2) Another part of providing winter care for your Shih Tzu is to control the humidity in the house.
The best way to do this is with humidifiers; though there are some good homemade methods as well. By putting moisture into the air, you will not give the air a chance to rob a Shih Tzu (or you!) of moisture from the skin.
If you choose a manufactured unit, be very aware of its capacity. One unit that can handle 500 square feet will do very little to protect a Tzu from dry air in a medium sized home. Obtain as many as you need according to the square footage of your living area. ***Please note that unis NEED to be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent bacteria from growing in them.
There are some homemade ways to do this as well, however they are not as effective and therefore you may need to use several - if not all - of these methods:
1- Place metal bowls of water on top of heat registers or radiators
2- Leave the bathroom door open while showering,
3- Take a large Ziploc bag and punch about 20 holes in it, place a large wet sponge inside and then place that on counters and other areas. You may need anywhere from 5 to 10 of these.
4- Obtain houseplants, which release moisture after they are watered.
3) Plan your trimmings. If you do live in an area with harsh winters, you will want to time trimmings for the spring when warm weather rolls around again. This way, if the coat does have some damage, it can be clipped away after wintertime is done.
4) Beware of carpeting. If for some reason you do not use a humidifier, be very careful if you have carpeted floors. Even if you use some, still beware of any rugs. They are notorious for collecting static charges. If a Tzu lies down on the carpeting, there will be a static rub. It will be best to place a soft baby blanket down that has been washed and then dried with dryer sheets.
Winterizing the Paws and Nose
Many owners do not use paw balm or nose balm until there is a problem. However, if you use it sparingly on a routine basis, it will keep the paws healthy and prevent issues that may occur otherwise.
Being proactive is especially a good idea for owners who already know that their Shih Tzu reacts to the winter weather with dry, cracked paws (or nose).
Paw balm is best applied each night when your Shih Tzu is tired and ready for bed. As with most products, do not apply too much - only a certain amount will be absorbed and a bit will coat the paw to protect. Any more than that will simply be wasted. When you take your Tzu outside, the nose is very exposed to whipping winds and cold, harsh air. Be sure use protection to prevent dry nose
problems in which it can become raw or cracked. A light dabbing of balm before you head out for walks will go a long way in preventing a chapped nose. If you are not happy with the balm you have on hand and you would like to see our recommendations, be sure to look at 'Grooming' in the Shih Tzu Specialty Shoppe.