Recommendations

We have used many of the products and services we recommend. Others, we have researched and offer our studied opinion. If you have your own recommendations, please submit them at the bottom of the page.

Products

In making our recommendations, we taking into account the value of the product (cost and durability), its availability, and its safety. We are never going to recommend a product that we have not already or would not use on our own Shihpoos.

Buy High Quality Clippers

Best affordable Shihpoo grooming clippers for grooming at home

This recommendation really matters. The first electric clipper I purchased from the local pet supply store was not the lowest price set, but it was on the lower end. I figured the cheapest set must be garbage but the next one should be fine, right? Wrong!

It took multiple passes to clip every single area of the puppy, making the experience excruciatingly painful for all involved. That is why I will not recommend skimping on this purchase:

  • Brand: Andis
  • Model: AGC2
  • Description: 2-speed with detachable head
  • Pricing: They will be about the same price on Amazon or Chewy.com, so long as shipping is free. In the early spring of 2020, the price was just over $100. With the massive demand to give haircuts at home during the pandemic, the price skyrocketed to closer to $200 at one point.
  • Availability: Most pet stores will carry them and charge about $25 to $50 more than you would find them online. Have it delivered directly to your door by Amazon or Chewy.com.
  • Why I Like this Model: Compared to the first clippers I purchased (for about $40), this model actually cuts my Shihpoo’s hair. After my 3-hour fiasco with the cheap model, using this Andis on my puppy’s curly hair was like slicing through butter with a hot knife. I also love the 14′ cord, since I need to move around the puppy and my plugin is behind the dryer. Do follow the directions that come with the clippers, especially the tip about keeping the blades oiled.

Find more recommendations for grooming gear, including tables and combs, by clicking here.

Sleeping Pad

best sleeping pad for Shihpoos

Our dogs both love the soft, fleecy bed cushion we’ve had forever. This micromesh bed from ASPCA is the second bed we have ordered. Time for a doggy nap. Sweet dreams!

Crate

Our personal preference is a plastic crate. We have many reasons why we did NOT like the wire crate we originally got for our first Shihpoo:

  • Wire crates are more likely to scratch your hardwood floor
  • Our Shihpoo chewed the black rubber molding off the wires, swallowing some
  • Wire crates are much more difficult to pick up
  • Wire crates don’t make it easy to carry your Shihpoo to the car or into a vet’s office
The best affordable crate for a Shihpoo puppy

This plastic crate from Petmate is the one we eventually got for our first Shihpoo when he was a little pup. We originally bought a medium-sized crate, but it was too big for him (he pooped in it a couple of times before we finally caught on). Once we bought him this small crate, no more pooping, and he slept great!

Be prepared to buy your Shihpoo a small crate (like this one from Chewy.com) when he is a puppy, but once he is 8 or 9 months old (nearing his peak size), you will likely need a medium-sized crate (for 10-20 lbs). It stinks to have to only use the first one for less than a year, but you can sell it on Facebook marketplace to recoup a bit of the cost.

Find more recommendations for bedding and crates by clicking here.

Puppy Food

We tried several puppy foods for our Shihpoos. We tried a cheap, well-known brand first, but after doing research for the article on the types of food to feed a Shihpoo, I realized we needed to find a puppy food whose first ingredient was unprocessed meat.

We finally settled on IAMS ProActive Health Puppy Food. Chicken is the first ingredient, and it leaves out artificial preservatives and unhealthy grains.

When we first asked our veterinarian about our earliest choice in food, he was understanding but not very persuaded. He seemed much more supportive when we switched to IAMS.

As for bedtime dental chews, both our Shihpoos go bonkers for mint-flavored DentaStix. It does not replace the importance of brushing their teeth each night at bedtime. the same goes for any other teething stick or chew toy. They are meant to supplement dental health, no replace good cleaning habits.

Find more recommendations about food and training treats by clicking here.

Choose a Harness, NOT Collar

harness for Shihpoos

When it comes attaching a leash to your Shihpoo, please please please do not use a collar. Use a soft harness like this one from Puppia. Like most toy breeds, Shihpoos have a trachea very close to the external surface of their throat. Jerking on a collar, purposefully or accidentally, can damage their trachea, leading to breathing troubles, chronic caughing and even its collapse.

Find more recommendations for exercise gear and equipment by clicking here.