Shih Tzus are loyal loving companions, and they deserve the best possible care from us, especially during winter.
It can be tough keeping your Shih Tzu warm during the winter months. Between the cold weather and shorter days, it can be hard to keep your furry friend comfortable.
Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to keep your Shih Tzu warm and comfortable all winter long.
11 Ways to Keep Your Shih Tzu Warm During Winter
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1. Get a Winter Coat or Sweater for Your Shih Tzu.
Making sure your shih tzu has a warm coat or sweater is one of the best ways to help them weather the winter months. You can find coats and sweaters specifically designed for small breeds like Shih Tzus, which will fit their bodies snugly and keep them warm without being too bulky.
If you live in an area with particularly cold winters, you may even want to get a coat or sweater that is lined with fleece or another type of insulation.
2. Keep your Shih Tzu Indoors as Much as Possible.
While Shih Tzus are relatively resilient to cold weather, it is still best to keep them indoors as much as possible during winter. If you do need to take them outside for a potty break or walk, make sure to do so quickly and come back inside afterwards.
If it is brutally cold out and your Shih Tzu does not want to go out, you can invest in Indoor potty patches.
Indoor potty patches are an artificial grass mat that is placed indoors near your Shih Tzu’s usual potty spot. They are great for days when it is too cold or nasty to go outside.
Make sure the indoor potty patch has a layer of absorbent material, such as puppy pads, to prevent any accidents on your flooring.
3. Invest in Some Booties or Paw Covers.
Booties or paw covers can help protect your shih tzu’s feet from the cold and wet weather. They can also help prevent them from slipping on icy surfaces. Make sure to get a size that fits snugly so they don’t fall off and look for ones with Velcro straps or another type of closure to keep them secure.
You may also want to consider using paw wax, which can help create a barrier between your Shih Tzu’s paws and the cold ground.
Just like with people, Shih Tzus are more susceptible to frostbite in their extremities, so it is important to take extra care of their paws in winter.
Areas that are furthest away from the heart such as the tail, ears, nose, and paws will experience a drop in blood flow, and this can cause tissue damage.
Wrapping their paws in a warm, dry towel after coming inside can also help prevent frostbite.
4. Keep your Shih Tzu’s fur trimmed.
While it may seem counterintuitive, keeping your Shih Tzu’s fur trimmed can actually help them stay warmer in winter. That’s because long hair can actually act like an insulator, trapping cold air next to their skin.
Trimming their fur will help circulate air and keep them from getting too cold. Just be sure not to trim it too short, as you don’t want to risk cutting their skin.
If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, you can always take them to a groomer or pet store that offers grooming services.
Shih Tzus typically need to be groomed every six to eight weeks anyway, so this is a good time to get it done.
Just be sure to tell the groomer that you want their fur trimmed for winter weather, as they will know how to do it safely and properly.
5. Give Them Extra Food and Water.
Shih Tzus, like all dogs, need access to fresh water at all times. But in winter, they may need even more water than usual. That’s because the cold weather can make them more prone to dehydration.
You should also consider giving them a little bit extra food during winter. This will help them maintain their energy levels and keep their body temperature up.
Just be sure not to overfeed them, as this can lead to obesity, which can actually make it harder for them to stay warm in winter.
A little bit of extra food is all they need.
If you’re not sure how much to feed them, you can always talk to your veterinarian.
They will be able to give you specific recommendations based on your Shih Tzu’s weight, age, and activity level.
In addition to extra food and water, you may also want to consider giving them a vitamin supplement during winter. This can help boost their immune system and help them fight off any potential illnesses.
As always, talk to your veterinarian before giving your Shih Tzu any type of supplement.
They will be able to tell you if it is right for your Shih Tzu and what the proper dosage is.
6. Keep Them Active.
While it may be tempting to just curl up on the couch with your Shih Tzu all winter, it’s important to keep them active. Exercise is a great way to keep their body temperature up and help them burn off any excess energy.
A daily walk is a good way to get some exercise, even in cold weather. Just be sure to dress them properly for the weather and keep an eye on them for signs of cold stress, such as shivering or whining.
