Inspect your dog”s toys often. If there are pieces bit off the toy, discard it. Usually small pieces of a toy or chew will pass through a dog”s system, but they could end up causing an intestinal blockage instead.
Flimsy vinyl or plastic toys or balls with squeakers and bells in them usually don”t hold up. Some shih tzu will just tear at the toy until they get the squeaker out. The squeakers and bells also pose a problem of your shih tzu choking on them if he tries to swallow the objects.
Shih tzu like to carry around stuffed toys in their mouth. Get stuffed toys made especially for dogs. Children”s stuffed toys will usually have noses and eyes that can be easily chewed off.
Kong toys are made of heavy rubber and are very durable, which makes a nice choice for your shih tzu to chew on without worry of him chewing off small pieces of the toy and choking. They can be packed with small dog biscuits or bits of cheese to encourage the dog to play with them. They can keep your shih tzu busy for quite a while as he works to get out the treats.
I do not recommend rawhide for shih tzu at all. Stay away from rawhide with the shih tzu. Avoid commercially made pig ears and calf hooves as well. HealthyPetNet has an excellent product called “Porky Puffs.” Visit my website at Stain Glass Shih Tzu to find a link to the HealthyPetNet website for purchasing these. My shih tzu are just crazy for Porky Puffs. Once you have tried the Porky Puffs and see how your shih tzu love them, you will forget all about any other kind of pig ears, calf hooves or rawhide treats that actually can be dangerous to your shih tzu if those small pieces get hung in their neck or digestive system. You will end up in the emergency vet clinic. Try the Porky Puffs from HealthPetNet, I promise you they are safe, excellent and have that smell dogs just can”t resist.
Nylabones is another excellent product to have for your shih tzu. You can get Nylabone in edible flavors, a huge variety of flavors actually. You can also purchase Nylabones in the plastic form in all kinds of flavors. You really should have Nylabones at all times for your shih tzu. They help during teething periods and times you want to train your shih tzu to chew on something appropriate – a Nylabone is an excellent choice to use during these training sessions.
Never, never give your shih tzu chicken bones or any other type of bone that might splinter.
A very special treat is Marrow Bones. You can buy Marrow Bones from a butcher or in the meat department at your grocery store. They are fairly inexpensive. Select them carefully. Avoid those cut at an angle that have sharp, boney material inside. Choose instead marrow bones that are cut straight across and are circular with soft marrow inside. If you can have your butcher to cut them this way for you, Marrow Bones are always a special treat for your shih tzu. Boil them for about 20 minutes, then cool. Scrape off any sharp gristle on the outside that the dog might otherwise chew and ingest. Give the dog one bone, and freeze the others for later use. Shih tzu love to work at getting out the marrow and this can help to keep them busy, and free of boredom. Once the marrow is gone, fill the bones with peanut butter. Marrow bones also can be filled with dry dog food made into a mush with water, freeze the bones with this filling, then thaw them a bit before giving them to the shih tzu. If the marrow bones get grungy after your shih tzu eats out the treat in the middle, put them in the dishwasher. Toss the bones when they begin to show signs of wear.