If you’re like most pet parents, you want nothing more than to hang out with your best friend as often as you possibly can.
If you have a Shih Tzu, you know better than anyone that it is much better to take them with you rather than face their wrath when you get home.
Those Shih Tzus can give a side far better than anyone on the planet, especially when they feel like they have been slighted.
In spite of all of that, if you have been thinking about going to hang out at the beach or on the lake, there are a few things you need to know about your feisty little furball and how they handle themselves in the water.
Shih Tzus Don’t Really Like Water
Being that you live with a Shih Tzu you should already be aware of the fact that your life revolves around them, it is never going to be the other way around.
Keeping that in mind, did you ever take the time to think about whether your furbaby even likes the water.
Shih Tzus love to go to the groomers, and they love a certain amount of pampering, but when it comes to water, not so much.
Shih Tzus would much rather stay dry than spend a lot of their time getting wet.
As a matter of fact, there are some breeds of dogs that just don’t like getting wet, and the Shih Tzu is one of those breeds.
Long Luscious Fur is Beautiful But Hard As Heck To Swim in
To be clear, Shih Tzus may prefer to stay dry, but just like any other dog, they can instinctively swim.
The thing about this particular breed is, even though they can swim, they just tend not to do it very well.
Unlike many of their canine counterparts, they don’t have the ability to swim for extended periods of time either.
Shih Tzus have bodies that are simply not built for any type of strenuous exercise.
Their physical make up places limits on their ability to obtain an adequate amount of air.
Their short muzzles require them to extend their necks just so they can get an adequate amount of air.
There are some breeds of dogs like pugs for example that are known to have issues when it comes to breathing.
If you are like most people you have probably never thought about this being an issue with your Shih Tzu.
Just so you know for future reference, Shih Tzus have narrow nostrils which means they have a partial obstruction of their airways.
They have a much harder time breathing just doing the natural things Shih Tzus do, having to tread water only complicates their situation.
Those stubby little legs the have unfortunately don’t serve very well as rudders.
Besides that, Shih Tzus are very limited in terms of their stamina when they swim even short distances.
The thing most people love about Shih Tzus is their long luscious locks.
All of that hair is an obstacle for a Shih Tzu when it comes to their ability to swim.
You have to place yourself in your dog’s position.
Shih Tzus might have big personalities, but they are still little dogs.
There are some who are kind of chunky, but the average Shih Tzu is somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 to 14 pounds.
Now just think about all of that long hair completely submerged in water.
For certain, the hair on the body of a Shih Tzu outweighs the dog when wet.
The weight of their hair, combined with their body structure could easily cause a Shih Tzu to be pulled underneath the water.
How to Manage Your Shih Tzu When Around Water
If you ever decide to take your Shih Tzu around a pool or any other type of water, make sure you keep your eyes on them at all times.
They should never be left unintended, as Shih Tzus are naturally curious.
Be aware that dogs are often distracted especially when there are other animals in the area.
These types of distractions could cause your pup to dive into the water, and not be able to get out.
Because Shih Tzu have a more difficult time breathing than other breeds of dogs, it is important to monitor the temperature of the water you are placing them in.
If the water is too cold, this could further constrict their blood vessels which could make it even more difficult for them to catch their breath.
You should be mindful of this when you are bathing them too.
They Depend on You
Dogs place a lot of trust in their owners.
It is important that you not take this for granted.
Their safety should be at the forefront of your mind at all times.
There are people who work with their Shih Tzus to teach them how to swim.
If this is something that you are thinking about, be mindful that the Shih Tzu is a breed that is really not very comfortable when they are in the water.
In fact, many of them are fearful and anxious when they are in open water.
Any experience you have with your pup should be something that you both enjoy.
If your dog shows signs of anxiety or distress it just might be better to find another activity the two of you can enjoy together.