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The Best Way To Care For Your Shih Tzu

Sep 16, 2008
Every Shih Tzu owner wants their dog to live a long, healthy life. Fortunately, owners can add years to their dogs' lives by following these Shih Tzu care tips.

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.

Some owners enjoy cooking food for their dogs. If you want to cook your own dog food, brown lean ground beef or lamb in a skillet, add some cooked brown rice, and feed the same serving size, by weight or volume, as is recommended for commercially produced food. Your Shih Tzu will also appreciate occasional healthy treats, like small bites of cooked chicken or vegetables.

The key to making Shih Tzu care easy is to keep up with maintenance chores. Therefore, your dog's eyes, ears, mouth, feet, and coat should be regularly inspected for problems. Watch the eyes for excessive watering or redness. Keep the hair around your dog's eyes trimmed, or tie the hair up away from the eyes with a ribbon to keep the eyes from getting irritated. Clean your dog's ears using cotton balls dipped in a cleaning solution you can get from your veterinarian. Report any redness or bleeding to the vet.

Start opening your dog's mouth with your fingers when he is a puppy so he can get used to having your hands in and around his mouth. Check his teeth for tartar and bleeding gums, and contact your vet if you see problem areas. Similarly, you should rub your dog's feet at regular intervals, and reward him when he tolerates this kind of attention.

and it will be easier for you to trim his nails, check his teeth, and give him medicine. Be sure to reward his good behavior when he patiently tolerates your probing.

Whether you get your new Shih Tzu from a breeder, a rescue organization, or a shelter, Shih Tzu health care should be managed by a veterinarian as soon as possible. If you don't already have a veterinarian, talk to friends and family who have pets to see if they will recommend a veterinarian to you. On your pet's first visit to the veterinary clinic, the veterinarian will examine the dog for any obvious health defects, give your dog any vaccinations it needs, and establish a schedule for continual health check-ups for your dog. This first visit is a good time to talk to your vet about the best diet for a Shih Tzu, and to purchase food and vitamins for your dog.

Choosing the right veterinarian is the first challenge. If you've had pets before, then you probably already have a vet. If you don't, then the best way to find a reliable vet is to talk to your friends, co-workers, and family members who have pets and find out who they use for veterinary services. You should be able to develop a short list of really good vets this way. Choose the veterinary clinic closest to your home, and make sure the clinic is open for business during hours that are convenient for you. Take your new Shih Tzu to the vet for a health inspection as soon as you get it. Your vet will diagnose any health conditions, will make sure your dog has all the required vaccinations, and will set your dog up on a schedule of regular health checks.
About the Author
Rebecca Simpson is a passionate lover of the Shih Tzu and owns a popular website where you'll discover how to have a happy, healthy and well behaved Shih Tzu. Among other topics at this website, you can also learn all about Shih Tzu Care and Diet plus a whole lot more.
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