This toy breed needs regular body cleaning or wiping, ear and paw care, and nail trimming like any other dog. In addition, Shih Tzu’s copious double coat must be bathed and brushed frequently. Doing so lets it keep its cute and cuddly appearance.
Are Shih Tzu Easy or Hard to Take Care Of?
The Shih Tzu are an energetic toy breed. Though some may be stubborn, most of them have a calm temperament. Grooming-wise, regular brushing is needed to keep their hair beautiful. It can grow down to their paws, so you must take them to the groomers or learn how to cut them yourself.
More often than not, they also have severe problems with their teeth. It is recommended that you brush them at least thrice a week. Chew toys and dental sticks may also be beneficial. Regular visits to the vet for dental care are also suggested.
Should You Groom a Shih Tzu?
Your Shih Tzu will need care for its face and nails. This breed’s hair is their crowning glory. It will take up most of their grooming time. It is crucial to train your pet to tolerate grooming sessions. Regular baths are best. The frequency of baths depends on the coat’s thickness and your pet’s lifestyle.
Keep in mind that the health of your canine’s skin depends on how you care for and maintain its coat. Regular bathing and brushing will keep the hair shafts smooth and untangled. An unclean and tangled coat will eventually be rough and damaged. Skin problems will likely follow.
Are Shih Tzu Easy to Groom?
Firstly, ensure that both you and your pup are comfortable with the grooming process.
Secondly, it depends on the temperament of your Shih Tzu. If they are easygoing, they may allow you to trim their hair and clean their face, mouths, and ears. Otherwise, it might be safer for you to bring your pet to professional groomers.
What Kind of Grooming Does a Shih Tzu Need?
Because of their long and lavish hair, coat care is the first thing that comes to mind. It will need constant brushing, trimming, and even styling. However, like your other pets, your dog will also need care for its paws, teeth, and face.
Do regular paw checks and keep the nails clipped. To clean the face, you may gently wipe the eyes, nose, and snout with a moist cloth. Brushing teeth and using a dental spray may be included in your pet’s daily grooming routine.
How Often Do You Need to Groom a Shih Tzu?
Every day, you need to care for your Shih Tzu.
- Daily: Wipe its face and eyes.
- Every One to Three Days: Brush its coat. The longer its coat, the more frequent you need to do it.
- Every Three Weeks: Give it a bath. The presence of skin concerns may require more frequent baths.
- Every Six Weeks: Clean its paws and trim its nails.
- As Needed: Wipe its body with a moist cloth. Clean its paws and nose. If there is seasonal drying, peeling, and other concerns, you will need to do these more often.
- As Needed: Trim its coat. The size of your Shih Tzu and the length and style of their coat will determine the frequency of haircuts. Opt for a shorter style for a lighter feel and to prevent your pet from overheating. A good rule of thumb is once a month or every six weeks. In summer, you may need to do it more frequently.
When Should I Start Grooming My Shih Tzu?
Give your Shih Tzu puppies their first bath around their eighth and twelfth week. Around this age, you may also start their routine care. Follow a schedule consistently so they get used to it. If their hair is long, they can get their first coat trim at 12 weeks old.
How Do You Groom a Shih Tzu?
Your Shih Tzu will need baths to clean its hair and body. Daily, it would be best if you also wiped its face and eyes. Gently pat a moist cloth or sponge to remove irritants from its eyes. Lightly rub its face to remove dirt. Use as much pressure as necessary to soften and dislodge bits of food or dirt in your dog’s facial fur.
Brush your pet’s long coat every day. Do this less often if the coat is shorter.
Its ears and nose also need attention. Wipe the inside of the ears with a damp cloth. Apply a warm, moist sponge or washcloth to crusts and hardened globs on your canine’s nose. Leave it there until the crust softens. Wipe it away with the cloth. For its ears, use ear drops to loosen the ear wax.
Brush your dog’s teeth with toothpaste. Giving them chew toys and dental chews keep the buildup of tartar and plaques at bay. For bad breath, the use of a dental spray can be helpful.
Clip your dog’s nails every six weeks to two months. If they grow out faster, then do it more often.
How Do You Groom Shih Tzu Ears?
