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Routine Health Checkups for Shih Tzus

by Scott Allen
Routine Health Checkups for Shih Tzus
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Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by Scott Allen

Regular health checkups are essential for ensuring that your Shih Tzu is in optimal health and happiness. These routine checkups help prevent potential health issues and catch any problems early on. By following these guidelines, you can provide the best care for your furry friend throughout their life.

Shih Tzus are beloved companions known for their affectionate nature and beautiful fur. To maintain your furry friend’s health and happiness, routine health checkups are crucial. In this article, we will discuss the importance of these checkups and provide essential care tips for your Shih Tzu’s well-being. Let’s dive in!

The Importance of Routine Health Checkups

importance of checkups

Routine health checkups for Shih Tzus are essential for their overall well-being. These checkups provide preventative care measures and early detection of potential health issues. By addressing these issues promptly, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu remains healthy and happy.

Preventative care is a key aspect of routine health checkups. During these visits, veterinarians can administer vaccinations, perform necessary tests, and provide preventive treatments such as deworming and flea prevention. These proactive measures help protect your furry friend from common illnesses and parasites.

Early detection of health problems is another crucial benefit of routine checkups. Veterinarians can conduct thorough physical examinations, assess vital signs, and perform diagnostic tests to identify any underlying issues. By catching potential health concerns early on, prompt treatment can be provided, leading to better outcomes and improved quality of life for your Shih Tzu.

Overall, routine health checkups play a vital role in the well-being of your Shih Tzu. By prioritizing preventative care and early detection, you can ensure that your furry companion receives the best possible medical attention and enjoys a long, healthy, and happy life.

Table: Common Health Issues Detected Through Routine Checkups

Condition Signs and Symptoms
Heartworm Disease Coughing, difficulty breathing, fatigue
Dental Disease Bad breath, swollen gums, tooth loss
Ear Infections Head shaking, scratching at ears, discharge
Skin Allergies Itching, redness, hair loss
Joint Problems Limping, stiffness, difficulty moving

Regular health checkups can help identify these and other health issues early on, allowing for timely intervention and appropriate treatment. Remember to schedule routine checkups with your veterinarian and discuss any concerns you may have about your Shih Tzu’s health.

Care Tip #1: All-Natural Food

Providing your Shih Tzu with all-natural food is crucial for their health and overall well-being. By opting for food made with wholesome ingredients and avoiding synthetic preservatives, you can ensure that your furry friend receives the nutrition they need to thrive. All-natural food provides a balanced combination of proteins, carbohydrates, and essential nutrients to support your Shih Tzu’s health from the inside out.

“Feeding your Shih Tzu all-natural food is like giving them a daily dose of love and care. It’s the foundation of their health and happiness.” – Veterinarian Dr. Emily Thompson

When choosing all-natural food for your Shih Tzu, look for reputable brands that prioritize quality ingredients. Avoid dog foods that contain fillers, by-products, and artificial additives that can be detrimental to your dog’s health. Instead, opt for brands like Wellness Complete Health for Small Breeds, which use wholesome ingredients and vitamin blends to provide essential nutrients without compromising on taste.

Benefits of All-Natural Food for Shih Tzus Top All-Natural Food Brand
  • Improved digestion
  • Enhanced immune system
  • Healthier skin and coat
  • Stronger teeth and bones
  • Increased energy levels
Wellness Complete Health for Small Breeds

Make the Switch to All-Natural Food Today

Switching your Shih Tzu to all-natural food is a positive step towards their well-being. Start by gradually introducing the new food into their diet, mixing it with their current food to help them adjust. Monitor your Shih Tzu’s health and energy levels as they transition, and consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns. Remember, providing your furry friend with all-natural food is an investment in their long-term health and happiness.

The Importance of Filtered Water for Your Shih Tzu

filtered water for Shih Tzu

When it comes to keeping your Shih Tzu healthy, providing them with safe and clean water is crucial. Tap water can contain various contaminants that may be harmful to your furry friend’s well-being. By offering your Shih Tzu filtered water, you can ensure that they stay hydrated and free from potential health risks.

