Despite being a breed that does not usually present an excessive predisposition to suffer serious diseases until reaching old age, the Shih Tzu breed needs essential care to stay healthy and healthy.
Among them, it is worth highlighting the main necessary care:
- The Shih Tzu is not a great lover of outdoor exercise. It prefers interaction with its owners in small spaces and a daily frequency of short walks, especially in the seasons when temperatures are higher.
- As with most small-breed dogs, their metabolism is very fast and their stomach is small, which means they cannot store food and, consequently, burn energy at a very high rate. This causes you to eat a small amount of food, but more frequently. The best option to ensure that the Shih Tzu dog keeps its sugar levels stable, is to distribute its daily intake in several doses (2 or 3 in the adult stage), in addition to providing a type of food that contains the key nutrients it needs, through a type of croquette that suits the dimensions of your mouth. In addition, in the specific case of this breed, a certain digestive sensitivity is added. That is, taking good care of your diet is an essential factor in maintaining your well-being.
- The characteristics of its fur, together with the condition of its bulging eyes, forces daily brushing and eye cleaning to prevent infections. Shih Tzu's hair tangles very easily, and the bangs usually fall over his eyes, causing discomfort. Some owners choose to let the bangs grow, combing it daily, and picking it back. Others prefer to go to a dog groomer periodically, in order to control the growth of bangs. In both cases, the daily cleaning of the eyes by the owner is still a fundamental task to avoid possible eye diseases.
- Bathing and nail cutting are two other cares that must be started in the Shih Tzu puppy phase. The recommended bathing frequency is 1 time per month, taking the opportunity to carry out a higher level of brushing, and a complete subsequent drying. Regarding the nails, since they are indoor dogs that do not usually wear them through play in dog-enabled spaces, it is convenient to cut them regularly to prevent them from hurting their owners through contact.
- Finally, it is essential to spend time cleaning your teeth. Dogs of small breeds are the most exposed to the presence of bacteria in the gums by plaque accumulation, because they have the same definitive dental structure as the rest of dogs (42 teeth), but their jaw is very small. Consequently, the teeth spend much of the time embedded in a spike pattern that causes bacteria to have more opportunities to accumulate, and generate dental diseases. To prevent it, it is advisable that, from the 7th month of life, a daily cleaning of teeth is carried out, with the help of a toothbrush and toothpaste for dogs. Starting this year, this routine can be combined with the provision of a daily dental snack that promotes chewing, and encourages the physical "brushing" of the surface of your teeth, including the teeth at the back of your mouth, which is a zone of difficult access, in which the teeth are more vulnerable to the accumulation of plaque and tartar. It is also convenient for the veterinarian to check the dental health of your Shih Tzu dog during regular control visits.
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These lovely puppies are originally from China, where their name means "Lion Dog" and that is exactly their appearance, of course a very tender and cuddly lion. They are very regal, so they need constant pampering. Very intelligent and playful with his family, but distrustful of strangers.
They weigh between 5 and 8 kilos and do not exceed 27 cm in height, their eyes are round and have small pointed ears.
Now we are going to give you some tips to give you all the care that this little pet needs.
1.- It has a very delicate stomach, so it is very important to advise you correctly to know the type of food you should give it, since it can present food allergies.
2.- Do not overfeed. This is very important, because they tend to gain weight and can present health problems.
3.- To always be healthy, take him for a walk three times a day, because they need to spend a lot of energy.
4.- Due to its beautiful coat, it is very important that you bathe it every 2 or 3 weeks and brush it every day. This, because it is one of the races that throws little hair and the only way to change the dead fur, is by brushing.
5.- It is important that you frequently cut your hair, paying special attention to the eye area, as it can get infections and eye diseases.
6.- His playful and mischievous character makes it essential to train him, so that he does not cause damage to your home. You can also give him toys especially to bite and so he won't take your shoes for it.
7.- In spite of how regal and cuddly it is with your family, it can sometimes be a bit tricky with strangers and other animals, so it is recommended that you socialize it from an early age.
