Shih Tzu Puppies

Posted by: Kathy  /  Category: How to care for your Shih-Tzu puppy

Shih Tzu Puppies

When it comes to choosing a Shih Tzu puppy there are a lot of factors that should guide you. Contrary to popular belief, you should not let the puppy choose you; instead, you should make your choice based on careful observation and inspection of the litter.

One thing that you will not need to worry about is whether to have a male or female Shih Tzu puppy. Both the genders are equally friendly and easy to raise, provided they are indeed purebred. Hence, your personal preference regarding what type of dog you want will be okay here.

When the puppy chooses you it is indeed lovely – however, this does not mean that the puppy is the best for you. This usually means that the puppy is very independent, and most of the times could be difficult to train. To be fair, it does sometimes mean that the puppy is over friendly and you could be happy with it. However, most often than not, you will end up with the brashest puppy which will prove a real handful.

Hence, keep in mind that a puppy can ‘choose’ you and still not be the right puppy; while the puppy, which suits you best, may not be as assertive.  Take your time and evaluate carefully each Shih Tzu puppy – a thing that the breeder will advise as well.

Tell Tale Signs of a Good Puppy

Look carefully at the whole litter – if you see that the puppies run away from you then this is not the right type of dog for you. Remember, the Shih Tzu is basically a friendly dog, even if they do not come forward, they should never run away from you unless you are too menacing or making fearful noises.  The same goes if you see the Shih Tzu puppies put their tails in between their legs when they see you.  The Shih Tzu is not a fearful dog – and if the puppies behave this way, either they are mixed or there is some problem somewhere along the line. Remember shy dogs are usually dangerous because they are liable to snap at people or things that scare them.

If the litter is indeed of pure breed Shih Tzu – then the Shih Tzu puppies will definitely try to find out who you are by sniffing at you with eager yet restrained curiosity. There will be no fear – just need to know behavior.

The best bet in any litter – not only of Shih Tzu puppies but also for any type of dogs – is to choose one of the middle born pups. The elder of the litter will usually have a bossy demeanor while the youngest might be either too soft or too weak. The puppy you should choose should be happy, confident and alert. There are many things to consider when you see a sign saying Shih Tzu Puppies for sale.


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Posted by: Kathy  /  Category: How to care for your Shih-Tzu puppy

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7 Tips to Keep Doggy Brains Youthful

Posted by: Kathy  /  Category: How to care for your Shih-Tzu puppy

7 Tips to Keep Doggy Brains Youthful

by Amy D. Shojal (Subscribe to Amy D. Shojal’s posts)
Oct 10th 2011 @ 1:00PM Filed Under: Dogs, Pet Training

TheGiantVermin, Flickr

Dogs cared for throughout their early years live longer than ever before. It’s not unusual for toy-breed dogs to live into their mid-to-late teensm, and even big dogs today enjoy a decade or more of happy life with a loving owner. A longer life, though, can leave your dog befuddled when canine brains turn to mush.

Dogs age 11 to 16 are most likely to develop Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD), sort of the doggy version of Alzheimer’s Disease. CCD is a medical condition in which a starch-like waxy protein called beta amyloid collects in the brain and causes behavior changes.

Affected dogs become disoriented, wander, cry and pace, and can become lost in the house when out of your sight. Their behavior can change from confident to frightened, and the awake/sleep cycles may turn upside down. Dogs can forget house training, how to find the door or be unable to tell you when they need to “go.” And most heartbreaking of all, senile dogs lose interest in petting, ignore their beloved owners or furry friends, and might not recognize you.

Treating Doggy Senility
While there’s no cure for CCD, the drug Anipryl (selegiline hydrochloride) is FDA-approved to treat cognitive dysfunction in dogs. According to veterinary researchers, about one third of treated dogs return to normal, another third are somewhat helped, and the final one third aren’t helped at all. There also are special diets designed to help turn back the clock on canine senility. Sadly, even improved dogs eventually revert and again develop senility signs.

7 Tips To Keep Canine Brains Youthful
A longer life is not necessarily a better life, especially if your dog no longer recognizes you. But there are ways to help your dog stay connected with the world and ward off signs of CCD, simply by exercising his brain.

