These charming breed of little dogs are very playful companions. They are known to be gentle, affectionate, and loving. As a matter of fact, Shih Tzus love to spend time on their owner’s lap, or cuddling and sleeping with them. This basically makes them great pets for families particularly for elderly couples. Besides, the breed can be wonderful with kids as well. In addition to that, Shih Tzus tend to need plenty of pampering from their masters. However, due to their small size, they need to be handled very carefully.
Shih Tzu’s long, flowing coat needs to be brushed every day in order to maintain its natural shine. Their hair also needs to be clipped every 2 or 3 months to keep them look tidy. Even the hair around their bottom has to be trimmed on a regular basis to keep them neat and clean. When groomed regularly, the breed will shed lightly; making them suited even for people with allergies.
Shih Tzus provided with proper nourishment and regular exercise can live for as long as 10 to 14 years. Nonetheless, similar to other dog breeds, Shih Tzus are also plagued with a few health problems including thyroid problems, dog allergies, kidney problems, anemia, and luxating patella. Since they are not well fitted for hot or humid weather conditions, the breed is prone to heat strokes. Because of their large eyes, Shih Tzus are also likely to suffer from eye injuries and infections.
These playful tiny dogs are not suited for outdoor-living. They should not be left outside and they rarely thrive in hot and humid weather. Shih Tzus do no need a lot of exercise. In fact, small daily walks are already adequate. However, sufficient exercise entails combining walking with short yet vigorous indoor games in the home.