What Puppies Need From You

by Janice Jones   Last Updated 05-06-2021

If your dog could talk, What do you think he'd ask for?

We can only guess at what puppies need because our little canine friends cannot talk and tell us directly. 

We can only surmise that what we need, they need too.  Here is a list of ten things that we think your puppy would ask for if he/she could talk.

What Puppies Need:  Patience

This breed is known for being obstinate with a “what’s in it for me,” attitude.  Some, but not all can be very difficult to train.  Some of the differences in trainability lie in genetics and early socialization. 

Housebreaking is often the first and hardest training task to accomplish, but really the first task you as a new puppy owner must tackle.  Basic obedience, socialization, and manners are other tasks must be completed at the same time or shortly thereafter.  Your puppy dog does want to please because they are devoted to their owners, so they would want you to know that patience and gentle training methods work best.

What Puppies Need: A Good Diet

Dogs love to eat;  Make sure that what they are eating is top quality.A Good Healthy Diet

Your puppy can be prone to health problems, some of which are the direct result of a poor diet.  When we discuss diet, we are including everything that goes into the little stomach of this dog including dog food, table scraps, dog treats, grass, and anything else that a dog could have access to. 

Obesity is a problem in this breed, so finding a balance between nutritious food and exercise is a necessity.  A good quality dog food is necessary, but that is only the beginning.  Providing low quality snacks and treats adds calories and can even be harmful depending on the treat’s ingredients. 

Your puppy dogs love table scraps and some can be cut up and used as a reward during a training session.  This is not to say that giving your dog food directly from the table is advisable.  Tiny bits of meat and fish, vegetables and fruits all make great treats.  Highly processed foods are not good for you or your dog, so avoid these.  Learn what food is dangerous to dogs such as chocolate and never give them to your dog. 

Access to Cool Fresh Clean Water

This puppy is getting plenty of hydration by drinking out of a water bottleThis puppy is getting plenty of hydration by drinking out of a water bottle

Dogs need water to survive just as people do.  Some puppy owners opt for large water bottles for their dog’s water supply.  This is actually a great idea for this breed as the water stays clean and fresh and at the same time, the long hair on their face does not get drenched after each drink. 

If the dog will not drink from a water bottle, the next best thing is a clean water bowl, preferably made of stainless steel or ceramic.  Water needs to be changed several times a day and the bowl scrubbed each time.  If the bowl is not washed properly, bacteria will grow on the sides creating a health problem. 

What Puppies Need: Love & Attention

Provide a good diet for your puppyLove and Attention

Your puppy dogs thrive when they are a part of your life.  They can be trained to stay alone for short periods of time, but much prefer the company of their human companions. 

Your puppy will literally follow you everywhere if allowed and find this type of existence preferably to anything else. 

These dogs crave attention.  They were initially bred as a companion and that is what they do best. 

What Puppies Need:  Pampering

Pamper your puppyPampering

You may need to train a young puppy to love brushing, bathing, and the entire myriad grooming that goes along with puppy ownership, but the average dog loves to be pampered.  They love the attention and some could sit for hours being brushed and combed.  While this is generally considered a hypoallergenic dog because it does not shed, the truth is that they do shed to some extent. 

You will not find your puppy’s hair all over the house as is the case with other short-haired breeds, however, their hair can sheds into itself, creating mats if not cared for properly. 

Dental care and nail clipping also keep your dog healthy and looking great.  Something simple, but often overlooked is washing and drying your puppy’s face after meals and drinks will help keep them looking and smelling fresh. 

Finally, frequent trips to the groomer, if not done at home, will assure your puppy will always look his best.

What Puppies Need:  Exercise

A puppy is getting excercise by playing fetch.A game of fetch is a good way to provide indoor exercise for a puppy

You can live a rather sedentary lifestyle and still provide your puppy with adequate exercise.  This is good news to busy families with children, older individuals and those that live in apartments.  Your puppy does not need much exercise, but they do need some. 

