✅ The Complete Shih Tzu Puppy Shopping List
If you’re planning to bring a Shih Tzu puppy into your home, congratulations! These adorable and affectionate dogs make wonderful companions. However, before you bring your new furry friend home, it’s important to make sure you have all the necessary supplies. To help you out, we’ve put together the ultimate Shih Tzu puppy shopping list. From food and treats to grooming supplies and toys, this checklist of 23 must-have items will ensure that you’re fully prepared to welcome your new puppy into your life.
1. Shih Tzu Puppy Food
When it comes to choosing a good food for a shih tzu puppy, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, the puppy’s age. Puppies in the first few weeks of life will require different nutrition than older puppies. For example, a newborn puppy will need a food that is high in fat and protein, while an older puppy may require a food that is lower in fat and higher in fiber. Many shih tzu owners prefer to continue using the same food that the breeder or rescue was using, at least in the beginning. In addition, always speak with your veterinarian about their food recommendation.
To view which puppy foods iHeartDogs recommends, visit our guide here.
2. Food & Water Bowls
When choosing a water and food bowl for a shih tzu puppy, it’s important to choose one that is easy to clean and will not harbor bacteria. Plastic bowls are often the most popular choice, as they are inexpensive and can easily be replaced. However, plastic bowls are more likely to harbor germs. Stainless steel and ceramic bowls are a good choice, as they are more durable and do not hold onto odors. It’s important to choose a bowl that is the right size for your shih tzu puppy, as too large of a bowl could make it difficult for them to eat and drink from it. Additionally, try to find a bowl with a non-slip bottom, as this will help to keep it from sliding around on the floor when your puppy is eating or drinking. Finally, check for any sharp edges that could hurt your puppy.
3. Leash and Collar (or Harness)
You’ll need a quality collar and a leash for your new shih tzu pup. Make sure the collar is the right size and comfortable for your pup to wear. Keep in mind they will likely grow out of them quickly, so you may want to buy multiple in different sizes.
For collars, we love these simple and durable embroidered collars. Having your dog’s name and phone number personalized directly on the collar is an extra precaution, as dog ID tags can easily wear out and fall off.
4. Dog Crate
If you plan to crate train your pup, you’ll need a crate. When choosing a crate for your puppy, there are a few things to consider. First, make sure to purchase one that is the appropriate size for your puppy. The crate should be big enough for your puppy to comfortably stand up, turn around, and lay down, but not too big that they have too much extra space. Second, consider the type of crate you purchase. Wire crates are more breathable and typically lighter, but plastic crates create a more enclosed space, which is ideal for puppies that are anxious or crate-trained. Third, think about the features of the crate. Look for crates with removable trays, handles, and locks for safety and convenience. Lastly, consider the price range of the crate. Many pet stores have a variety of crates within different price ranges, so you can choose one that fits your budget.
5. Shih Tzu Appropriate Toys
When choosing toys for a new puppy, it’s important to find ones that are safe and durable. Look for toys that are made with non-toxic materials, are easily washable, and don’t have small parts that can be chewed off and swallowed. Soft, plush toys are great for cuddling and playing, and durable rubber or plastic toys can help with teething. Choose a variety of toys to keep your puppy entertained and help them learn about the world around them. It’s also a good idea to rotate toys. Periodically add and remove toys from your puppy’s toy box to keep them fresh and exciting. And lastly, always always monitor your puppy while playing to ensure they don’t destroy a toy and it becomes a choking hazard!
7. Natural & Safe Puppy Chews
In addition to durable toys, you’ll likely want to invest in some long-lasting natural chews for you shih tzu pup. Avoid chews with dangerous or synthetic ingredients like rawhide. Our puppies have always enjoyed the Earth Animal No-Hide chews. They looks and feel like rawhide, but are made from safe, but still long lasting ingredients.
