When your Shih Tzu is chewing, it’s important to them because they need it. Suppressing it is difficult for them because they chew for different reasons at different stages of their lives.

SHIH TZU BABY TEETH

When your Shih Tzu nibbles on things around your house just like the carpet hem, sofa cushions, and table legs, it might be because there’s a change that’s happening to their teeth. When a Shih Tzu puppy is teething, there’s a big possibility that they’re losing their baby teeth.

Like humans, puppies are born completely toothless. Their little teeth begin to emerge when they’re about four to five weeks old. These are six cutting teeth on each side, two fangs, and six molars on the upper and lower jaw. Usually, the baby teeth of a Shih Tzu are 28 in total which are sharper than permanent teeth. It is therefore important that you regularly check their treats so that they don’t get hurt by their sharp-edged teeth when they chew on these treats.

Between the third and fourth month, the so-called wobble tooth period begins. This is when a Shih Tzu puppy loses their baby teeth. These teeth fall out and the 42 permanent teeth move behind. If you don’t notice this happening, you don’t need to be worried because it’s common for owners not to notice this since some of the puppies swallow their baby teeth, but it won’t cause them any harm. This process takes about three months and is more obvious in large breed dogs.

When a puppy loses its baby teeth, one of the most common symptoms is that they feel itchy gums which is why puppies can’t help but chew on the objects around them. 

What problems can occur when my Shih Tzu loses their baby teeth?

Varying teething problems can occur in Shih Tzu puppies. At first, they’ll show uneasiness that lasts throughout the day, especially at night which results to lack of sleep. Your Shih Tzu can also be just lying down on one corner of the house.

When a puppy is teething, the pain doesn’t just affect the tooth area, even their stomach could hurt. Some dogs even refuse to eat and end up losing weight. Teething can also result in diarrhoea and fever. When you notice these symptoms in your dog, consult your veterinarian immediately.

Problematic tooth development happens when baby teeth don’t fall out and the adult teeth start growing through the jaw and not be correctly-positioned. Depending on the initial situation, this may lead to a growth disorder in the jawbone or misalignment of permanent teeth. When this happens, a veterinarian must pull the baby teeth out to provide the space needed for the adult teeth to grow.

TIPS AND TRICKS THAT CAN HELP

Shih Tzu Chewing

When a puppy is teething and they experience pain along with it, we as owners also suffer because we worry about them. However, during this phase, it’s more important to take actions to ensure that the changing of your dog’s teeth is as painless and uncomplicated as possible. Here are some tips and tricks that might help:

  • Avoid unnecessary movements that might cause pain in the teeth such as Tug O War
  • Chews and other toys often help soothe the pain. These can be products like rumen, ox garnish, and cattle ears. The massage that your Shih Tzu get from chewing on these toys can help them ease the pain.
  • If your Shih Tzu refuses to eat dry food, try soaking it with water to help relieve the pain. You can also try giving them wet food that can be easily digested.
  • Serve a small amount of chilled or frozen food to your Shih Tzu as it acts as a remedy for the pain.
  • If your Shih Tzu loses their baby teeth, have them gnaw on fresh willow branches. These contain small amounts of acetylsalicylic acid (an active ingredient of aspirin). They are analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
  • While your Shih Tzu puppy is teething, give them chamomile or sage tea along with water.
  • In the field of homoeopathy, Osanit beads have been proven to help relieve pain from teething puppies.
  • Some Shih Tzus feel particularly well when their owners gently massage their itchy gums.

Very Important

When your Shih Tzu puppy is teething, they need lots of affection. Pats and loving words of comfort could help your Shih Tzu survive the unpleasant effects of teething. However, if complications occur, you should visit the vet as soon as possible. Only the professionals can determine the level of development of the teeth with an X-ray and if needed, therapy will be done.

To Stop Destructive Chewing

There are not many diseases like teething which urges a puppy to chew on thins but for safety’s sake, it’s worth to take your Shih Tzu to the vet. If the vet can assess your Shih Tzu, there are several ways that you can do to prevent your Shih Tzu puppy from ruining the things around your house.

Safe Home

Puppies should not be allowed to roam freely around the house until they’ve had enough training. Many people choose to let their puppies stay in the kitchen first because it’s where it’s easier to avoid accidents.

Once you’ve decided on the areas where you will allow your Shih Tzu to play, look around and start to secure the area. Hide or move items that your puppy can potentially chew on. Remove or cover electrical cables, houseplants, trash cans, children’s toys, and anything else that you don’t want your puppy to chew on or knock over.

Crate Train Your Shih Tzu Puppy

Crate training is usually referred to as ‘house training’. It’s a good tool to destroy any of your puppy’s destructive habits. If you can’t supervise your puppy, you can just keep them from destroying your stuff by putting them inside a crate or any puppy-proofed room in your house.

Give Your Puppy Some Toys

By chewing, puppies can relieve the pain from teething and alleviate their boredom. To keep your puppy from chewing inappropriately, make sure to give them plenty of things to chew on. Toys that are great for puppies include rubber toys with a hollow centre, cuddly toys with speaks, and nylon bones. As much as possible, avoid giving them animal bones and hooves. Do not give your Shih Tzu puppy any old shoes or socks as a toy. There is some controversy over the safety of items such as hides, pig ears and other edible components so make sure to talk to your veterinarian before giving any of these products to your puppy.

