Owning dogs, in particular taking care of the shih tzu, is old hat for humans. Historians believe that dogs were domesticated between twelve thousand and twenty five thousand years ago—and that all canines evolved from the wolf. Since those days, we have selectively bred more than four hundred different breeds, which vary in size from four-pound teacup poodles to Irish wolfhounds, whose 3-ft stature earns them the title of the tallest pooch. However, the most preferred canines are non-pedigree dogs—the one-of-a-kind dogs known as mutts. The shih tzu is another favorite choice with canine owners. Many owners are uninformed, however, of some of the most important shih tzu care tips.
Typical health care cost of the shih tzu
The annual cost of rearing the shih tzu—to include food and snacks, veterinary care, toys and license—can range between $420 and seven hundred eighty dollars. This does not even count capital expenses for sterilization surgery, collar and leash, dog carrier and a dog crate. Note: Be positive you have obtained all of the necessary supplies before getting your shih tzu home for the first time.
General shih tzu Care
shih tzu Feeding Plan
- shih tzu puppies between eight and twelve weeks need four bowls of food in a 24 hour period.
- Feed shih tzu pups 3 to 6 months old three meals daily.
- Feed pups 6 months old to one year old two meals daily.
- By the time your shih tzu makes her 1st birthday, 1 feeding in a day is enough.
- Many times shih tzus might prefer two lighter helpings. It’s your duty to learn your shih tzu’s eating schedule.
High-quality dry dogfood provides a well-balanced diet for grown shih tzus and may be mixed with broth, canned food, or water. Your shih tzu may also love cottage cheese, cooked egg, fruits and vegetables, but these additions should be less than 10 pct of his or her daily allowance. shih tzu pups ought to be fed excellent-quality, brand-name puppy food. Please try to limit “table food”, however, since it can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies, tooth and bone issues, and might result in very picky food choices and obesity. Clean, fresh water should be available always, and be sure to clean food and water dishes frequently.
shih tzu Care Tips: Your shih tzu needs physical activity daily
shih tzus need exercise in order to stay fit, recharge their brains, and remain in good health. Daily exercise also seems to help shih tzus avoid boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior. A little fun and games will quell many of your shih tzu’s instinctual urges to dig, retrieve, chase, chew and herd. Individual exercise needs can depend on your shih tzu’s level of health and her age—but merely a walk down the street every day and ten minutes in the backyard probably will not suffice. If your shih tzu is a six to 18 month adolescent, her requirements will probably be more.
shih tzu Grooming Tips
Frequent brushing will help keep your shih tzu clean and reduce shedding. Check for ticks and fleas every day during warm weather. Most shih tzus don’t need to be bathed more than a few times during the year. Prior to the bath, cut out or comb all mats from the shih tzu’s coat. Carefully rinse all soap from the coat, or the dirt will stick to the soap.
How to Handle Your shih tzu
Puppies, as opposed to adults, are clearly easier to handle. When carrying the shih tzu puppy, place 1 hand beneath the dog’s chest, either with your forearm or other hand supporting his back legs and rump. Never attempt to lift or grab your puppy by his front legs, back of the neck or tail. If you have to pick up a bigger, adult shih tzu, pick it up from the underside, holding his chest with one arm and rear end with the other arm.
shih tzu housing
Your shih tzu needs a comfy quiet location in order to rest apart from all drafts and off the floor or ground. You might wish to buy a doggie bed, or make one from a wood box. Put a clean comforter, sheet, or pillow in the bed. Wash your shih tzu’s bed covering often. If your shih tzu will be spending a lot of time outdoors, make certain he has access to shade and plenty of cool water in the summer, and a warm, dry, covered shelter when it’s cold.
Licensing and Identification for shih tzus
There are licensing regulations to follow in your community. Be sure you attach the license to your shih tzu’s collar. This, together with an ID tag or tattoo, could help you recover your shih tzu should she get lost.
Facts on shih tzu Behavior
shih tzu Training
A well-behaved, companion shih tzu is truly a joy to raise. But when left untrained, your shih tzu will most likely be a pain. Teaching your shih tzu the basics—”Stay”, “Come”, “Down”, “Heel”, “Off”, “Sit”, and “Leave it”—will strengthen your relationship with both your dog as well as the friends. If you’re the owner of a pup, begin training him on the appropriate behavior immediately! Snacks can be used as incentive and recognition. Puppies can join obedience classes when they have been adequately immunized. Contact the community SPCA or humane society for details on training classes. You should always keep your shih tzu leashed while in public, even while a puppy. Be sure your doggie will come to you every time you say. A disobedient or aggressive shih tzu can’t be allowed to play with kids.
Your shih tzu’s Health
Your shih tzu should see the veterinarian for a full check-up, immunizations and heartworm assessment annualy, and ASAP when she is hurt or ill.
About your shih tzu’s Dental Health
While many of us might simply dislike our shih tzu’s foul breath, it’s important to be aware of what it might indicate. Bad breath is a sign that your shih tzu is in need of a dental check up. Plaque , which is a result of unhealthy bacteria causes a terrible smell that can only be freshened with professional treatment. Once you have given your shih tzu a professional oral cleaning, his teeth and gums may be kept up by brushing regularly, feeding a special diet focused on dental health, and eliminating table food. The veterinarian can supply you with other tips on eliminating periodontal diseases as well as bad breath. You can use a baking soda and water paste or a dog toothpaste once or twice per week to brush your shih tzu’s teeth. Brush them with a sterile gauze pad, nylon stocking stretched across your finger, or a soft, child’s toothbrush. Some shih tzus get periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. This troublesome condition will sometimes lead to your shih tzu’s loss of teeth as well as cause infections to her body. Veterinarians will most likely brush his teeth as a regular part of your shih tzu’s health checkup.
