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What Should I Buy Before Getting a Shih Tzu (Harness, Collar, Clothes, and Other Equipment)?

Before taking your Shih Tzu home, ensure that you have prepared its basic needs. These include dog food, water dishes, a harness or collar, a leash, a soft bed, a grooming kit, chew toys, and yummy treats.
What Should I Buy Before Getting a Shih Tzu

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Welcome your fur buddy by puppy-proofing your home. The Shih Tzu is susceptible to heat strokes. Consider getting an air-conditioned room ready for the hot days. On the other hand, clothes will help warm them up in the winter months.

What Do Shih Tzu Puppies Need?

In general, puppies require health, safety, training, and grooming essentials. You may also consider other helpful services to help you take care of your new puppy.

  • Healthy Puppy Food: Do the research and find the right dog food for your new puppy. Asking other fur parents and your vet and observing how your pup licks its bowl will surely help.
  • Food and Water Bowls: These are as essential as their food. Buy ones that are appropriate for your Shih Tzu’s size and eating style. If you love to travel, portable dog bowls are readily available in pet supply stores.
  • Healthy Puppy Treats: Dogs love chews and dental snacks, so better get them ready. Since your puppy is new, get a small selection on hand as you learn which flavors your new pooch loves.
  • Food Storage: Puppies will try to get into everything. Keep all their food and treats in one place and puppy-proof it, so they don’t create an unnecessary mess.
  • Adjustable Collar or Harness: Whether you are going for the harness or collar, choose the right size for your pup. Getting the right one leads you to safe and enjoyable walks. It will also make your training sessions productive.
  • Leash: Like the collar or harness, pick the right leash to keep your puppy close. Make sure it is sturdy as young dogs tend to chew or pull on them.
  • Dog ID Tags: Keep your canine companion safe by providing a tag. It will make them easy to identify in case they run away.
  • Training Treats and Pouch: Choose high-value treats to motivate them in your training. Have them handy in your pouch so you can quickly give them one when they behave well.
  • Puppy Bed: Give your pup a cozy place to get its much-needed rest.
  • Dog Crate: If you’re planning to crate-train or travel with your new dog, a crate is a good investment. You can also use it for short drives.
  • Puppy Pads: Puppy pads are versatile as a tool in house-training your pet. They also protect your floors and furniture. In case of emergencies, they also serve as a backup plan.
  • Playpens, Gates, and Other Fence Systems: If you need to limit your young dog’s access to portions of your home, using baby-fence systems is helpful.
  • Dog Toys: All dogs want and need to play. This is especially true for your puppy. There are different kinds of toys available. Give calming, chew, chase, puzzle, plush, and interactive toys to your young canine, depending on its needs.
  • Grooming Supplies: A big part of your Shih Tzu puppy’s general health is grooming. Secure brushes and dog shampoo for its coat of hair. Provide toothpaste, toothbrush, and nail trimmers for dental and nail care. Grooming wipes are also helpful for small and quick messes.
  • Cleaning Supplies: Your Shih Tzu puppy is bound to make a mess. Its hair coat will also shed, especially when it transitions to an adult coat. Get ready with your pet-approved cleaning supplies. These are the vacuum, poop bags, and scooper.
  • Essential Health Care Services: Involve people you can trust to lend a helping hand when you need it with your puppy. Find a veterinarian who’s a good fit for you and your puppy.
  • Pet Insurance: Pet insurance ensures you are covered for unforeseen events, emergencies, and other catastrophes. This is more for your protection as you care for your fur buddy.
  • Other Services to Consider: Finding a good professional groomer early is excellent if you don’t plan on doing it yourself. Having a trusted pet sitter or dog walker makes your life easier. A certified dog trainer can also help train your Shih Tzu pup quickly.

Should a Shih Tzu Wear a Harness or a Collar?

Most dogs get a collar. It is an essential accessory to attach their ID and other tags onto. However, when it comes to your Shih Tzu, a harness is the better option, especially for walking.

When walking your dog, the harness can give you better control than the collar. It discourages leash pulling. In case of pulling, there is no strain on your dog’s neck as it puts pressure on your dog’s body instead.

Brachycephalic breeds, like the Shih Tzu, are prone to respiratory conditions. This rings true when they pull on their leash. It might cause pressure against their neck. Severe pressure on the neck can cause the eye to pop out of its socket.

Excessive pressure on the throat can also cause your Shih Tzu to choke. This increases respiratory issues and contributes to tracheal collapse.

Is a Harness Bad for a Shih Tzu?

For your Shih Tzu, a harness is deemed ideal for walks. It makes it easier to keep your pup by your side. Especially for puppies inclined to pull and tug, a harness is more comfortable and safer.

Using a harness removes your worries about a collar pressing against your fur companion’s neck.

How to Measure a Shih Tzu for a Harness

Your Shih Tzu can reap the benefits of a harness if it has the right size. Because of this, you must take a good measurement of your dog before purchasing a harness.

