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Shih Tzu Puppy Care Tips for New Owners

by Scott Lipe
Shih Tzu Puppy Care Tips

Welcome to the world of Shih Tzu puppy care! As a new owner, you want to ensure your adorable furry friend receives the best care possible. This comprehensive guide will provide you with essential tips on grooming, training, health care, feeding, socialization, exercise, and housebreaking for your Shih Tzu puppy. By following these tips, you can create a loving and nurturing environment that will contribute to their happiness and well-being.

Key Takeaways:

  • Regular grooming, including coat care, dental care, and nail trimming, is essential for your Shih Tzu puppy’s health and appearance.
  • Establish a consistent feeding schedule and choose the right food for their specific nutritional needs.
  • Proper socialization and training will ensure your Shih Tzu puppy grows up to be well-behaved and friendly.
  • Puppy-proof your home to create a safe environment, removing any potential hazards.
  • Follow a structured housebreaking routine to help your Shih Tzu puppy learn proper potty training habits.

Gather Essential Supplies for Your Shih Tzu Puppy

Before bringing your new Shih Tzu puppy home, it’s important to gather all the necessary supplies to ensure their comfort and well-being. Having everything ready in advance will make the transition smoother and allow you to focus on bonding with your new furry friend. Here are the essential supplies you’ll need for your Shih Tzu puppy:

  1. Shih Tzu Puppy Crate: A comfortable crate provides a safe space for your puppy to rest and sleep. Choose a crate that is large enough for them to move around and stand up in.
  2. Shih Tzu Puppy Toys: Toys are essential for keeping your puppy entertained and stimulated. Look for toys that are appropriate for small breeds and provide both mental and physical exercise.
  3. Shih Tzu Puppy Food: High-quality puppy food specifically formulated for small breeds is important for their growth and development. Consult your veterinarian for recommendations on the best food for your Shih Tzu puppy.
  4. Shih Tzu Puppy Feeding Bowls: Invest in sturdy, non-slip, and easy-to-clean feeding bowls that are suitable for your puppy’s size.
  5. Shih Tzu Puppy Grooming Supplies: Regular grooming is essential for Shih Tzus. Get a soft brush, a comb, nail clippers, and gentle shampoo suitable for puppies.
  6. Shih Tzu Puppy Training Treats: Training treats are great incentives for teaching your puppy basic commands and good behavior. Choose small, soft treats that are easy to chew and won’t spoil their appetite.
  7. Shih Tzu Puppy Leash: A sturdy leash is necessary for walks and outdoor adventures with your puppy. Look for a lightweight and adjustable leash that provides comfort and control.

By gathering these essential supplies, you’ll be well-prepared to provide a comfortable and nurturing environment for your Shih Tzu puppy. Remember, the happiness and well-being of your new furry companion are in your hands.

Choosing the Right Crate

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When selecting a crate for your Shih Tzu puppy, choose one that is spacious enough for them to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. A crate with a divider is ideal as it allows you to adjust the space as your puppy grows. Additionally, make the crate cozy by adding soft bedding and a few toys to keep your puppy relaxed and entertained.

Puppy-Proof Your Home for Your Shih Tzu’s Safety

shih tzu puppy-proofing

When bringing a Shih Tzu puppy into your home, it’s crucial to ensure their safety by puppy-proofing your living space. Shih Tzu puppies are naturally curious and tend to explore their environment by chewing on objects they come across. To create a safe environment for your furry friend, you need to identify and remove potential hazards that could pose a risk to their well-being.

Identify Hazards

Start by inspecting your home from the perspective of a curious and teething puppy. Look for objects that may attract their attention and pose a danger if chewed or swallowed. Common hazards include:

  • Electrical cords: Secure cords out of reach or use cord covers to prevent your puppy from chewing on them.
  • Small objects: Pick up small items such as coins, buttons, and jewelry that can be easily swallowed.

Secure Hazardous Areas

Some areas of your home may contain potential hazards that are difficult to remove. In such cases, it’s important to securely block access to these areas. Use baby gates or door locks to restrict your puppy’s access to rooms that are not puppy-proofed.

Safeguard Your Valuables

Your Shih Tzu puppy’s chewing habit may extend to valuable items around your home. Keep fragile or expensive objects out of their reach to prevent damage. Additionally, store cleaning products, chemicals, and medications in locked cabinets to avoid accidental ingestion.

Provide Safe Alternatives

Redirect your puppy’s chewing behavior to safe and appropriate objects. Provide them with a variety of chew toys designed for puppies. These toys not only satisfy their natural urge to chew but also promote dental health and alleviate teething discomfort.

Monitor and Supervise

Even with a puppy-proofed home, it’s essential to keep a watchful eye on your Shih Tzu puppy. Supervise their activities and behavior, especially during the early stages of their homecoming. This will enable you to correct any undesirable behaviors and ensure their safety at all times.