8.- As with any pet, it is very important to take it to controls with your veterinarian. This little boy needs frequent visits to the veterinarian, not only because of his vaccinations, but also because they are prone to health problems, such as hip dysplasia and anemia.
Although you need all those cares, you will not regret having a Shih Tzu as a pet, since he will become the sweetest companion.
Everything you should know about Shih Tzu
His beautiful face is the living reflection of the sweetness of these kids who sometimes show themselves a bit out of shape, using their innumerable charms. Very intelligent, in recent years they do not stop climbing positions in the classification of the most popular races in Britain.
Its incredible appearance is your main cover letter and his excellent character It does the rest. Now, you should not be impressed only by its virtues because you have to keep in mind that, in order to keep shih tzu so beautiful, you will have to use hours of work, although it is also true that you can choose to take him with short hair and in that case The care you need is much less.
In the 17th century the Dalai Lama gave the Emperor a few copies of the breed. Already at the end of the 19th century, Empress Ts’eu-hi, a great admirer of these kids, had to his credit with more than a hundred of them, as well as several specialized caretakers to keep them impeccable. Unfortunately, when she passed away, in 1908, the popularity of the breed began to plummet.
At the beginning of the 30s he showed signs of resurgence with the introduction of some shitzu specimens into the high-rise houses, which returned some notoriety to the breed. At that time he began to receive new names in the style of Tibetan poodle, lhassa lion dog, etc.
In 1934, the Peking Kennel Club, the first club specialized in the breed, was finally founded. Despite this, the invasion that China suffered from Japan, caused the race to become extinct in its own country of origin.
Fortunately, a great fondness for shitzu had originated in Europe that he had even displaced the lhasa apso as favorite dogs of the wealthy. What happened is that many of the travelers who came to China, came back provided with some of their copies.
Subsequently, in 1955, this fashion was spread throughout the United States, a country in which the race caused a deep sensation. Later, however, the Shih-Tzu trend began to gradually disappear and, after the communist revolution, the race became extinct in China, although it continued to captivate Western homes.
As a curiosity to comment that the complete genetic inheritance of the Shitzu comes from seven pairs of dogs, one of which is Pekingese, and that they have been able to be identified thanks to the hard work that a few historians have done in this regard.
Today is about a dog highly valued for both company and exhibition. Its magnificent fur and its small size make it shine with its own light, acting as a star in dog shows. At the same time, the sweetness of his character Conquer the hearts of the whole person who decides to adopt him and make him a furry member of his family.
Characteristics and physical features
The shih-tzu is a race of small dimensions, with a height at the cross of no more than 26.7 centimeters and with a weight that oscillates between 4.5 and 7.5 kilos. Despite not being as excessively small as others, in certain countries it is exhibited in the Group of Miniature Races or Company ...
Do not be confused by its small size, because it is a robust and strong puppy that likes to go out to enjoy long walks, although in the case that this is not possible, it will settle for shorter walks, because it has great capacity of adaptation to different circumstances.
His head It is one of the main attractions of the breed, being wide and rounded, getting to say the standard that has a "Chrysanthemum-like face", which gives him part of his seductive expression. This contributes to the fact that the nose hair grows upwards.
Many owners usually pick up the hair that they have on their head at the top, leaving their little face exposed, since it falls on their eyes, which allows them to observe that their features are halfway between those of the lhasa apso and The Pekingese
His head is covered with rumpled hair, forming whiskers and beards on the snout. His eyes they give off affection and are separated from each other, being large, dark and round. His ears They are large and hang, being covered with dense hair.
His snout It is less elongated than that of lasha apso and more elongated than that of the Pekingese. As for his skull, it is wider than that of lasha apso and not as flat as that of the Pekingese.
It's tail It is of high insertion and is completely covered with a dense coat that gives it a duster shape, carrying it happily on the back.
Color and sublayer
The physical feature that most attracts the attention of a shitzu is, without a doubt, its fur, long, dense and with a generous layer of inner fur. The normal thing is that the hair is straight although a slight undulation is allowed.