Fancy tools or supplies are not required for this grooming task. However, some dogs can be sensitive when it comes to people touching their ears. You will have to do it carefully. Ensure that you introduce the process slowly to your pet.
You may start by using ear cleaning drops to help loosen any ear wax. Then, using a moist washcloth or cotton ball, carefully wipe the inside of your dog’s ear. Do the same with the ear flap. Do this for both ears.
Do Shih Tzu Need to Go to the Groomers?
The Shih Tzu breed is known for its thick and long double coat. To care for this feature, they require routine bathing and grooming. If your dog is new, it is a good idea to bring it to the groomers. This way, you can observe the grooming process.
Decide whether you are willing to learn how it’s done or if you have the time. Should you forego doing it at home, you need to get a schedule with the groomers. Every one to three weeks is enough, depending on its coat length and lifestyle.
Before starting the process, introduce your pup to scissors by letting them smell and touch them. Go a little further. Open and close the pair of scissors to acclimate your dog to the cutting sound. Your pet must tolerate the process well to avoid stress and other issues that may come up.
How Much Does It Cost to Groom a Shih Tzu?
The basic grooming session includes a bath, blow dry, nail trim, and ear cleaning. Depending on the size of your dog and how thick its coat is, the cost will run from $30 to $90. The price can go higher if you ask for a unique haircut instead of a regular overall trim.
Aside from the basic rate, you may also opt to give your dog’s groomer a tip. Just as you give your hairdresser a tip, you can show appreciation to your groomer by handing a tip. Give 10 to 15 percent of the total cost.
How Do You Groom a Shih Tzu at Home?
Many fur parents elect to groom their Shih Tzu at home. Going to the groomers periodically may be too expensive for some people. Should you decide to be responsible for your dog’s grooming at home, you start with the basics.
Brush your Shih Tzu’s hair every single day. Do this to avoid tangles. Use a brush and comb to untangle your pup’s coat. But never yank or pull a tangle. Aside from causing pain and hot spots, knots can be breeding grounds for parasites. These can lead to extreme pain and skin disorders.
Aside from your dog’s body, don’t leave out brushing its face, neck, ears, legs, paws, tail, and belly. Always keep your dog’s coat short. Doing this can lighten your brushing schedule every few days.
Master the art of brushing and untangling your Shih Tzu’s coat. Then, you may add grooming tasks that you can do at home. Your next job can be touch-up body wiping, face cleaning, nose and ear cleaning, nail clipping, and hair trimming.
How Do You Groom a Shih Tzu With Clippers?
Your Shih Tzu’s hair will keep on growing. At some point, it will be too long, and brushing will not be enough. Learning to use electric clippers to cut your dog’s hair can be valuable. Before starting, ensure that your pet is restrained throughout the grooming process. This is for both your protection.
Groom your Shih Tzu with clippers by following the steps below:
- Wash your dog and rinse it well. Then, dry its coat by wiping it with a towel and using the blower. You know you are ready to start shaving if you can comb through its hair easily.
- Start with its private areas. Shave the area surrounding the rectum. Use a #10 blade. The blade number indicates the resultant length of the hair. The higher the number of blades, the shorter the hair. A higher-numbered blade will result in a shorter cut than a lower-number blade.
- Utilizing a #30 blade, shave the feet and face. Go over the snout, under the eyes, to the top of the nose with the same blade. Don’t get too close to the eyes. Lift the paw and run the shaver to cut the excess fur under the pads.
- For the body, the most commonly used blades are #7 or #5. Start shaving down its back from the neck to the base of the tail. Apply gentle pressure and trim the hair towards the direction of the hair growth. Lift your pup to shave the chest and belly area. Brush your Shih Tzu’s hair in between shaving. Repeat the process until you get your target look all over your dog’s body. The hair should all look even.
- By following the hair growth, trim the legs until no uneven hairs are visible.
- To trim the hair on its head, add a snap-on comb on top of the #30 blade. Run it in the direction of the hair growth and backward as well. You may also trim upwards around the neck to the face.
- Cut around the paws to shape them into a kempt spherical foot.
- Cut the hair on the side of the face following the shape of a half-moon. Start trimming from behind the ear and towards the neck.