8. Grooming Supplies
If you plan to groom your pup yourself, you’ll need some basic grooming supplies. This includes a brush, shampoo, nail clippers, and anything else you need to groom your pup.
9. Dog Bed
Choosing a good bed for your new shih tzu puppy is important. Look for one that is comfortable, supportive, and easily washable. Make sure the bed is large enough for your puppy to grow into, and that the material is durable enough to withstand wear and tear. Choose a bed that is made from a breathable material to help keep your puppy cool and comfortable. Finally, look for a bed that is easy to clean and maintain.
Choosing good treats for a new puppy can be a daunting task. The first thing to keep in mind is that not all treats are created equal. Some treats contain unhealthy ingredients that can cause health problems for your pup, so it’s important to read labels and understand what goes into the treats you’re purchasing. The next step is to consider the size and type of treat you’re looking for. Smaller treats are better for puppies, as they are easier to digest and can help prevent bloating or an upset stomach. Additionally, you don’t want to give a treat your puppy can’t chew, as this could lead to choking or swallowing a large piece. Training size treats are usually the best option.
11. Poop Bags
A good stock of poop bags is absolutely essential. The best deal we’ve found on eco-friendly bags is this 540 box on Amazon. Don’t skimp on quality, as there is nothing worse than putting your hand into a poop bag only to find a hole!
12. First Aid Kit
Accidents can happen, so it’s important to have a pet first aid kit on hand in case of an emergency. This should include items like gauze, bandages, and antiseptic.
13. Puppy Probiotics (for the inevitable upset stomach)
Transitioning to a new home can be stressful to your new shih tzu pup. This stress often results in an upset stomach, which can make potty training extra difficult. A good quality, multi-strain probiotic can help soothe your dog’s stomach and regulate their bowl movements. We like this 3-in-1 probiotic chew that also includes prebiotics & digestive enzymes.
14. Puppy Gate or Pen
There will likely be times where you wish to keep your shih tzu puppy contained in a smaller area. There are many great puppy gates or pens available for such a need.
15. Puppy Toothbrush
Veterinarians recommend getting your new puppy use to teeth brushing at an early age. They should quickly get use to the idea of someone touching their teeth. We like these small, nearly invisible finger toothbrushes. iHeartDogs knows the importance of dental health for dogs (it could save their life as they age) so they give them away for free (just pay S&H)
16. Urine & Odor Cleaner
Accidents happen! Inevitably, you’re going to need a good quality enzymatic urine cleaner. Our favorite formula is the Rocco and Roxie stain and odor eliminator on Amazon.
17. Puppy Potty Pads
When choosing pee pads for your new puppy it is important to consider the size, absorbency, and material of the pad. You’ll want to make sure the pad is large enough for your puppy to use comfortably and will last throughout the day. It’s also important to consider the absorbency of the pad. Look for a pad that will quickly and effectively absorb liquid and keep your puppy’s paws dry. In addition, you’ll want to make sure the material of the pad is safe for your puppy. Avoid materials that may contain harsh chemicals or irritants that could be harmful to your puppy’s skin. We love these eco-friendly, reusable potty pads on Amazon.
18. ID Tags
One absolute essential for your new pup is an ID tag to clip on their collar. In fact, go ahead and buy a couple, just in case one falls off! Make sure to include their name, and 2 phone numbers where you can be reached if someone finds your pup. Always remember to remove the collar (along with ID tag) if your puppy is left alone, as it can easily become tangled in something and risk serious injury. Here’s a round up of our favorite dog ID tag designs.
19. Seat Belt (for Harness)
If you plan on taking your shih tzu with you in the car, a seat belt that connects to their harness is a must! NEVER connect a seat belt to your dog’s collar, as even a small impact will put all the pressure on your dog’s neck.
We like this heavy duty seat belt from Amazon that includes a harness as well.