Brain function studies in dogs proved that problem-solving activities kept them sharp, connected to the world around them, and even extended their lifespan. Just as with people, canine mental and physical stimulation drastically improves your dog’s cognitive function. “Use it or lose it” applies to dogs just as it does to humans. Here are seven tips to keep your dog mentally spry into his old age.

1. Don’t delay. Keep dogs both mentally and physically agile from puppyhood on. That helps prevent or at least slow brain aging changes.

2. Make Play a Daily Treat. Interactive games keep your dog engaged with you and reward him for responding. Toys don’t need to be expensive, either. Old socks become tug toys and used tennis balls work great for fetch. They’re even more attractive if old and they smell like the owner.

3. Slim Pudgy Pooches. Overweight dogs have trouble exercising and avoid moving, which can allow joints–and brains–to rust. Ask your vet for a slimming program that’s safe for your overweight canine.

4. Adopt Another Pet. Proper introductions of a playful younger cat or dog can serve as a furry fountain of youth to an old-fogey dog. Even if he’s irked at the young whippersnapper, keeping junior in line can keep your dog sharp.

5. Practice Commands. Just because he’s old doesn’t mean he can’t perform. Practice the pleasures that make your dog’s heart leap for joy. For an obedience champion, put him through his paces. If he has trouble, adjust the Frisbee toss or vault heights. Make necessary accommodations so he can still succeed and feel like the champion he is.

6. Treats for Tricks. Teach the old dog new tricks using healthy treat rewards. Make treats smelly so he won’t have to strain old eyes to see.

7. Give a Challenge. Puzzle toys that dispense treats turn meals into fun games. For food fanatics, puzzle toys encourage activity and brain-teasing challenges that exercise problem solving abilities.

We can’t predict any dog’s lifespan. When a special dog reaches senior citizenship, we treasure our time together even more. Keeping your dog mentally active helps keep dogs connected with life-and us. And that ensures their golden years sparkle.

Amy D. Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant and the award-winning author of 23 pet care books, including The First-Aid Companion for Dogs & Cats. Amy also appears on Animal Planet’s CATS-101 and DOGS-101, writes for and lives in North Texas with a senior citizen Siamese and smart-aleck German shepherd dog. Read her blog on Red Room.


Doggy Home-Care Medicine Chest

Posted by: Kathy  /  Category: How to care for your Shih-Tzu puppy

Doggy Home-Care Medicine Chest

by Amy D. Shojal (Subscribe to Amy D. Shojal’s posts)
Sep 28th 2011 @ 3:00PM Filed Under: Dogs, Pet Health, Flickr

While your veterinarian diagnoses and prescribes for your dog’s health issues, canine first aid as well as minor problems may benefit from human medicines. Let’s face it, Fido rarely tears a claw or eats something iffy during regular clinic hours, so it’s helpful to know how to use your pantry supplies and human medicine chest to help your dog. Some people prescriptions can be dangerous (especially for cats!) so it’s a good idea to have a handy list.

First aid and home remedies don’t replace proper veterinary care, but they can keep dogs more comfy until medical care is available. And sometimes a home remedy is all that’s needed. Even if human meds work on dogs, the doses usually are lower due to the smaller size of the dog. Your vet can tell you the exact dose needed for your specific pet but here are some common human medicines that benefit dogs.

30 Common Human Medicines for Dogs
• A & D Ointment: antibacterial for scrapes and wounds.
• Anbesol: topical anesthetic for mouth pain
• Artificial Tears: eye lubricant
• Aveeno Oatmeal Bath: soothing rinse for itchy skin
• Benadryl: antihistamine for bug bites-also makes pets sleepy
• Betadine: antiseptic for cleansing/soaking wounds or injuries
• Bufferin or Baby Aspirin: pain relief
• Burow’s solution: topical antiseptic
• Caladryl: soothing topical for pain or itching
• Cortaid: anti-itch cream
• Desitin: for skin inflammation
• Dramamine: helpful for car sickness, nausea
• Dulcolax: for constipation
• Epsom salts: for soothing soak for sore paws
• Ipecac Syrup: to make dog vomit
• Kaopectate: to control diarrhea
• Lanacane: topical anesthetic
• Massengill Disposable Douche: body odor/skunk spray
• Metamucil (unflavored): for constipation
• Mylanta Liquid: for digestive problems and/or gas
• Neosporin: to help prevent wound infection
• Pedialyte: counteracts dehydration
• Pepcid AC: to control vomiting
• Pepto-Bismol: for diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
• Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia: for constipation
• Preparation H: soothes sore bottom
• Robitussin Pediatric Cough Formula: cough suppressant
• Solarcaine: topical anesthetic, helpful for sunburn
• Vicks VapoRub: for congestion
• Witch hazel: topical antiseptic

