exercise program, it is important to consult with a veterinarian. This is especially true for Shih Poos who may have existing health conditions or may be at a higher risk for certain health issues. It is important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of exercise over time. Signs of overexertion or exhaustion include excessive panting, stumbling, or collapsing.

Regular exercise is essential for a Shih Poo’s cardiovascular health and overall wellbeing. By engaging in regular physical activity, Shih Poos can reap numerous benefits, including a stronger heart, increased energy levels, and reduced stress.

Increase Muscle Strength and Flexibility

Regular exercise is essential to ensure that a Shih Poo remains healthy and happy. Among the many benefits that exercise offers, it is a great way to increase the muscle strength and flexibility of your furry friend.

Increasing Muscle Strength: When a Shih Poo exercises regularly, it helps to build up their muscle strength. Muscle strength is essential for carrying out daily activities such as running, jumping, and even walking. With the right kind of exercise, you can help your Shih Poo to build up their muscle strength, which can help them to become more active and energetic.

Improving Flexibility: In addition to increasing muscle strength, exercise also helps to improve flexibility. Regular exercise can help to prevent stiffness in joints and muscles. This is especially important for Shih Poos, who may be prone to joint problems due to their small size. By incorporating exercises that focus on joint flexibility, you can help to keep your furry friend limber and active.

Here are some of the exercises that can help to increase muscle strength and flexibility in your Shih Poo:

  • Walking or jogging
  • Swimming
  • Playing fetch
  • Jumping hurdles
  • Tug of war

It’s important to remember that you should never push your Shih Poo beyond their limits. Gradually increasing the intensity and duration of their exercise routine is key to avoid injury and ensure that they are comfortable and happy during their workout.

Exercise is crucial for the well-being of a Shih Poo. By incorporating exercises that focus on increasing muscle strength and flexibility, you can keep your furry friend healthy, active, and happy.

Stimulate Mental Health

Regular exercise can also provide numerous mental health benefits for your Shih Poo. Physical activity has been found to stimulate the production of endorphins, the body’s natural mood enhancers. This can help alleviate stress, anxiety and depression, and promote feelings of happiness and overall well-being.

Exercise can also help reduce destructive behavior patterns that may lead to aggression or anxiety in Shih Poos. By providing an outlet to release excess energy, your Shih Poo is less likely to become bored, destructive, or anxious. This can prevent unwanted behavior such as chewing shoes, barking excessively, and even aggression towards people or other animals.

Here are some specific ways that exercise can stimulate your Shih Poo’s mental health:

  • Boosts Confidence: Regular exercise helps your Shih Poo feel better both physically and mentally, which can increase their confidence levels.
  • Reduces Stress and Anxiety: By releasing endorphins, exercise helps your Shih Poo cope with stress and anxiety.
  • Improves Focus and Cognitive Function: Exercise has been found to improve cognitive function and brain health, helping your Shih Poo stay focused and mentally alert.
  • Enhances Socialization: Exercise can provide opportunities for your Shih Poo to interact with other dogs and humans, allowing them to improve their social skills and build confidence around others.

It’s important to note that while exercise can stimulate your Shih Poo’s mental health, it’s not a complete substitute for professional treatment if your dog is struggling with serious behavioral issues. Always consult with a veterinarian or professional dog trainer if you notice any concerning behavior from your Shih Poo.

Encourages Socialization

Regular exercise is not only beneficial for a Shih Poo’s physical health, but it also encourages socialization with other dogs and humans. Socialization is crucial for a Shih Poo’s overall well-being as it helps them build confidence, reduce anxiety, and increase their overall happiness.

Here are some ways how exercise can encourage socialization for Shih Poo:

  • Taking walks in the park – Taking a walk in the park not only provides exercise for Shih Poo but also gives them an opportunity to meet other dogs and humans. This can help them build confidence and reduce anxiety in social situations.
  • Visiting dog parks – Dog parks are a great place for Shih Poo to exercise and meet other dogs. It is important to supervise their interactions to ensure safety and positive experiences.
  • Training classes – Enrolling in training classes is a great way to provide exercise and socialization for Shih Poo. They can learn new skills while interacting with other dogs and their owners.

It is important to remember that:

  • Not all dogs have the same socialization needs. Some Shih Poos may be more social than others, and some may have had negative experiences in the past that make them anxious in social situations.
  • It is important to supervise your Shih Poo’s socialization experiences to ensure they are positive and safe.
  • Some Shih Poos may benefit from socialization with humans more than other dogs.

