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Fat Shih Tzu: How To Help Your Pet To Get Back On Track

Fat Shih Tzu: How To Help Your Pet To Get Back On Track

The Shih Tzu breed is prone to being overweight because of its  body shape. Shih Tzu dogs have a rather square body shape and are tough canines. Shih Tzus may nevertheless grow rather large for their usual size even though they are known as a small breed.

Small breed dogs are often given additional, unnecessary treats because of their cuteness, which naturally results in adult dogs having extra pounds.

Shih Tzus are thus very prone to accumulating far too much weight, which can result in obesity. Achieving a healthy weight for your Shih Tzu will assist in avoiding obesity and the associated health issues that this condition can bring on.

Be sure to keep obesity in mind if you want to give your dog the best chance of a long and healthy life. A fat Shih Tzu gets to have many medical conditions if the weight gain becomes out of control.

Are Shih Tzus Prone To Obesity?

shih tzu puppy running on the grass

Shih Tzus, as well as people, canines, felines, as well as other animals, can develop the condition of obesity. This disorder has the potential to lead to a variety of serious health problems which would otherwise be readily avoidable.

Obesity, as opposed to being overweight, is a more serious health issue that entails an abundance of body fat. Thankfully, a healthy lifestyle that includes exercising and nutritious food can avoid this condition.

Shih Tzus are prone to obesity, because of the constantly given dog treats and not enough physical activity to compensate for those extra calories.

A scale that rates your dog’s weight in terms of underweight, normal weight, and obese determines whether your Shih Tzu is obese.

One represents someone who is eminently slim, while five represents someone who is considerably fat. If your Shih Tzu receives a five, it suggests that they’re 35% over their recommended weight and have developed obesity.

Considering how tall your Shih Tzu is, the optimal weight is around nine to sixteen pounds.

An obese Shih Tzu will possess a non-existent waist, huge fat accumulation on their chest, back, and belly, and difficult-to-feel bones while being examined.

How Do I Know If My Shih Tzu Is Obese?

Shih Tzu in flower field

Dogs’ body mass and a grade for their bodily condition are used to detect obesity (BCS). Utilizing the body mass score method at home is the simplest approach to identifying obesity.

Although there are other ways to give the BCS an actual value, all BCS charts employ the same overall bodily condition assessment mechanism.

Assessments of Body Weight:

  • If the dog is underweight, the rib cage, spine, and/or pelvic bone will be exposed.
  • Ideal dog weight is when you can feel ribs with a simple pat. When seen from above, the waistline is clearly thinner than the upper body.
  • Overweight Shih Tzu: A light touch will not reveal ribs. When seen from above, there is no distinction in size between the upper torso and the waist.
  • Obese dog: Rib cage only sensed when applying pressure. identical to or broader than the upper body at the waist. 

The following body condition measures will help you determine whether your pet is overweight or obese, and if so, you should take them to the doctor to clear out any underlying conditions and start a weight-management strategy.

Your pet will be weighed by your veterinarian, who will also get a bodily condition rating. The outcomes are then contrasted with breed criteria.

Obesity is defined as an excess of 10–15 percent of body weight. Obesity is defined as a score above seven in the BCS’s nine-point scoring system.

What Caused My Shih Tzu To Become Obese?

shih tzu dog walks in the garden

Dog obesity has three different root causes, including nutritional, medical, and insufficient exercise. Shih Tzus may become fat for a variety of reasons, including lifestyle choices or health issues.

1. Medical Causes

There may be medical causes for Shih Tzus to acquire weight to the degree of obesity. Obesity can result from fast weight increase that is caused by heart, thyroid, as well as other medical conditions.

Shih Tzus are susceptible to thyroid problems, which makes them also prone to obesity. Visiting your Shih Tzu’s veterinarian may be a smart option if you find that they are gaining weight without changing their food or level of activity.

You must provide your veterinarian with specific information on your dog’s daily food intake while discussing weight growth and potential medical issues.

Please see the Shih Tzu growth chart, in order to obtain all of the necessary information on  the weight range of a healthy Shih Tzu. We advise sticking to these metrics, for the optimal health of your doggy.

Inform them about any additional changes you’ve seen in your Shih Tzu, as well as how much activity they get each day, what they eat, how frequently, and any other pertinent information.

2. Dietary Factors Contributing To Shih Tzu Obesity

A Shih Tzu owner may simply regulate their diet, an avoidable cause of obesity. Shih Tzu fatness is sometimes brought on by diet-related factors including overeating or choosing foodstuffs that are unhealthy and lead to weight gain.

Despite the fact that dogs like special treats and we all want to see them joyful, special treats should stay exceptional and should not become a typical component of their diet.

