Home Shih Tzu Grooming Shih Tzu Care Tips: Grooming, Diet & Health

Shih Tzu Care Tips: Grooming, Diet & Health

by Scott Lipe
Shih Tzu Care Tips

Caring for a Shih Tzu requires specific attention in grooming, diet, and health. These care tips will provide guidance to ensure the well-being of your Shih Tzu. From proper grooming techniques to a healthy diet and exercise routine, taking care of your Shih Tzu will result in a happy and healthy companion.

Key Takeaways:

  • Regular grooming is important to prevent tangles and mats in your Shih Tzu’s coat.
  • Offer all-natural food and avoid dog foods with harmful ingredients.
  • Use a harness instead of a collar to protect your Shih Tzu’s delicate throat.
  • Regular exercise is crucial for your Shih Tzu’s overall health and well-being.
  • Take preventive measures for common Shih Tzu health issues, such as dental problems and breathing issues.

Shih Tzu Feeding Guidelines: Tips for a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is vital for the well-being of your Shih Tzu. Providing the right nutrition is key to ensure they live a long and healthy life. Here are some essential tips to guide you in feeding your beloved Shih Tzu.

Offer All-Natural Food

When it comes to choosing food for your Shih Tzu, opt for all-natural options. Avoid dog foods and snacks that are packed with harmful ingredients such as synthetic preservatives, food color dyes, by-products, and fillers. These additives can have negative effects on your Shih Tzu’s health and may lead to allergies, digestive issues, or obesity.

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Look for food brands that use vitamin blends and/or herbs to naturally preserve the food. These natural preservatives help to maintain the freshness and quality of the food without the need for harmful additives.

Follow Shih Tzu Feeding Guide

Shih Tzus have specific dietary needs at different stages of their lives. It is important to follow a feeding guide that outlines the recommended amount of food for each age group.

For Shih Tzu puppies, provide a balanced diet that is specially formulated for their growth and development. As they transition to adulthood, adjust their portions accordingly. Senior Shih Tzus may require a diet tailored to their changing nutritional needs.

Consult with your veterinarian or refer to trusted sources for specific guidelines on portion sizes and feeding frequencies. These guidelines take into account your Shih Tzu’s weight, activity level, and overall health.

Choose Quality Store-Bought Food

While homemade food can be an option for some dog owners, it may be challenging to ensure that your Shih Tzu receives all the necessary nutrients in the right proportions. If you choose to feed your Shih Tzu store-bought food, select a high-quality brand that prioritizes the nutritional needs of small breeds like Shih Tzus.

Wellness Complete Health for Small Breeds is a recommended dog food brand that provides a balanced diet for Shih Tzus. It contains wholesome ingredients and essential nutrients to support their overall health and well-being.

Proper Nutrition for Optimal Health

Providing your Shih Tzu with a healthy diet is crucial for their short-term and long-term health. A balanced and nutritious diet contributes to their energy levels, shiny coat, strong immune system, and proper growth and development.

Remember to provide fresh water at all times and avoid sharing human food that could be harmful to your dog’s health. If you have any questions or concerns about your Shih Tzu’s diet, consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice.

Benefits of a Healthy Diet for Shih Tzus Dog Foods to Avoid
  • Increased energy levels
  • Improved digestion
  • Healthy skin and coat
  • Strong immune system
  • Proper development and growth
  • Synthetic preservatives
  • Artificial food color dyes
  • By-products
  • Fillers

Shih Tzu Grooming Tips: Keeping Your Dog’s Coat Healthy

shih tzu coat care

Grooming plays a crucial role in Shih Tzu care. As a Shih Tzu owner, it’s important to understand the grooming techniques, supplies, and essentials needed to maintain a healthy coat for your beloved companion.

Brushing, Bathing, and Face Care

The Shih Tzu’s coat requires regular brushing to prevent tangles and mats. The frequency of brushing depends on the length of the coat. For shorter coats, a weekly brushing session should suffice, while longer coats may need daily attention. Use a slicker brush or a comb with wide-set teeth to gently remove any knots or tangles.

