How To Give Your Shih Tzu The Best Care Possible

by Rebecca Simpson

If you’re like most Shih Tzu owners, your dog is more of a family member than a pet, and you want to do everything you can to prolong your dog’s life. Shih Tzus live fifteen years or longer, and your Shih Tzu’s care can add years to its life. Shih Tzu care means finding the best Shih Tzu diet.

The old saying, “you are what you eat,” is true, and its truth applies as much to dogs as it does to humans. A toy breed like the Shih Tzu can only consume a small amount of food without risking obesity, so it is especially important to feed this breed healthy food. The best Shih Tzu diet is premium dog food-with occasional treats, of course.

If you’re bringing a Shih Tzu puppy into your home, start her off on the same food as the breeder fed her litter, following the food manufacturer’s recommendations as to amount based on the weight of your dog. Any dietary changes should be made gradually, over several days or weeks. Between meals, your Shih Tzu will enjoy healthy snacks, like small bites of chicken or vegetables.

Don’t be intimidated by the idea of care for your Shih Tzu’s long, silky coat. Daily brushing and regular shampooing will keep your dog’s coat clean, shiny, and free of mats and snarls. Trimming the hair around your dog’s eyes, or tying the hair away from her eyes with a ribbon, will keep the hair neat and reduce irritation to the eyes. Inspect your dog’s eyes, ears, and teeth regularly with a goal of finding any dirt or tartar that needs to be removed. You should report any redness, swelling, or discharge around your dog’s eyes, ears or teeth to your veterinarian.

Start handling your Shih Tzu’s feet and mouth early, when the dog is still a puppy if possible. That way, your dog will be accustomed to this kind of attention,

It will come in handy when it is time to trim his toenails.The Shih Tzu’s coat requires regular grooming. Most Shih Tzus spend hours in their owners’ laps. Use this time to brush your dog’s coat and untangle any snarls before they develop into mats.

Good Shih Tzu health requires that a veterinarian do an examination as soon as possible after you bring your dog home. The vet will prescribe any necessary treatment, like de-worming and vaccinations, and will schedule an appointment to spay or neuter your pet. If you don’t already have a veterinarian, talk to your breeder, your friends, and your family members who have pets to find out where they take their pets for veterinary care. Very soon you will have a list of veterinary clinics from which to choose. Select a vet near your home who comes highly recommended by one of your friends or family members.

Emergency veterinary clinics are also available in some cities. Emergency clinics care for patients who are recuperating from surgery in addition to offering emergency services. The name, address, and telephone number of the emergency veterinary clinic nearest to your home should be posted where you can find the information easily. In an emergency, you will not have time to look up phone numbers and driving directions.

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