The standard published by the International Cynological Federation allows your hair to be any color. The colors comprise a variety of shades that go from gold to red, as well as from gray to black. It goes without saying that there are also multicolored or colorless dogs, which are usually white with some other color.
In multicolored specimens it is very appreciable the white spot They present on the tail. You can even find dogs of brown tones (also known as liver tone) that the standard allows, if they come in that case the truffle is also brown (liver) in line with their fur.
When a shih tzu is ready for exposure, his appearance cannot be more attractive. Naturally, this aspect is not the result of chance but of long hours of dedication and preparation, something that all owners are not willing.
As we have just indicated, this breed not only has a beautiful outer fur coat large and falling, but also a abundant sublayer or inner layer. This translates into the fact that the care and combing of the outer layer on its own may, in principle, give a fairly acceptable result, but you will soon observe with distaste that knots begin to form.
You will be very negatively surprised to see that hairballs and knots are barely able to be undone if the owner has been neglected, so those who wish to opt for this breed must keep this issue in mind.
The typical loop of the top of the head It enhances the characteristics of the breed as long as it is well done. Another thing is that, if you make a bad ligature, the pet's expression can be downright ruined, so this technique must be polished.
At first, making the hair loss of the head of these kids is the desired one is difficult. It will be a matter of patience that you manage to become an "artist" in the subject.
On the other hand and if you see that the work of canine aesthetics is not your thing, you can opt for the short fur we have alluded to previously and which is known as "Pet haircut" that you can leave in the hands of a professional about three times a year, dealing only with its simple care between cutting and cutting.
Of puppies They have a cheerful, playful and outgoing character. In his round head, his prominent eyes and his sweet look stand out. In the first months, you will have a soft, fluffy and short hair that should be brushed daily to try not to get tangled.
Which is also known as "The Chinese lion-dog" It has been created over generations to be a great companion pet. Among its virtues, loyalty and patience stand out.
Puppies can show their most naughty facet, but wasting nobility and knowing how to obey if he is treated properly. Another of its qualities is to be able to adapt perfectly to the environment provided by its owner.
This puppy, which is permanently lively and alert, is above all happy and has a very good character. He loves to make friends and therefore has no difficulty in relating. It's a race very gentle which responds well to training if its owners know how to be constant and patient with it.
Its characteristics make, despite having a small size, a wonderful guard dog. Brave, playful and affectionate is a calm dog that needs, like any other, a good daily walk to help you burn energy and socialize.
Going outdoors every day will undoubtedly contribute greatly to your happiness and your physical and mental balance, also making your temperament, which in principle is already quite good, improve even more. Besides, being on the street, he will demonstrate his reliability skills, because he would like you to trust him and will show off how good a partner he is.
The specimens of this breed, which some consider linked to the Buddhist religion given its origins, are great pets for older people living alone, to which they will serve as invaluable company, as well as for novice owners without previous experience in dog care. Not surprisingly, this breed is easy to train and socializes with absolute ease since its specimens are puppies, due to its friendly nature.
One issue that you should keep in mind before deciding to adopt a shih tzu is that they are animals that need to spend many hours in the company of theirs, so if your pace of life or your work keep you away from home many hours and You have no chance of taking it with you, you should rethink the situation because it is more than likely that you are not thinking about the right race.
That same high need for company it requires that you live inside the house, not being a suitable breed to live in a garden or in a yard. They want to be another member of the family and, in that line, they will do everything possible to integrate immediately. They also have no problem living in overcrowded cities or small apartments.
The one that needs a lot of company does not necessarily imply that the shitzu wants to be in the arms of its owners all day long, nor does it need to be assiduously on top of them. This puppy loves being with people but retaining a plot of independence. Nor does he need constant signs of love, but as for the one he professes to his family, he always manages to show it and to make it clear that he is very happy at his side.
Relationship with children
Shitzu will be one of your children's best childhood partners, with whom you will share long and cheerful moments of play. For the relationship to run with total cordiality it is important that you know how to educate your children in respect for pets that should prevail in any home.
