So you bought your ShihTzu puppy and it’s due to arrive in a few days, but how do I care for my new puppy ?
There are things you need to do prior to receiving your puppy, immediately after receiving your puppy, and then during the life of your dog.
Care Prior to Receiving your ShihTzu Puppy
Before you receive your new ShihTzu there are two things that you should do. The first is to find a vet that you feel comfortable with and trust. You may want to talk to other dog owners in your area to see whom they recommend. Vets are just like your own doctor, you wouldn’t go to just any doctor. You want a doctor that is knowledgeable and you trust. Your puppy deserves the same. Secondly, you need to puppy proof your house. I guarantee that anything that is left out a ShihTzu will find it. Here is a list of ten household items that can kill your dog.
5. Watch Batteries
6. Moth Balls
7. Fabric Softeners and other detergents
9. Peach Pits
10. Household Plants
Complete article 10 Household Items that can Kill your ShihTzu
Next, a new ShihTzu puppy owner should educate themselves about health problems and parasites associated with the ShihTzu breed. We reccommend reading ShihTzu Health Problems, Hypoglycemia , Parasites of ShihTzu Digestive System. and Teacup ShihTzu Information.
Care Immediately upon Receiving your ShihTzu Puppy
As soon as possible after receiving your ShihTzu you need to take your puppy to the Vet. for a check up. We actually recommend taking your puppy to the Vet between 3-10 days after receiving your puppy. This gives the puppy time to adjust to his/her new surroundings. Stress is probably the single most contributing factor in ShihTzu health problems, so keeping stress at a minimum is always best. If the puppy isn’t eating or just doesn’t look or act right then take him/her immediately to the Vet. By taking your ShihTzu to the Vet. shortly after you receive the puppy benefits, your ShihTzu, you and the breeder. Your ShihTzu benefits because if he/her is sick treatment can begin immediately and if he/her is healthy the Vet has a baseline to compare with any future visits. You the owner benefits because you now know that you have received a healthy puppy and if the puppy isn’t healthy you have fulfilled your obligation for the health guarantee. The breeder benefits by having a satisfied customer knowing that he/she has a healthy puppy and if for some reason the ShihTzu isn’t healthy the breeder can immediately resolve the problem. We would never knowingly sell an unhealthy ShihTzu, but there are times, that congenital defects that aren’t obvious when they are puppies show up when they are as an example 6 months old. If the customer didn’t take the puppy to the Vet when they first received the ShihTzu, the customer might think the breeder knowingly sold them an unhealthy puppy. If the customer takes the ShihTzu to the Vet when they first receive the puppy and the Vet gives the ShihTzu a clean bill of health and 6 months later the puppy develops a congenital health defect hopefully the customer will realize that the breeder wasn’t trying to pull a fast over them.
Everyday ShihTzu Puppy Care
Feeding: It is best to feed your puppy the food your breeder recommends for at least two weeks. If you want to feed your puppy a higher grade or natural grade of dog food start by mixing the new dog food with the present dog food at a 3 to 1 ratio for 5 days. Then mix the dog foods at a 1 to 1 ratio for another 5 days. Next mix the dog foods at a 1 to 3 ratio and feed for 5 days. Now you can feed your ShihTzu the new dog food without mixing in the old dog food.
ShihTzu puppies should eat 3-4 times per day. If you have difficulty with your baby not eating add a bit of warm water. At 12-24 months change to an adult dog food for ShihTzus. Keep treats and people food to a minimum, (one treat I use is honey nut cheerios) you will only have difficult eater if you over do anything. Keep fresh food and water out at all times (at least until the ShihTzu is 1 year old). If your ShihTzu gets a bit stressed add a tsp of honey to fresh drinking water.
Napping: Yes, taking a nap is just as important, if not more important for a ShihTzu puppy as it is for children. The size the puppy is one of the factors that determine how often the puppy needs to rest. The naps help the ShihTzu build back its reserve.
Bathing: It is necessary to bathe your puppy anywhere from once a week to once a month. The environment, type of haircut, and quality of coat all affect how often your new puppy needs to take a bath. Any good shampoo and conditioner will do. While the ShihTzu is still wet we recommend that his/her coat be combed with any good quality comb. Once their hair has been combed use a blow dryer to dry their hair.
Grooming: Daily brushing is recommended to maintain the coat and keep it mat free. When brushing, never brush a dry coat, spray your brush with mixture of water and conditioner then brush him/her. Brushing will keep the hair clean, except on the side of the body where urine collects on a male. Wash this area daily with a damp cloth and warm water. Wash mucus from the corners of the dog's eyes, daily if needed, with a cloth or wad of cotton soaked in warm water. Mucus will rot your pet's hair if it's not removed. Dry your ShihTzu off carefully. Take special care to keep the hair around the ShihTzu's anus clean. It is common for this hair to become matted with feces. Hair on his feet will need trimming occasionally.
Clipping nails: we use a standard nail clipper (for people) clip them at the hook no further if you cut short. Dog nail clipper will be needed as they age.
Ears: Get your dog's ears checked regularly for excessive wax and mites, and ask your vet to pluck the hair from inside his ears.
Teeth: Use a tooth brush and paste made for dogs available at all pet stores.