Just like humans, Shih Tzus can get out of shape and overweight. The reasons why your Shih Tzu may be overweight may be several, so you’ll want to check with your vet to see if there is a medical reason why your pooch is out of shape. In most cases, your dog simply needs to lose a little weight and become more active. Here are a few tips that will help your dog lose the extra weight, be more active, and get healthier.
Weigh Your Shih Tzu
Every journey has a beginning and this one starts by weighing your Shih Tzu to understand just how much they need to lose. It may be a little or it may be a lot, but whatever the case, you will need to know where your dog is and what the goal is to stay on target.
Feed the Recommended Amount
Just like humans, crash diets tend to backfire. This means that instead of trying to drastically cut what they eat you should stick to the recommended amount. Read the instructions that come with the dog food and feed them exactly what it states. Set specific times when you feed your Shih Tzu. That will help correct their behavior if they are obsessing on food.
While you should restrict their food to the recommended amount, provide as much fresh, clean water as they want. Drinking plenty of water will not affect their weight and it acts as an appetite suppressant. So, let then drink as much as they want.
Look for tasty treats that are low calorie, so this does not add to the weight of your Shih Tzu. Plus, you should limit how many extra treats you give them, even if they have been a good dog.
Look for Food Stealing
Some dogs will simply take what they want either from another dog’s food bowl or from your table. Keep an eye out for this behavior and take steps to stop it. A simple way is to crate your Shih Tzu when you and the family are eating. If you have more than one dog, pull their bowls apart so they feed separately.
Going out for a walk is a great way for your dog to lose weight and stay in shape. You can start with a 15-minute walk and work your way up to 30 minutes. Check with your vet to see how much exercise your Shih Tzu should get each day.
If walking is not practical, for example, if you live in an area where walking may not work. Then set aside time to play with your Shih Tzu. A little wrestling, rubbing, and tickling will help your Shih Tzu to work the muscles and burn away the extra fat. Just be careful not to play too hard and always stay in control.
A little effort can go a long way towards keeping your Shih Tzu in shape. Plus, working with your vet will help ensure that your dog will stay happy, healthy, and at the right weight.