RALPHIE

Ralphie

This page contains links to some of the products that we use for our Shih Tzu Ralphie. He was born on June 11, 2019 and we brought him home on August 25, 2019.

GROWTH

Age Weight
3 months 5.24 pounds
5 months 9.5 pounds
6 months 12 pounds
9 months 13-14 pounds
1+ years 15 pounds

FAVORITE FOODS

Ralphie loves sweet potatoes, steak, salmon, broccoli (I only give him three florets a day as a treat), green beans and baby carrots. As with all human food I would err on the side of giving a tiny piece to sample. You should always consult with the proper resources to ensure that they’re safe food options to consume for your breed. We also give him Greenies (Teenie size) as his adult teeth came in and he always gobbles it up. However, Greenies are not a substitute for regularly brushing your dog’s teeth.

We cut chicken from Ralphie’s diet since he’s allergic to poultry and it gives him ear infections which would cause him to chew on his paws a lot.

Update 7/9/21: We finally found a dog treat that Ralphie goes crazy for aside from Greenies. He loves these Stewart freeze dried beef liver treats and on days when he doesn’t want to eat I found that grating just a little bit on top of his meals gets him to start eating (as seen in this clip).

POTTY TRAINING

When Ralphie was a young puppy he had a habit of eating his own poop. He outgrew this behavior once we started to offer him a treat in exchange for every time he defecated. Fortunately this tip (from a dog trainer) worked and now he wants nothing to do with his poop and he no longer requires a treat in exchange for doing his business. We were told that poop eating is a phase that they grow out of and we were glad that was the case with Ralphie.

Ralphie used to only do his business inside on pee pads but now he is trained to do his business both inside and outside (weather permitting). He’s had less indoor accidents once he was trained to go outside because he prefers to reserve his pee for walks and he enjoys marking every tree and pole on his walks. If the weather is really bad then doing his business indoors is a convenient option because he has a difficult time going or wanting to walk outside when it’s pouring or snowing outside.

These dog pads fit this silicone pad holder perfectly. I place it inside the small size of this waterproof play pen which is his designated potty area indoor and it helps in case his pee leaks onto the side. I prefer to wipe his paws after he goes but he also has a mat to dry his feet in case he goes potty on his own. He has better control of his bladder as an adult and we usually walk him 2-3 times a day in morning, mid-afternoon and sometimes at night. Usually he goes on the pee pads 2-3 times throughout the night since we don’t limit his water intake to ensure that he’s well hydrated.

GROOMING

We tried taking him to the groomers but he is afraid of the blow dryer. He hates regular clippers so I use a nail grinder. I now groom him at home and I usually groom him once a month using these Scaredy Cut clippers which takes at least 2 hours. Update 8/31/21: The Scaredy Cut clippers became blunt over time (note that you can sharpen them but I didn’t buy a sharpener). I recently switched to this cordless electric clipper (I use the 12mm guard for a “puppy cut”).

DENTAL HYGIENE

Brushing Ralphie's Teet

Ralphie has really small front teeth and he appears to have less adult teeth than usual so as a result he prefers to chew with his back molars. Regular brushing (I use this baby toothbrush) is not enough so I try to scrape the plaque from his teeth with this tooth scaler. At only two years old he had tartar build up on his back molars which I was able to carefully remove as you can see here.

Scaping Plaque Off Ralphie's TeethThis section was last updated 8/31/21.

SEPTEMBER 2019

BuddyTastic Pet Sling with Adjustable StrapBuddyTastic Pet Sling with Adjustable Strap | Click here to view a clip from my try-on

I originally ordered the Tomkas pet sling but the material is very stretchy and the strap isn’t adjustable so that sling is a better fit for my husband who is 5’11”. I ended up ordering this BuddyTastic sling for myself. The material doesn’t sag where Ralphie sits/snuggles and the strap is adjustable making it a more comfortable drop length for me. Ralphie is about 5.5 pounds right now. Update 12/10/19: Now that Ralphie is 12 pounds at 6 months he feels really heavy in the sling and since I’m petite my shoulders ache if I have to carry him in the sling for too long.

Puppia Authentic Junior Harness B, size SPuppia Authentic Junior Harness B, size S | Click here and here to see it on Ralphie while he moves around

I’ve been struggling to find a harness that fits Ralphie comfortably (so far I’ve ordered 9 through Amazon). The harness that fits him the best is a very simple one by Lupine that’s no frills but he hates it and he struggles and nips at us when we try to put it on. I just received this plaid harness by Puppia and I had originally ordered size M based on the online reviews which was too loose around his body. I then reordered size S which is the perfect fit across his chest right now. Ralphie got his first haircut yesterday (the groomer shaved him instead of doing a trim) so he doesn’t have extra fur which would have filled in the arm holes and neck opening better. Size M is 17.5″ end to end (15″ circumference when the velcro is secured). Size S is 14.5″ end to end (fits a 12″ chest when the velcro is secured). For size reference, Ralphie is a Shih Tzu puppy and he’s currently 5.5 pounds with a 8″ neck and 12.5″ chest (based on the length of his current Lupine collar and harness). He has a small neck and short torso in his puppy stage so many of the other harnesses I’ve tried are too long.

Update 11/2/19: At 5.5 months Ralphie is about 8.5 pounds and he has outgrown this harness and it’s a very tight fit on him so if your puppy hasn’t finished growing I would be mindful of investing in too many clothing related items. He also no longer fits into the cute buffalo plaid pajama we got him as seen here since he also grew a lot longer.

Update 8/21/20: At over 1 years old Ralphie is 15 pounds and he fits this Puppia RiteFit harness with adjustable neck in size M (as seen on him in this post). He has a 10.5″ neck and 16.5″ chest. He also fits this Puppia Junior Harness B in size S (as seen on him in this photo, review and measurements above) but the material is thicker so we plan to use it in the cooler/colder months.

Gen7Pets Regal Plus Pet Stroller in Starry Night GrayGen7Pets Regal Plus Pet Stroller in Starry Night Gray (also available at T.J. Maxx, Amazon and Chewy.com)

Ralphie can’t walk for very long without getting tired and wheezy especially once the temperatures are above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. I got this compact stroller so that we could take him out and about. The stroller is lightweight and it folds down for easy storage. Click here for a video clip review of the stroller and to see what he looks like inside it. The handles are not adjustable but they’re a comfortable height for me (I’m 5′ 2.5″) but less so for my husband who is 5’11”. Update 11/3/19: I spotted this stroller at T.J. Maxx for $79.99. Update 8/31/21: I sold the pet stroller a while back since I got this multi-purpose shopping cart instead.

PRODUCTS WE USE

Other Items:

This dog crate attaches to this exercise pen. We no longer use his crate or exercise pen now that he’s older and house broken.

Stay put bowl & mat set – To slow down how fast he eats I pour his food along the sides of the mat.

Thanks for your support!

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