23 Helpful Household Items
In the best of all possible worlds, emergencies never happen or if they do, dog owners have a professional medical kit handy. These should be stocked with sterile gauze pads in different sizes, elastic Ace bandages, needle-less syringes and eyedroppers for medication and even stretchers. You can buy commercial kits from pet supply stores and catalogues or put together your own, and it’s very helpful to have a handy pet first aid how-to guide handy.

But all too often pet owners don’t think about being prepared until after the first emergency. If you find yourself faced with a doggy health crises you may be surprised how many everyday items around the house or in your pantry can be helpful.

• Blanket/cookie sheet/ironing board: stretcher
• Bubble Wrap: stabilize leg fracture/injury
• Canned Pumpkin: for constipation or diarrhea
• Condoms: to cover injured/bleeding paw
• Dawn Dishwashing Soap: decontaminate fur
• Heat pad: for arthritis/aches
• Hose/sink spray: flushing wounds
• Hydrogen peroxide (3%): given orally to prompt vomiting
• Ice bag/frozen peas: topical pain control
• Karo syrup/honey: for shock
• KY Jelly: lubricant such as for eye out of socket
• Olive oil: to suffocate/kill ear mites
• Pliers: remove porcupine quills/foreign object in mouth
• Pantyhose/necktie: muzzle
• Mustache trimmer: clip fur around wounds
• Needle/Safety pin: acupuncture CPR
• Teabags, soaked and cooled: to treat hot spots
• Turkey baster: flush wounds, give liquid medicine
• Rectal thermometer
• Saran Wrap: seals wounds, holds bandage together without sticking to fur
• Sterile Saline Solution: flush wounds, eye injuries
• Squirt gun, squeeze bottle: give liquid medicine/flush wounds
• Yogurt: settle digestion, control gas


Grooming the Companion Dog

Posted by: Kathy  /  Category: How to care for your Shih-Tzu puppy

Grooming the Companion Dog

By Jo Ann White

Every time a novice owner looks at a beautiful Shih Tzu in the show ring with coat dragging on the ground, his first question is, “What product do you use to get such a beautiful coat?” To a great extent, a profuse coat is inherited; even more important, it is cared for carefully. Furthermore, no coat care product is the magic answer for every Shih Tzu coat. Different textured coats require different products, as do different climates. different tap waters, and your own life-style.

Do not be surprised if you get ten different product recommendations from ten different breeders or exhibitors, and don’t be surprised, either, if none of them is exactly right for you. Most exhibitors have tried and discarded many products before finding what works best for them, and they often use different products on different dogs. Your best bet is to query someone whose dog has a coat texture similar to yours, but you will still probably have to experiment to see what works best on your particular dog. Use the recommendation as a guideline, not as gospel, and solicit several opinions.

Whatever grooming products you ultimately decide to use, there are certain basic techniques that remain the same. The most important thing is to brush your dog often enough so that large mats never have a chance to form. Many Shih Tzu “change coat” at about ten to twelve months of age. It seems, during this stage, that they mat faster than you can brush. Be patient, however, and keep brushing; this is a temporary stage that usually lasts for about three weeks, and once the dog has changed from his puppy coat to his adult coat, you will generally find him easier to care for. The amount of brushing required by an older dog depends on the texture of the coat–it can range anywhere from every day to once a week. Softer coats tend to tangle more quickly, particularly if they are very thick. Dirty coats also mat more easily, so be sure to bathe your dog as often as necessary (generally every three to four weeks). Never bathe a matted dog. Water tends to “set in” mats, making them almost impossible to remove.