Regular exercise not only improves a Shih Poo’s physical health but also encourages socialization, which is important for their mental health and overall well-being. By providing opportunities for socialization, you can help your Shih Poo build confidence, reduce anxiety, and increase their happiness.

Things to Remember Before You Exercise Your Shih Poo

Before you begin exercising your Shih Poo, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. These little dogs are prone to certain health issues that could be aggravated by exercise, so it’s important to take some precautions.

Consult with Your Vet
Before you start any exercise program with your Shih Poo, make sure that you consult with your veterinarian. They will be able to assess your dog’s overall health and provide you with advice on what exercises would be best suited for your Shih Poo’s age, weight, and health status. They may also recommend certain exercises that could be helpful for any existing health conditions.

Choose the Right Time and Place to Exercise
Shih Poos are small dogs that are prone to overheating, so it’s important to choose the right time and place to exercise them. Avoid exercising them during the hottest parts of the day, and choose a shaded area for your exercise routine. Keep your Shih Poo hydrated by providing them with plenty of fresh water to drink during and after exercising.

Warm-Up and Cool-Down
Just like humans, Shih Poos need to warm up and cool down before and after exercising. Warming up prepares their muscles and cardiovascular system for the exercise, while cooling down prevents injury and helps the body recover. You can warm up your Shih Poo by starting with a slow walk, and gradually increasing the pace. For cool down, simply take your dog for a slow, relaxed walk, and then finish off with some gentle stretching to keep their muscles flexible.

Watch for Signs of Overexertion
Pay attention to your Shih Poo’s body language during exercise, as they may not be able to communicate when they are tired or overexerted. Signs of overexertion can include lethargy, excessive panting, difficulty breathing, or collapsing. If you notice any of these signs, stop the exercise immediately and provide your dog with water and rest.

Be Patient
Lastly, be patient with your Shih Poo. Every dog is different, and some may take longer to adjust to new exercise routines. Start with shorter exercise sessions, and gradually increase the duration and intensity. Always keep a positive attitude and give plenty of praise and treats to encourage good behavior during exercise. With time and patience, your Shih Poo will be able to enjoy the many benefits of regular exercise.


In conclusion, it is clear that exercise is crucial for maintaining the overall health and well-being of Shih Poos. With their small size and energetic personalities, it is important to ensure that they receive the appropriate amount of physical activity each day. Regular exercise not only helps to keep them at a healthy weight and prevent health issues, but it also has numerous benefits for their mental health and behavior.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that the amount and type of exercise required for your individual Shih Poo will depend on a variety of factors such as age, size, and overall health. It’s always best to consult with your veterinarian to determine the optimal exercise routine for your furry friend.

Lastly, while exercise is essential, it’s equally important to ensure that your Shih Poo is getting adequate nutrition and rest. When all three factors are balanced, your Shih Poo will be happy, healthy, and full of life. So, make sure to take the time to provide your furry friend with plenty of opportunities to exercise, stay active, and enjoy their life with you!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can Shih Poo’s be lazy dogs?

Yes, Shih Poo’s can be prone to laziness if they are not given enough exercise and mental stimulation.

2. Is it okay to skip exercise for a day?

It is alright to miss exercise for a day occasionally, but consistent exercise is necessary for optimal health.

3. Can Shih Poo’s go for long walks?

Yes, Shih Poo’s can go for long walks, but their exercise requirements may vary based on age, size, and overall health.

4. How can we motivate Shih Poo’s to exercise?

Using toys, playing fetch, and incorporating training techniques into exercise routines can motivate Shih Poo’s to exercise.

5. Is it safe to take Shih Poo’s to dog parks?

As long as Shih Poo’s are well-socialized and up-to-date on vaccinations, it is safe to take them to dog parks.

6. Can swimming be a good exercise for Shih Poo’s?

Yes, swimming can be a great low-impact exercise for Shih Poo’s, especially in hot weather.

7. What if my Shih Poo is overweight?

A proper diet and increased exercise can help an overweight Shih Poo get to a healthier weight.

8. Can too much exercise be harmful for Shih Poo’s?

Yes, excessive exercise can lead to exhaustion, dehydration, and even injury. Always consult with a vet for exercise recommendations.

9. How can we prevent heatstroke during exercise?

It is important to avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day, keep Shih Poo’s hydrated, and provide plenty of shade breaks.

10. Do Shih Poo’s enjoy exercising?

Yes, Shih Poo’s enjoy exercise as it stimulates their minds and bodies, and allows them to release pent-up energy.


Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DogCareHacks, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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