11 Essential Products for New Shih Tzu Owners

Essential Products for New Shih Tzu Owners by Janice
Read Time:  6 minutes

Welcoming a Shih Tzu into your home is an exciting experience, filled with joy and new responsibilities. As you prepare to provide the best care for your new furry friend, selecting the right products is crucial. This guide will introduce you to the top 11 products every new Shih Tzu owner should consider, ensuring your pet is happy, healthy, and safe. Understanding the unique needs of this small but lively breed will help you make informed decisions that enhance their quality of life.

An AI generated picture of a black and white Shih Tzu dog surrounded by essentials such as a harness, hair brush, toys, treats, a tooth brush and others.

1. GPS Dog Fence

A GPS dog fence is an innovative tool to keep your Shih Tzu safe. Unlike traditional fences, a GPS fence uses satellite technology to set boundaries for your dog. You can customize the area in which your Shih Tzu can roam freely. This is particularly useful for owners without a physical fence and for those who travel often with their pet. It ensures safety without the constraints of a leash or physical barriers, and you can monitor your pet’s location through a mobile app, giving you peace of mind wherever you are.

2. Adjustable Harness

Shih Tzu, with their delicate tracheas, are better suited to harnesses than collars. An adjustable harness provides comfort and control during walks, reducing strain on their neck and back. Opt for a lightweight, breathable material, and ensure it fits snugly without restricting their movement. Many harnesses also come with reflective strips which enhance your dog’s visibility during evening walks, adding an extra layer of safety.

A collar is a good addition for holding tags, but a harness is essential for this breed.

3. Comfortable Bed

A cozy, supportive bed is vital for your Shih Tzu’s comfort and joint health. Look for a bed with orthopedic foam to cushion their joints, a feature particularly beneficial as they age. A bed with raised edges can also provide a sense of security and a place to rest their head. Beds that are washable or have removable covers are especially handy to keep the sleeping area clean and free from hair and odor.

AI generated black and white Shih Tzu puppy resting in a cozy bed

4. Grooming Supplies

Shih Tzus require regular grooming to maintain their coat and overall hygiene. Essential grooming tools include a bristle brush, a fine-toothed comb for detangling, dog-specific shampoo, and conditioner. Considering their fast-growing nails, invest in a reliable pair of nail clippers. If you are worried about the hair that overgrows on the face, a pair of round-tipped scissors can take care of these hairs before they grow towards the eyes.

This grooming routine does not replace professional grooming sessions. Regular grooming sessions not only keep your Shih Tzu looking good but also provide an opportunity to bond with your pet and check for any skin issues or parasites.

5. Dental Care Kit

Dental health is often overlooked in dogs, yet vital for overall health, especially for small breeds prone to dental issues. A dental care kit should include toothpaste formulated for dogs, a toothbrush, and dental chews. Regular brushing can prevent gum disease and tooth decay, and dental chews help to keep teeth clean and reduce tartar buildup.

Make dental care a regular part of your pet care routine to avoid costly vet bills and ensure your dog’s mouth stays healthy.
It's been my experience that most Shih Tzu dogs have enough dental problems to require professional dentals about every three years. This has become a very expensive procedure. A friend of mine recently spent $1800 for a dental that included some extractions. So the better you care for your Shih Tzu’s teeth, the more money you will save.

6. Training Treats

Training treats are a must-have for reinforcing good behavior and aiding in training sessions. Choose small, low-calorie treats that are tasty enough to hold your Shih Tzu's attention but healthy enough not to disrupt their diet. The right treats can make training sessions much more effective and enjoyable for both you and your pet, helping to establish clear communication and strengthen your bond. If you don’t want to purchase treats, consider using tiny bits of fruits and vegetables.

7. Interactive Toys

Fun fact about Shih Tzu — they are playful and intelligent; stimulating their minds is as essential as physical exercise. Interactive toys, such as puzzle feeders and treat-dispensing toys, can keep them engaged and help manage their energy levels. These toys also prevent boredom and encourage problem-solving skills, which are crucial for the mental health and behavioral development of your dog. Some dogs can be kept busy for hours with some of these toys.

8. Puppy Pads and Holder

Even if you plan to house-train your Shih Tzu to the outside, puppy pads are a helpful backup for when you’re not home. A holder keeps the pad in place, preventing your puppy from dragging it around the house or shredding it into a million pieces. This setup aids in the training process by providing a designated spot for your puppy to relieve themselves, which can be particularly useful during the early days of housebreaking.  If you prefer something other than a paper, disposable pad, consider a reuisable cotton pad that comes in different sizes and is impossible for even the most persistent puppy to tear apart.  House training is probably the first training task you will encounter so getting off to the right start is essential.  I mark this one as one of the most important products for new Shih Tzu owners to have.

9. High-Quality Dog Food

Nutrition is paramount for a Shih Tzu's health and longevity. Choose a high-quality dog food that is specifically formulated for small breeds. Look for brands that use real meat as the first ingredient and do not contain fillers like corn, wheat, or by-products. Foods rich in omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and probiotics will support their skin, coat, and digestive health. It’s also wise to consider foods tailored to your dog's specific life stages, whether they are a puppy, adult, or senior, to ensure their dietary needs are met throughout their life.

10. More Products for new Shih Tzu Owners:  ID Tag and Microchip

Safety is paramount; an ID tag on your Shih Tzu’s harness can help identify them if they get lost. Additionally, microchipping your pet provides an extra level of security.

A microchip can be scanned by veterinarians or shelters, helping to effectively reunite lost pets with their owners. This small step can make a significant difference in your pet's safety, especially in an emergency. If your breeder does not microchip your puppy before rehoming, ask your vet to do so on the vist well-puppy visit. This is a small investment for your peace of mind and their safety.

11. Climate-Controlled Pet Carrier

A climate-controlled pet carrier is an invaluable addition to your Shih Tzu care arsenal, especially if you travel frequently or live in regions with extreme weather conditions. Shih Tzus are sensitive to both heat and cold, and maintaining a comfortable temperature is essential for their safety and well-being.

These carriers come equipped with either heating or cooling options to ensure that the internal environment remains stable, no matter the external weather conditions.
Look for well-ventilated carriers that offer adjustable temperature controls to prevent overheating. These carriers are helpful for travel and can serve as a safe retreat for your pet at home or during outdoor events. Ensuring your Shih Tzu’s comfort during travel reduces stress and anxiety, making trips more enjoyable for both of you.

Products for New Shih Tzu Owners:  Wrap Up

Equipping yourself with these essential products will make the transition of welcoming a Shih Tzu into your home a smooth and joyful experience. By prioritizing their health, safety, and comfort, you will ensure that your new companion thrives in their new environment, building a strong, loving bond that lasts a lifetime.

Products for New Shih Tzu Owners:  Pin for Future Reference

Two ai generated images on a pin image illustration products for new Shih Tzu owners.Pin for future reference.

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About Janice

Janice is the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu. Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, she served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu.

When not writing, reading, or researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, her husband, and her family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Small Dog Place and Smart-Knit-Crocheting.

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