It’s no wonder the Shih Tzu is one of the most popular breeds with its prominent personality and adorable underbite.
You will find helpful advice and guidelines in our list of the top Shih Tzu puppy care tips, whether you are new to the Shih Tzu breed or have been a long-time Shih Tzu pet parent.
Follow as many tips as possible to keep your Shih Tzu puppy or full grown dog healthy and comfortable. Refer to this list regularly to see if anything has changed.
In America, the “Little Lion Dog” is a relatively new breed; only 100 Shih Tzu’s were registered in the country in the 1960s! The AKC recognized them in 1969, though their popularity rose quickly. They require only moderate exercise but are sensitive to heat. Although they are primarily companion dogs, Shih Tzu takes their job very seriously—they love being with their families whenever possible. On average, Shih Tzu’s are a generally healthy breed with a 13-15 years lifespan.
We have summarised the tips we will discuss with you over your Shih Tzu’s life because we know that you care so much about your dog and want to take good care of it. We at AltaVista Animal Hospital can tailor a preventive health plan to watch for and hopefully prevent some predictable risks by knowing how to take care of a Shih Tzu.
This guide contains general health information for all canines and the most important genetic predispositions for Shih Tzus. This information helps you and us together plan for your pet’s unique medical needs. A description of what you can do at home to keep your Shih Tzu looking and feeling her best is included at the end of the article. You will know what to watch for, and we will all feel better knowing that we’re taking the best care of your pal.
- One of the most common diseases is Dental Disease.
Although dental disease is a common chronic problem in pets, affecting 80% of all dogs by age two, your Shih Tzu is more likely than other dogs to have problems with their teeth. Tartar build-up on the teeth is the start of dental disease which progresses to infection of the gums and roots of the teeth. If dental disease is not prevented or treated, your buddy may lose their teeth and be in danger of damage to her kidneys, liver, heart, and joints. The lifespan of your Shih Tzu may be cut short by one to three years if their teeth are not kept clean. AltaVista Animal Hospital can help you clean your dog’s teeth regularly and let you know what you can do at home to keep their teeth clean.
Also read, Are You Struggling With Puppy Teething? Here’s what you need to know!
- Offer all-natural food to your Shih Tzu
Every food your Shih Tzu ingests will affect their short-term and long-term health, for better or worse. Unfortunately, there are many dog foods and snacks that contain ingredients that can be harmful to a dog’s health.
Stay away from synthetic preservatives as they have been known to cause allergies and even cancer. Also, avoid food color dyes, which can lead to behavioral problems, allergies, and asthma. Fill your diet with healthy alternatives to by-products, generic meats, and oils, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Choose foods that use vitamin blends and/or herbs to preserve the food naturally, with only healthy ingredients and no additives. You can always contact the best Vancouver veterinary clinic if you still have queries.
- Proper grooming habits.
Proper pet grooming is very essential. Most owners prefer to have a groomer do trims or clips because the Shih Tzu’s coat can proliferate. According to a 2019 AllShihTzu survey, most coats are kept short (50%), some are kept medium length (31%), a small number are kept long (4%), and for some, it varies over time (15%).
Depending on the length, the coat should be brushed 1 to 3 times per week (longer coats can quickly mat). Nails should be clipped approximately every 6 weeks. Unless there is a need for the frequent application of specialty shampoos (for example, an anti-itch formula), baths should be given every 3 weeks.
Spot-cleaning with grooming wipes can be done every day, preferably after each meal. Paw wax should be used to protect paws, and owners should routinely check the nose for any issues with dryness. Ear canals should be regularly cleaned if a Shih Tzu is prone to ear infections.
- You should keep an eye on your Shih Tzu’s breathing.
Many Shih Tzu have some level of stenotic nares (pinched nostrils) which can affect their ability to breathe because the Shih Tzu is a brachycephalic breed, meaning that the skull, and all internal breathing passages, are compressed. Other issues, such as tracheal collapse, can exacerbate breathing issues.
A harness certainly helps a Shih Tzu breathe more freely when exercising. Still, it’s also important to take breaks every 20 minutes and keep them hydrated. This sentence should be rewritten as follows:
If you notice your Shih Tzu panting heavily, this signals you to take a break. Special care should be taken during hot weather.
- Use as few chemicals as possible while still using flea, tick, and heartworm prevention.
“Fleas, ticks, heartworms, and other parasitic worms can cause many health issues, but traditional prevention methods involve lots of strong pesticides that can sometimes cause serious adverse reactions.”
Protecting your Shih Tzu puppy from pests depends on the season and the risk level of problems in your area. Sometimes all-natural products can be used. Depending on the product, heartworm meds can sometimes be halved for the Shih Tzu, a toy breed.
6 . No matter your Shih Tzu’s age, proof the house.
It’s recommended to “puppy proof” your house no matter how old your Shih Tzu is since dogs of any age can choke on non-food objects, electrocute themselves, be poisoned, or otherwise face dangers in the house or yard. Tragedies frequently occur, but almost all dog owners never imagine it could happen to their dog.
Some tips to help prevent accidents in the house include routinely picking up small objects from the floor and making sure bags (purses, gym bags, etc.), houseplants, and shade and curtain strings are out of reach. You should either safely tuck away electrical and cable cords or use a protector like the PETCORDS Cord Protector; it doesn’t take much chewing for a dog to get electrocuted and suffer severe mouth burns (or worse). Also, make sure to keep trash cans securely closed.
You should supervise your Shih Tzu puppy at all times when they are outside to help prevent wildlife from entering the yard. Things you can do to help this are removing birdbaths and keeping trash cans securely covered. Keep lawn care products out of reach and fill in divots
in the grass.
- Bring your Shih Tzu puppy and full grown Shih Tzu to their veterinary wellness checks.
Adult Shih Tzu should be seen once per year and seniors (age 8 and up) twice per year, even after completing their puppy vaccinations. Performing regular wellness checks is essential for keeping dogs healthy and catching potential problems early for the best possible prognosis. Alta Vista Animal Hospital being the best pet clinic in Vancouver offers all kinds of services for pets.
The CBC (complete blood count), urinalysis, and stool sample will be used in screenings to look for various diseases common in dogs of all ages.
The vet will assess your Shih Tzu’s breathing, heart rate, ears, eyes, mouth, hips, and more. The vet will speak to you about your Shih Tzu diet, exercise, and general well-being. A Shih Tzu’s life expectancy can be significantly increased by considering all these essential factors.
The tips mentioned above are for the betterment of your dog; Shih Tzu needs extensive care, especially when they are a puppy.Better the pet care, your dog will have a better and happier life!