3 Signs Your Shih Tzu Is Overweight
Overweight Shih Tzus are prone to many health issues, even some that can lead to an early death. Being overweight puts stress on their joints and internal organs, including their heart. It increases the risk of many health issues including many forms of cancers, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, osteoarthritis, and urinary bladder stones. So, to help keep your pup as healthy as possible, it’s good to watch and make sure yours is not getting too pudgy. The following are three signs that your Shih Tzu is overweight.
#1 – No Definition
Looking at your dog’s body shape is a quick way to tell if they are getting to fat. If you keep your Shih Tzu’s hair long, be sure to push into the fur to feel their actual body lines, or check them out when wet from a bath. Shih Tzus are one of the few breeds that do not have a “tuck up” from the rib cage to the loins. However, they should still have definition. You should be able to feel a rib or two easily under that coat (not all the ribs!). And while they have a semi-deep rib cage, it should not be rounded. Dr. Sophia Yin’s website has a great, easy to follow guide for checking this.
#2 – Unable To Reach That Itch
Does your Shih Tzu try to scratch her ear and just can’t reach? Maybe she has no chance of reaching around to bite herself on her side or back. She should be able to groom herself without a struggle. If they are overly round, grooming becomes impossible. If that’s the case, then it’s time to diet.
#3 – Easily Overexerted
Do you walk a few steps and your Shih Tzu is already panting and wanting to stop? Barring hot weather or any pre-existing breathing issues due to their face shape, this is a sign that he is out of shape and probably overweight. It’s time to talk to the vet about a diet and exercise regimen that will slowly get him back on track. Be careful about pushing your Shih Tzu to exercise more than their body or respiratory system can handle – that can cause other issues.