Bad shih tzu Breath
While oral disease itself is not very serious when it is detected early, halitosis may indicate fairly serious, long-term issues. Diseases of the liver or intestines can also cause stinky breath, and a sweet, fruity smell can sometimes be a sign of diabetes. Kidney disease might be the cause when your shih tzu’s breath smells like ammonia or urine. Set an appointment with a veterinarian whenever your shih tzu has halitosis along with other signs of disease like excessive urinating or drinking, depression or lethargy, weight loss, nausea, or decreased appetite.
Tick and Fleas in shih tzus
When it’s warm, it’s important for you to perform regular, daily checks of your shih tzu for ticks and fleas. Use a flea comb to find and remove fleas. There are several new procedures of tick and flea elimination. Speak to your vet about these and other recommendations.
Heartworms in shih tzus
This parasite resides in the heart and is passed from a contaminated dog to your shih tzu by mosquitoes. Several shih tzus die yearly because of heartworms. It’s critical you ensure your shih tzu has a blood test for heartworms annually each spring. A monthly tablet given during the warm, wet time of the year will protect your shih tzu. Should you ever travel in a warmer-than-usual region with your shih tzu in the winter, your dog should be on the preventive medicine during the trip. In some of the more moderate locations, vets recommend preemptive worm medication year round.
Medications and Poisons
Do not ever give your shih tzu medicine that has not been prescribed by her veterinarian. For example, did you know that just one ibuprofen caplet causes stomach ulcers in some dogs Make sure your shih tzu is never exposed to rat poison and other rodenticides. If you have reason to believe that your pooch has ingested a poisonous substance, notify your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 twenty-four hours a day for instructions.
shih tzus: Neutering and Spaying
Male shih tzus should be neutered – the extraction of the testes – and females spayed – the extraction of the uterus and ovaries – by 6 months old. You will significantly reduce your female’s breast cancer risk by spaying before adulthood. Spaying also eradicates the risk of a sick uterus, a very serious condition in older females that requires surgery and intensive medical care. Testicular cancer, prostate diseases, certain types of aggressions and some hernias are preventable by neutering males.
shih tzu Immunizations
- Your shih tzu pup should be vaccinated with a combo vaccine (called a “five-in-1”) at two, 3 and 4 months old, and then once each year. This immunization protects your shih tzu puppy from hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, parainfluenza, and distemper. Your shih tzu must be immunized for at least the first four months of her life.
- If your shih tzu has not been vaccinated and is older than four months, she will need to be given two vaccinations asap, two to 3 weeks apart. Then you must innoculate annualy.
- Your shih tzu pup’s innoculations should coincide with her socialization program. You can take your shih tzu pup to socialization courses as early as eight to nine weeks of age, as recommended by most doctors. They should have received their first immunizations by this point.
Because regulations vary so much around the country, contact a neighborhood veterinarian to get information on rabies vaccination. In New York City, for instance, the regulation states that all pets older than three months of age to be vaccinated for rabies. The first rabies innoculation must be followed up by a subsequent shot a year later, and then every 3 years after that. There are several immunizations, many of which are right for your shih tzu. Others, however, are not. Your veterinarian can give you his recommendation. You should be aware, if your shih tzu happens to get ill because she is not immunized, the vaccination needs to be administered after your companion animal recovers.
Roundworms in shih tzus
shih tzus are often exposed to worms—especially in rural areas. Microscopic eggs made by intestinal worms are transmitted through an infested shih tzu’s feces. Most pups, from all environments, even those with healthy mothers, carry roundworms or hookworms. An accurate, early diagnosis is the secret to effective treatment. Early, accurate diagnosis maximizes the possibility that prescribed medication will be effective against your dog’s worms. A dewormer that eradicates hookworms, for example, will not kill tapeworms. Your shih tzu’s doctor can best figure out the culprit—and prescribe the right treatment.
shih tzu Care Tips: Additional Information
Checklist of shih tzu Supplies
- High-quality dog food and treats specifically for shih tzus and similarly-sized dogs
- Food bowl
- Water bowl
- As many safe toys as you can provide, especially chewable
- Comb and brush for grooming, including a flea comb
- Collar with identification tag and license
- Quality leash
- Carrier (for pups)
- Crate for training
- Box or dog bed with comforter or towel
- Doggie toothbrush
The no-no list
The following items should never be fed to shih tzus:
- Alcohol, beer, wine or liquor
- Chocolate, tea, coffee, or any other caffeinated foods
- Grapes and raisins
- Moldy or spoiled food
- Onions, garlic & chives
- Poultry bones
- Salt and salty foods
- Tomato leaves, unripe fruit and stems
- Yeast dough
The scoop on poop
Retain your shih tzu on a leash whenever you are outdoors, unless you are in a secured, fenced-in place. And please, when your shih tzu defecates on your neighbor’s lawn, dispose of it! Don’t forget to check out these other articles about shih tzus
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