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How to Keep Your Shih Tzu Comfortable During Hot Summer Days.

Are you worried about your fluffy Shih Tzu friend as the temperature rises? You’re not alone. Many Shih Tzu parents struggle to keep their pups cool and comfy when summer hits hard.

I’ve been there too. After years of caring for these adorable furballs, I’ve discovered some game-changing tricks to beat the heat. In this post, I’m sharing my top tips to help your Shih Tzu stay cool and happy all summer long.

Ready to become a summer survival pro for your furry companion? Let’s dive in!

Recognizing Heat Stress in Shih Tzus

Before we jump into cooling strategies, it’s crucial to know the signs of heat stress in your Shih Tzu:

  1. Excessive panting
  2. Drooling more than usual
  3. Bright red gums
  4. Lethargy or weakness
  5. Vomiting or diarrhea

If you notice any of these symptoms, act fast! Move your pup to a cool area and contact your vet immediately.

7 Effective Ways to Keep Your Shih Tzu Cool

1. Create a Cool Home Environment

Your Shih Tzu will spend a lot of time indoors during hot days. Make sure your home is a cool oasis:

  • Use air conditioning or fans to maintain a comfortable temperature
  • Close blinds or curtains during the hottest parts of the day
  • Provide a cool surface for your pup to lie on, like a tile floor or cooling mat

2. Hydration is Key

Keeping your Shih Tzu well-hydrated is crucial in hot weather:

  • Always have fresh, cool water available
  • Consider adding ice cubes to their water bowl
  • Bring water and a portable bowl on walks or outings

Pro tip: Some Shih Tzus love drinking from a pet fountain. The moving water can encourage them to drink more.

3. Groom for the Season

Your Shih Tzu’s coat plays a big role in temperature regulation:

  • Keep their coat well-brushed to remove any mats or tangles
  • Consider a shorter summer haircut, but don’t go too short – their coat also protects from sunburn
  • Use a leave-in conditioner to keep their skin moisturized

Remember: Never shave your Shih Tzu completely. Their coat helps protect them from the sun and regulates body temperature.

You Will Love This: The Only Guide You Need To Learn on How to Properly Groom Your Shih Tzu Like the Pros.

4. Time Outdoor Activities Wisely

Be smart about when you take your Shih Tzu outside:

  • Walk during cooler parts of the day (early morning or late evening)
  • Avoid hot surfaces like asphalt or concrete that can burn paw pads
  • Stick to shaded areas when possible

5. Cooling Accessories and Toys

There are many products designed to help keep dogs cool:

  • Cooling vests or bandanas
  • Elevated beds with breathable mesh
  • Frozen treats or toys

DIY cooling toy idea: Freeze some low-sodium chicken broth in an ice cube tray for a tasty, cooling treat!

6. Provide a Cool Spot Outdoors

If your Shih Tzu enjoys being outside:

  • Set up a kiddie pool with shallow water for splashing
  • Create shaded areas with umbrellas or shade cloths
  • Offer a cool, damp towel to lie on

7. Never Leave Them in the Car

This one’s crucial: Never leave your Shih Tzu in a parked car, even for a few minutes. Temperatures can rise dangerously fast, even with windows cracked.

Summer Activities for Your Shih Tzu

Keeping cool doesn’t mean your Shih Tzu can’t have fun. Here are some summer-friendly activities:

  1. Indoor fetch with soft toys
  2. Hide-and-seek in air-conditioned rooms
  3. Gentle water play with a sprinkler or hose
  4. Frozen treat puzzle toys
  5. Training sessions in a cool room

Remember, always monitor your Shih Tzu during activities and stop if they show signs of overheating.

Preparing for Summer Outings

Planning a day out with your Shih Tzu? Here’s a quick checklist:

  • Portable water bowl and fresh water
  • Cooling mat or towel
  • Umbrella for shade
  • Pet-safe sunscreen for ears and nose
  • Booties to protect paws from hot surfaces

When to See the Vet

While these tips can help keep your Shih Tzu cool, sometimes professional help is needed. Contact your vet if:

  • Your Shih Tzu shows signs of heat stress
  • They’re less active than usual during hot weather
  • You notice changes in eating or drinking habits
  • There are any skin issues or excessive scratching

FAQs

Can I shave my Shih Tzu in summer? 

It’s not recommended to shave your Shih Tzu completely. A shorter trim is okay, but their coat helps protect them from sunburn and aids in temperature regulation.

How often should I give my Shih Tzu water in hot weather? 

Always have fresh water available. Change it several times a day and consider adding ice cubes to keep it cool.

Are there any summer foods that can help keep my Shih Tzu cool? 

Frozen treats like plain yogurt or fruit (in moderation) can be refreshing. Always check with your vet before introducing new foods.

How can I tell if my Shih Tzu is too hot? 

Signs include excessive panting, drooling, red gums, lethargy, and vomiting. If you notice these signs, cool them down immediately and contact your vet.

Is it safe to take my Shih Tzu swimming? 

While some Shih Tzus enjoy water, always supervise them closely. Use a doggy life jacket and rinse them off after swimming to prevent skin issues.

Keeping your Shih Tzu cool in summer doesn’t have to be a challenge. With these tips, you’re well-equipped to help your furry friend stay comfortable and enjoy the season.

Remember, every dog is unique, so pay attention to your Shih Tzu’s behavior and adjust your care routine as needed. Here’s to a fun, safe summer with your adorable Shih Tzu!

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