- Comb and trim the hair on the ears to the length you want. Be careful not to cut the ear itself.
- Finally, trim the tail by grabbing it at its tip and twisting the hair. Hold the hair in your fingers and cut a straight line at the tip. Trim an even line on both sides of the tail. Be wary not to cut the tail.
Do Shih Tzu Smell?
Shih Tzu are usually clean, cuddly, cute little pets. It is unusual for this breed to have a dreadful body odor. If you notice the smell, bring them to the vet to find any underlying health issue causing the foul odor.
How Do I Stop My Shih Tzu From Smelling?
Health issues may cause your dog to smell. Some of these are seborrhea or Cushing’s Disease, allergies, anal gland problem, ear or eye infections, and tooth decay or periodontal disease. Rule these out by visiting your vet.
Check your pet’s play activities. Is it foraging through the backyard bushes or splashing through mud puddles? You can eliminate the problem by keeping it from doing these messy activities.
Your Shih Tzu is known for its plush double coat. Just like sweat in humans, your dog exudes coat oils. These oils provide luster and protection. They also keep their hair from becoming dry and brittle. If you think these oils cause undesirable odor, a dietary modification can change the situation.
Dog food contains omega-6 fatty acids (derived from vegetables and plants) and omega-3 acids (derived from fish oils). Vitamin B will also improve the dog’s skin by building a natural barrier. It will keep irritants, bacteria, and other substances away.
How Do You Clean a Shih Tzu?
Washing or bathing your Shih Tzu gives it a thorough clean. Do it properly by brushing its coat before getting it wet. Use warm water and high-quality grooming products. Gently scrub and rinse it well. Drying is equally as important. Invest in a good pet dryer.
You may do the touch-up wiping on its entire body in between baths. Grab a damp washcloth and carefully wipe away your dog’s dirt, crusts, and globs.
Do Shih Tzu Like Baths?
Because of their double coat, bathing is a routine affair with these pups. If you or your groomer has made baths fun, then your Shih Tzu will have a high tolerance for this task. They may even enjoy and look forward to it.
Why Do Some Shih Tzu Hate Baths?
Generally, dogs new to bathing, or those that aren’t bathed as frequently, may be fearful of bathing time. Some dislike the feeling of standing on the slippery wet floor. Others may have had trauma in previous baths. They may have created negative associations with bathing.
When Should I Wash My Shih Tzu?
Your Shih Tzu needs routine washing. Washing frequency would depend on how thick its coat is and how active your pet is. With its profuse coat, it would require to be bathed as frequently as every week, up to no longer than every three weeks.
Care and maintenance of your canine’s coat are crucial as it sets the foundation for skin health. Regularly bathing will promote coat growth. On the other hand, an unmaintained and dirty coat will mat and tangle. Soon, the hair shafts will be rough, broken, and damaged.
Can I Bathe My Shih Tzu Once a Week?
Routine bathing can be as frequent as once a week. All those who peddle the dangers of frequently bathing a dog fall into the category of old wives’ tales. Keep your Shih Tzu healthy and adequately fed. Washing it as often as once a week will not hurt.
How to Wash a Shih Tzu
Start brushing and combing your dog’s coat thoroughly before immersing it in the sink or tub. Warm and not hot water is ideal. Use a high-quality dog shampoo. Lather it to your pup’s skin and coat. At all costs, avoid getting soap into its eyes or ears.
If you decide to go for frequent baths, use hypoallergenic products. These are free of soap, detergent, fragrance, and color additives. Go for products that contain saponins (plant derivatives) to cleanse.
The best products are those that have natural moisturizing agents. These agents are aloe vera, coconut oil, jojoba, avocado, and lanolin or panthenol. These are also best for young puppies and ultrasensitive pets with allergies and other skin conditions.
After gently scrubbing your pet’s coat, rinse it well. Ensure that no residue stays on its coat. These may cause itching and irritation. After the thorough rinse, condition its coat. It will seal up the hair shaft cuticle and keep the moisture in. This prevents its coat and skin from drying out quickly.
Then it would be time to dry. Proper drying is as vital as bathing. Start with toweling. After drying him with a towel, your pet is ready for blow-drying. A table-size pet dryer is a good investment, especially if you bathe your dog at home. Direct the airflow at the portion that you are brushing.
