Senior Shih Tzu Care: Nutrition & Wellness Tips | HealthyBud

Senior Shih Tzu Care: Nutrition & Wellness Tips | HealthyBud

Coeli Fortun, Canine Nutritionist Coeli Fortun, Canine Nutritionist
4 minute read

As a Certified Pet Nutritionist celebrating National Senior Shih Tzu Care Day with three thriving senior Shih Tzus aged 14, 12, and 11 years old, I'm eager to share the secrets to their health and longevity. Caring for aging Shih Tzus is a heartwarming journey that requires a lot of attention, love, and a holistic approach to nutrition - and these tips can be applied to any breed!

Here's how to ensure your senior dog enjoys their golden years to the fullest, with a blend of nutritional wisdom and holistic Senior Shih Tzu Care. 🐾💕

Balanced Diet Rich in Omega-3s 🐟

A widespread genetic issue that Shih Tzus deal with is patella luxation, which is basically when a dog’s kneecap pops out of place, similar to a drawer that won’t stay on its tracks. This makes it harder for these dogs to walk properly, and increase their risk of arthritis or other bone-related issues later in life. A balanced diet is helpful in managing your dog’s weight, all while providing essential nutrients for overall health including their joints. A diet with the right balance of nutrients, especially including foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce joint swelling and improve joint flexibility, keeping senior Shih Tzus healthier, more mobile, and comfy during their golden years.

Our Joint Boosters are a fun way to incorporate Omega-3s into your dog’s diet either crushed as a meal topper or a high-value treat at the end of a walk.

Beef Joint Booster

Beef Joint Booster

$13.00 USD

Soft & chewy functional treats to help support your dog's joints & mobility. Is your dog looking stiff, or slow? Are they predisposed to joint issues like osteoarthritis?  Dig into the Joint Booster, with no artificial additives, fillers or animal… read more

Hydration is Key 💧

As dogs age, their need for regular hydration becomes even more important. Ensure that your dog has constant access to fresh water. Consider including moisture-rich foods like frozen cucumbers or watermelon (no seeds!) as treats, especially during warmer months, to keep them hydrated and happy.

Beta-Carotene: Vision Boosters 🍠

Shih Tzus (Pekingese, Pomeranians, Pugs, Japanese Chins, and Poodles too!) are known for their sweet big eyes, but most pet parents don’t know that these cute features also make this breed prone to eye issues like cataracts, a common Shih Tzu condition where a cloudy film forms over the eyes, kind of like a fogged-up window.This cloudiness can make it difficult for your dog to see clearly, and might lead to worse vision over time. 

Our Sweet Potato Chews are full of beta-carotene, which gets turned into Vitamin A in the body, and helps prevent or delay the development of cataracts!

Dental Health 🦷

Did you know that all dogs, whether they're big or small, have a total of 42 teeth? Yep, that's right! But some short-nosed breeds, like Pugs, Shih Tzus, and Bulldogs, are more likely to have their teeth go crooked, causing spaces in between, where bacteria can build up.

Dental health is so important for senior dogs, as poor dental hygiene can lead to other health issues. Make sure to brush your dog’s teeth regularly, minimize low-quality products with filler ingredients, offer dental chews, and schedule in professional cleanings to keep their teeth and gums healthy.

Engage Their Minds 🧠🎾

Mental stimulation is just as vital as physical exercise! Keep your senior dogs engaged with puzzle toys, snuffle mats, gentle play, and short, enjoyable walks. This not only helps maintain a healthy weight but also keeps their mind sharp, warding off age-related brain function decline.

Regular Vet Check-ups 🏥

Regular veterinary visits are crucial for early detection and management of age-related health issues. Twice a year check-ups can help monitor your dog’s health status, adjust their diet as needed, and ensure they're receiving the best possible care as they age.

Celebrating the lives of our senior dogs means adjusting to their changing needs with tons of love, patience, and a keen eye on their nutrition and overall well-being. By following these expert tips, you're setting the stage for a healthy and happy aging process for your beloved Shih Tzu. 

Here's to many more joyful years with your senior Shih Tzu! 🎉🐶💖

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