Updated: Apr 13, 2022
1. Crate. A crate to keep the puppy in during the night or when company is over is recommended. Purchase a size that your puppy can grow into and use later. Plastic crates are easier to sanitize and puppies cannot claw through them (as opposed to soft crates).
2. Crate Pad. There are many types available. You should have at least two so that you have one available while the other is being washed.
3. Exercise Pen. An exercise pen is not a necessity but is recommended if you have young children or other pets. It is a good place to let your puppy exercise that is safe and supervised. They are also nice to have to take when you are away from home so you don't have to worry about your puppy getting into things he should not be into or wandering off.
- Recommendation: The older style has pins to hold together panels- NOT click together plastic joints. The pin style is more durable. Multiple pens may be connected together for a larger space.
4. Food and Water Dishes- I like the metal bowls that have the non slip bottoms. I suggest you avoid plastic as it tends to pick up colors and odors. Some owners like a water bottle. I have found a water fountain beneficial since I have multiple dogs.
5. Food. Do not feed your Shih Tzu a grain free diet. There are many high quality dog foods ot there. A quality food will help your Shih Tzu live a longer healthier life as well as have better hair and skin. Some popular brands are Blue Buffalo, Royal Canine, and Fromm. Your breeder will inform you what your puppy has been fed and send you home with a small supply. If you decide to change foods, gradually increase amounts of the new food until it is entirely the new food. DO NOT FEED TABLE SCRAPS. It is not healthy and it can create bad habits. You puppy should remain on puppy food until 6months old.
6. Treats. Obviously treats are optional but are often helpful in training and many owners just can't resist! For training freeze dried liver pieces are popular. I also use brushing bones to assist with dental hygiene.
7. Chew Toys. Make sure they are well made and approved for dog use. Wash toys often and check them to make sure that they are not coming apart and the filling can come out. Ropes make a good choice. 6. Collars , Harnesses, and Leashes- There are so many different types available. I recommend a harness. Shih Tzus have sensitive throats that can easily be damaged by collars getting pulled or stuck. If you keep your Shih Tzu's full coat, a collar can cause tangling. If you choose to use a collar, check it often as your puppy grows quickly and you do not want the collar too tight. A rolled leather collar will catch less on their hair. Start by putting the leash on in the house so that the puppy can get used to the weight of it before going outside. Do not put your puppy in his crate with his collar on. The collar may get caught and the puppy can strangle.
7. Name Tags. Engraved nametags can be purchased in many stores right by the door where they have a machine that you get buy them for about $6.00 and get them that day. There is also a large assortment of different name tags from just a few dollars to $20.00 online. 8. Microchips. Microchips now days are not just for safety. Many vets will have access to microchips that will enable them to read your Shih Tzu's temperature by scanning their chip. This is quite an improvement over rectal thermometers (just ask any Shih Tzu!). Owners can also buy chip readers that display temperature ($65-80). If you choose not to implant this type of chip it is important to have a rectal thermometer on hand. Make yourself familiar with a puppies normal temperature. If you think that your puppy is sick, the first thing that you should do is to take his temperature. A PUPPY'S NORMAL TEMPERATURE IS ANYWHERE BETWEEN 100-102.6 9. Flea Prevention. I use Revolution. It is a flea and tick medication that goes on the back of the neck. Ask your vet what works best in your region. Its very important that you do at least one dose of this the first month your new puppy or dog is home. Make sure its for pups 8 weeks and up. It should say up to 10lb or up something similar to indicate it is for small sizes 10. Wormer. Your puppy will need another worming. You can also get this at a pet supply store or your vet can provide the dosing. Follow your vets recommendations for treatment. Also ask your vet about heartworm treatment.
11. Wormer. Your puppy will need another worming. You can also get this at a pet supply store or your vet can provide the dosing. Follow your vets recommendations for treatment. Also ask your vet about heartworm treatment.
See the "Grooming your Shih Tzu" blog for tips and recommendations for grooming.