Establish a Feeding Schedule and Choose the Right Food for Your Shih Tzu Puppy

Feeding your Shih Tzu puppy the right food and on a regular schedule is crucial for their health and growth. As a responsible owner, it’s important to provide your puppy with a balanced and nutritious diet that meets their specific needs. Additionally, establishing a feeding schedule helps promote proper digestion and prevents overeating.

Feeding Schedule

Creating a consistent feeding schedule for your Shih Tzu puppy helps regulate their appetite and ensures they receive the necessary nutrients throughout the day. Here’s a sample feeding schedule to help you get started:

Age Feeding Frequency Portion Size
Puppy (8-12 weeks) 4 times per day ¼ to ½ cup per feeding
Puppy (3-6 months) 3 times per day ½ to 1 cup per feeding
Puppy (6-12 months) 2 times per day 1 to 1½ cups per feeding

Always consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate portion size and feeding frequency based on your Shih Tzu puppy’s age, weight, and activity level.

Choosing the Right Food

When it comes to selecting the right food for your Shih Tzu puppy, opt for high-quality commercially prepared puppy food. Look for a brand that is specifically formulated for small breed puppies and meets the nutritional requirements set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

Consider the following factors when choosing a Shih Tzu puppy food:

  • Protein: Ensure that the food contains a healthy amount of high-quality animal protein, such as chicken or fish, to support your puppy’s growth and development.
  • Fat: Look for moderate levels of healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, for a shiny coat and brain development.
  • Grain-Free vs. Grain-Inclusive: While grain-free options are available, consult with your veterinarian to determine whether a grain-inclusive or grain-free diet is best for your Shih Tzu puppy.
  • Ingredients: Read the ingredient list carefully and avoid artificial additives, fillers, or by-products.

Quote: “Feeding your Shih Tzu puppy a nutritious diet and following a consistent feeding schedule are essential for their overall health and well-being.” – Dr. Emily White, Veterinarian

Remember to introduce any new food gradually, mixing it with your puppy’s current food to avoid digestive upset. Monitor your puppy’s weight and body condition regularly to ensure they are thriving on their current diet.

By establishing a feeding schedule and choosing the right food for your Shih Tzu puppy, you are setting them up for a healthy and happy life. Providing proper nutrition is an essential part of responsible pet care.

Develop a Grooming Routine for Your Shih Tzu Puppy

shih tzu puppy grooming

Regular grooming is essential for maintaining the health and appearance of your Shih Tzu puppy. By developing a consistent grooming routine, you can keep your puppy looking clean, healthy, and well-groomed. Here are some tips to help you establish an effective grooming routine for your Shih Tzu puppy:

Grooming Tools and Supplies

Before you start grooming your Shih Tzu puppy, make sure you have all the necessary tools and supplies. This includes:

  • Grooming brush or comb
  • Shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for dogs
  • Ear cleaning solution
  • Toothbrush and dog-friendly toothpaste
  • Nail clippers or a grinder
  • Grooming scissors

Having these grooming supplies on hand will make the grooming process much easier and more efficient.

Coat Care

Shih Tzus have long, luxurious coats that require regular brushing to prevent tangles and matting. Brush your Shih Tzu puppy’s coat at least a few times a week to keep it in good condition. Use a brush or comb specifically designed for Shih Tzus to gently remove tangles and knots.

Additionally, consider scheduling regular professional grooming appointments to keep your Shih Tzu’s coat in top shape. Professional groomers have the expertise and tools to give your puppy’s coat a thorough cleaning and trim.

Dental Care

Good dental hygiene is important for your Shih Tzu puppy’s overall health. Start getting your puppy comfortable with having their teeth brushed at an early age. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste specially formulated for dogs, and brush your puppy’s teeth regularly to prevent dental issues such as plaque and tartar buildup.

In addition to regular brushing, provide your Shih Tzu puppy with dental chews or treats that help promote healthy teeth and gums.

Nail Trimming

Trimming your Shih Tzu puppy’s nails is an essential part of grooming. Long nails can be uncomfortable for your puppy and may cause issues with walking or scratching. Use nail clippers or a grinder specifically designed for dogs to trim your puppy’s nails.

Be cautious not to cut the nails too short, as this can cause bleeding. If you’re unsure about nail trimming, consult with a professional groomer or your veterinarian for guidance.

Grooming Tips for Your Shih Tzu Puppy
Regularly brush your Shih Tzu puppy’s coat to prevent tangles and matting.
Consider scheduling professional grooming appointments to keep your puppy’s coat well-maintained.
Brush your puppy’s teeth regularly using dog-friendly toothpaste and a toothbrush.
Provide dental chews or treats to promote good oral health.
Trim your Shih Tzu puppy’s nails to a comfortable length, being cautious not to cut them too short.

