Obesity in dogs is becoming more common. Unfortunately, while a pudgy little Shih Tzu may look adorable, excess weight can be extremely dangerous for these small dogs. Obesity can lead to respiratory and cardiovascular issues, while also putting a major strain on muscles and joints, and may even contribute to certain diseases that can shorten the lifespan of your four-legged pal.
It is important to make sure that you maintain and monitor the diet of your Shih Tzu. These dogs may overeat, which can lead to obesity, so make sure that you speak with your vet about how much food your dog should be eating, and stick to a feeding schedule. You also want to make that you purchase and use a high-quality dog food that has good fats and proteins, as well as vitamins and minerals. Cheap, inferior foods are loaded with byproducts and fillers, which don't fill your dog up and can lead to overeating and health problems.
Treats can be given on occasion, but it is important to not feed your pet too many treats. Just like with food, you want to purchase healthy, high-quality treats. Avoid feeding table food to your pet unless it is healthy, loaded with vitamins, and safe for dogs.
Shih Tzus are also known for not being the most active dogs, but just because they want to lounge on the couch all day doesn't mean you should let them. While you don't have to go for a marathon run, you should always exercise your Shih Tsu daily. A half-mile walk is sufficient, or even 15 to 30 minutes of play inside or outdoors. This will help keep your pet active and healthy.
If you follow these steps and find that your pet is gaining wet, you need to set an appointment with a vet. An underlying issue could be causing the weight gain. If there is not an issue, your vet can help you get on track with a diet and exercise plan that works for both you and your pet.