If you give your dog too many goodies, they may be consuming too many calories, which puts them in  danger of becoming obese if they do not expend as much  as they consume.

Overfeeding your dog ordinary dog food can also increase the risk of Shih Tzu obesity, in addition to treats. There is a suggested serving size for each type of dog food.

Is It Okay To Give Your Fat Shih Tzu Leftovers?

The practice of feeding leftovers to dogs is common among Shih Tzu owners. While occasionally doing this is OK as long  the meal is healthy for them to eat, doing it frequently might increase their chance of becoming obese.

Dogs are adept at begging, particularly if they’re able to smell the delectable foods on your plate. This does not imply that the best course of action is to simply throw them a little of whatever it is you’re having.

Table scraps are packed with calories and other ingredients that dogs aren’t accustomed to eating and some, like grapes or onions, can be fatal to your pet.

You run the risk of overloading your Shih Tzu with components that can cause obesity if you give them everything you have cooked instead of simply food intended for their diet.

It’s a good idea to refrain from giving out table scraps in order to avoid the Shih Tzu becoming  overweight as well as developing other associated conditions.

There are certain dog foods that are just better than others when it comes to this dog breed. Therefore, I recommend reading further about the best dog foods for Shih Tzus.

3. Not Enough Exercise

It is well known that in order to prevent overeating and weight gain, calories must be expended through physical exercise. Your Shih Tzu may be in  danger of  obesity if they don’t get enough exercise each day.

Shih Tzus are a generally active dog breed; thus it is simple to prevent this cause of obesity. Meeting daily exercise recommendations is a simple strategy to prevent or treat obesity.

Shih Tzus like walks, fetching, running around the house, and other types of exercise, which are also good for their health. Your dog may keep his weight under control and avoid obesity by getting frequent exercise.

With proper planning and effort, this environmental factor—which contributes to obesity—can be readily regulated and removed.

What Are The Health Concerns Of An Obese Shih Tzu?

Shih tzu dog eating food

Different aspects of your Shih Tzu’s life might be impacted by obesity. Both for people and dogs, a key element of life’s pleasure is lifestyle.

Dogs who become obese may find it difficult to play with their owners, roam around their area, or scratch an itch. Dogs often like performing these chores, thus being incapable to do so could have an impact on their standard of life.

In particular, obesity can cause a wide range of other conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, and heart issues. Due to the effects of obesity, these conditions will have a significant negative influence on your dog’s life.

If left unchecked, obesity might possibly subtract years from the lifespan of your Shih Tzu. This is a strong illness that, with poor care and more weight increase, can become quite severe.

It is very advised to get your Shih Tzu treated and rid of this condition as soon as possible due to the detrimental effects obesity has on their quality of life.

Every owner should be cautious about their dog’s weight and lifestyle since nobody wants to see their dog suffer from obesity.

Some of the health issues that may occur when the adult Shih Tzu is obese are the following:

1. Hypothyroidism

Dogs that have hypothyroidism are more likely to experience unexpected weight gain, hair and skin problems, behavioral abnormalities, and decreased energy.

Whenever your Shih Tzu’s thyroid is not generating enough crucial hormone levels to properly control their metabolism, they  develop the disease known as hypothyroidism, which causes the metabolic activity to slow down.

The thyroid gland’s idiopathic atrophy or lymphocytic thyroiditis are the two most common causes of hypothyroidism in dogs. Both of these ailments cause thyroid impairment in dogs, while the causes of each are unclear.

In the instance of lymphocytic thyroiditis, the thyroid is attacked by the dog’s own immune system, but in the event of unexplained thyroid gland degeneration, fat is substituted for thyroid tissue.

Numerous theories contend that environmental variables, including raw food diets, lack of proper nutrition and supplements, immunizations, lawn herbicides, choke collars, environmental pollutants, chemicals in dog chew toys, PCBs, and antibacterial compounds in soaps, might result in hypothyroidism.

Each of these elements is thought to have a unique impact on the thyroid and endocrine, which is the basis for the hypotheses supporting the majority of these assertions.

Nevertheless, further research must be conducted before any definitive findings can be made.

2. Diabetes

Dog diabetes, sometimes known as “canine diabetes,” is brought on by either a deficiency in insulin or, in certain situations, a “deficient” biological reaction to it. 

The food is digested by your dog as they consume it. Insulin transports glucose, one of the nutrients in their meals, to their cells.

The glucose can’t be utilized adequately if your dog is unable to make enough insulin on their own or is not using the insulin they do have properly. As a result, your dog’s blood sugar levels may increase, which could have unfavorable repercussions, resulting in diabetes.