Using a good quality wire brush with flexible pins, brush the coat in layers. Begin with the feet, legs, and belly and work upward to the center of the back. Mats are generally looser at the bottom, and you’ll lose less coat this way. Be gentle, but be sure to brush all the way down to the skin, using your fingers to break up any tangles the brush will not go through easily. Do not rip at the coat, and lift the top of the brush away as you reach the ends of the hair instead of turning it into the coat and twisting it downward, which will break off the ends of the coat. Pay special attention to the areas inside the legs and around the neck and ears, where mats are most likely to form and most likely to be overlooked. Use a comb on the face and feet and under the ears, if necessary.

If you’re new to all this, it’s not a bad idea to use a wide-toothed comb or one of those combs with rotating teeth when you think you’re through brushing to double-check that you’ve really gotten out all the mats. If you find any you’ve missed, revert to fingers and brush to remove them,. Never brush a totally dry coat, as static electricity increases breakage. Dampen the hair lightly first, using a spray bottle filled with water and a capful of cream rinse or coat conditioner. Mats will break up more easily if you saturate them with a conditioner/moisturizer first.

Pay special attention to the face and eyes. Comb the mustache and topknot daily, and clean the inside corners of the eyes with a damp washcloth or a piece of cotton soaked in warm water. Once your puppy has enough hair ( usually at about five months), tie up the topknot with a latex band (available at dog shows or from your dentist) to keep the hair out of his eyes, mouth, and food dish. In the beginning, you will have to put each band fairly low on the forehead to catch all the loose ends; do not pull the hair too tightly or the dog will rub at it.

As in any short-faced, large-eyed breed, the Shih Tzu has eyes that can easily be injured. Check them daily, and any time you see the dog squinting or rubbing at his eye. If your dog’s eye is bloodshot, cloudy, or partially closed or has what appears to be a white dot in the pupil, take the animal to the veterinarian at once. Eye injuries can be very serious if they do not receive prompt attention; the sooner treatment begins, the more likely healing will be rapid and uneventful. A neglected eye ulcer can require surgery and even removal of the eye.

Keep a sharp lookout for external parasites, such as fleas and ticks. Almost overnight, one flea can make a dog scratch out a coat that took months to grow. And ticks are much less likely to transmit Lyme disease if they are removed promptly. If you have a parasite problem, remember that you must treat the house as well as the dog and that more, in terms of insecticides, is not only not better, but can make your dog very ill.

If your dog keeps sitting down or rubbing his rear end along the floor, his anal area may have become caked with fecal matter. Hold the affected area under warm running water, wash out the softened matter, wipe with paper toweling, and blow dry. It is not necessary to cut the hair.. As it grows longer, it will tend to fall naturally to either side rather than across the anal opening.

Suppose you went on vacation and the family neglected your coat care regimen and your dog’s coat becomes full of mats. Such mats can be removed with a great deal of time and patience. The more time you are willing to spend, the less hair you will lose. If this happens very often, you may want to consider having your dog clipped. A skilled groomer can make him look quite attractive with an all-over short puppy clip or a more sophisticated trim that will make him look a bit like a Cocker Spaniel or a Schnauzer. However, much of the beauty of our dogs is in their long and flowing coats. If you have only one or two pets, why not spend some time to have them looking their very best?

In my next column, I’ll give some pointers on caring for your dog’s ears and feet, dealing with facial stains, training your dog to be groomed, and procedures for bathing. Until then, enjoy your furry friends.

A dog that is not being shown will probably need a bath every three weeks or so–more often if he decides to roll in a mud puddle or encounters a skunk! A dirty coat tends to tangle more than a clean one, so it behooves you to bathe your dog as often as needed.

Before you actually put your dog into the sink or laundry tub, brush him out thoroughly. Water tends to “set in” mats, making them almost impossible to remove. Be sure to check the hair between the pads of the feet, which can mat and give your dog sore feet. Trim this hair level with the pads, then stand the dog in show pose and trim the hair on the top of the paws level with the table to give the feet a neater appearance. Pull any excess hair out of the ear canal with your fingers to prevent matted hair in the canal from cutting off air circulation, which can lead to ear infections. Your dog may not like to have you do this, but don’t think you’re really hurting him when you do: There are no nerves inside the ear canal. If you want to clean visible excess wax and dirt out of the ear with a Q-tip, fine, but be sure not to poke down deep into the ear canal, as you can injure the eardrum.