By following these grooming tips and establishing a regular grooming routine, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu puppy stays healthy, clean, and looking their best.

Socialize and Train Your Shih Tzu Puppy

Socializing and training your Shih Tzu puppy is crucial for their overall well-being and behavior. By providing proper socialization and training, you can ensure that your puppy grows up to be a well-behaved and friendly dog. Here are some guidelines to help you with shih tzu puppy socialization, training, obedience, and behavior.

Socializing Your Shih Tzu Puppy

Socialization plays a significant role in shaping your Shih Tzu’s behavior and temperament. Start socializing your puppy from an early age to expose them to various environments, people, and other dogs. Here are a few tips:

  • Introduce your Shih Tzu puppy to different sounds, sights, and smells to help them become familiar with the world around them.
  • Invite friends and family members to interact with your puppy. Encourage gentle handling and positive experiences.
  • Take your puppy for regular walks in safe areas to expose them to new sights, sounds, and smells. This will help them become confident and comfortable in various situations.
  • Enroll your puppy in puppy kindergarten or obedience classes. These classes provide controlled environments for socialization and learning.

Basic Obedience Training for Your Shih Tzu Puppy

Training your Shih Tzu puppy is essential for establishing a strong bond and ensuring their safety. Here are some basic obedience training tips:

  • Start with simple commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” Use positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, to reward good behavior.
  • Keep training sessions short and frequent to maintain your puppy’s focus and prevent boredom.
  • Use consistency and repetition to reinforce commands. Practice in various settings with increasing levels of distractions to strengthen your puppy’s obedience.
  • Avoid punishment-based training methods as they can damage your puppy’s trust and hinder their learning. Positive reinforcement is the key to effective training.

Remember, training is an ongoing process, and consistency is essential.

Understanding Shih Tzu Puppy Behavior

Understanding your Shih Tzu puppy’s behavior is vital for addressing any issues and fostering a healthy relationship. Here are a few common behaviors you may encounter:

“Shih Tzus are known to be affectionate and loyal companions. However, they can also be stubborn at times. Patience, positive reinforcement, and consistent training are key to managing their behavior.”

It’s important to address any behavioral issues early on to prevent them from becoming ingrained habits. Consult a professional trainer or behaviorist if you need assistance.

By prioritizing socialization and training, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu puppy grows up to be a happy and well-adjusted dog. Remember to provide positive experiences, establish clear boundaries, and reinforce good behavior. With patience, consistency, and love, you can shape your Shih Tzu into a wonderful companion.


Taking care of a Shih Tzu puppy requires attention to their grooming, training, health, and socialization. By following these shih tzu puppy care tips, you can ensure the happiness and well-being of your new furry friend.

Establishing a feeding schedule and choosing the right food is crucial for their shih tzu puppy health and growth. Make sure to provide them with the necessary supplies, such as a crate, toys, and grooming essentials, to keep them comfortable.

In addition, developing a shih tzu puppy grooming routine is essential for maintaining their coat and overall cleanliness. Don’t forget to socialize and train your puppy, as this will contribute to their shih tzu puppy training and behavior in the long run.

With proper care and attention, your Shih Tzu puppy will thrive and bring joy to your life. So, invest time and effort into their shih tzu puppy socialization and care to create a strong bond and enjoy many happy moments together.


Q: What supplies do I need for my Shih Tzu puppy?

A: You will need a crate, toys, food and water bowls, grooming supplies, training treats, and a leash for your Shih Tzu puppy.

Q: How do I puppy-proof my home for my Shih Tzu?

A: To puppy-proof your home, remove potential hazards such as electrical cords and small objects that could be swallowed by your Shih Tzu puppy.

Q: How do I establish a feeding schedule for my Shih Tzu puppy?

A: It is important to establish a consistent feeding schedule for your Shih Tzu puppy. Feed them at the same times every day and provide them with the right food based on their age and nutritional needs.

Q: How do I groom my Shih Tzu puppy?

A: Regular grooming is important for your Shih Tzu puppy. Develop a grooming routine that includes coat care, dental care, and nail trimming. This will help keep your puppy clean and healthy.

Q: How do I socialize and train my Shih Tzu puppy?

A: Socializing and training your Shih Tzu puppy is crucial for their well-being and behavior. Introduce them to other dogs and people in a positive and controlled manner. Basic obedience training should also be a part of their training routine.

Q: How can I ensure the well-being and happiness of my Shih Tzu puppy?

A: By following these tips for grooming, training, health care, feeding, socialization, and housebreaking, you can ensure the well-being and happiness of your Shih Tzu puppy.

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