Keep in mind that hair dryers can be very hot. Don’t leave it in one spot for too long.
Once your dog is dry, rake through its coat using a double-sided stainless steel comb. You can spritz coat dressing as a finishing touch.
Should I Clean Inside My Shih Tzu’s Ears?
Regularly cleaning your dog’s ears keeps ear infections at bay. The Shih Tzu is prone to ear infections with floppy ears covered with fur. Always check your pup’s ears. If you notice any inflammation or discharge, take it to the vet immediately.
How Often Should You Clean Shih Tzu Ears?
Your Shih Tzu has drop ears and continuous hair growth. Their ear canal does not get the proper ventilation. Debris and water may be trapped in the canal. This creates a warm environment as a breeding ground for bacteria and mites. Your pet needs regular ear cleaning.
If your dog has frequent baths, then clean its ears more often. However, routine cleanings may damage the protective layer of wax inside your Shih Tzu’s ear. This may lead to irritation, pain, and infection. A good rule of thumb is to do an ear-cleaning session at least once a month.
How to Clean Shih Tzu Ears
You will need an ear cleansing solution and cotton balls. Use an ear cleansing solution that is specifically designed for pets. Cotton balls are best for the job. Avoid using cotton pads as they are too thin or cotton buds (Q-tips) as they might puncture your pet’s ear drum.
To start the session, calm your Shih Tzu. Do this by giving it gentle, soothing rubs. Another way is to wrap it from the neck down with a bath towel. It is the same concept as in swaddling human babies. Once your canine friend is relaxed, you may start the ear-cleaning process.
Gently pull up your dog’s ear flap and squirt a few drops of the ear-cleansing solution. Let the solution slide into the inner flap of its ears near the opening. Another way to get the solution into your pet’s ear is to dip a cotton ball in the solution and place it into its ears.
Using your fingertips, tenderly massage the base of your dog’s ears. Do this for 20 to 30 seconds. It would help spread the solution around the insides of your Shih Tzu’s ears and soften the debris in the ear canal.
Then, take the saturated ball out (if you opted to do this) and use a dry cotton ball to wipe the dirt off. If your canine wants to shake its head, let it do so. It will help more debris to fall off. Use another cotton ball, slightly wet with the solution, to wipe the inner flap of the ears.
Finally, dry your Shih Tzu’s ears by wiping the moisture off with another cotton ball or a clean, dry cloth. See to it that it is completely dry. Leaving it damp might cause ear infections.
Is It Common for Shih Tzu to Have Bad Breath?
Chronic bad breath or halitosis is a common complaint among Shih Tzu owners. However, bad dog breath is not normal. It can be due to several reasons, and most are not health issues.
Why Does My Shih Tzu Have Smelly Breath?
The top five possible reasons for you Shih Tzu’s smelly breath are:
- Diet: Your pet’s dry kibble may not be particularly smelly. But when it mixes with its saliva and is processed by its guts, it produces that old-dog-food odor you identify with your dog’s breath.
- Supplements: Fish oil is a critical supplement that is good for your canine’s healthy skin and coat. A bad breath that smells like fish can be directly linked to this.
- Dental Issues: If dental hygiene is not done correctly, plaque buildup can occur. Soon the plaque hardens into tartar. These plaque and tartar buildup in the mouth can produce stinking.
- Teething: Bad breath may be linked to teething, especially for puppies in this stage. Teething usually causes a bit of bleeding in the gums. When blood mixes with saliva, it produces a nasty odor.
- Something In Between the Teeth: When food or anything is wedged in the teeth, your dog salivates more. These can be bits of food or stick splinters that your pet cannot remove. Additionally, if bleeding occurs in the gums, your Shih Tzu’s breath will smell.
How Can I Help My Shih Tzu With the Bad Breath?
Start by bringing your fur baby to the veterinarian for an oral examination. Your vet will check its teeth and mouth. He will give prescriptions for possible dental issues. You need to rule these and any other underlying problems out.
