Your New Puppy
Food & Feeding
Your puppy has been weaned with Purina Pro Plan Sport All Life Stages Performance 30/20 Formula Dry Dog Food. We never give the puppy "puppy food". It can have too high a protein content and is not good for puppy developement. We recommend 3/4 cup of dry food a day divided into three meals when the puppy first comes to your home at twelve weeks. After a couple of days you will be able to adjust this amount either more or less depending on the puppy’s need. There is no need to soak the food or make puppy mush.
About the time the puppy is seven to eight months old it may be fed once a day. Twice a day is still fine if you prefer.
When the puppy is twelve months old it is an adult. At this time adjust the daily amount fed to maintain the healthy weight recommeded by your vet.
Treats & Toys
The only treats your Shih Tzu should get are dog treats. Table scraps are a no-no. They can cause digestive problems including, but not limited to diarrhea and pancreatic problems. Rawhide is also not a good thing. Puppies do like to chew, but rawhide can become very slippery as it is eaten and become blocked in the puppy’s throat.
As a puppy we recommend Nutro Puppy biscuits. We also like Iams Puppy biscuits. For chewing we like Nylabones and Hartz also has put out a line of dental toys. Do not give Greenies before a year of age.
When the puppy is older as long as it is a treat for dogs have fun picking what you and your Shih Tzu like!!
Shih Tzu love toys and they must have lots of them. We like Booda toys, rope bones, and other stuffed and vinyl squeaky toys. Vinyl is preferred as it is stronger than latex and will not shred as easily when chewed on. Shih Tzu also like to play fetch with tennis balls.
Teething for the Shih Tzu puppy can be a very tough time. A lot of puppies develop slightly pinched nostrils. This generally clears with age and should be gone by the time the adult teeth are in. The nose can discharge a clear fluid or form bubbles on it also. This is not a problem as long as the fluid is clear. Antibiotics are only needed if the fluid turns green or yellow in color and becomes more of a mucous consistency.
During teething, since the ears and nasal area are connected often times ears are dirtier and can develop infections, either bacterial or yeast. A good ear cleaning twice a week should help. We have also found that Otomax drops also help if the ears are too guncky.
It is a good idea to have your Shih Tzu groomed by a professional every six to eight weeks. However, it is a good idea to keep up on things in between. Ears, nails and under to eyes are all things to do in between grooms.
Nails: When doing nails only take the very tips. This will prevent bleeding. If cutting the nails is uncomfortable for you, a nail file works great to keep the sharp edges down.
Ears: Ears can be cleaned with a variety of different ear cleaners available at your local pet store or rubbing alcohol mixed half and half with white vinegar work well too. The mouthwash Listerine can be a good aid to freshen the ears. A cotton ball or a make-up remover pad work very well to use with the ear cleaner as they will prevent you from going too far into the ear. You can also purchase ear wipes or just use baby wipes.
Face: The area under the eyes can become quite stained if not cleaned regularly. The hair should be kept clipped away from the eyes (done at the groomer). Take a cotton ball dampened with hydrogen peroxide and wipe under the eyes daily. Eye wipes can be bought at the pet store or baby wipes work well too. Bottled water or filtered water will help prevent staining as well. Using a small animal water bottle instead of a bowl for drinking will keep the face dry.
Rear-end: A touchy subject, the rear of puppy needs to be kept free of hair so it does not become clogged with feces.
If you have not had a puppy before we suggest that you seek to advice of a professional. Reading books on the subject are also a good idea. Pick the training method that works best for you. The most important thing is to love your puppy. If you have any more questions call your breeder.