Give Your Puppy New Toys

Since toys alleviate your puppy’s pain and boredom, it’s a good idea to give them new toys every few days. A puppy will always be looking for something new and interesting that they can play with. If you can change their toys at regular intervals, they will remain interested in their toys and it will be less likely that they’ll chew on your stuff.

Training to Swap

Try to give your puppy a reward in exchange for an item that they have on their mouth. This is a good way to train them to learn how to let go of things when you ask them to. Just make sure to praise your puppy in exchange for a thing that they’re carrying. Be careful though, you don’t want to turn it into a game in which your puppy will be waiting on a reward if he chews on the wrong things.

Give Your Puppy Lots of Exercises

A tired puppy is a happy puppy. Give your puppy enough time to play and run around. When your puppy has been vaccinated, you should add walks to your their daily routine. If your puppy is on their own, they will look for ways to consume energy, this leads to destructive behaviour. When a puppy exercises regularly, the chances of them behaving well are much higher. If you suspect that your Shih Tzu is ill, call your veterinarian immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, who has examined your Shih Tzu, knows your Shih Tzu’s medical history and can provide the best recommendations for your Shih Tzu.

CHEWING IN ADULT SHIH TZUS

Adult Shih Tzu Chewing

Why Your Shih Tzu Has to Chew so Often

If an adult Shih Tzu is chewing then this can be seen as a sign of stress and frustration. You need to work with your dog on avoiding the triggers of stress and frustration to reduce their chewing. Find out in which situations your dog usually chews and what triggers it. The triggers can be found in their everyday activities or can even come from diseases such as toothache and other health problems. 

Why do Dogs Even Chew?

Dogs chew to communicate, manage, or warn themselves or their family. Each of these things should be treated separately before a dog stops chewing.

Puppies use chewing to play, learn and explore their environment. Puppies often do not learn to bite too hard while playing with their littermates. If one bites too hard, the other one whines, which lets the puppy know that they have gone too far. But chewing on objects is different because they do this to relieve their toothache.

As they get older, dogs should learn what things they can and can not chew on. However, this is not always the case. At first, it could just be out of boredom when the dog is not sufficiently stimulated with toys or exercise to keep them busy.

Another cause can be separation anxiety. Certain dogs get a little bit nervous when you leave and as a coping strategy, they start chewing on something. Sometimes dogs have pain and no way to relieve them, so they chew on something to forget or distract themselves.

The last cause is that a dog just might not be able to distinguish between right and wrong. If you gave them a shoe to play as a puppy, they might consider shoes as toys, or if you gave them a piece of wood, they might consider cupboards as a toy. These can all be reasons why adult dogs chew on something.

WHY YOU CAN’T JUST STOP YOUR SHIH TZU FROM CHEWING

Your Shih Tzu is chewing because it is good for them. If you suppress their chewing, you are just adding stress to your dog because they will become frustrated. Keeping your Shih Tzu from chewing is very difficult because they will always find something everywhere to chew on, only a completely empty room can hold them off and who really has this available?

What You Can Offer Your Dog to Chew

Chews

The simplest option available but should not be given in excess amount. Depending on how fast your dog can finish it and how much they can finish in a day. Cowballs are best suited for Shih Tzus. They have a strong smell when they get wet but they can last a long time. There’s also cattle skin that Shih Tzus loves to nibble on. For Shih Tzus that doesn’t have too much jaw strength, rabbit ears can be a great choice.

Take note that whenever you give your Shih Tzu some chews, you should be watching them to make sure that they don’t choke or get injuries from it. 


Antler


These are antlers gathered from deers and sold in small pieces. They are available in different sizes and from different manufacturers.

Warning – antlers can cause permanent damage to dog teeth therefore be attentive if you give it to your dog.

Torgas Chewing Root

Torgas Chewing Root is an untreated root wood which is very hard and therefore you Shih Tzu can’t finish it fast.

One small drawback: The Torgas chew root discolours white or bright blankets when the dog chews on it for a long time and its saliva makes the root wet.

Attention – the Torgas roots could permanently damage dog teeth. Therefore be attentive if you give it with your dog.

KONG Safestix


Kong Safestix is ​​a great alternative to sticks. This can be used without hesitation and are extremely tooth-friendly. 

KONG Puppy


A Kong Puppy is great for adult dogs who like to chew. This is very good for chewing especially for dogs who like squishy things. 

KONG Extreme


This Kong is the one that lasts the most – but can’t be chewed easily because it’s much harder. 

Bionic Bone


The Bionic Bone is very similar to the Kong. It is super durable and spares when falling down the wooden floor. You can also fill it with food. The material is more endurable than a Kong Extreme and offers less surface area for dogs who like to bite off small pieces. It floats, is pollutant-free, and 100% recyclable.

CONCLUSION

You can reward your dog when they go to the chews that are meant for them. Find out when they chew and when it does them good, use observation and provide them with chews when they need it. Put away everything or supervise your dog especially if you already know that they have a habit of chewing, make sure to prepare something for such moments. Immediately keep your dog away when they go to things when they’re not supposed to and make sure to give them an alternative. Most importantly, don’t deprive your dog from chewing as it’s natural for them to do so and it’s a way for them to relieve any pain that they’re feeling. Just make sure that you have the proper chews ready for them to use.