The Shih Tzu is a beautiful small dog breed that is quite popular for its appearance and adorable personality. It is exciting to bring home your Shih Tzu and experience the love and personality of this dog breed. But before you get your new canine companion, there are some essential items that you will need to get you started.
The most essential items for this dog breed would be grooming items as the Shih Tzu requires regular grooming for their coat to remain in good condition. This article will provide you with information on some of the essential items you should purchase before acquiring your new Shih Tzu.
The 8 Most Essential Shih Tzu Supplies
Food and Feeding
1. Food and Water Bowls
Food and water bowls are one of the most essential items for new dogs that many owners forget to purchase. Investing in a high-quality food and water bowl will help save you money in the long run because it will be able to withstand chewing and general wear and tear. You do not have to choose a very large bowl because this is a small dog breed, and even an adult Shih Tzu can comfortably enjoy their meals and fresh water from the small bowls that you would typically purchase if you were getting a puppy.
Avoid choosing plastic bowls because while they are relatively inexpensive, they can contain harmful BPA (Bisphenol A) that can slowly be released into your dog’s food and water over time. Plastic bowls are also at risk of being chewed by a Shih Tzu and the plastic pieces are harmful if swallowed. Instead, we recommend something like the ceramic Frisco food and water bowl bundle.
2. Food and Treats
The food you feed your Shih Tzu will depend on their age and health status as some Shih Tzus will require a special diet if they perhaps have any allergies or health problems that need a diet tailored to their needs. A veterinarian will be able to point you in the right direction as to which food your Shih Tzu should be eating, but it should contain a good balance of protein, fiber, and fats, along with the essential vitamins and minerals required for this dog breed.
Fresh dog food made with high-quality protein sources and superfoods is the best food choice. One of our favorites is The Farmer’s Dog. The company offers ready-made fresh food, or, for those who enjoy the kitchen, The Farmer’s Dog also offers DIY packages! Whole, fresh and moisture-rich food will help to ensure your Shih Tzu gets all the nutrition it needs!
Healthy treats can also be incorporated into your Shih Tzu’s diet, and are also helpful when training new dogs and puppies as a form of reward for their good behavior or when they complete their training tasks correctly.
3. Doggy Bed
A dog bed is a necessity for Shih Tzu even if you plan to allow them to sleep on your bed or couch. You do not have to make any unnecessary purchases if you plan to get a puppy or adult-sized bed for your Shih Tzu, because this small dog breed will be able to grow into any bed you buy, making it a once-off purchase.
The shape, size, and color of the bed will depend on your personal preference, but the Frisco hexagon bolster dog bed is a great choice if you want a simple and affordable dog bed to get you started with both a puppy and adult Shih Tzus.
4. Collar and Leash
If you plan to take your Shih Tzu outside your home for essential veterinary appointments or on walks, then a collar and leash will be necessary. Collars are great(in addition to microchips) for your Shih Tzu to wear for identification purposes if they were to get lost. You can also use an adjustable dog harness for your Shih Tzu when you take them for walks.
Harnesses might be too uncomfortable for your Shih Tzu to wear constantly, which is why a collar is a good investment. You can also purchase a collar tag which can have your name and number added so that your Shih Tzu can be identified by others who can contact you if they’ve found your lost pooch.
5. Chews and Toys
Shih Tzus(especially puppies) love to chew, and having the right toys and treats for them when they are welcomed into your home is important. This can also help prevent your Shih Tzu from becoming bored and chewing on your furniture instead. It is important to find the right toys and chews for them, which are made from the right materials. You can choose from edible chews which can be safely consumed by your dog and usually have benefits such as helping keep your dog’s teeth clean, or you can choose non-edible chews that help teething puppies, such as the Nylabone teething toy.
6. Grooming Supplies
Your Shih Tzu will need grooming supplies whether you plan to take them to a grooming parlor or groom them yourself at home. The most essential grooming supplies this dog breed requires is a good shampoo and conditioner, along with a brush or comb to collect any loose hair and brush out any knots that accumulate in their fur.
A hypoallergenic and gently fragranced shampoo and conditioner bundle will be a good fit for this dog breed as it will be gentle on their fur and does not leave a strong fragrance that may bother them. The brush that you use for your Shih Tzu should be made for detangling so that it can smoothly run through their fur to get rid of knots. Since this is a small dog breed, the brush you choose does not have to be very large.
Here is a list of some grooming supplies that your Shih Tzu will need:
7. Eye Cleansing Wipes
Shih Tzus have a tendency to develop tear stains. Tear stains cause the fur around your Shih Tzu’s eyes to change to an unpleasant reddish-brown color, which detracts from your dog’s natural looks. But that is not the worst part! Bacteria and yeast tend to accumulate in tear stains, making your Shih Tzu more susceptible to eye infections and creating a vicious cycle. Once the tear stain has changed the fur’s color, it is very challenging to revert it. The best management is prevention, by cleaning your Shih Tzu’s tears every day using specialized easy-to-use cleansing wipes such as Angels’ Eyes Gentle Tear Stain Wipes. If your beloved Shih Tzu has already developed tear stains, you might also want to give the Angels’ Eyes Natural Chicken Flavored Soft Chew Tear Stain Supplement a try.
8. Puppy Pads
Whether you are getting a puppy or an adult Shih Tzu, puppy pads are always great to have on hand when you get a new dog to help prevent unwanted accidents in your home. Even the most well-trained Shih Tzu will feel nervous in their new home and will still need to go through the potty-training period.
Puppy pads will also be necessary if you plan to leave your Shih Tzu indoors while you are out so that they do not have to hold in their urine for an extended period. The puppy pads can be left in the bathroom or near the door where your Shih Tzu will usually wait to go outdoors to do their business. The Frisco dog training pads are a great investment if you want to purchase puppy pads in bulk that is the right size for this dog breed.
These essential supplies will be necessary when you get your Shih Tzu, so make sure you have the basics covered before you get your new dog so that you do not have to worry about getting them at a later stage. If you do get a Shih Tzu puppy, you may have to adjust the collar sizes and diet as they start to grow and mature, but most of the other items are safe for Shih Tzu’s of all ages, which means that you will not have to make additional purchases in the future for this dog breed aside from stocking up on food, treats, and any toys that they have chewed through.
Featured Image Credit: KellyNelson, Shutterstock