A leisurely day outside playing fetch with your fluffy Shih Tzu, sounds heavenly, right?
But the burning question on most dog parents' minds is, "Can my Shih Tzu be left outdoors alone?"
Well, let's cut to the chase.
While Shih Tzus are highly adaptable and versatile dogs, leaving them outside unsupervised for extended periods isn't advisable.
Curious to know why? Keep reading!
Several factors contribute to the idea that Shih Tzus are not suited to being left outdoors on their own for extended periods:
1. Sensitive to Extreme Weather Conditions:
Shih Tzus have a thick double coat that's not particularly suitable for extreme weather conditions. They can easily overheat in summer and become uncomfortably cold in winter.
2. Susceptible to Heat Stroke:
Shih Tzus are brachycephalic breeds, which means they have short noses and flat faces. This characteristic makes them more susceptible to heat stroke, especially during hot summer days.
3. Risk of Predators:
Shih Tzus are small dogs and unfortunately, their size makes them an easy target for larger animals like foxes, coyotes, and even large birds of prey.
4. Prone to Loneliness and Anxiety:
Shih Tzus are known for their loyal and companionable nature. They are family-oriented and require regular social interaction. Leaving them alone for too long can lead to anxiety, depression, and behavioral issues.
5. Possibility of Getting Lost:
The outdoor world poses numerous potential dangers, one of them being the chance of your Shih Tzu getting loose and lost. A loose Shih Tzu may get easily distracted or scared, wander off, and possibly get lost, unable to find its way back home.
Additionally, there are other risks such as the dog being stolen or being involved in road accidents.
Therefore, to avoid such instances, it's crucial to provide a safe and secure outdoor environment for your pet if they have to spend time outside, and to always keep them within your sight or a designated area.
Remember, prevention is always the best strategy.
As Shih Tzu parents, we understand that life doesn't always allow you to be at home around the clock.
Simultaneously, we recognize that, like any other canine, your furry friend also craves for some fresh air, outdoor adventures, and new scents that the great outdoors brings.
There's an entire world out there for them to explore!
But, as pet guardians, it is our responsibility to take certain steps to ensure the safety of our pets while they are outdoors.
Make your yard or garden a safe place for your Shih Tzu by:
Your presence during your Shih Tzu’s outdoor time can prevent any mishaps and deter predators.
A leash is always recommended, especially in open areas, to keep control over your pet.
Extreme weather is harmful to Shih Tzus. During summer, ensure outdoor playtime is during the cooler hours of the day - early morning or late evening.
In winter, limit outdoor time and keep your pet warm with appropriate clothing if necessary.
Training your Shih Tzu to respond to basic commands can be incredibly helpful for their safety.
Commands like 'come', 'sit', 'stay', or 'no' can help you control your pet in potentially dangerous situations.
Regularly check your pet for ticks, fleas, and other parasites.
There are plenty of preventive treatments available which can help keep your Shih Tzu safe from these common outdoor pests.
Routine vet check-ups can catch any potential health issues before they become serious.
Discuss with your vet the risks of your pet being outdoors and follow their advice.
To answer the original question, "Can a Shih Tzu be left outdoors alone?" The simple answer is no.
As a Shih Tzu parent, it is vital to keep your pet's safety and well-being at the forefront of your mind.
With your time, attention, and proper precautions, your fluffy companion can still enjoy the outdoors under your watchful eyes.
Remember, your Shih Tzu depends on you.
Ensuring they're safe, loved, and well cared for isn't just good pet ownership, it's your responsibility as their lifelong guardian.
And in return, you get their undying love, companionship, and a whole lot of adorable moments - surely a deal you wouldn't want to miss!