If you’re new to being a pet owner or even if you’ve had your Shih Tzu for a while, you might be unaware of how some of the things you do to your dog can affect them. So, for all pet parents, here are 7 things you should never do to Your Shih Tzu.
7 Things You Should Never Do To Your Shih Tzu
As pet parents, we all make mistakes from time to time even with the best intentions.
Even so, we want to give our Shih Tzus the best home environment and life we can.
So, with that in mind, let’s look at a few things you shouldn’t do to your Shih Tzu.
1. Leave Your Shih Tzu in Your Car
While some of the things I am going to talk about seem like common sense, it never hurts to have a friendly reminder from time to time.
Not leaving your dog in the car is one of them.
Chances are, you already know and would never leave your Shih Tzu in your car when it is hot out, but what about a nicer, cooler day?
When it is a pleasant 70 degrees out and sunny it only takes an hour for the inside of your car to reach 113 degrees.
At 80 degrees outside, it takes an hour to reach 123 degrees inside your car, and at 90 degrees outside it takes an hour to reach 133 degrees inside.
But here’s the thing.
At 70 degrees outside, it only takes 10 minutes to reach almost 90 degrees in your car on a sunny day.
What that means is even if you are just running into a store for a few minutes and your Shih Tzu is in the car, it will get too warm for them.
This can lead to heatstroke and other health concerns.
I know for me personally, I only take my Shih Tzu in the car with me in the evening hours when I know I will not be getting out of the car, so for example running to a fast food place to grab dinner.
2. Skip Visits to the Vet
It is easy to think that you can go online and figure out what is wrong with your Shih Tzu based on their symptoms.
Heck, oftentimes we do that for ourselves too.
No one likes to go to the doctor and vet visits are expensive.
Even so, you should take your Shih Tzu to the vet at least once a year.
That way, they can pick up on any health conditions that your dog may have and that would be undiagnosed otherwise.
Even though Shih Tzus are small dogs, it is important to stay current on all of their shots.
My cousin had a dog. It wasn’t a Shih Tzu and was a much larger dog.
It got out of the house and attacked her neighbor who was gardening at the time.
The neighbor, a man in his early 60’s was a college professor.
His injuries were bad enough that he could no longer work and had to retire.
Two years later, he is still having health issues and a reduced activity level.
The dog in question was put down.
And part of the reason for that was that my cousin had not been taking the dog to the vet and it didn’t have its shots.
It’s not the poor dog’s fault, but he paid the price.
Of course, my cousin is being sued because her homeowner’s insurance wouldn’t pay all the hundreds of thousands of dollars in doctors and hospital bills this man is racking up.
So, in the end, she is paying the price as well.
Of course, a Shih Tzu would never be able to do this kind of damage, but the point is, it is better for your dog and your peace of mind to take your dog to regular vet appointments.
3. Don’t Give Your Shih Tzu Ice
I have to admit that I am guilty of this one.
My Shih Tzu, Truman used to love to play with ice cubes when he was a young dog.
I didn’t realize at the time that there was danger in giving him an ice cube.
Now, I know better.
If your dog tries to chew the ice cube, it can crack or break its teeth.
This is especially true of the larger back teeth.
A cracked or broken tooth is really painful for your Shih Tzu and depending on the situation, you may have to have the tooth removed.
Needless to say, I don’t give my dogs ice any longer.
I’m just lucky Truman never had an issue.
This also goes for putting ice in your Shih Tzu’s water on a warm day.
Don’t do that either.
Just give them cold water.
4. Don’t Forget About Your Shih Tzu’s Teeth
While we are on the subject of teeth, just a reminder not to forget to brush your dog’s teeth.
I know it can be difficult and a lot of dogs don’t like it, but you need to do it.
It is easiest if you start when they are puppies.
Vets say you should brush your Shih Tzu’s teeth daily, but I know mine really put up a fight.
At the very least be sure your vet takes a good look at your dog’s teeth at their regular visit.
And if you can’t get them brushed daily, go for weekly.
That’s certainly better than never.
And if you’ve had a Shih Tzu for a while, you know they tend to have teeth issues to begin with so brushing is important.
Just a note, don’t use human toothpaste.
Since dogs don’t spit, they will swallow the toothpaste and it has ingredients in it that can make them sick.
Instead, pick up some doggie toothpaste.
A child’s toothbrush should work well for your little pup or the toothbrush that comes with the toothpaste.
5. Don’t Share Alcohol With Your Shih Tzu
While the idea of seeing a dog stumbling around might sound cute if you give your dog liquor it is really abuse.
It will affect their nervous system and can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and even hypothermia.
Even worse, the mixes that a lot of people add to their drinks contain the artificial sweetener xylitol which can be toxic for dogs even in small amounts.
6. Don’t Use a Crate For Punishment
If you have created trained your dog, then you might still have it around once they are older.
Chances are, your Shih Tzu feels safe in its crate and doesn’t mind being in there for short periods of time.
However, if you use the crate to punish your dog and are yelling at it as you put it in the crate, it will start to have a negative association.
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7. Don’t Yank on Your Shih Tzu’s Leash
While you might have to on a rare occasion yank on your Shih Tzu’s leash to keep them out of danger, this is something to avoid.
Doing this often can lead to a neck fracture.
Your Shih Tzu has a hyoid bone at the base of their tongue.
By yanking on a leash, this bone can break.
That’s not something you or your dog wants.
A good solution to this problem is to use a harness instead of a collar.
That way you avoid putting any pressure on their neck whatsoever.
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To Sum it All Up:
Everyone wants to be a good pet parent, but something you do something to your Shih Tzu you shouldn’t without even realizing it, like me and the ice cubes. So, in the future, keep these 7 things in mind when interacting with your Shih Tzu. Add in a lot of love, and all of you should be happy.
This article is informational only and does not substitute for veterinary advice. Always check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your Shih Tzu. This article should not be considered in any way as veterinarian advice.