Shih Tzu Supplies by Janice A. Jones |Published August 15, 2019
You wouldn't think of bringing a new baby home from the hospital without a few things, some infant equipment and assortment of gadgets and tools to make your job little easier as a new parent.
The same is true for your new canine baby. He/she needs some tools, equipment and supplies to make her feel comfortable and welcomed and some additional items to make your life just a little easier.
Pet manufacturers are happy to comply and new products are coming on the market everyday. There's no shortage of things you can purchase for your new puppy and if anything is true, the supply is so massive that it makes decision making a daunting experience.
If your budget is unlimited, the sky is the limit, but for the rest of us, we need to make some careful decisions.
After careful consideration, I have created a list of must-haves, followed by "nice to have," and finally, a list for the supremely pampered Tzu.
All dogs will need some supplies. Here is my list of the 10 must have bare bone essentials for a new puppy.
Food and water bowls are essential items that few people forget to purchase. At Miracle Shih Tzu Pup, we start with very small bowls and work our way up as the puppies grow.
While plastic bowls are the most inexpensive, they are not recommended because plastic containers may contain BPA (Bisphenol A) a harmful chemical found in a variety of plastic products including the plastic water bottles that are consumed every day. According to Kablo, there is good evidence to suggest that BPA is harmful to you and your dog.
The better choices for bowls are ceramic, stoneware, glass or stainless steel. Glass can break easily so that may not be the best choice. The other three including Ceramic, stoneware and stainless steel are the best choices for puppies.
Here are a few ideas I found on Amazon. Click on the picture to learn more about the product and price.
I recommend purchasing two beds for your puppy because one can be laundered while the other one can be in use. Puppies are a bit messy.
There are so many different beds from which to choose but for puppies, you don't need to spend top dollars on orthopedic mattresses or fancy designer brands.
Most puppies are quite happy with soft bed with something they can use for a pillow. Yes, even dogs love pillows. They like to curl up in a bed with soft sides and some even like blankets.
If you are also using a crate, choose a dog bed that will fit comfortably inside the crate.
Here are a couple of dog bed designs I found on Amazon. These would be my recommendations.
Puppies are not housebroken when they leave Miracle Shih Tzu Pup. We try our best to give them opportunities to go outside and teach them how to use puppy pads, but there aren't any guarantees. Each puppy catches on at their own pace.
For this reason, I recommend some type of confinement system. Depending on how much space you have available, a puppy enclosure such as an exercise pen (X-pen) puppy playpen, or crate may be what you need to keep your puppy safe while you are not interacting with him. Here are a couple to check out but be sure to first measure your space to assure an exercise pen will fit.
Baby gates are great for preventing your puppy from gaining full access to your home. Remember, though that puppies are small and may be able to squeeze through a puppy gate with little effort. Wooden gates are more elegant looking, but puppies love to chew wood.
Mesh gates will eliminate the problem of your puppy getting through, but can snag easily when your puppy paws at it with sharp nails.
Steel designs work well, but choose one that can be easily opened with one hand and measure carefully to assure the gate you chose will fit properly. Here are just a couple of ideas to get you started.
Crates are great for puppies and you can put their bed in the crate to provide a safe cozy place for your puppy when you are not with him. Crates are not meant to confine puppies for a full day while you're at work. Puppies can only be expected to stay in a crate for a few hours at a time.
You can start smaller, but the size I recommend is 24 Lenght x 18 Width x 19 Height. It gives them room to grow and would be an ideal size for an adult Shih Tzu.
Choosing a good dog food is likely going to be a difficult task for any new puppy owner. I would suggest you use the free bag of food that comes with your puppy and then purchase another bag of the same food while you research brands.
You may decide to stick with the same food or change foods. That is your choice, but you should know why you are switching after gaining some information about canine nutrition and dog food. Check out the link below to learn more about NuVet Plus.
Puppies respond well to positive training techniques and the best way to train is by providing food treats or praise or both. The best treats are nutritious, tiny and soft.
You don't want to give a large piece of chicken or your training session will end while the puppy tries to eat every last morsel. I have listed a few training treats that you may want to check out. Even when individual treats are tiny, try breaking them up into even smaller pieces for training purposes. If you want to purchase training treats, here are a couple of high quality treats that I can recommend.