Tap water often contains contaminants such as Chromium-6, heavy metals, prescription drugs, and fluoride. These substances can have adverse effects on your dog’s health, including digestive issues, kidney problems, and even toxicity. Filtered water, on the other hand, removes these contaminants, providing a safer alternative for your Shih Tzu to drink.

“By offering your Shih Tzu filtered water, you can ensure that they stay hydrated and free from potential health risks.”

There are several clean water options available for your Shih Tzu. One option is to provide bottled spring water, which undergoes filtration and purification processes to remove impurities. Another option is to invest in a reliable water filtering system specifically designed for pet water bowls, such as the Waterdrop Certified Tap Filtration System. These systems effectively remove contaminants while maintaining the natural minerals necessary for your Shih Tzu’s health.

By making filtered water readily available to your Shih Tzu, you can contribute to their overall well-being and help prevent potential health issues caused by tap water contaminants. Remember, a hydrated and healthy Shih Tzu is a happy companion.

Care Tip #3: Dietary Supplements

In addition to providing your Shih Tzu with all-natural food, incorporating dietary supplements into their routine can further enhance their overall health. Certain supplements can address specific needs and promote well-being in your furry friend.

The Benefits of Fish Oil

One common dietary supplement for Shih Tzus is fish oil. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can benefit your dog’s skin and coat health. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, alleviate dry skin, and promote a glossy coat. Additionally, fish oil can support your Shih Tzu’s cardiovascular health and cognitive function.

The Power of Probiotics

Probiotics are another valuable supplement for Shih Tzus. These beneficial bacteria promote a healthy digestive system by maintaining a balanced gut flora. Probiotics can help alleviate gastrointestinal issues, improve nutrient absorption, and boost your dog’s immune system. They are especially beneficial for Shih Tzus who are prone to sensitive stomachs.

Supporting Joint Health with Glucosamine and Chondroitin

As your Shih Tzu ages, joint health becomes a more significant concern. Supplementing their diet with glucosamine and chondroitin can help support their joints and alleviate discomfort caused by conditions such as arthritis. These supplements promote joint lubrication, reduce inflammation, and support cartilage health, ensuring your Shih Tzu remains active and mobile for years to come.

Supplement Benefits
Fish Oil Improves skin and coat health
Supports cardiovascular health and cognitive function
Probiotics Promotes a healthy digestive system
Boosts immune system
Glucosamine and Chondroitin Supports joint health and mobility
Alleviates discomfort caused by arthritis

Before introducing any dietary supplements to your Shih Tzu’s regimen, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian. They can assess your dog’s specific needs and recommend the appropriate supplements and dosage. By incorporating these dietary supplements into their routine, you can help ensure your Shih Tzu stays healthy, active, and thriving.

Grooming Requirements for Your Shih Tzu

grooming requirements

Proper grooming is essential for maintaining the health and appearance of your beloved Shih Tzu. Regular grooming sessions not only help keep their coat clean and tangle-free but also promote a strong bond between you and your furry companion. Here are some important grooming tasks that you should include in your Shih Tzu’s routine:


Shih Tzus have a beautiful and dense double coat that requires regular brushing to prevent matting and tangles. Use a slicker brush or a comb with wide-spaced teeth to gently remove any knots or loose hair. Brushing also stimulates the skin and distributes natural oils, promoting a healthy coat.

Nail Clipping

Trimming your Shih Tzu’s nails is crucial to prevent discomfort and pain. Long nails can cause difficulties in walking and may even lead to joint issues. Use a dog nail clipper and only trim the tip of the nail, being careful not to cut the quick. If you’re unsure, consult a professional groomer for assistance.


Regular baths are necessary to keep your Shih Tzu’s coat clean and free from dirt and oils. Use a gentle dog shampoo that is specifically formulated for their sensitive skin. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to remove all the shampoo residue, as it can cause skin irritation.