Like with people, the exact cause of diabetes in certain dogs is unknown. It’s possible that certain canines are more genetically predisposed to the illness. However, this illness starts with signs of obesity.

Therefore, when you notice your Shih Tzu weigh a bit more than usual, it is a good option to implement daily walks and to change up your dog’s diet.

However, it is well-known that obesity raises your dog’s chance of acquiring diabetes. This can be because insulin resistance increases as a result of obesity in your dog’s bodily cells.

The likelihood that your dog may acquire diabetes increases as they start to become older. There may be a greater danger for female canines and neutered animals.

3. Hyperadrenocorticism

When adrenal glands overproduce a few hormones, that is a disorder known as Cushing’s illness or Cushing’s syndrome. Hyperadrenocorticism is the name given to this condition in medicine.

The adrenal glands, which are situated close to the kidneys, are responsible for producing a number of essential chemicals that control several bodily processes and are required for survival.

Cortisol, sometimes called cortisone, is the most well-known of these chemicals. It may be fatal if these compounds, notably cortisol, are produced too little or too much.

This is a health issue that is usually triggered by a tumor. However, one of the symptoms of this illness is an unusual weight range, that gets abnormally high, resulting in extra weight.

In this case, it would be best to help your Shih Tzu lose weight by implementing a low-calorie diet. Contacting Shih Tzu breeders is also a good option since they are beside the vet, the most informed about this dog breed.

Regardless of your Shih Tzu’s being young, a 10-pound Shih Tzu would automatically be healthier than a 20-pound Shih Tzu.

Think About Getting A Pet Insurance

We know that you care deeply about your Shih Tzu dog and want to ensure that it has a happy life. Similar to any other member of your family, the dog has to be taken care of, too.

Do you realize the possible health hazards associated with dog ownership? Because of hereditary or environmental factors, certain species are more susceptible to experiencing  medical issues than others.

What could occur if a health problem arises with your Shih Tzu? You may be concerned about the price of veterinarian care and prescription drugs. Nevertheless, pet insurance reduces this tension by covering any pre-existing illnesses.

You may rest easy knowing that your dog will receive the best treatment possible thanks to pet health insurance.

Based on the insurance you select, dog owners who acquire coverage from insurance carriers may be eligible for up to 90% repayment on veterinarian expenses.

We all recognize the significance of our Shih Tzus, so why not safeguard them while obtaining mental tranquility? Get more information by requesting a free pet insurance guide from your dog breeder.

Treatment Of A Fat Shih Tzu

Cute Shih tzu dog sitting on wooden floor and waiting for food treats

The primary objective of treatment for canine obesity is weight loss, which is followed by lifelong adherence to a healthy weight. The healthiest method to lose weight is to eat less calories and exercise more, just as in people.

Your veterinarian will offer advice on appropriate diets, exercise alternatives, serving size, feeding periods, quantity of treats, and intake schedules.

The best weight reduction results come from eating low-fat, high-protein diets since they boost digestion and make you feel fuller for longer. It’s crucial to get rid of sweets and table leftovers. We recommend sticking to a Shih Tzu feeding chart.

Giving veggies like green beans is a healthy substitute for rewards. For weight reduction and maintenance, a wide range of retail and pharmaceutical dog meals are offered in canned and kibble form.

Diets created at home are not advised since they frequently fall short of regular mineral, supplement, and vitamin needs. For the purpose of achieving and preserving a balanced weight, exercising is just as crucial as eating.

You can choose from a range of exercises, such as swimming, outdoor activities, treadmill workouts, and walks for 30 minutes each day (you may divide this time into 10-minute segments).

Dog exercise is a great way to increase activity for both the owner as well as the pet, but instead of giving your dog high-calorie goodies, consider rewarding him with green beans.

Unless your veterinarian advises differently, after a new food is acquired, combine 1⁄2 portion of the brand-new food with 1⁄2 of the old food and give this mixture for seven days. After that, you can feed solely the fresh food without risk.

Taking Care Of A Fat Shih Tzu

woman giving water to the shih tzu dog

If obesity is not managed, it can lead to a challenging health journey, which is a frightening diagnosis. Fortunately, there are a variety of relatively simple techniques to control and overcome obesity.

With your assistance, your Shih Tzu may regain a healthy weight, however, it will take some time and dedication.

One strategy to cure obesity is by making dietary modifications. Try to ascertain your Shih Tzu’s daily calorie intake after speaking with your veterinarian.

Once you know your normal daily consumption, look for ways to lower it to a safe number of calories.

This may be achieved with  a number of strategies, such as limiting treats, serving smaller meal amounts, preventing your Shih Tzu from eating table leftovers, and potentially switching to a diet that prevents weight gain.

