Shih Tzu is an Asian dog breed originally from Tibet; they are famous for their large round eyes, short snout, large, floppy ears, and short posture. They are independent dogs that can perfectly adapt to any situation, a trait that makes them stubborn. There are things you need to know before purchasing a Shih Tzu puppy.
After birth, Shih Tzu puppies are at the most vulnerable points in their lives; until they are more than 12 months old, they are still puppies. Some of the essential things to do include; cleaning their space regularly, keeping them warm, and feeding them with the right food and in the right proportion.
Shih Tzus is one of the longest surviving dogs today, surviving for more than a thousand years. They have been around since the early 1000 B.C.
Shih Tzus are the most adored and respected dog breed in the Chinese royalty. The name Shih Tzu means Lion Dog in English, which is believed to come from Siddhartha, a Buddhist legend (the God of Learning) who traveled throughout China with a little dog that could change into a lion.
There are claims that the Shih Tzu breed is an offspring of the Tibetan Breeding Stock, a product of cross breeding a Lhasa Apso and a Pekingese. Shih Tzus have been house pets in China since the Ming Dynasty, between 1368 to 1644. During this period, the dog breed was only accessible to royal families.
It was not until the early 1900s that the world knew of Shih Tzus as a dog breed, and the American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed in 1969. Various American and European dignitaries own Shih Tzus, including Queen Elizabeth, Bill Gates, and Mariah Carey. Their popularity is still increasing today.
Shih Tzus can reach a height of 9 to 10.5 inches while weighing about 9 to 16 pounds. They have a life expectancy of 10 to 18 years. Shih Tzus were not always like these; the ancient Chinese crossbred them with Pugs and Pekingese to create the Shih Tzus we know today.
Shih Tzus are also known as chrysanthemum-faced dogs because their facial hairs tend to grow in every direction. American soldiers stationed in European countries first brought these dog breeds into the United States of America in the late 1940s and 1950s.
Shih Tzus were bred for companionship; they are happy, affectionate, loving, and outgoing dogs suited indoors. They would rather follow their owners around the house than play games of catch outdoors. Lately, people now use Shih Tzus to compete in dog races and dog sports.
Shih Tzus are healthy dog breeds, but they are still prone to come health diseases and conditions, including patellar luxation, food allergies, inhalant allergies, contact allergies, canine hip dysplasia, juvenile renal dysplasia, bladder infections, bladder stones, and various eyes problems (dry eye, proptosis, keratitis, ectopia cilia, distichiasis).
Caring For Newborn Shih Tzus
One essential thing is to take proper care of Shih Tzus while they are puppies, especially in their newborn period. This is a crucial period in the life of the mother and the puppies, and you need to care for both of them actively.
How To Care For Newborn Shih Tzus
Caring for newborn Shih Tzus can be difficult if you have no prior knowledge about the dog breed. However, you do not have to be worried; we will look at how to take proper care of newborn Shih Tzus.
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Clean Their Space Regularly
Newborn Shih Tzus are prone to various infections and health challenges, so their feeding and rest space must be properly cleaned and disinfected every day. One of the best things to make cleaning easier and stress-free is placing a disposable puppy mat on the space where they are.
Keep The Puppies Warm Every Time
Shih Tzus puppies are not born with their long, protective coat; instead, they have short coats that are insufficient to keep the newborns warm. You need to find a way to keep the newborns warm without harm. You can use a heating pad or a portable heater to keep them warm. You can also lay warm blankets on their sleeping place or set their space in a warm part of the house.
Take Proper Care Of The Mother
It is impossible to have healthy puppies if the mother is not healthy; so, while you are focused on caring for the Shih Tzu puppies, you must pay equal attention to the mother. A well-cared-for Shih Tzu female will properly care for her puppies with her powerful nurturing instincts.
Properly Groom The Puppies
As the Shih Tzu puppies develop, the need to clip the nails and brush the hair becomes imperative. This is a delicate process that must be conducted carefully. If you do not think you can do this, you can find a reputable dog breeder to trim the nails and groom the puppies.
Provide Play, Game, And Exercise Time
No matter how calm a puppy is, it still requires play and exercise time. You should create a routine for the puppy’s playtime; you must train them to get used to playing at that scheduled time. Another thing is to train the pups mentally by exercising physically and mentally. Start by teaching them simple instructions; they will be obedient dogs by the time they are fully grown.
Feed The Pups With the Appropriate Food In The Proper Quantity
Newborn Shih Tzu puppies need nutritious and healthy meals while they develop. Their mother’s milk is one of their most important meals, and you should not deprive them of it. If you plan to feed the puppies supplementary meals, you need to seek advice from a vet on the best feeding plan.
Shih Tzu puppies eat different meals at developmental stages, so as the puppies develop, changing their meal plans becomes essential. So, you need to have a plan mapped out for their feeding.
What Do You Feed A Newborn Shih Tzu?
There are three ways of feeding newborn Shih Tzus; milk, canned foods, and bottle feeding. The first is essential in the proper development of the puppy. The other two methods depend on the instructions from the vet. The best foods to feed newborn Shih Tzus are beef, chicken, lamb, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, quinoa.
Different factors influence the amount of food your newborn Shih Tzus eats daily, including weight, age, activity level, and health conditions. You must ensure your puppies are on a quality diet; most processed dog foods have no nutritional value, you should avoid them completely.
Within the age of 0 to 1 year, your Shih Tzu pup should eat about 1 ounce to 2 ounces of meal daily; within 1 to 9 years, 2 ounces to 3.4 ounces daily, and above 9 years, 2 ounces to 3.4 ounces daily.
How Much Is A Newborn Shih Tzu?
Newborn Shih Tzu costs about $750 to $3000 on average; this is more expensive than other breeds. There are different reasons why newborn Shih Tzus are very expensive; we will look at a few.
Why Are Shih Tzu Puppies So Expensive?
Shih Tzu puppies are expensive because of location; the scale of supply and demand is not balanced. Since Shih Tzu puppies have to be brought in from the south, they are expensive. However, if you want to get a Shih Tzu puppy for as little as $500 to $700, you should check any breeder or kennel in the south.
Despite not being used to the climate of Europe and America, Shih Tzu breeds still flourish, a trait that makes them desirable and in high demand. Underneath their beautiful, long coats is a muscular body that can be agile and sporty when properly trained. Lots of Shih Tzus have competed and won various agility competitions.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.