Ear Cleaning

Shih Tzus are prone to ear infections due to their floppy ears that can trap moisture and debris. Clean your Shih Tzu’s ears regularly using a veterinarian-approved ear cleaner and cotton balls. Gently wipe the inside of the ear flap and the visible parts of the ear canal, being cautious not to push anything deep into the ear.

Table: Recommended Frequency for Grooming Tasks

Grooming Task Frequency
Brushing Every day
Nail Clipping Every 2-4 weeks
Bathing Every 4-6 weeks
Ear Cleaning Weekly

Keep in mind that every Shih Tzu is unique, and their grooming needs may vary. Regular grooming not only keeps your Shih Tzu looking their best but also ensures their overall well-being. It’s also a great opportunity to bond with your furry friend and make them feel loved and cared for.

Care Tip #5: Quality Coat Products

Choosing the right coat products is essential for maintaining the health and beauty of your Shih Tzu’s coat. Using quality products with natural ingredients ensures that you are providing the best care for your furry friend. Avoid products that contain artificial fragrances and harsh chemicals, as these can strip the natural oils from your dog’s coat and cause skin irritations.

When selecting coat products for your Shih Tzu, look for those that are pH balanced. This helps to maintain the natural pH of your dog’s skin, preventing dryness and irritation. pH balanced products are gentle and suitable for regular use. Earthbath All-Natural Mediterranean Magic Shampoo is a great option that not only cleanses your Shih Tzu’s coat but also leaves it smelling fresh with a pleasant scent.

“Using quality coat products with natural ingredients ensures that you are providing the best care for your furry friend.”

In addition to shampoo, consider using a high-quality conditioner specifically formulated for dogs. Conditioners help to moisturize and soften the coat, making it more manageable and reducing the risk of tangles. Look for conditioners that contain natural ingredients like aloe vera or oatmeal, as these can provide additional benefits for your Shih Tzu’s skin and coat.

Remember to brush your Shih Tzu’s coat regularly to keep it free from tangles and mats. Use a brush that is suitable for your dog’s coat type and be gentle to avoid causing any discomfort. Regular grooming and the use of quality coat products will help your Shih Tzu maintain a healthy and lustrous coat, enhancing their overall appearance and well-being.

Table: Comparison of Quality Coat Products

Product Key Features Price
Earthbath All-Natural Mediterranean Magic Shampoo – Made with natural ingredients
– pH balanced
– Pleasant scent
Burt’s Bees for Dogs Tearless Puppy Shampoo – Gentle formula for puppies
– pH balanced
– Tearless
TropiClean Hypoallergenic Gentle Coconut Puppy & Kitten Shampoo – Hypoallergenic formula
– pH balanced
– Coconut scent

Care Tip #6: Dental Hygiene

Proper dental care is essential for maintaining your Shih Tzu’s overall health and well-being. Neglecting their dental hygiene can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues. To keep your furry friend’s teeth clean and healthy, follow these dental care tips:

Teeth Brushing

Regular teeth brushing is the cornerstone of dental hygiene for dogs. Use a canine toothbrush and toothpaste specifically formulated for dogs. Brushing your Shih Tzu’s teeth at least three times a week helps remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup. Start slowly and be patient, gradually increasing the duration of each brushing session.

Canine Toothpaste

Using a toothpaste made for dogs is essential, as human toothpaste can be harmful if ingested. Canine toothpaste comes in flavors that appeal to dogs, making the brushing experience more enjoyable for them. Remember to never use human toothpaste or products containing xylitol, as it can be toxic to dogs.

Dental Chews

Supplement your Shih Tzu’s dental care routine with dental chews. These specially designed treats help remove plaque and freshen breath. Look for dental chews that are appropriately sized for your dog’s breed and avoid those with artificial additives. Choosing dental chews with natural ingredients ensures they are not only tasty but also beneficial for your dog’s oral health.

Benefits of Dental Hygiene
1. Prevents tooth decay
2. Reduces the risk of gum disease
3. Freshens breath
4. Helps maintain overall health

Regular dental care is vital for your Shih Tzu’s well-being. By following a consistent dental hygiene routine that includes teeth brushing and dental chews, you can help prevent dental problems and keep your furry friend’s smile shining bright.