Fortunately, there are certain foods—sometimes prescribed ones—that are intended to be consumed in order to maintain a healthy weight, allowing you to choose the right diet for your dog.

Before transitioning your Shih Tzu to a new diet, always check with your veterinarian.

Increasing exercise can assist in reversing obesity, in addition to dietary improvements. Two 20–30-minute walks each day are advised for Shih Tzu exercise, in combination with  other aerobic exercises like fetch.

Treating Your Fat Shih Tzu Right

If you believe your dog needs more movement, be sure to somehow get them moving as frequently as you can  each day. Start with a time that is manageable for them because some fat Shih Tzus might not be capable of walking for more than 20 to 30 minutes at a time.

They will eventually be capable of walking the appropriate distance each day with practice and consistency. They will be able to maintain a healthy weight as a result of obtaining enough activity to burn off any additional calories they may well have ingested.

Last but not least, make sure your Shih Tzu is treated for both medical reasons and weight gain if they have gotten fat.

In order to ensure that they are healthy and reach their optimum weight, it is important to address thyroid problems and other illnesses that might lead to weight gain.

To manage obesity and aid in the reversal of this condition in your Shih Tzu, your veterinarian may even recommend medication. The key to managing obesity is weight loss, which may be accomplished through a variety of methods that will be reviewed with your veterinarian.

Raising the daily activity level is something that can help this toy breed to get close to the ideal weight.

Is There A Way Of Preventing My Shih Tzu Being Fat

adorable shih tzu holding a bowl for food in mouth

Obesity is a condition that may be avoided and is brought on by both environmental and medical causes. Make careful to foster a healthy, exercise regime in your Shih Tzu to prevent them from being diagnosed with obesity.

Obesity may be avoided in your Shih Tzu puppy by engaging in regular exercise and eating the right foods. Fortunately, despite how terrifying this illness is, it is readily preventable via simple, everyday choices and routines that have a significant positive influence on the health of your Shih Tzu.

Preventing obesity may be made much easier if you are aware of the nutritious and harmful meals you can give your dog, as well as the recommended calorie intakes. Some meals may seem nutritious, but they really include substances that are bad for your Shih Tzu.

Investigate the pet foods and dog treats they like to consume to make sure you are giving them the finest food available. What you uncover could surprise you.

How To Help A Fat Shih Tzu To Live A Decent Life

shih tzu posing in front of camera

By making decisions to treat their obesity, you can offer your Shih Tzu in that condition the longest and healthiest life possible.

If this condition is not addressed, it will worsen, putting them through a lifetime of pain and maybe resulting in further health problems.

You may ensure that they are making the most of each day by managing obesity with nutrition and exercise. Shih Tzu owners can employ a variety of easy preventative and corrective measures.

Make a strategy to get your Shih Tzu to a healthy weight and be sure to address this situation with your veterinarian.

Dogs that have previously battled obesity and made a full recovery can still lead fulfilling lives. A Shih Tzu who  really overcame obesity is capable of performing numerous activities that were previously difficult before they achieved a healthy weight.

Walking, practicing fetching, racing their buddies, and many other activities become pleasant when they are no more difficult to complete. When a Shih Tzu loses weight, their risk of developing health issues including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more all dramatically decline.

You may be sure that your Shih Tzu  will  live their life to the fullest without having to worry about these obesity-related diseases.

Everybody wants the best for their pet, and part of that includes promoting a normal weight and way of life. Worldwide, obesity is a common condition that affects both people and animals.

Despite the numerous hazards and possible issues associated with this condition, it may also be avoided and treated.

Final Word

I know it is extremely hard to resist giving extra dog treats to your doggy. Those begging eyes can make us do things that we usually wouldn’t, like spending a whole bag of treats in one sitting.

But whenever you are crossing the line with dog treats or are giving your dog heavier meals than it should have, bear in mind that you are probably shortening the life expectancy of your Shih Tzu by doing so.

Having a fat Shih Tzu is no fun, trust me. You can conclude the same thing, because, who would rather have a dog that would live for 5 to 6 years if it is possible for it to live up to 16 years?

Getting  pet insurance would be a safe choice if your dog’s weight gain is triggered by some underlying health conditions.

But if that is not the case, getting your dog to go for a few daily walks, implementing more low calorie meals and generally getting your dog to move around more than usual would do the job eventually.

I would definitely advise you to look up the 30 Shih Tzu foods that should be avoided, in order to prevent any unnecessary foods.

A fat Shih Tzu can potentially become a sick Shih Tzu. That is why we support losing the extra weight because it can drastically transform your dog’s life for the  better.