How to Care for a Shih Tzu Puppy: 14 Steps

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How to Care for a Shih Tzu Puppy: 14 Steps
How to Care for a Shih Tzu Puppy: 14 Steps

The shih tzu race appeared in China in 629 AD, being created by the noblest classes. Nowadays, this breed has become quite popular all over the world for its faithful and cheerful essence. Adopting or buying a shih tzu puppy is exciting for dog lovers, but you need to know a few basics about caring for this small breed before you bring one home. Learn about training, exercise, what kind of food your puppy should eat, where he should sleep, and the care you need to take with his fur.


Part 1 of 3: Preparing a Safe and Welcoming Environment

Care for a Shih Tzu Puppy Step 1

Step 1. Put on safety gear for the puppy

The shih tzu puppy will be a curious puppy with no idea what he can or cannot do, so you will have to do some things to make your home a safe environment for this new family member. Keep all shoes and things he might bite out of reach, fasten the cleaning supplies cabinets and tie them up, or keep any string that looks like a chew toy. Also ask all residents to close cabinet doors and outside doors so that the puppy does not enter where it should not or leave the house accidentally.

You may already know that it's best to keep dog treats locked in cabinets, but don't forget that dogs - especially puppies - love regular food too! Do not leave snack or candy bags open and store all food out of reach of the shih tzu. Dried fruits, chocolates and vegetables like onions and garlic are very bad for dogs, so be even more careful with these things

Care for a Shih Tzu Puppy Step 2

Step 2. Buy a kennel or shipping box for him

It is useful for many things. First of all, it will be like a safe and cozy house for him to go to when he is tired, anxious or feeling overwhelmed. The paddock will also help you train the dog to clean up in the right place (this breed is known to be a little difficult to get used to in new surroundings). Make the enclosure cozy by putting a comfortable bed, toys for him to bite and some snacks.

  • Choose a well-ventilated pen that is big enough for the dog to stand, turn around, and lie down when he grows up. On average, adult shih tzus are 20 to 30 cm tall to the shoulder and weigh 4 to 8 kg.
  • Never leave a puppy less than six months old in jail for more than three hours straight and do not use the house as punishment under any circumstances. If you do, the puppy will associate that space with negative emotions and will no longer see it as a safe place to rest.
Care for a Shih Tzu Puppy Step 3

Step 3. Buy stainless steel water and feed bowls

You will need water and feed available for the dog the minute he enters the house, so buy a set of bowls before he arrives. Even though there are several ceramic and clay bowls in pet shops, stainless steel is the best option. It's dishwasher safe, it lasts a long time, and it doesn't have lead-based paints or varnishes.

As soon as you bring the puppy home, feed him the same ration he was eating at the shelter or kennel to facilitate the transition of environment

Care for a Shih Tzu Puppy Step 4

Step 4. Stock up on chew toys

Shih tzu puppies have particularly difficult teething periods, and your goal is to make this period as painless as possible for him, but without letting the pet destroy the house. Give the dog several hard rubber toys so the dog doesn't take out the frustration of teething on furniture and other objects around the house, and also buy special toys that can be frozen to ease the pain of swollen gums.

Avoid giving rawhide or bone toys, as they give off splinters and the puppy may swallow them

Care for a Shih Tzu Puppy Step 5

Step 5. Buy a collar and leash of the right size

Even as adults, shih tzus will not be strong enough to break free from a standard collar; still, look for parts that are strong and secure. Measure the puppy's neck and buy a collar that can be adjusted as he grows.

Do not wear chains or collars that have rings or other details that could get caught in the dog's teeth and cause it to choke

Care for a Shih Tzu Puppy Step 6

Step 6. Talk to the pet store or shelter about the dog's veterinarian history

It doesn't matter if you're adopting the shih tzu from a shelter or bought it from a pet store or breeder: they must give the dog's veterinarian records and any other relevant documents, such as the neutering certification. Also ask about behavior problems or whether the dog has been abused, as it is important to know these things before taking your shih tzu home.

For example, if you discover that your puppy has already had a bad experience in an abusive environment, take extra care to ensure your puppy's transition goes smoothly. Dramatically turn down the music and get him in and out of the house and place his cage in a dark environment, away from interruptions and noise

Part 2 of 3: Creating a Healthy Routine

Care for a Shih Tzu Puppy Step 7

Step 1. Take the puppy to the vet for tests and vaccinations

You're probably all excited about taking the puppy home and starting to play with him, but stop by the vet first for a checkup and vaccinations. Rabies vaccines and V8 (or V10, depending on the region and the veterinarian's preference) are essential to protect the pet from different dangerous diseases such as distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus. Ask your veterinarian if he recommends taking any more, such as those against canine respiratory infectious disease complex or Lyme disease.