Regular nail clipping is also essential to prevent discomfort or potential injuries. Consider bathing your Shih Tzu every three to four weeks using high-quality, natural shampoos and wash-out conditioners. Be sure to clean the facial area daily with a mild, hypoallergenic face wipe to prevent tear stains and maintain cleanliness.

Choosing Quality Grooming Supplies

When it comes to grooming supplies, investing in high-quality products is essential for the well-being of your Shih Tzu. Look for shih tzu grooming supplies that are specifically formulated for their unique coat and skin needs. Opt for shampoos and wash-out conditioners that contain natural ingredients to promote a healthy and shiny coat.

It’s also important to protect your Shih Tzu’s paws. Consider using paw wax to safeguard their delicate pads from rough terrain or extreme weather conditions. Additionally, regularly check the nose and ears for any signs of redness, irritation, or infection. Gentle cleaning with appropriate solutions can help maintain their hygiene and prevent potential health issues.

Professional Grooming and Coat Maintenance

While regular grooming at home is essential, professional groomers can provide additional services to keep your Shih Tzu’s coat well-maintained. They can offer trims or clips to maintain the desired coat length and provide professional attention to specific grooming needs.

Remember, the key to successful grooming is consistency and patience. Establish a grooming routine that suits your Shih Tzu’s needs, and make it a positive and enjoyable experience for both of you. Regular grooming will not only keep your Shih Tzu looking their best, but it will also contribute to their overall health and well-being.

Shih Tzu Dental Care: Ensuring Healthy Teeth and Gums

Dental care is essential for the overall health and well-being of your Shih Tzu. Due to their breed characteristics, Shih Tzus are prone to dental issues, including tooth decay and infections. Maintaining proper dental hygiene is crucial to prevent these problems and ensure the longevity of your pet’s teeth and gums.

To effectively care for your Shih Tzu’s dental health, follow these important steps:

  1. Brush their teeth regularly: Use a canine toothbrush or a fingertip brush along with canine toothpaste to gently brush your Shih Tzu’s teeth. Aim for daily brushing to remove plaque and prevent the buildup of tartar.
  2. Regular veterinary check-ups: Schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian for professional dental cleanings. These cleanings remove tartar and plaque buildup that may not be fully addressed through at-home brushing alone.
  3. Use proper dental products: Choose dental products specifically formulated for dogs, such as toothpaste and brushes. Avoid using human toothpaste, as it contains ingredients that can be harmful to dogs.
  4. Avoid cleaning too far inside the ear canal: While cleaning your Shih Tzu’s teeth, be cautious not to insert the toothbrush or go too far inside the ear canal to prevent any damage or discomfort.

Poor dental hygiene can lead to serious health issues for your Shih Tzu, such as gum disease, tooth loss, and infections that can affect other organs. By prioritizing dental care as part of your Shih Tzu’s routine, you can ensure they have healthy teeth and gums, contributing to their overall well-being.

Shih Tzu Training Tips: Building a Well-Behaved Companion

shih tzu training tips

Training is an essential aspect of Shih Tzu care to ensure they become well-behaved companions. By teaching your Shih Tzu basic commands and tricks, you can help them listen and respond to your orders effectively. Consistency in training and positive reinforcement techniques are key to fostering a positive learning experience.

Socialization is another crucial element in Shih Tzu training. Exposing your furry friend to various environments, other dogs, and people from an early age helps them develop good social skills. This exposure enables them to interact well with others, ensuring they remain friendly and well-behaved in different situations.

Setting boundaries is also important in training your Shih Tzu. Establishing clear rules and expectations will help them understand what behaviors are acceptable and what are not. Additionally, providing mental stimulation through training sessions and interactive toys is a great way to keep their minds engaged and prevent boredom.

“Training a Shih Tzu requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. With proper guidance and effort, you can shape your Shih Tzu into a well-behaved and obedient companion.”

