Shih Tzu Dental Care

Table of Contents

Shih Tzus are known for their cute, loveable and friendly demeanor. They are popular house pets due to their low-shedding and hypoallergenic fur, and they make great companions for people of all ages. However, like any other dog breed, Shih Tzus can be prone to certain health problems. One of these problems includes dental issues. In this article, we will explore whether Shih Tzus are prone to dental problems and how these problems can be prevented and treated.


What dental problems are common in Shih Tzus?

Shih Tzus are often prone to a variety of dental problems, including:

– Periodontal disease – This is one of the most common dental problems in Shih Tzus. It is caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth, which can eventually lead to infection and gum recession.
– Tooth decay – Although less common in Shih Tzus than other breeds, tooth decay can still occur due to poor dental hygiene and a poor diet.
– Malocclusion – Malocclusion refers to a misalignment of the teeth. Shih Tzus are prone to this problem due to their flat faces and short snouts, which can cause crowding and incorrect positioning of the teeth.
– Tooth fractures – Shih Tzus can also be prone to tooth fractures, especially if they like to chew on hard objects or bones.
– Abscesses – An abscess is a painful infection that can occur around a tooth root. Shih Tzus may be prone to this issue if they have advanced periodontal disease or tooth decay.


How can you prevent dental problems in Shih Tzus?

Preventing dental problems in Shih Tzus is essential for maintaining their health and happiness. Here are some preventative measures you can take:

– Brush your dog’s teeth regularly – This is one of the most effective ways to prevent dental problems in Shih Tzus. Ideally, you should brush your dog’s teeth every day with a dog-specific toothpaste and toothbrush.
– Provide dental chews and toys – Giving your Shih Tzu dental chews and toys can help with tartar and plaque buildup. Make sure to choose products that are specifically designed for dental health.
– Feed a high-quality diet – A healthy diet can help prevent dental problems, as well as other health issues. Choose a food that is made from quality ingredients and provides appropriate nutrition for your dog’s age and activity level.
– Annual dental cleanings – Regular visits to the veterinarian for dental cleanings can help prevent dental problems from becoming serious.
– Monitor their chewing activity – Be careful with what your Shih Tzu is chewing on. Avoid giving them hard things that can cause breaks.


How can you tell if your Shih Tzu has a dental problem?

It’s essential to keep an eye out for signs that your Shih Tzu may be suffering from dental problems. Here are some symptoms to look out for:

– Bad breath – This is often one of the first signs of dental problems.
– Difficulty eating or loss of appetite – Shih Tzus may start avoiding certain foods or seem hesitant to eat altogether.
– Excessive drooling – Excessive saliva production can be a sign of pain and discomfort in the mouth.
– Red or swollen gums – This can indicate periodontal disease or an abscess.
– Loose or missing teeth – Broken and missing teeth are a clear sign of dental problems.
– Bleeding mouth, pawing at the face or overall discomfort.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your Shih Tzu, it’s essential to schedule a visit with your veterinarian.


How are dental problems treated in Shih Tzus?

There are various treatments for dental problems in Shih Tzus, depending on the severity of the issue. Treatment options may include:

– Professional dental cleaning – If your Shih Tzu has plaque buildup, a professional cleaning may be necessary to remove it.
– Extraction – If a tooth is severely damaged, extraction may be necessary to prevent further pain and infection.
– Root canal – In some cases, it may be possible to save a damaged tooth with a root canal procedure.
– Prescription dental food – Prescription dog food is available to help prevent and manage dental problems. It is specially formulated with ingredients that help promote oral health.


Are there any risks associated with dental treatments for Shih Tzus?

Like any other medical procedure, dental treatments for Shih Tzus do carry some risks. These risks may include:

– Bleeding – Due to the vascular nature of the mouth, bleeding can occur during dental procedures. The veterinarian will take precautions to minimize bleeding.
– Infection – Although rare, infections can occur after dental procedures. Your vet will prescribe antibiotics if necessary.
– Anesthesia – Many dental procedures require general anesthesia, which carries a degree of risk in any animal. However, modern anesthesia techniques have dramatically reduced these risks.

It’s essential to discuss any potential risks with your veterinarian before proceeding with any dental treatments for your Shih Tzu.


When should you take your Shih Tzu to the vet for a dental checkup?

Regular dental checkups are crucial for Shih Tzu’s dental health. Generally, you should take your Shih Tzu to the vet for a dental checkup at least once a year. However, if you notice any symptoms of dental problems in your dog, you should schedule a vet visit as soon as possible. Your veterinarian may recommend more frequent dental checkups if your Shih Tzu is prone to dental problems.



In conclusion, it’s essential to take proper care of your Shih Tzu’s dental health to prevent dental problems and keep them healthy and happy. With regular brushing, the right diet, and regular veterinary checkups, you can help keep your Shih Tzu’s teeth and gums in peak condition. Remember, prevention is always better than treatment when it comes to your pet’s dental health!

Carol Jones

Carol Jones

Owner of the cutest shih tzu on earth

Recent Posts

Are Shih Tzu Prone To Dental Problems?

Shih Tzu Dental Care

Shih Tzus are known for their cute, loveable and friendly demeanor. They are popular house pets due to their low-shedding and hypoallergenic fur, and they

Read More »