Bichon-shih tzu puppies, also called zuchons or shih chons, provide their owners with lots of fun and even more snuggling. Bred from two popular breeds—the bichon frise and shih tzu—these puppies love to please their owners and have a good time. In order to keep your bichon-shih tzu puppy healthy and well taken care of, you will need to start a few things as soon as you obtain your new addition.
One thing that all zuchons require is regular grooming. Typically rather hairy, these puppies should be shaved or at least trimmed once every few months, or earlier if needed. If left ungroomed, the hair can irritate the puppy’s eyes and uncomfortable mats can form all over the body. Therefore, it is important to help your puppy become used to the process as soon as possible. Brush your shih chon puppy with a slicker or pin brush once a day to get it used to the sensation. Give it treats while you are brushing so that it has a positive association with the action. Touch your zuchon puppy’s face and rub its ears and paws regularly to get it used to having those sensitive areas manipulated. Starting this maintenance now will help your bichon-shih tzu puppy become familiar with this type of cleaning that will need to be done for the rest of its life. You can even hold hair clippers against the puppy’s body so that it becomes comfortable with the noise and sensation the clippers provide. Take your zuchon puppy to a groomer when it is around eight weeks or so. The groomer can bathe the puppy and trim the face and sanitary areas. The sooner your puppy becomes familiar with this process, the better.
Keeping Your Puppy Healthy
Bichon-shih tzu dogs are prone to teeth problems if not taken care of. Shih tzu and bichon teeth are both small; therefore, it doesn’t take long for a tooth’s surface to become covered in tartar and plaque. The bacteria on the tooth can enter the bloodstream through the gum line, potentially causing serious problems. To avoid this, brush your shih chon’s teeth as often as possible. Use a finger brush on your puppy with toothpaste that is made just for dogs. Rub its teeth with the finger brush and give it a treat afterward. Once the puppy is older, use a regular dog toothbrush on it. If possible, brush your zuchon’s teeth once a day. Proper teeth brushing may help your shih chon avoid receiving dental cleanings that must be performed by a veterinarian while the dog is under anesthesia. Shih tzu dogs are brachycephalic, which means they have short, pushed-in faces. It is possible that your zuchon inherited this from the shih tzu side. This condition can lead to severe breathing issues that make going under anesthesia more risky. Start feeding your puppy healthy food now to avoid an overweight adult. The more weight a brachycephalic dog has to carry, the harder it is on its respiratory system.