If you’re anything like me, you love your Shih Tzu and you love them a lot. Beyond wanting them to be safe and secure and healthy, you also want them to be happy. With that in mind, here are 15 ways to make your Shih Tzu a happy camper.
How to Make Your Shih Tzu Really Happy
There are many ways you can make your dog happy without having to break the bank or taking up all of your spare time.
Here are 15 of the best…
1. Hide Some Treats Around the House
Everyone enjoys a treasure hunt.
And that includes your Shih Tzu.
One easy way to give them something to do and to make their day is to hide some treats around the house for them to find.
Do this when they aren’t looking and then tell them to go find the treats.
Over time, and it won’t really take all that long, they will learn what “find the treats” means and they will be off and running.
You may have to point them in the right direction the first time or two.
Using healthy treats such as small chunks of apples without the seeds or stem or carrots work well.
2. Make Time For Daily Cuddles
If you have had a Shih Tzu for any length of time you know how much they love to cuddle.
Chances are, you spend some time cuddling with your dog most days, but if you don’t this is an easy way to make them happy.
Have them sit next to you or on your lap while you’re watch TV.
It’s no extra work for you and it makes them very happy.
Not to mention, studies have shown that petting a dog lowers your blood pressure, so it is truly a win-win situation.
If you’re already a daily cuddlier, add in an extra session.
Surprise your pup by picking them up at random times and spend a couple of minutes telling them how wonderful they are.
3. Head to the Pool
Not all dogs like water, but most do.
If you don’t have a pool consider going to a dog friendly beach.
Just keep in mind a small dog can be sweep out to sea very easily.
So, keep a close eye on them and stay on the shoreline instead of going in deeper.
Most Shih Tzus will enjoy running around getting their paws wet in the surf.
4. Find A New Walking Route
Walks are a great way to spend a half an hour or so.
Shih Tzus don’t need long walks as their legs are too short to go too far, but a walk is still a good idea.
Even so, if you go on the same route every day, it can get a little boring for you and your dog.
Consider mixing it up a bit and find a new route.
Your Shih Tzu will enjoy the new sights, sounds, and smells.
It will put a little more pep in their step.
5. Consider a Kiddie Pool
Sometimes, a large pool or the beach may be a bit too much for your little guy.
If that’s the case consider getting a kiddie pool.
They are the perfect size for your Shih Tzu.
And on a hot day it is a great way for them to cool down and spend some quality time with their favorite people.
There’s nothing saying you can’t dip your toes in the pool as well, so you can be refreshed and enjoy the day as well.
Just be sure that the water isn’t too cold.
It can be a good idea to fill it with water earlier in the day and then let the sun warm the water up a bit before you let your canine friend dive in.
6. Make Sure Training Never Stops
While it makes sense to start training your Shih Tzu as a puppy, don’t stop there.
Yes, they need to learn the basics, but after that, continued training is a great way to provide mental stimulation for your dog.
Not to mention, they will love the attention from you.
It will help rid your dog of boredom as well which is always a good thing.
A bored dog can be prone to destructive behavior.
7. Spend a Few Extra Minutes Playing
Playing is one of your Shih Tzu’s favorite activities.
So, take a few extra minutes of your day and add in an extra play session.
The physical activity is great for your dog and fun activities such as throwing a ball or their best toy will keep them happy.
It really doesn’t take all that long.
I know that my Shih Tzu, Truman likes to chase his toys but after about five minutes he has had enough and just wants to play with his toy on his own at that point.
8. Throw A New Toy Into the Mix
Speaking of toys, I don’t think Truman gets any more excited than when he has a new toy.
It has that new toy smell that he just can resist.
The nice thing about dog toys for small dogs is that they don’t have to be expensive.
I buy a lot of them at the grocery store or on Amazon.
Truman loves the little soft toys with squeakers in them and you can pick one up for just a few dollars.
9. Slow Down and Enjoy the Flowers
Walks are great exercise, but there is more to them than that.
As humans, we tend to be in a hurry most of the time.
So, the next time you take your Shih Tzu for a walk, slow down a bit.
Let them sniff the grass or flowers or whatever they happen to be interested in.
Sniffing is one of many natural behaviors of dogs.
Letting your dog sniff and giving them the time to do so allows them to connect with the world around them.
10. Introduce Your Shih Tzu to Another Dog
If your dog likes other dogs then think about having a play date with a friend’s dog.
This won’t work for every Shih Tzu.
I know that my Truman isn’t really all that fond of other dogs.
I think it is because he doesn’t think he is one, so he doesn’t understand why he should be playing with others.
But if you just have one dog and they like other dogs, play dates can be nice treats once in a while.
11. Provide Them With a Kong Toy
Kong toys are great.
They come in all sizes, so you can find one that is right for your Shih Tzu.
What you put inside of one is up to you.
Peanut butter works well, but you don’t want to over do it.
Peanut butter has a lot of calories and sugar, so you might want to get a natural brand that is just peanuts to reduce the sugar aspect.
Food puzzle toys such as this will provide your dog with a lot of fun and will quickly become one of their favorite games.
12. Check Out the Dog Park
Speaking of other dogs, a dog park can be a wonderful place to take your Shih Tzu to play.
They get to hang out with other dogs and people.
Of course, not all Shih Tzus are up for it.
I took my Truman to a dog park once and he hated it.
He hide behind me and started shaking and drooling.
It was terrible.
On the other hand, my other Shih Tzu, Sammy loved it.
She played with all the other dogs and had to greet all of the people.
It is about the happiest I’ve ever seen her.
So, you’ll just have to judge your dog’s reaction.
Some might enjoy the extra attention while others might hate it.
13. Take Your Shih Tzu to Dinner
One nice thing in this crazy world is that more places are open to dogs.
You can take your Shih Tzu to several large box stores such as Pet Smart.
But, you can also take them to restaurants with outside seating.
Consider bringing your pup along on a nice day when you plan to dine alfresco.
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14. Remove Their Collar When Inside
Actually, it is a good idea to remove your dog’s collar whenever you’re not outside.
Their colors can get caught up in things and they could be strangled.
I only have their collars on when I take them outside, but if this is an issue for you, at least consider taking them off at night when you go to bed.
This will make them more comfortable when they are sleeping overnight.
15. Rotate Their Toys
Instead of giving access to your dog to all of their toys at once, hold some back.
Rotating their toys will give the the excitement of seeing it again.
It’s just like anything.
When something is available all the time it becomes less interesting.
By having a favorite toy show up, it will increase your Shih Tzu’s enjoyment level.
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To Sum it All Up:
There are many ways to make your furry friend happy. These 15 are easy to do and the enjoyment they will bring your Shih Tzu will be more than worth the time and expense which is low to begin with.