11 Ways You May Be Unintentionally Shortening Your Shih Tzu's Life

Having a Shih Tzu can bring great joy to your life. However, Shih Tzu ownership also brings big responsibilities, including looking out for the good health of your pet. Unfortunately, not all Shih Tzu owners know what signs to look for that indicate health issues in their dogs and may be unintentionally shortening their lives. Here is a list of 11 ways that you may be unintentionally damaging the health of your Shih Tzu, and what to do in each situation.

1. Neglecting teeth and gums

Studies show that more than 80% of dogs are suffering from oral health issues. Keep a look out for foul breath, pain when eating, or broken teeth. If any of these signs are observed, you should take your pup to the vet as soon as possible. There are lots of easy ways to help maintain good dental health in your dog, including feeding dry kibble rather than wet (or human) food, encouraging the use of suitable chew toys and even cleaning your dog's tooth with appropriate doggy toothpaste.

2. Allowing the dog to get overweight

Shih Tzus and other small dog breeds are known to gain weight easily, and a considerable percentage of dogs are overweight. Not only is this uncomfortable for the dog, it can also lead to health issues, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and breathing difficulties. It's also pretty painful for such small dogs to carry around excess weight, so it's important that you monitor your pet's weight and keep a close eye on their diet with appropriate food and portion control.

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