Puppies chew. Without something they can sink their teeth into, they will find a way to chew and the objects they find are not likely to be good for them and you may not appreciate the damage a small puppy can do in a short period of time.
Chew toys should be very tough, durable and made of hard rubber. Other chews can be found such as bully sticks, antlers, hard digestible bones that take a while to devour. Himalayan Dog Chews which are basically a very hard cheese that doesn't spoil and takes a long time to chew are also popular choices.
There are many different types of toys and you may want to experiment with the different types until you find which toys are most popular. It has been my experience that Shih Tzu dogs love:
What we Don't Recommend: Rawhide, Pigs Ears, Sterilized bones sourced from outside the U.S.A.
These are three items that will be necessary if you ever plan to take your dog outside your home. Who would keep a puppy locked up inside? Collars and harnesses will need to be replaced as the dog grows but a 6 foot leash should last a very long time.
Take into consideration the size of the puppy and the time of year. Some harnesses can serve as partial coats for cold weather walks, but would be very uncomfortable in the heat of summer.
Most Shih Tzu dogs do best with a harness. Collars tend to put pressure on tiny tracheae making them dangerous. That does not mean your dog doesn't need a collar. Collars are great for holding Rabies tags and identification. When walking on a leash, however attach that leash to your dog's harness.
You will want to assure that if your dog gets lost, there is a way for him to be found. Microchips have proven to be the best method for finding lost dogs. It's best to wait until the puppy is at least 2 pounds before inserting a microchip and don't forget to register it. An inserted microchip is useless unless it is listed in a database with your information.
Identification tags can also be made and attached to a collar. I prefer to have ID tags that do not publish the dog's name, but provide your contact information instead.
I have lumped these two categories together because some people will want to use puppy pads and others would prefer to train their puppy to go outside, thus eliminating the puppy pad stage altogether.
Human children and cleaning go hand in hand and the same can be said of puppies. Puppies get dirty and leave dirty trails behind them. They also have accidents, sometimes LOTS of accidents. Even when they go where they are supposed to go, you still need to pick up the poop. Here is a list of essential supplies you will want to stock up on initially.
Some people love the convenience of puppy pads and use them exclusively as a way to housebreak their puppy. Others prefer to avoid them altogether. There are several ways to housebreak a puppy and how you decide to do it is your choice.
Puppy pads are great if you live in an apartment with no quick access to outdoors. They are great if you work and must leave your puppy in an enclosed area. Even if you don't work outside the home, you will need to leave your puppy alone at times and pads work great for these purposes.
You can choose to purchase disposable pads or cloth pads that can be washed over and over again. Cloth pads tend to be the most economical but you must be willing to launder them frequently. They are also the most durable as puppies are not likely to use them as chew toys.
Disposable pads are easiest to use and replace, but you do take the chance that the puppy will find them to be a good play toy. You can train them not to do that, though, so don't rule out disposable pads, just because the first few get shredded.
Your new Shih Tzu puppy will need a variety of grooming supplies whether you plan to groom him entirely yourself or engage a professional groomer.
The essential supplies you will need initially include a brush, comb, nail clipper, tooth brush and tooth paste and Shampoo and conditioner.
Here is a list of items to consider. If you decide to groom your puppy at home rather than using a professional groomer, you will need to add additional supplies as the puppy grows.
You could fill up an entire room with dog stuff and as your puppy grows you may find yourself wanting to add to these basic supplies. From dog car seats to strollers, to pet cams, there's no limit to what you can purchase these days to indulge your new four legged friend.
Some people love to purchase clothing for their little Tzu and if you live in a cooler climate, a sweater or winter coat may become a necessity. You may want to experiment with water bottles rather than bowls, and don't forget to stock your canine first aid kit just in case of an emergency.
You may also decide you love to groom and learn how to do all those tasks at home at a huge savings. Please check back on this site our our parent site Miracle Shih Tzu for product recommendations.
You could spend a fortune on dog stuff and as your puppy grows you are likely going to need additional items, some must haves, some that will make your life as a dog parent easier and then some that well, you really don't need but still want.
Over the years, I've probably tried most products so, if you'd like an opinion on something you are considering, please, just ask. You can contact me about this or any other question you might have. If I don't know the answer, I will do my best to find an answer for you.