The Shih Tzu is a tiny dog that brings warm and comfy feelings to pet lovers around it. This particular dog breed might not be hunters, but one look at its large, puppy eyes may make you forget your woes. If you own a Shih Tzu, or you’re planning on getting one, you must know how to care for it properly. Maintaining the well-being of this dog is paramount to let it keep its happy demeanor. Thus, here are four health tips to help you care for your Shih Tzu.
Understand the Personality of Shih Tzus
Many Shih Tzus have a warm and welcoming personality. This dog breed is ideal for individuals who want a four-legged companion in their abodes.
These pooches may not have strong drives to become full-fledged guard dogs. Even if your Shih Tzu attempts to guard your dwelling, its tiny height of approximately 9 to 10 inches from foot to shoulder may not intimidate many burglars.
But, don’t assume that Shih Tzus are mild-mannered creatures because of their size. Instead, these pets might be a ball of energy as it might run around the house. It seeks adventure, and it might be an excellent idea to bring your Shih Tzu along with you in your outdoor travels.
Understanding the personality of this dog breed will help you cater to its needs better than intended. For instance, now you know that your pet can be hyperactive, you can place toys in its play area to let it have fun and exercise while you’re doing chores.
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Be Proactive at Grooming
Shih Tzus might be tiny, but their fur can grow quite long if left unattended. So, it’s essential to reserve a specific period every day for grooming sessions.
Aside from using grooming tools, consider sending this pup to a professional pet grooming center at least once every six to eight weeks. Also, keep its hair away from its eyes. Your dog might complain about itchy eyes because of untrimmed and unruly bangs. You should trim these extra locks, but be careful not to hurt your little dog’s eyes in the process.
This dog breed might be susceptible to particular eye problems because of its long fur and bulging eyes. One health condition you should always be wary about is karetitis. This ailment may occur when the cornea inflames. Failure to remedy the illness quickly might lead to blindness. Hence, always watch out for hair that might get stuck in your pet’s eyes.
Also, don’t forget about the dog’s nails. Otherwise, your pet pooch might leave scratch marks on surfaces during playtime. You should trim the Shih Tzu’s nails at least once per month. Be mindful when cutting the nails of your dog. Only cut the white areas because trimming more of the nails than intended might hurt your canine companion.
Make Every Day Enjoyable
The Shih Tzu is a dog breed meant to love its surroundings, which, of course, includes you. If you think that it’s ignoring you, then perhaps you’re not making the days worth enjoying.
If you’re training this pooch, don’t go with the session as if you’re a drill sergeant. Instead, incorporate treats and toys with the exercise. Remember, your dog’s mental health is as essential as its physical well-being.
So, think of yourself as a mentor and not a professional trainer (even if you’re one). Reward this dog breed with plenty of love and affection each time it gets the commands correct. Adhere to gentle guidance instead of military-style pet training. With dedication and perseverance, your Shih Tzu will know several tricks and be happy as well.
Watch What They Eat
Many dogs won’t hesitate to put things in their mouths, and the Shih Tzu might not be an exception to that notion.
Your Shih Tzu might go around your property sniffing and munching on random objects, including its poop. These things might have bacteria infestations that can harm your precious pet’s health. Thus, it’s best to keep an eye on this tiny pooch wherever it goes, especially during training sessions.
You can help your dog stop this behavior by making sure to clean the area every time. Your pet might stop being curious, but it might take weeks, months, or even years before your Shih Tzu gets accustomed to the habit.
Again, perseverance is critical when keeping this dog as healthy as possible. Make sure to scoop its poop the moment your pet finishes doing its “business.” Another tip is to provide positive reinforcement to this exercise. So, instead of letting your dog try to munch on its poop, let it play with a ball or chew toy. Over time, your pup might choose to bite on its favorite toy instead of chewing on dirty debris.
Watch Out for Health Concerns
Shih Tzus are no different than many other living and breathing organisms on this planet when talking about health. Your pup might be susceptible to health issues if you’re not careful. Pay proper attention and care to your dog to lessen the risk of health problems significantly.
But, Shih Tzus might be more prone to specific diseases in comparison with other dog breeds. These ailments may include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Bladder stones
- Eye problems
Be wary as your pet Shih Tzu might also have specific food allergies. Hence, it’s critical that you always pay attention to your pet’s eating habits. If you see something’s off with your pet because of the food it ate, don’t hesitate to bring the pooch to a reliable veterinarian.
Let these tips help you care for your Shih Tzu better than before. But, there might be events when the dog is experiencing unknown symptoms and health conditions. Don’t hesitate to bring the pooch to a veterinarian as quickly as possible. Remember, dogs are parts of families, so you must care for their mental and physical well-being like any other household member.