Ask your vet to show you how to express your dog’s anal glands. When full, they will feel like two hard peas on either side of the anus just below the root of the tail. To clean them–a foul-smelling job definitely to be done just before a bath–cover the anus with a tissue and squeeze gently upward and outward until any fluid is extracted. This will prevent an anal abscess from forming.

If you place a rubber shower mat in the bottom of the sink or tub, you dog will have firm footing and will be less likely to struggle. Use lukewarm water and two soapings with a quality shampoo designed for your dog’s coat, particularly on the legs, to get all the dirt out, and use your fingernails or a toothbrush to thoroughly clean any encrusted matter out of the hair beneath the eyes and around the mouth. Try not to get any soapy water into the eyes or ears, and use a tearless shampoo on the face to lessen the possibility of irritation. Wash the head last as this is what dogs generally object to the most.

Keep a sharp eye out for external parasites, such as fleas or ticks, as one flea can make a dog scratch out a coat that took months to grow. I find that special pyrethrin shampoos available from your veterinarian seem to be less harsh on the coat than most over-the-counter varieties. Any shampoo residue, which can cause the dog to scratch, can be removed by pouring a quart of warm water with a capful of cider vinegar over the dog, then rinsing thoroughly.

After you have rinsed the soap out, put a capful or two of conditioner into a quart of warm water and pour it over the dog, avoiding the face. Allow the conditioner to remain in the coat for a few minutes, then rinse. Some people use special oil treatments or other hair care products at this stage.

Squeeze any excess moisture out of the coat, then wrap the dog in a couple of thick bath towels for ten to fifteen minutes to lessen the amount of time he will have to spend under the dryer. Use a corner of the towel to wipe the face and blot the ears. This is a good time to cut toenails–your dog is more or less captive while swaddled in towels, and his nails are softer when wet. Cut the nails to where they hook over being careful not to cut into the red streak (quick) that can be seen in any translucent nails. If you do accidentally cut too deep and the nail bleeds, use styptic powder to stop the bleeding. Pay special attention to any dewclaws. As they do not touch the ground, they will not wear down naturally like the other nails.

A Shih Tzu should be dried with a blow dryer; one with a stand will free both your hands to work on the dog, Brush the dog gently while his coat dries to separate the hair and speed up the drying process. Once he is thoroughly dry, give him a part and put in his topknot. Then put him down on the floor and watch him prance around. They seem to know how good they look at this stage!

Between baths, if you notice your dog sitting down or rubbing his rear along the floor, check his rear. If his stool has been soft, the anal opening (particularly on a puppy) may be caked with fecal matter. Watch also that his eyes and ears do not appear irritated, and have his teeth cleaned periodically to avoid dental problems later on. Any “hot spots” caused by excessive scratching should be medicated at once to keep them from getting worse.


How To Keep Your Pet Safe And Healthy During Colder Months

Posted by: Kathy  /  Category: How to care for your Shih-Tzu puppy

How To Keep Your Pet Safe And Healthy During Colder Months

Posted: 10/6/11 07:14 AM ET

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The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) offers some great advice for keeping your dog or cat safe from winter hazards, and I’ve added a few suggestions of my own to the list.

Dr. Karen Becker is a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian. You can visit her site at: Mercola Healthy Pets.

Her goal is to help you create wellness in order to prevent illness in the lives of your pets. This proactive approach seeks to save you and your pet from unnecessary stress and suffering by identifying and removing health obstacles even before disease occurs. Unfortunately, most veterinarians in the U.S. are trained to be reactive. They wait for symptoms to occur, and often treat those symptoms without addressing the root cause.

By reading Dr. Becker’s information, you’ll learn how to make impactful, consistent lifestyle choices to improve your pet’s quality of life.

