Newborn Shih Tzu Puppies and early surroundings
Shih Tzu puppies begin to make noises shortly after their eyes open. They will also begin to try and get up and waddle around the whelping box at this time. Between 3 and 4 weeks you might want to provide new Shih Tzu puppies with a new safe daytime area for extra stimulation. A new larger area physically stimulates and mentally challenges newborn Shih Tzu puppies.
Be sure the new area has good footing. Before this time the Shih Tzu dam may protest about moving her offspring. At about 3 or 4 weeks, however, usually the Shih Tzu dam will agree to a new spot. The dog’s earliest ancestors that were related to the wolf actually utilized several den sites. The first den was used for whelping. The second den was always larger to provide the offspring with safe areas of exploration. Once Shih Tzu puppies are large enough to clamber out of the whelping box, they need an area large enough to clearly define sleeping, eating, playing and toilet areas.
If you are using your garage or basement to raise Shih Tzu puppies please check for conditions that can be dangerous or lethal. Stairwells can cause fatality if Shih Tzu puppies explore them and fall. Trapped ammonia fumes from urine are toxic. Heating systems, electrical panels and appliances require thorough checking before placing a litter nearby. A garage should be thoroughly cleaned. Physical objects, cleaning abrasives, stored gasoline, motor oil or paint must be removed.
A safe play area can be created by using a garage’s side door to the yard. Block the areas under and around the door from cold and dam drafts. Flooring should have a firm, no slippery surface.
Line your whelping box with clean soft blankets or towels in the beginning. If carpeting is used, it should be washable. Do not use indoor/outdoor carpeting. Manufacturing chemicals can react with urine. Use of these materials can cause burns to the bodies of Shih Tzu puppies. Do not use newspapers in the whelping box. Newspapers are slick and contain chemicals used in the ink. Do not use wood shavings in the whelping box. Wood shavings can be inhaled or ingested which also can cause fatalities.
When Shih Tzu puppies begin to move around inside the box, house-training can be stimulated by separating the whelping box into two areas, sleeping and eliminating. Even very young Shih Tzu puppies do not like to eliminate where they sleep, eat and play. Within a few days, puppies learn to move away from their sleeping area to eliminate. Use removable sides in the whelping box to encourage them to sleep in the whelping box and eliminating away from it. If you use a heat lamp, use it only in the sleeping and playing areas.
The Shih Tzu dam will require an area to close to her Shih Tzu puppies but a place where she can relax away from them.
Healthy Shih Tzu puppies will sleep on top of each other. Once out of the whelping box an small airline crate with the door removed makes an effective dog house for Shih Tzu puppies to rest and sleep with each other. This early use of an airline crate provides the new owner with several advantages. The newly arrived Shih Tzu puppy readily accepts the familiar airline crate as sleeping quarters, making the adjustment to a new home less traumatic.