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.


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


Ralphie was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease in January 2022. I wrote about my experience caring for him with CKD here.

For treats Ralphie enjoys the mini size of the Nutri Dent* treats, Old Mother Hubbard’s P-Nuttier biscuits, and mini Milk Bones.

*Note: Dental treats are not a substitute for regularly brushing your dog’s teeth.


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.


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”).


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 2 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 Teeth


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