yourpurebredpuppy logo

Shih Tzu Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Breed Selection Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

Shih Tzu

Start your Shih Tzu off on the right foot by feeding the right food, giving the right vaccinations, finding the right vet, and if you're going to spay or neuter, don't do it too early.

Jump down to this list of
Shih Tzu Health Problems

Or check out my advice for raising a healthy Shih Tzu puppy or adult dog:

Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Shih Tzu lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet... [read more]

numeral 33 Best Ways To Feed Your Dog Healthy Food
You can dramatically increase your dog's chances of living a long, healthy life by feeding the right food. Cutting right to the chase, the best foods for your Shih Tzu are... [read more]

Real homemade dog food A Quick Way To Make Homemade Dog Food
Your Shih Tzu will love real chicken, turkey, beef, fish, eggs, yogurt, broccoli.... this is not just "people food" and I'll tell you why... [read more]

Dry kibble and canned dog food 5 Best Kibble and Canned Dog Foods
Some are better than others, but I must be honest – I'm not a huge fan of dry or canned dog food. Here are my concerns... [read more]

Information on booster shots for your German Shepherd. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Shih Tzu puppy really need? Does your adult dog need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed! Find out what some vets aren't telling you... [read more]

Information on spaying Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Should your female Shih Tzu be spayed? Current research says, "The AGE at which you spay can be vitally important to your dog's future health." So what's the best age? [read more]

Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Have you been told that you must neuter your male Shih Tzu? Current research shows that the issue is not so simple. Pet owners are not being told about some risks associated with neutering male dogs, especially neutering too early... [read more]

Information on choosing the best vet Make Sure Your Vet is the Best!
Is your current veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Here's how to tell... [read more]

Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review
Does your Shih Tzu suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to reduce inflammation and pain. [read more]

Shih Tzu

Complete list of Shih Tzu health problems

Dogs are not supposed to have short legs, a short muzzle, and a long back. These "features" are deformities, and they're associated with a number of health problems.

A long list of serious eye diseases leave many Shih Tzus completely blind or vision-impaired.

Cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, entropion, dry eye, glaucoma, eyelash abnormalities (which are particularly persistent and difficult to treat in Shih Tzus), cherry eye, retinal dysplasia, and tear duct disorders.

Also the prominent eyes are easily scratched, leading to corneal ulcers.

Juvenile renal dysplasia is a serious kidney disease that can kill young Shih Tzus before their first birthday.

Shih Tzus are prone to urinary stones. This is especially dangerous in males, as a stone may become lodged in the male's narrow urethra. A urinary blockage is life-threatening.

Allergies cause itchy skin and often lead to bacterial skin infections (pyoderma). Ear infections are common in Shih Tzus.

A congentital liver disease called liver shunt is a concern in Shih Tzus, as is liver disease (chronic hepatitis).

Orthopedic diseases include luxating patella (loose knees), intervertebral disk disease, Legg-Calve-Perthes degenerative hip disease, and hip or elbow dysplasia. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of over 675 Shih Tzus and found 21% dysplastic. That's a dreadful rate for a small dog.

A digestive disease, pyloric stenosis, occurs in the breed.

The nostrils of a Shih Tzu are often pinched too tightly together, which restricts air flow when the dog tries to breathe heavily while running around or playing. This serious condition is called stenotic nares and often requires surgery.

Two health problems in Shih Tzus are related to the blood: blood-clotting disease (von Willebrand's) and autoimmune hemolytic anemia.

Shih Tzus also seem to be predisposed to hernias.

Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if your dog inherits from his parents the genes for an eye disease called PRA, he will go blind and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

Dog feeding and health book by Michele Welton But most health problems can be prevented by the ways you raise your dog.

My best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to raise your Shih Tzu in all the right ways that help prevent health problems. Become your dog's health care champion!

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

To help you train and care for your dog

dog training videos Dog training videos. Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action.

The problem is that most dog training videos on the internet are worthless, because they use the wrong training method. I recommend these dog training videos that are based on respect and leadership.

book coverRespect Training For Puppies: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy. For puppies 2 to 18 months old. Your puppy will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
If your dog is over 18 months, you'll want book coverRespect Training For Adult Dogs: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved dog. Again your dog will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
book coverTeach Your Dog 100 English Words is a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your adult dog to listen to you and do what you say.
book cover11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy helps your dog live a longer, healthier life.
book coverDog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams will help you find a good-tempered, healthy family companion.