20. Calming Puppy Heartbeat Toy (to soothe anxiety)
One of the most popular new items for a shih tzu puppy is a calming heartbeat puppy plush toy. This plush mimics the heartbeat of a mother dog. It also includes a one time use heat pack to mimic the warmth as well. Many dog owners find these very useful for crate training or periods of time when the puppy needs to be left alone.
21. Fish Oil (for Brain Development)
Although not absolutely essential, if you were to give your shih tzu puppy one supplement, it should be a good quality fish oil. Fish oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) which are critical for early brain development. While some foods contain a bit of fish oil, it’s often a minuscule amount, and doesn’t survive the high heat processing that kibble requires.
We love this Norwegian salmon oil on Amazon. If you compare it side by side next to a typical low quality fish oil, you’ll see (and smell) a huge difference.
22. Brain Games
We all know puppies need to exercise their bodies, but what about their brains? Teaching a dog to use smell to find treats is called “nosework” and its becoming an extremely popular way to engage a bored dog. Remember, a bored puppy is a destructive puppy!
We love this high quality snuffle mat on Amazon. We tried several and there is a big difference in quality of the fabric, many get dirty or teat easily.
23. Shih Tzu Puppy Training Course
Last, but certainly not least: don’t forget dog training! Training your shih tzu puppy is absolutely critical for their development. Dog training could even save their life in an emergency!
We’re big fans of SpiritDog training, as their online courses have excellent, easy to understand videos. They also allow you to ask unlimited questions to their trainers.
Here’s our top recommendations for shih tzu puppy training courses:
They also have training bundles that are a much better value, since they contain multiple courses in one:
By having these items on hand, you’ll be well-prepared for your new shih tzus pup. While it might seem like a lot to buy, these items are essential for providing your pup with the care and attention they need. With the right supplies, you can give your pup the best start to their life.
Frequently Asked Questions by New Shih Tzu Puppy Owners
Bringing a new shih tzu puppy home can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. However, it can also come with a lot of questions and uncertainties. To help new shih tzu puppy owners, we have compiled a list of four common questions with detailed answers.
1. How often should I feed my shih tzu puppy?
Shih Tzu puppies need to be fed multiple times a day. As a general rule, you should feed your shih tzu puppy 3-4 small meals a day until they are six months old. After that, you can reduce their meals to 2-3 times per day. Shih tzu puppies have small stomachs and need frequent meals to maintain their energy levels and support their growth. It’s important to choose a high-quality puppy food that is specially formulated for small breeds.
2. How can I potty train my shih tzu puppy?
Potty training a shih tzu puppy can be a bit challenging, but it’s important to start early and be consistent. Crate training can be an effective way to potty train your shih tzu puppy. When you bring your puppy home, start by taking them outside to the designated potty area frequently. Praise them when they go and give them a treat. If your shih tzu puppy has an accident indoors, clean it up immediately and avoid scolding them. Consistency is key in potty training, so be patient and keep up with the routine.
3. How much exercise does my shih tzu puppy need?
Shih Tzu puppies don’t require a lot of exercise, but they do need daily playtime and mental stimulation. A 15-20 minute walk or play session in the backyard is usually sufficient for a shih tzu puppy. Be careful not to over-exercise your puppy, as they can easily get tired and overheat. Interactive toys and puzzle feeders can be great for mental stimulation and keeping your puppy entertained.
4. How often should I groom my shih tzu puppy?
Shih Tzu puppies require regular grooming to maintain their fluffy coat and prevent mats and tangles. You should brush your shih tzu puppy’s coat daily using a slicker brush or comb. Regular bathing is also important to keep their coat clean and shiny. Shih Tzu puppies should be bathed every 3-4 weeks using a mild puppy shampoo. It’s important to keep your shih tzu puppy’s face clean and dry, as they are prone to eye infections. You can use a damp cloth to clean their face and tear stains daily.
By knowing the answers to these common questions, you can better prepare for life with your new shih tzu puppy. Remember to be patient and consistent with training and care, and your puppy will grow up to be a happy and healthy companion.