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Keep Your Cat Indoors
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Kitties allowed to wander outdoors unsupervised are at much greater risk than house-cats, no matter the time of year. But a cat left outside in cold weather can literally freeze to death, or become permanently lost or stolen while looking for shelter from the cold. Even if your kitty lives indoors, a cat collar with an ID tag is an excellent investment. You may keep your cat inside, but your neighbors might not, or there could be strays or feral cats in the area. Kitties left out in cold temperatures will sometimes tuck themselves up under the hoods of cars, or in the wheel wells. Starting or moving the vehicle can hurt or even kill the animal. During the winter months, it’s a good idea to bang loudly on your car hood before starting the engine as a warning to a cat that might be in or around your vehicle.
Kitties allowed to wander outdoors unsupervised are at much greater risk than house-cats, no matter the time of year. But a cat left outside in cold weather can literally freeze to death, or become permanently lost or stolen while looking for shelter from the cold.

Even if your kitty lives indoors, a cat collar with an ID tag is an excellent investment.

You may keep your cat inside, but your neighbors might not, or there could be strays or feral cats in the area.

Kitties left out in cold temperatures will sometimes tuck themselves up under the hoods of cars, or in the wheel wells. Starting or moving the vehicle can hurt or even kill the animal.

During the winter months, it’s a good idea to bang loudly on your car hood before starting the engine as a warning to a cat that might be in or around your vehicle.


Choose Lifes Abundance!!

Posted by: Kathy  /  Category: How to care for your Shih-Tzu puppy

Savings Experiment: What’s the Right Price for Pet Food?

By Isha Dandavate Posted 10:00AM 10/04/11 Wal-Mart Stores, Target Corp, Saving Money, Savings Experiment

Your pets are like family, but are you seriously overspending when it comes to their food? Here are some tips to consider when picking your pet’s nutrition.

Avoid Filler Foods

Early this year Petco created a new “Certified Nutrition” program that divides pet foods into three categories — essential foods, natural foods, and advanced foods. Each of these groups fulfills a different requirement: essential foods include basic fillers like wheat or corn, while natural foods contain many familiar ingredients like meat, fruits and vegetables. Advanced foods, finally, are formulated for pets with special medical needs.

According to Petco dog trainer Somers Pierre, natural food brands like Wellness, Halo or Natural Balance are the best choice because they promote health and longevity for your pet. On the other hand, they cost a little more than the basic kibble with fillers. For example, a 30-pound bag of a filler-based essential brand like Beneful costs between $26 and $35, while a natural brand like Wellness costs between $46 and $54.

Pet expert Arden Moore emphasizes nutrition: “It is vital these days that the very first ingredient is a real protein — not meat byproducts and definitely not wheat or corn,” she says. “If you get high-quality, nutritional food, you’re going to have fewer pet bills, and your pet is going to live a longer healthier life.”

You can save on natural food by purchasing a less-known brand like AvoDerm. On average, that will save you about $10 to $15 per bag.

Pierre points out another great benefit of natural food: Your pet will eat a smaller quantity of it. This helps cut down on your bill as well as your pet’s risk for obesity.

Shop at Pet Supply Stores

Consumer Reports found that stores like Target (TGT) and Walmart (WMT) had better prices than Petco, Petsmart (PETM), or online retailers like However, you won’t find natural food brands at general merchandise retailers. Stick with pet supply stores like Petco, which also offer price matching if you find the product cheaper at another store.

Petco has a points program that provides discounts to returning customers. And, if you buy 10 bags of food within a year, you’ll get the next one free. There’s even a Pet Birthday Club, which sends yearly discounts to celebrate your pet’s special day.

Stock Up Safely

You may be tempted to stock up on pet food during a great sale, but Moore recommends you don’t buy more than a month’s supply at a time. “Don’t go crazy and stockpile,” she says. ” You can buy a lot, but unless you have an airtight container, that food can become stale and not be as nutritious and cause stomach upsets.”

She also recommends supplementing dog food with leftover veggies from your dinner — your dog will get extra nutrition and you won’t have to feed him as much kibble.

So in the end, you’ll have to pay more for natural food, but you’ll be providing your pet with necessary nutrients. And in the long run, you’ll have a healthier pet and lower veterinary bills.

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