Shih Tzu Bliss |Published 09-08-2023
Shih Tzus, with their endearing expressions and lavish fur, have won the admiration of pet enthusiasts across the globe. These petite, loving canines are celebrated for their spirited demeanor and their innate capacity to build deep connections with their human companions.
For those privileged to own a Shih Tzu, providing top-tier care for these cherished pets is of utmost importance. Securing the best veterinary care is a pivotal component of this responsibility. Fortunately, for those residing in Kyle, Texas, there are promising options available, such as the renowned vets in Kyle, TX.
Shih Tzus belongs to the toy breed group, with a life expectancy of 16 years. It’s also very lightweight, weighing up to 15lbs. It’s one of the best breeds for family pets since they’re very affectionate and friendly. It means it’s a great dog, even if you have toddlers at home. Shih Tzus are also very furry, with a double coat, demanding regular grooming.
They don’t need much exercise, though. A daily walk satisfies their needs. It’s a very smart dog, responding well to training despite some stubbornness. This breed will likely develop respiratory problems with age, joint problems, eye conditions, and dental problems. Due to their cleverness and cuteness, Shih Tzus quite often appears in movies and TV shows, like The Secret Life of Pets 2 and Best in Show.
Shih Tzus are among the oldest dog breeds in the world, with origins tracing back at least 8,000 years. Possibly, this breed results from a mixture of Pekingese and Lhasa Apso. These “small lions” were a common gift to the Chinese royalty. Only in 1928 were the “lion dogs'' brought to England for the first time and reached the United States in the 1960s.
Read more about Shih Tzu History
Due to their short noses, Shih Tzus are more susceptible to respiratory diseases and complications. This condition is called brachycephalic syndrome, and it gets even worse in hot weather when this dog has even more difficulty breathing.
Because of their protruding eyes, eye injuries, and infections can be recurrent. Most common eye problems include epiphora, pigmentary keratitis, ocular proptosis, cataracts, dry eye, and progressive retinal atrophy. Pay attention to symptoms like discharges, vision loss, excessive rubbing or redness.
This breed is also prone to hip dysplasia, a misalignment of the hip joints. There are also reports of patellar luxation, a misalignment between the kneecap and the femoral groove.
Shih Tzus has a few breathing anomalies, too. Apart from the short nose, they have elongated palates, and very narrow nostrils. Additionally, the everted laryngeal saccules make breathing more difficult since this tissue gets in the airway. If you notice that your little lion is gagging, coughing, retching, or vomiting, go quickly to your nearest VCA hospital.
Respiratory diseases are the worst for those living in the Lone Star state. Scorching weather can cause discomfort to them; mild weather is preferable. High humidity levels in the air can also trigger respiratory diseases or worsen existing ones. Also, owners must prepare for eventual evacuations in case of extreme weather. Some parasites and bugs are more persistent and more common in Texas, too.
Keep your beloved pet in good shape, and bring it to the vet regularly. Regular visits are essential not only for preventing diseases but also for nutrition, dental care, and vaccines. Also, its dense coat requires regular grooming. Otherwise, it can get pretty messy. Luckily, you can find top-notch vet clinics and hospitals in Kyle, TX.
The price of looking awesome for those little lions is to groom regularly. Unless you’d like to give your pet a special hairstyle, you can do most of its grooming at home. Here are the most important things you need to do to keep your pet at its best looks.
Shih Tzus needs to bathe every three to four weeks. Use special shampoo and conditioners to keep its coat soft and shiny. Ensure to wash all residues thoroughly and watch reactions like skin irritations and allergies.
Shih Tzus’ coats get matted very quickly without regular and careful brushing. You can use a slicker brush or a pin for this task. You can apply natural oils while brushing to make its coat even softer.
Clean your pet’s face with a soft, damp cloth. Tear staining is very common in this breed, mostly due to its face and eye shape. Wipe its face carefully around the eyes with a special tear stain remover, if necessary. This will help remove any residues from the eyes.
Your pet’s ears can conceal a lot of moisture. Keep its ears clean and dry to avoid infections. You should clean your pet’s ears weekly and always after bathing.
Trim the Nails
Trimming your pet’s nails is recommended every three to four weeks. All you need for the task is a dog nail clipper. Be careful; you can hurt your pet if you cut it too quickly or too short. So make sure that it’s just the right length.
Your dog’s dental care depends on you. You need to brush your dog’s teeth weekly, at least a few times. Not doing so can lead to problems like halitosis and loss of teeth. Still, you should seek professional help for regular checkups and more specialized cleaning procedures.
Paws and Pads
Check your dog’s paws regularly and always after walking outside. Also, keep the hair between the pads short to improve grip and avoid tangling.
Texas is one of the hottest states in the country, and scorching temperatures aren’t uncommon during the summer. During those periods, it’s necessary to double your attention to your pet’s health. Overlooking your pet’s well-being during such periods can be fatal.
Kyle, Texas, presents unique challenges for Shih Tzu owners. The region's summer temperatures can be tough for a breed that thrives in cooler climates.
The added humidity can further exacerbate discomfort for these dogs. Additionally, the area's environment can lead to a higher prevalence of parasites, demanding vigilant preventative care. Moreover, the occasional threat of severe weather, including the potential need for evacuations, means that owners must always be prepared with a contingency plan for their furry companions.
By understanding these challenges and proactively addressing them, Shih Tzu owners in Kyle can ensure the well-being and happiness of their beloved pets and enhance Shih Tzu bliss.
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.