Checkups are even more important if you have purchased a puppy from a breeder, as most breeder contracts include this initial vet visit in the cost of the puppy, as long as you do it within three days

Care for a Shih Tzu Puppy Step 8

Step 2. Make a health plan for the pet

Many people think that health insurance is just for people, but in fact, it is good to have health insurance for the puppy as well as any other member of the family. After all, veterinary care bills don't come cheap, even though it's such a small puppy. Even though puppies have fewer health problems compared to older dogs, making the plan now will be cheaper than waiting to do it only when it gets older.

Many plans cover accidents and illnesses, but you can also purchase additional coverage for genetic illnesses, routine care, and behavioral problems

Care for a Shih Tzu Puppy Step 9

Step 3. Start teaching him to do his needs in the right place right away

Shih tzus have a hard time getting used to a new environment, so you should start teaching them where to pee and poop as soon as you bring them home. Do this by placing newspaper or sanitary towels in specific areas and congratulating the dog whenever he needs it there. Stay around when he goes out in the yard and congratulate him too if he pees or poops. When it's time for bed or you need to leave him alone for a short time, put him in the house.

If the enclosure is too big, it will be more difficult to train and get the dog used to the new house. The puppy probably won't do his homework where he sleeps, but if he can get out of the bed and walk somewhere, he won't mind doing it there

Care for a Shih Tzu Puppy Step 10

Step 4. Keep the dog active by playing with him a lot

Shih tzus don't need much exercise during the day, as they run and walk around the house a lot at all times. Play sticks, tug-of-war and other fun games to keep your puppy excited and healthy.

You should also take a short walk each day with your puppy. This allows the puppy to sniff out things outside your apartment or house, and also get used to different sounds and smells that he would normally not have contact with

Care for a Shih Tzu Puppy Step 11

Step 5. Train and socialize the shih tzu when he is three months old

This breed can be stubborn and take longer to learn if you wait too long to train or socialize, so take them to puppy class at two and a half or three months. Take him for walks in parks as soon as he gets used to walking comfortably on a leash so he learns to tolerate the company of other dogs and humans without barking, jumping, or nibbling.

Do this only after giving all the vaccines, to prevent him from getting illnesses from other dogs

Part 3 of 3: Feeding and Hair Care

Care for a Shih Tzu Puppy Step 12

Step 1. Choose a high quality feed

Once the puppy gets used to the new house, choose a dog food that has several sources of protein for his daily food. Look for good ingredients such as fresh chicken, duck, eggs, pea flour, oats and rice, and avoid problematic ones such as cereal, propylene glycol, corn and animal fat.

Shih tzus are used to staying indoors and accompanying their owners at all times, which makes them more susceptible to bad eating habits. If you give him even a little bit of your food, he'll get used to it quickly and reject the kibble. Avoid this problem by not giving human food and discouraging the puppy from asking for food

Care for a Shih Tzu Puppy Step 13

Step 2. Feed the puppy three times a day

Even if your puppy doesn't eat too much or appears to have a weight problem, feed the feed at designated times throughout the day rather than leaving the bowl full. This helps establish a healthy routine and prevents him from overeating.

You can (and should!) give the puppy treats to reward good behavior, but give small treats. That way they won't interfere with scheduled meals. You can use food grains as a treat so the dog doesn't develop problematic preferences

Care for a Shih Tzu Puppy Step 14

Step 3. Brush your puppy daily and take him to a pet shop monthly

Brushing and cleaning a puppy only takes a few minutes, and it's important not to miss this so that he gets used to the feel and routine of brushing. Use a mixed bristle and nylon brush to brush the dog's fur well and small scissors to trim long fur or any that is preventing your puppy from seeing. If you stick to this routine, you can wait a month or a month and a half to get him groomed.

  • Unless you want him to become a competition dog, the ideal is to make a special grooming for puppies, which leaves the fur 2, 5 to 5 cm all over the body.
  • You can also grow the shih tzu's fur, just like that of a competition dog, but be prepared for more work taking care of the fur.

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