Measure your toy breed’s chest around its widest point. Also, take the neck’s dimension at its widest point, just above the shoulders. Never base your dog’s neck measurement on its collar.

To be sure, you may weigh your dog. It might help in choosing the best harness. If your canine’s numbers fall between two sizes, go for the larger size.

Finally, have your Shih Tzu try the harness on. Use the finger test. Slide two fingers between your dog and the harness to check the fit. If your fingers pass easily, it is loose enough for your dog to be comfortable but not too loose that your pet can escape.

Some harnesses are padded. This adds to your Shih Tzu’s comfort. Lastly, you want to look for materials that won’t cause tangling and matting of your fur friend’s long coat.

What Type of Collar Is Best for a Shih Tzu?

Even if walking with your Shih Tzu in a collar and leash is risky, you may still want to put them in a collar to hold their ID tags.

In it, you can provide your contact information in case your furry friend is lost. Some states also require the tag to display registration and vaccination information.

Look for a collar made of lightweight material. The ones with the snap buckles are better than those with belted collars.

Like the harness, look for a material that does not cause your dog’s long coat to tangle and mat. Remove it when brushing your Shih Tzu’s hair and when bathing so you can clean the coat properly.

Never put your Shih Tzu in a collar if it has a collapsed trachea or other breathing issues, even when off leash.

What Size Collar Does a Shih Tzu Need?

Being a toy breed, a Shih Tzu’s collar’s size ranges from small to medium.

To ensure that you get the best size for your pet, loosely measure its neck with a soft tape measure. Slide your two fingers between your dog’s neck and the measuring tape or collar. Doing this ensures that the collar is snug but not tight.

What Is the Average Neck Size of a Shih Tzu?

The adult Shih Tzu’s average neck size is 14 to 16.5 inches (35 to 42 cm).

Do Shih Tzu Need to Wear Clothes?

In the cold season, wearing clothes prevents them from having chills. Small breeds like the Shih Tzu do not have much body fat that can help keep them warm in cold weather.

Dog coats and sweaters can keep them warm in winter and even in summer and spring when there is chilly air. Daily exercise and walking are essential. Clothes provide a good cover-up when walking outdoors.

Should Shih Tzu Wear Sweaters?

Putting on a waterproof sweater on your Shih Tzu during snowy or rainy-day walks will keep them warm and dry. Remember that they are also at risk for frostbite.

Furthermore, your Shih Tzu can also use sweaters to keep them warm after a haircut. It comforts them by gently transitioning from having longer to shorter hair.

Should a Shih Tzu Wear a Coat?

Small dog breeds like the Shih Tzu do not have much reserve of body fat that can insulate them from the cold. What they have instead are hair and fur. However, winter elements can be too hard on your toy breed. A winter coat can add a layer of warmth and offer protection against chills.

At What Temperature Should My Shih Tzu Wear a Coat?

The winter can get too cold for your Shih Tzu. If the temperature drops to around 4 degrees Celsius (40 degrees Fahrenheit), put a coat on your canine companion.

What Size Clothes Do Shih Tzu Wear?

Toy breeds such as your Shih Tzu wear the size small. This size is suitable for dogs ranging from 8 to 12 pounds (3.6 to 5.4 kg). Dogs above 13 pounds (5.8 kg) wear medium-size clothes.

What Size Shirt Does a Shih Tzu Wear?

A pet shirt’s length is approximately a third of its body’s length. This is measured from the collar to the base of their tail. If your Shih Tzu’s body length is 10 inches (25 cm), a size small will fit.  This shirt will be 7 to 8 inches (17.8 to 20.3 cm) in length.

What Size Sweater Should I Get My Shih Tzu?

For your Shih Tzu, the sweater in size small usually fits. Different clothing brands can use various materials and follow diverse designs. It is safest to buy according to your dog’s measurements.

To start, measure your pet’s chest at its widest point. It is typically right behind the front legs. This is the most critical measurement. The other numbers won’t make a big difference if the garment fits your dog’s chest size.

What Is the Average Chest Size of a Shih Tzu?

The average chest size of Shih Tzu is 14 to 20 inches (35 to 50 cm).

Where to Buy Clothes for Shih Tzu

As one of the most popular breeds, Shih Tzu apparel is available in various places. You can find them in pet supply stores such as Petsmart and Petco. Big retail chain stores like Walmart and Costco also offer pet-clothing lines.

You may also opt to avail your pooch’s garments online. You can find them in these popular stores’ online shops or in pet specialty online stores.

What Are Shih Tzu’s Favorite Toys?

Shih Tzu leads a reasonably active lifestyle. They also require mental stimulation and tons of playtime. To satisfy their teething needs, they are fond of chew toys. Balls and fetch toys are another one of their favorite for active play.

They also love plush toys for snuggling and interactive puzzle toys for cognitive stimulation.