Most of these dogs could get all the exercise they need indoors, if given the opportunity to run periodically.  Some love playing, “fetch” and burn off steam in this rigorous game. 

Others prefer a short walk around the block.  Mot will gladly take their owner for a walk even in very cold weather.  Your puppy dogs actually do better in cooler climates due to their heavy double coat.  Rigorous exercise on warm or hot days should be kept to a minimum with frequent breaks and plenty of cool fresh water.

What Puppies Need: Safe Environment

Preparing Your Home for the Arrival of your new furry friend.Safe Environment

Human and canine alike, we all need safety for personal well-being.  Yet, what exactly constitutes a safe environment for a puppy dog?  Since these dogs spend most of their time indoors, a well “puppy-proofed” home is essential.

These dogs are like perpetual human toddlers, they love to find anything unusual and put it in their mouth—household chemicals, electrical wires, your eyeglasses, your teen’s dental retainer, and the list goes on.  Some of these can be deadly to your dog.  

Anything that can irritate breathing should be avoided such as smoking around the dog or chemicals that give off irritating odors.  Using a natural cleaning product around these dogs is safer. 

Outdoors pose other risks, so good supervision or a contained yard with no hazards is essential.  Some of these dogs do develop allergies to grass and pollens, so keeping your dog off newly mowed grass is a good preventative.  Taking your dog away from home creates even more dangers.  The inside of a car on a warm day, even with the windows cracked can be deadly to your dog. So never leave your dog alone in a parked car.

What Puppies Need:  Comfortable Environment

Puppies Need a Comfortable EnvironmentComfortable Environment

Ambient indoor temperatures are needed for this breed.  They do not do well outdoors on hot days because they cannot pant adequately to stay cool.  Remember, dogs do not sweat as humans do to stay cool. 

Beyond temperature, these dogs are not fussy.  They simply want to be by your side.  Still, I am betting if you could talk “canine,” they would ask for a soft bed or a cozy crate. They were bred for centuries to be the pets of royalty so treat them accordingly.

What Puppies Need: 
Stimulating Environment

Puppies need a stimulating environment.Stimulation

Your puppy is an intelligent breed that does thrive on stimulation.  If you do not provide fun things to do for your dog, your puppy will find his own fun.  This may not be what you want.  These little dogs crave chewing and some love to dig. 

If left to their own devices, they may decide that digging up your hard wood floors, or chewing on your grandmother’s antique table is great entertainment.  These dogs need toys, chew toys or bones and any other diversion you can provide. 

Some love to watch television.  Most will enjoy watching the world go by at a windowsill or romping around a full-enclosed yard.  Still, you will be your puppy’s favorite toy.  Regular playtime with a human friend is more enjoyable to this breed than anything else they can create themselves.

Your Puppy Needs Access to Health Care

Puppies Need Health CareHealth Care

A good diet, safe environment, adequate training, and plenty of pampering will not substitute for access to health care.  Preventative care is vital and includes periodic vaccines, checkups, worming if necessary, and regular Heartworm preventative. 

External parasites, such as fleas and ticks, can become a problem that should be dealt with regularly.  There are many preventative measures to keep your dog healthy at home.  Nevertheless, dog owners must have funds set aside or insurance to pay for the occasional emergency.  As dogs age, there are increasing health issues that can arise so preparing in advance is important.  Find a good veterinarian.  Your pet will appreciate this.

In conclusion, it does not take that much time, that much effort, or that much money to keep these little dogs happy, health, and content.  It does take an understanding of the breed and the commitment to love your dog, even half as much as he loves you.

P.S. I am doing good on pad training indoors, but I want to please, so be patient with me as I learn to do “my business” outdoors.

If you Enjoyed this Page, You might like the following articles.

You might like these

Brindle Shih Tzu Puppy
Gold and White Shih Tzu Puppy
Liver Shih Tzu Puppy

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.