Training Tips:

  • Start training your Shih Tzu as early as possible to establish good habits from the beginning.
  • Use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats, praise, and petting, to reward good behavior.
  • Keep training sessions short and fun to maintain your dog’s interest and focus.
  • Be consistent in your commands and expectations to avoid confusion.
  • Seek professional help for specialized training needs, such as advanced obedience or behavioral issues.

Remember, every dog is unique, and training methods may vary. It’s important to understand your Shih Tzu’s personality and adapt your techniques accordingly. With patience, consistency, and love, your Shih Tzu will become a well-mannered and delightful companion.

Training Tip Description
1. Positive Reinforcement Use treats, praise, and affection to reward good behavior during training sessions.
2. Consistency Be consistent in your commands, routines, and expectations to establish clear boundaries.
3. Short Sessions Keep training sessions short and engaging to maintain your dog’s focus and prevent boredom.
4. Professional Help Seek assistance from a professional trainer for specialized training needs or behavioral issues.

Shih Tzu Health: Common Conditions and Tips for Prevention

Shih Tzus are generally healthy dogs, but they are prone to certain conditions due to their breed characteristics. It’s essential for Shih Tzu owners to be aware of these common health issues and take preventive measures to ensure the well-being of their furry companions. By understanding the potential risks and implementing proactive strategies, you can help your Shih Tzu live a long, happy, and healthy life.

Breathing Issues

Sih Tzus belong to the brachycephalic breed, which means they have a shortened muzzle and flat face. This facial structure can lead to respiratory problems, such as difficulty breathing and snoring. To prevent breathing issues, it’s important to avoid using collars that put pressure on the windpipe. Instead, opt for a harness that distributes the strain evenly. This simple switch can significantly improve your Shih Tzu’s breathing and overall comfort.

Dental Problems

Shih Tzus are prone to dental issues, including tooth decay and gum disease. Regular dental care is crucial for maintaining their oral health. Brush your Shih Tzu’s teeth frequently using a canine toothbrush and toothpaste specifically formulated for dogs. Additionally, consider providing dental treats or toys that can help remove plaque and tartar buildup.


Shih Tzus can develop allergies to various environmental factors, including pollen, dust, and certain foods. If you notice signs of allergies, such as itching, redness, or excessive scratching, consult with your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment. It may be necessary to make dietary changes or implement measures to reduce exposure to allergens in your Shih Tzu’s environment.


As Shih Tzus age, they may be prone to developing osteoarthritis, which causes joint inflammation and pain. Regular exercise plays a crucial role in maintaining joint health and preventing the progression of this condition. Establish an exercise routine that includes moderate physical activity to keep your Shih Tzu’s joints mobile and muscles strong. However, it’s important to be mindful of their limitations and avoid intense or high-impact exercises that may cause strain.

To summarize, understanding the common health conditions that Shih Tzus are prone to and taking preventive measures can significantly improve their quality of life. By using a harness instead of a collar to support proper breathing, maintaining good dental hygiene, managing allergies, and providing regular exercise, you can help your Shih Tzu stay healthy and happy.

Remember, regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for early detection and treatment of any potential health issues. Consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice specific to your Shih Tzu’s needs.

Shih Tzu Exercise Tips: Keeping Your Dog Active and Fit

shih tzu exercise recommendations

Regular exercise is crucial for maintaining the overall health and well-being of your Shih Tzu. Not only does exercise help regulate their metabolism, but it also keeps their heart healthy, maintains muscle mass, strengthens bones, and releases pent-up energy.

To ensure your Shih Tzu gets enough exercise, incorporate daily moderate cardio activities into their routine. This can include brisk walks around the neighborhood or engaging in interactive games like catch or hide and seek. These activities not only provide physical exercise but also mental stimulation, keeping your furry friend happy and engaged.

However, it’s important to be mindful of your Shih Tzu’s breathing, especially during hot weather. Shih Tzus are brachycephalic breeds, which means they have short snouts and can experience breathing difficulties in high temperatures. Make adjustments to your exercise routine to avoid overheating and ensure their comfort and safety.