An effective way to strengthen the bond between the pet and the children is to teach our children something older to brush the shitzu, spending more time together and consolidating mutual respect.
This is a fundamental aspect in relation to the state of health as well as the physical appearance of a pet.
Until 10 months of age the ideal is to give dry quality feed from the junior range that covers your nutritional needs and that takes care, among other factors, of the health of your hair and your skin, contributing to keeping you healthy by your contribution in EPA and DHA fatty acids, as well as in vitamin A.
From 10 months of age you can continue giving him the same feed but from the adult range, a food that will surely lead to not accumulate tartar in his small dental pieces, getting him to keep them for as many years as may be possible.
The hygiene guidelines required by a shih-tzu are not complicated but require practice and, above all, a little patience.
You have to pay special attention to the clean your eyes. Due to the spectacular nature of his mantle, the ideal thing is to keep his hair collected, but this is not an obstacle for the accumulation of dirt or secretions that must be removed before giving rise to infections. Similarly, you must frequently clean your ears, freeing them from secretions and earwax.
Routine dental care is a habit that must be established by all dog owners, who have to realize that the dentures of their little furry friends need periodic check-ups, in the same way as those of people.
As a preventive measure, you can prevent the formation of tartar and bacterial plaque in your teeth by getting used to your shitzu from childhood to tooth brushing.
Bath and drying
To preserve the beautiful appearance of this breed, which you should bathe once or twice a month, you must be careful to brush your hair in order to be able to detect and undo the knots.
Prepare a relaxing bath with warm water in the shampoo and conditioner for dogs. Once you have taken him out of the bathroom, you will have to proceed to dry him thoroughly. Use a towel with which you absorb a lot of the moisture in your hair but without squeezing it.
Then, use an electric dryer, to be special for dogs, and set it at the lowest temperature, moving it away about 20 centimeters and using a comb so as not to leave areas without drying.
You will have to brush your shih tzu not only after bathing but several times a week. In fact, the ideal would be to be able to do it every day But, if you don't have so much time, at least do it once every two days.
With this measure you will keep your toddler soft, knotless and perfectly combed and also you will easily get rid of all dead hair that would otherwise leave watering throughout the house. Thus, it will enjoy greater hygiene and you will quickly detect any parasite that has nested in it.
To brush it correctly, it is best to use a Rake-type comb for long-haired dogs, which will facilitate the work of eliminating tangles. Get a cutter too if your puppy is prone to tangles. If you notice that the knot is too close to the skin we advise you to use the scissors so that you do not harm it. Finally, opt for a Cardas brush or double-sided one to comb
If you lay it on your side it will be easier for you to brush, so you should get used from puppy to this position when combing and brushing, just like bathing it.
If you wet your coat with water you will speed up the work. It is best that you carry an order from head to toe so that there is no space left untouched. You should brush the legs, the back, the stomach and the chest. As for the head, ears, snout and feet, they should be combed.
Vaccines and antiparasitic treatments
It is vitally important for your pet's health to keep his vaccination card as vet indicates. As for the parasites, you can keep them at bay with the antiparasitic pipettes and collars That the same professional recommends you.
More common diseases
Shitzu It is a strong dog without a special predisposition to suffer alarming health problems, although there are a number of diseases that have a higher incidence in this breed such as: entropion, progressive retinal atrophy, otitis externa, inguinal hernias, hip dysplasia, trichiasis and cortical kidney hypoplasia. Eye and ear infections also often make a dent in these kids.
At the training level, we are facing a formidable race. These are puppies that learn with surprising speed and ease, so they will give you the possibility to teach them a thousand different things.
If you want to get the best results, these will come from the hand of the positive training, because the shih tzu does not respond well to punishment or voices. Train them in short but fun sessions, since you have to start from the base that they are puppies with a tendency to get distracted.
Finally, don't fall for the mistake of allowing your shitzu experience "small dog syndrome", which is specified in what will be believed the leader of the pack, which in this case will be constituted by family members, trying to prevail at all times their whims and preferences. Avoid it by being adamant and standing firm in your decisions.