The dental hygiene of your Shih Tzu plays a significant role in their overall health. Incorporating regular teeth brushing, using canine toothpaste, and providing dental chews are crucial for preventing dental issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. Remember that maintaining good dental hygiene not only keeps your Shih Tzu’s teeth clean and healthy but also contributes to their overall well-being.

Care Tip #7: Leash Safety

When it comes to walking your Shih Tzu, ensuring their safety should be a top priority. Choosing the right equipment, such as a harness instead of a collar, can make a significant difference in their comfort and well-being. This is especially important for toy breeds like the Shih Tzu, which are prone to breathing issues.

A collar can put pressure on the windpipe, potentially causing discomfort and hindering their ability to breathe properly during walks. Opting for a harness, such as the Puppia Soft B Harness Vest, allows for a more even distribution of pressure across their body, reducing the strain on their delicate throat area. This step-in harness design provides a secure and comfortable fit for your Shih Tzu, giving you peace of mind during your outings together.

By using a harness instead of a collar, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu stays safe and comfortable while enjoying their walks. Remember to adjust the harness properly to prevent any discomfort or chafing. Regularly check the fit and condition of the harness to ensure its continued effectiveness in providing optimal leash safety for your furry friend.

Key points:

  • Choose a harness instead of a collar for leash walks with your Shih Tzu.
  • Toys breeds like the Shih Tzu are prone to breathing issues, making a harness a safer option.
  • The Puppia Soft B Harness Vest is a recommended harness for Shih Tzus.

Care Tip #8: Exercise Requirements

Exercise is a vital component of a Shih Tzu’s overall health and well-being. Providing regular physical activity helps maintain a healthy weight, promotes cardiovascular health, and strengthens muscles and bones. To meet their exercise requirements, incorporate daily activities that engage both their body and mind.

Brisk walks are an excellent form of exercise for Shih Tzus. Aim for at least 30 minutes of walking each day, divided into multiple sessions if needed. Choose a safe and scenic route that allows your furry companion to explore their surroundings and enjoy the fresh air.

In addition to walks, playtime is crucial for mental stimulation and bonding. Engage your Shih Tzu in interactive play with toys, such as puzzle toys or treat-dispensing toys, to keep them entertained and mentally sharp. Incorporate activities like fetch or hide-and-seek to encourage movement and agility.

Exercise Tips for Shih Tzus:

  • Ensure a comfortable walking harness or collar for safety during walks.
  • Choose appropriate toys that are size-appropriate and provide mental stimulation.
  • Keep play sessions short and fun, avoiding overexertion or fatigue.
  • Consider indoor activities, such as playing fetch in a hallway or using a treadmill.

Remember, every Shih Tzu is unique, and their exercise requirements may vary based on age, health, and energy levels. Consult with your veterinarian to determine an exercise routine that suits your dog’s specific needs. By providing regular exercise, you can help maintain their overall health and happiness.

Senior Shih Tzus and Special Considerations

As your Shih Tzu enters their senior years, their health needs may change, requiring special care and attention. To ensure their well-being, it is essential to increase the frequency of their health checkups to every six months.

Bi-annual checkups allow your veterinarian to closely monitor your senior Shih Tzu’s health and detect any age-related issues early on. Older dogs are more susceptible to conditions such as arthritis, vision and hearing loss, dental problems, and various organ-related ailments. Regular checkups help identify these issues and provide appropriate treatment.

Because senior Shih Tzus have unique care requirements, it is crucial to consult with your veterinarian. They can provide guidance on dietary adjustments, exercise modifications, and specialized care tailored to your senior dog’s needs. Your veterinarian may recommend supplements to support joint health, a modified diet to manage weight and nutrition, or additional tests to monitor organ function.

By prioritizing bi-annual checkups and working closely with your veterinarian, you can ensure that your senior Shih Tzu receives the specialized care they need to enjoy a happy and healthy life in their golden years.

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