Remember, every dog is unique, so it’s essential to tailor the exercise routine to your Shih Tzu’s individual needs. If you’re unsure about the right amount and intensity of exercise for your furry friend, consult with your veterinarian or a professional dog trainer to get personalized recommendations.

Tips for Shih Tzu Exercise:

  • Ensure regular moderate cardio exercise.
  • Incorporate brisk walks into their daily routine.
  • Engage in interactive games like catch or hide and seek.
  • Observe their breathing, especially in hot weather.
  • Make adjustments to prevent overheating.
  • Consult with a veterinarian or dog trainer for personalized recommendations.


Caring for a Shih Tzu requires attention and dedication, but the rewards of having a healthy and happy companion are well worth it. By following the best practices for Shih Tzu care, including proper grooming, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and training, you can ensure the overall well-being of your furry friend.

One of the essentials of Shih Tzu care is regular veterinary check-ups to catch any potential health issues early and provide necessary vaccinations. In addition, socialization is crucial for your Shih Tzu to interact well with other dogs and people. This can be achieved through controlled exposure to different environments, people, and animals, ensuring they grow up with good manners and behavior.

Creating a safe and loving environment for your Shih Tzu is also important. Providing them with a comfortable and cozy space, plenty of mental and physical stimulation, and showering them with love and affection will contribute to their overall happiness. Remember, a happy Shih Tzu is a healthy Shih Tzu.

By following these shih tzu care essentials, best practices for shih tzu care, and shih tzu socialization tips, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu thrives and becomes a cherished member of your family for years to come.


Q: What are some Shih Tzu care tips for grooming, diet, and health?

A: Caring for a Shih Tzu involves providing proper grooming, offering a healthy diet, and ensuring their overall health. These tips include regular brushing, using quality coat products, maintaining dental hygiene, providing a balanced diet, training and socialization, and being aware of common health issues specific to the breed.

Q: How can I ensure a healthy diet for my Shih Tzu?

A: It is important to offer all-natural food, avoid dog foods packed with harmful ingredients, and opt for foods that use vitamin blends and/or herbs for natural preservation. Following specific feeding guidelines for different life stages and choosing a recommended brand for store-bought food, such as Wellness Complete Health, can contribute to their overall health.

Q: What are some grooming tips for Shih Tzus?

A: Shih Tzus have moderate grooming requirements. Regular brushing, nail clipping, baths, face wiping, paw protection, and checking the nose and ears are essential. Using quality coat products with natural ingredients is recommended, and professional groomers can assist with trims and clips to maintain the desired coat length.

Q: How should I care for my Shih Tzu’s dental health?

A: Proper dental care includes regular at-home brushing with canine toothpaste and using a toothbrush or fingertip brush. Regular veterinary check-ups and cleanings are also important in maintaining their dental health. It is crucial to use proper dental products and be cautious when cleaning the ears to avoid ear drum damage.

Q: How can I train my Shih Tzu to be well-behaved?

A: Training your Shih Tzu involves teaching basic commands and tricks using positive reinforcement techniques and consistency. Socialization is also important for them to interact well with other dogs and people. Setting boundaries and providing mental stimulation through training sessions and interactive toys can contribute to their behavior and overall well-being.

Q: What are some common health conditions in Shih Tzus and how can I prevent them?

A: Shih Tzus are prone to breathing issues, dental problems, allergies, and osteoarthritis. Preventive measures include using a harness instead of a collar, maintaining proper dental hygiene, providing regular exercise, and being aware of common health issues specific to the breed. Regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations are essential for their overall health.

Q: How much exercise does a Shih Tzu need?

A: Regular exercise, such as daily moderate cardio exercise, is crucial for their overall health. This helps regulate metabolism, keep the heart healthy, maintain muscle mass, strengthen bones, and release pent-up energy. Brisk walks and engaging in activities like catch or hide and seek are recommended. However, it is important to be mindful of their breathing, especially during hot weather.

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