The Complete Shih Tzu Care Guide

Thinking of adding a Shih Tzu puppy to your household? Congratulations! They are wonderful dogs to keep as companions. However, it’s important when adopting a new pet to first learn everything you can about them to ensure that you are capable and well-prepared to give them the happy, healthy life they deserve. So, let’s talk Shih Tzu care!

What is a Shih Tzu?

Shih Tzus are a breed of dog belonging to the toy group. This, of course, does not make them toys! It just means they are tiny. Full-grown Shih Tzus weigh between nine and 16 pounds. In fact, their stature can make toy breeds a poor choice for households with children.

The breed is recognizable by its sturdy body, short muzzle, floppy ears, flowing coat, and feisty personality. They have longer life spans than large-breed dogs, and generally live between 10 and 16 years.

Shih Tzu Grooming

Shih Tzus have a long, double coat. This requires a heavy amount of grooming, including:

  • Daily brushing if you keep your Shih Tzu's coat long. Falling behind on brushing can lead to matted fur, which can only be remedied by shaving the fur off. Matted fur can be very unpleasant for dogs.
  • Frequent haircuts and styling if you decide to keep their hair cut short. You may opt to have your Shih Tzu's hair styled in a ponytail or other look to keep hair out of their eyes.

Shih Tzu puppy care and adult care also include:

  • Daily face and eye-wiping
  • Daily teeth brushing
  • Monthly nail clipping
  • Regular baths
  • Regular ear cleaning

Shih Tzu Training

All dogs require training. Dog training helps address behavioral issues to maintain a happy relationship with your pet. However, it also keeps dogs stimulated, and can help keep them safe by being able to understand directions from their caretakers.

Shih Tzus are smart, but they can also be stubborn. They are not the easiest to house train. You will see the best results if you begin training from a young age. 12 weeks old is an excellent time to start training your Shih Tzu puppy.

Shih Tzus are also loving, loyal dogs, and may suffer separation anxiety. Make sure to identify if your pet is struggling and get them training to address anxiety if needed.

Feeding Your Shih Tzu

Proper nutrition is crucial to the health and happiness of your Shih Tzu. You simply won't have as many years together or the same quality of life if you feed your dog low-quality food.

Avoid feeding your Shih Tzu dog food that contains preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, and added sweeteners and chemicals. Instead, look for dog foods that are human-grade and organic. Cornucopia Organic Pet Foods is dedicated to helping your pet live their best life through optimal, vet-developed nutrition.

Provide Your Shih Tzu with Proper Exercise

A sedentary lifestyle can lead to a host of health problems and shorten the lifespan of humans and dogs alike. Give your Shih Tzu a minimum of two 20-minute walks per day.

Make sure your tiny friend has lots of toys to play with as well, both on their own and with human and/or dog friends.

Be Mindful of Your Shih Tzu's Breathing

When you consider that dogs evolved from wolves, it’s interesting that dog’s breathing structures have compressed significantly to become what they are today. Since Shih Tzus are a toy breed, they are especially prone to breathing issues. Shih Tzus can suffer from collapsed tracheas, nostrils that are too small, and elongated palates.

Due to their delicate breathing structures, it's important to walk Shih Tzus using a harness. Collars put too much pressure on their small throats.

Also allow your Shih Tzu to have plenty of breaks from play and walks if they are breathing excessively hard. Be sure to provide lots of fresh water at all times too.

Take Your Dog in for Regular Vet Care

This is true for any pet. Once your Shih Tzu enters their senior years (about age eight), they should go for bi-annual wellness checks. A vet can help detect problems before they arise or become dire. Regular vet care also adds considerably to the life of your furry companion.

Dog-tested and veterinarian-approved, Cornucopia Organic Pet Foods cares about your Shih Tzu. We offer only the best for the care of your dog, so contact us in Huntington, NY today.

Return to News

Write Your Comment

Comments have to be approved before showing up

  • "Many pet foods contain corn as the main ingredient. Dogs and cats are not “cornivores’….they are carnivores!"
  • "If I can’t eat the food, I won’t give it to my pets either."
  • "Our pets are the only ones in our family who give us unconditional love."
  • "The animals are our children. They deserve the same quality food as our two-legged children."
  • "Your pets are members of the family so treat them like members of the family."
  • "I can help your pets live longer, healthier lives."
  • "Feed your pets what your grandfather fed his pets."
  • "Would you eat what you are feeding your pet? No? Then don’t feed it."
  • "Cats are obligate carnivores, not herbivores."
  • "Animals are my children."
  • "You have never in your life been to a doctor or veterinarian who taught you how to prevent disease (or who taught you about nutrition.)"
  • "Developed with Passion by a practicing veterinarian."
  • "If your human children died at 25 instead of 75 that would get your attention as to what is going on with pets."
  • "I am abolishing disease in my practice."
  • "1 out of 5 children in the average American family walks on all fours."
  • "Tell your pet every day that you love them."
  • "You can communicate with your pet, just listen."
  • "Would you feed your other children pet food?"
  • "Think about which members of your family give you unconditional love. Then treat them the same."
  • "We don’t make pet food, we make food for pets"
  • "Give them a “mouse-full”"
  • "Read the ingredients, would you eat that?"
  • "Does your pet deserve any less?"
  • "Where else do you get unconditional love?"
  • "Who is always happy to see you?"
  • "Who never complains about their day?"
  • "Give back to your pets the unconditional love that they give you."
  • "I put unconditional love into my food, my products, my patients, my practice."
  • "These blessed creatures are giving you unconditional love. Feeding them healthy, pure organic food is not much to ask in return."
  • "Let an animal in your heart and experience unconditional love."
  • "Unconditional love is when you love with all that you have."
  • "Unconditional love is giving without taking."
  • "Unconditional love is above all the gift of one’s self."
  • "Unconditional love is above all the gift of life."
  • "Unconditional love is the deepest essence of life."
  • "Unconditional love is always available for the asking."
  • "There is nothing more exhilarating than animal love."
  • "We all need to ask ourselves, “What are we giving to the world?”"
  • "Pursue your passion. I did."
  • "I make pet food the way Mother Nature intended."
  • "You were told your whole life not to feed your pet off the table. That turned out to be a lie to help sell pet food."

- Doc -