If it’s too cold to walk outside, there are still plenty of ways to exercise your Shih Tzu indoors.
You can play fetch with them in the house or set up an obstacle course for them to navigate.
There are also a number of Shih Tzu-specific toys on the market that can help keep them entertained and active indoors.
Whatever you do, just make sure they’re getting enough exercise to stay healthy and happy.
7. Keep Them Clean.
Shih Tzus are typically pretty good at keeping themselves clean, but they may need a little extra help in winter. That’s because the cold weather can dry out their skin and make it more prone to infection.
You should bathe your Shih Tzu regularly during winter, using a gentle, hypoallergenic shampoo.
You may also want to consider using a humidifier in your home to help keep their skin from drying out.
Just be sure to clean the humidifier regularly to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.
In addition to regular baths, you should also make sure you’re brushing your Shih Tzu’s fur on a daily basis.
This will help remove any dirt, debris, or knots that could be trapping in cold air and making them uncomfortable.
It will also help distribute their natural oils evenly throughout their fur, which can help keep their skin healthy.
8. Keep Dog Beds Away from Drafts.
Avoid placing your Shih Tzu’s bed near windows, doors, or vents where drafts can come in.
Instead, try to find a spot in your home that is away from any potential sources of cold air.
Dog beds are a great way to keep your Shih Tzu off the cold floor and away from drafts. But if you’re not careful, they can actually make your Shih Tzu colder.
That’s because most dog beds are made of materials that don’t insulate well, such as cotton or polyester.
Instead, look for dog beds that are made of materials that will help keep your Shih Tzu warm, such as fleece or wool.
You can also find raised dog beds or special heated dog beds on the market. These can be a great option for Shih Tzus who are especially prone to cold weather.
Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to prevent the risk of burns.
9. Pajamas are a Must.
Pajamas are another way to keep your Shih Tzu warm in winter.
They work by providing an extra layer of insulation between your shih tzu and the cold air.
Pajamas also help keep your Shih Tzu’s fur clean and free of knots.
Plus, they can be a great way to show off your Shih Tzu’s personality.
There are a number of different types of Shih Tzu pajamas on the market. You can find them in a variety of materials, such as fleece and cotton.
And they come in all sorts of styles, from simple onesies to more elaborate two-piece sets.
Just be sure to choose a pair that fits your Shih Tzu well and is comfortable for them to wear.
10. Covered Dog Beds.
Covered beds are ideal for dogs who like to snuggle as well as those that need extra warmth. Covered beds come in a variety of styles, but all feature a hood that covers the bed for further warmth.
Some have flapping hoods that fall over your dog’s face, while others have a more structured hood that rises up like a mini tent.
11. Cuddle with Your Shih Tzu.
Finally, one of the best ways to keep your Shih Tzu warm in winter is to simply cuddle with them.
Body heat is a great way to keep your Shih Tzu warm, so snuggle up with them on the couch or in bed and turn on your favorite movie or TV show.
It doesn’t get any better than that!
Winter Safety Reminders
In addition to the elements, winter may be a particularly dangerous season for dogs. Keep in mind these suggestions to safeguard your pet:
- Never leave your Shih Tzu unattended in a car. Just like summer heat can be deadly, during the cold, cars can act as refrigerators, trapping in the cold and causing your Shih Tzu to develop hypothermia.
- Be careful when using space heaters, fireplaces, and other sources of heat. These can pose a burn risk to curious Shih Tzus.
- Keep an eye out for antifreeze, which can be tempting for pets to lick because of its sweet taste to dogs but is poisonous.
There are a number of different ways you can keep your Shih Tzu warm in winter. From regular baths and brushing to pajamas and cuddling, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Just be sure to remember to take some safety precautions into consideration, such as keeping an eye out for antifreeze and never leaving your Shih Tzu unattended in a car.
With a little bit of planning, you can help your Shih Tzu enjoy a comfortable and happy winter.
By following these simple tips, you can make sure your Shih Tzu stays warm and safe all winter long!