If you have a Shih Tzu puppy that is exhibiting signs of anxiety, don’t worry – you aren’t alone. Many Shih Tzu puppies experience anxiety at some point in their lives, and there are many things that you can do to help them.
Let’s look at 10 tips that should help an anxious Shih Tzu puppy feel better.
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One of the best things that you can do for an anxious Shih Tzu puppy is to provide them with plenty of exercise. A tired puppy is a happy puppy, and Shih Tzus are no exception.
Make sure to take your pup on walks or runs every day and play with them frequently. This will help burn off excess energy and help them to relax.
If you live in an apartment or don’t have a lot of space for your Shih Tzu to run around, there are still plenty of ways to provide them with exercise.
Try playing fetch inside or investing in some puzzle toys that will keep their minds active.
Exercise is not only good for Shih Tzus physically, but mentally as well. The more tired your puppy is the calmer he will be, and you’ll likely find that your Shih Tzu’s anxiety decreases after they’ve had a chance to burn off some energy.
2. Create a Safe Space
Fill the space with their favorite toys and blankets, and make sure to take them there frequently so that they associate it with positive experiences.
When your Shih Tzu is in their safe space, make sure to give them plenty of attention and love. This will help them to feel secure and loved and will help reduce their anxiety levels.
If you don’t have a lot of space in your home for a dedicated safe space, that’s okay. You can still create a space for your Shih Tzu to feel safe by setting up a bed or crate in a quiet corner of the house.
These products can help to soothe your Shih Tzu and make them feel more secure.
3. Stick to a Routine
Having a regular routine can be very helpful for an anxious puppy. Shih Tzus are creatures of habit, and they feel safest when they know what to expect.
Try to keep mealtimes, walks, and playtimes as consistent as possible, and avoid making any sudden changes.
If you need to make a change to your Shih Tzu’s routine, do it gradually. For example, if you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time, start by leaving them for short periods of time and gradually increase the length of time that you’re gone.
This will help them to adjust to the change and will make it less stressful for them.
4. Introduce Them to New Things Slowly
If you have an anxious Shih Tzu, it’s important to introduce them to new people, places, and things slowly.
Shih Tzus can be hesitant of change, and if you try to force them into new situations, it can make their anxiety worse.
When introducing your Shih Tzu to something new, start by letting them smell it or see it from a distance. If they seem interested, you can then let them approach it at their own pace.
Once they’re comfortable with it, you can then proceed to the next step, whether that’s petting it, playing with it, or whatever else is appropriate for the situation.
It’s important to go at your Shih Tzu’s pace and not to push them into anything that they’re not ready for.
If you do, it will only make their anxiety worse and could make them scared of the thing that you’re trying to introduce them to.
Remember, Shih Tzus are very intelligent dogs, and they’ll eventually warm up to new things on their own.
Just be patient and you’ll eventually get there.
5. Remove Triggers That May Be Causing Anxiety
If you have an anxious Shih Tzu, it’s important to try to identify the things that are triggering their anxiety.
Once you know what these triggers are, you can then start to work on removing them from your Shih Tzu’s life.
Some common triggers for Shih Tzu anxiety include loud noises, unfamiliar people or animals, and changes in the environment.
If you can identify the things that are causing your Shih Tzu anxiety and remove them from their life, it will go a long way in helping to reduce their anxiety levels.
Of course, sometimes it’s not possible to completely remove triggers from your Shih Tzu’s life. In these cases, you’ll need to find ways to help them cope with their anxiety.
6. Try Desensitizing Them to Their Triggers
Contradictory to number 5, one way to help an anxious Shih Tzu deal with their triggers is to desensitize them to these triggers.
As mentioned above, sometimes it may not be possible to completely get rid of what may be causing the anxiety. Desensitizing can be done by slowly exposing them to the trigger in a controlled environment.
For example, if your Shih Tzu is afraid of loud noises, you can start by playing soft music or white noise in the background while they’re doing something that they enjoy, like eating their favorite treat.
As they get used to the noise, you can then gradually increase the volume.
The key is to go slowly and not to force your Shih Tzu into anything that they’re not comfortable with. If you do, it will only make their anxiety worse.
Desensitization can be a long and slow process, but if you’re patient, it can be an effective way to help your Shih Tzu deal with their triggers.
7. Offer Toys as a Distraction
Mentally stimulating toys can offer a distraction from whatever is causing your Shih Tzu anxiety and can help to keep their minds occupied.
Shih Tzus love to play, and there are a variety of toys on the market that your pup is sure to love. These toys can help to reduce boredom and can offer a much-needed distraction when your Shih Tzu is feeling anxious.
8. Play Calming Music
Music can have a very calming effect on dogs, and it can be a great way to help an anxious Shih Tzu relax.
There are a variety of online playlists that are specifically designed for dogs, and these can be very effective in helping to calm an anxious Shih Tzu.
You can also try playing soft classical music or white noise in the background. These can also be effective in helping to calm an anxious Shih Tzu.
The key is to find music that is calming and soothing, and that won’t aggravate your Shih Tzu’s anxiety.
9. Dog Massages
Massages can be very relaxing for both humans and dogs, and they can be a great way to help an anxious Shih Tzu relax. There are a variety of dog massage techniques that you can use, and you can find instructions for these online.
If you’re not sure how to give your Shih Tzu a massage, you can always take them to a professional dog masseuse. This can be a great way to help your Shih Tzu relax and can also give you some tips on how to massage your Shih Tzu at home.
10. Consider Medication
In some cases, anxiety can be so severe that medication is necessary. If you’ve tried all of the above tips and your Shih Tzu is still suffering from anxiety, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian about the possibility of medication.
There are a variety of medications that can be used to treat anxiety in dogs, and your veterinarian will be able to determine if medication is the right option for your Shih Tzu.
While medication should always be a last resort, in some cases, it’s the only way to help an anxious Shih Tzu.
Signs Your Shih Tzu Has Anxiety
Anxious Shih Tzus can exhibit a variety of different signs, and it’s important to be aware of these signs so that you can take action to help your Shih Tzu.
Some common signs of anxiety in Shih Tzus include:
- Excessive Barking
- Destructive Behavior
- Excessive Licking or Chewing on Fur or Paws
If you notice any of these signs in your Shih Tzu, it’s important to take action to help them.
The sooner you start working on reducing their anxiety, the better.
If you have an anxious Shih Tzu puppy, there are a number of things that you can do to help them. These tips can help to reduce your Shih Tzu’s anxiety and can make them happier and healthier.
Remember, the key is to go slowly and not to force your Shih Tzu into anything that they’re not comfortable with.
If you take your time and work on building their confidence, you’ll eventually have a happy, healthy and calm Shih Tzu.