Shih Tzu puppies are incredibly cute and adorable (as the video shows), so it’s no surprise that a lot of people fall in love with them. But, if you’re planning to get a Shih Tzu pup or if you already have one, you have to realize that your pet can’t survive on his own. If you want him to grow up into a smart and healthy adult dog, you need to properly take care of him. You can start by taking the following steps:
Learn to take care of your puppy’s coat
One of the things that set Shih Tzus apart from other dogs is their coat. Shih Tzus don’t have fur; rather, they have hair just like humans. Their hair doesn’t fall out unlike other dogs’ fur, so it grows long and can get matted if not properly managed. As a pet parent, it’s your job to ensure that your Shih Tzu’s coat is always free from mats and tangles.
You can do this by brushing your dog’s coat at least once a day. Brushing can greatly help in untangling his hair, removing mats, and keeping his coat sleek and shiny. You also have to bathe him every three weeks. This time frame is ideal since it’s not too frequent to dry out your dog’s skin but also not long enough to allow oil to build up on his coat. Don’t forget to trim your Shih Tzu’s hair and nails; you can do this on your own but you can also ask a professional groomer to do it for you.
Take him to the vet regularly
Just like other dogs, your Shih Tzu needs to see his veterinarian at least once or twice a year. Your vet will provide your puppy with all the vaccinations he needs to stay healthy. If you decide to do so, your vet can also spay or neuter your puppy and give him a microchip. If your dog has any health issues, your veterinarian will prescribe the appropriate treatment for him and tell you how often you need your pup to the clinic for checkups.
Ensure he gets enough food and water
Give your Shih Tzu the best possible dog food you can buy. This way, he’ll get the vitamins and minerals he needs to stay in good shape. Remember: some dogs have allergies and stomach sensitivities, so a dog food brand that works for other Shih Tzus may not agree with your pet. If this is the case, offer him different brands until you find one that he likes, or ask your vet for a recommendation. Don’t forget to give him clean water every day, too!
Give him plenty of exercise
Shih Tzus need lots of exercise to stay healthy and avoid getting bored. Don’t be afraid to let your puppy run and romp around; despite his small, delicate appearance, he’s actually a tough cookie and can withstand some dirt and mud. Take him out for a walk around the neighborhood, bring him to the dog park, and give him a couple of toys that he can play with.
Train your puppy
As early as possible, your Shih Tzu pup should understand that you’re the alpha in your household and that he needs to obey you. Because of this, you need to teach him basic obedience skills. Use positive reinforcement instead of punishments; Shih Tzus are highly sensitive dogs and can get upset when you scold them.
Make socialization a priority
Just like other dogs, your Shih Tzu must learn how to socialize with other animals and with humans and to adjust to his environment. This way, he won’t get scared when other dogs and people approach him, and he won’t bark excessively when he hears or sees cars, trucks, bicycles, and other things. Socializing him can involve enrolling him in obedience school, signing up him for puppy kindergarten, and going to the dog park so he can play with other pooches.
Take these steps now to properly care for your adorable Shih Tzu puppy!