Aim for consistent, regular, and proper oral hygiene. These steps may help:
- Brush your Shih Tzu’s teeth once or twice daily. Use a proper-size quality toothbrush and an effective toothpaste specifically for dogs. Ensure to reach those little crevices where plaque, bacteria, and other issues are lurking.
- Provide a dental chew that your pet will use frequently. The chew helps remove plaques and tartar that are difficult to remove by brushing. Pick a brand approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council.
- Humans use mouthwash. Consider an anti-plaque supplement. Dogs have a plaque-fighting water supplement that can kill bacteria in their mouth. It is ideally tasteless and is meant to be swallowed.
Should I Brush My Shih Tzu’s Teeth?
Your Shih Tzu’s dental care is vital for its care and maintenance. Keeping its teeth clean will prevent oral issues. Tooth infections, rotting, and loose teeth will be avoided. Stop the spread of plaque and tartar buildup. Brush your pet’s teeth using a quality toothbrush and toothpaste.
How Often Should You Brush a Shih Tzu Teeth?
Commit to keeping your Shih Tzu’s teeth clean. Brush them at least once per day. To ensure that you provide the best dental care, use a toothbrush or finger brush that is size-appropriate for its tiny mouth. Pick a good brand of toothpaste that is non-foaming, fluoride-free, and has a flavor liked by your canine.
How Do I Clean My Shih Tzu’s Teeth?
Brushing your dog’s teeth is the foundation of good oral health. The provision of dental chews is another supplemental means to get rid of plaque buildup in your pet’s mouth. Dental sprays and canine mouthwash are also an excellent addition to oral hygiene.
When brushing your Shih Tzu’s teeth, choose a quiet place. Ensure that your pet is comfortable. It is best to hold it in your lap. Doing this will prevent it from escaping and allows you to finish the task. Gently scrub on the surface of the teeth for a good two to three minutes.
There is no need for rinsing if you use products made for them since these are meant to be swallowed. If your dog is used to this routine, brushing teeth is a quick and easy task that does not make much of a mess. You can do it regularly after meals, before walks, or just before bedtime.
How Long Should a Shih Tzu Claws Be?
Generally, a dog’s nails should be long enough to be seen but should not go past its paws. Trim your Shih Tzu’s nails regularly. Cut them at the level with the ground and with its foot pad.
How Often Do Shih Tzu Need Nails Clipped?
Although the structure is different, canine nails grow as fast as human nails. You have to clip them at least once every two months. You can cut them earlier if you hear their nails clicking on the floor when they walk.
When you allow your Shih Tzu’s nails to grow long, they will begin to curl under their paws. Your pet will then be forced to walk on them. The blood vessel connects to the nail and grows along with the nails. If this happens, a surgical procedure to sever it along with the nail will be necessary.
Can You Cut Shih Tzu Nails?
You will need a scissor-type or a guillotine-type nail clipper to cut your Shih Tzu’s nails. If you find it easier, you may also opt for the nail grinder. Keep in mind that you should be comfortable using your chosen device. Its size should also be proportionate to that of your pet.
Here are tips for cutting your Shih Tzu’s nails:
- If it is your first time doing it, have your vet or groomer show you how.
- Prepare all the things you need before starting the task. These are your nail-cutting device and treats for your dog. Having styptic powder or cornstarch available is also best; these are antiseptic and clotting agents. If you accidentally hit that blood vessel, reach for this agent to stop the bleeding.
- Calm your dog down for the session. Talking to it through the process will also help.
- Choose a bright location, or arrange for adequate lighting. It will help you locate and avoid cutting through the quick. The quick contains the blood vessel and nerves.
Should You Trim a Shih Tzu?
If you find visits to the professional groomer time-consuming and tough on your budget, you can trim your Shih Tzu by yourself. Start with the easy cuts first. You can work your way from there. Remember that a regular trim is part of your Shih Tzu’s care and maintenance.
How Do You Trim a Shih Tzu?
You need to secure a good brush. Pick one that works for your dog’s coat. Brush your Shih Tzu’s coat every day to avoid tangles from forming. You will also need to brush its coat just before you start trimming.
For trimming, you will need excellent dog clippers. Don’t even think about getting a cheap set. By picking a trusted brand, your trimming sessions will be a breeze for you and your pet. Along with your clipper, you will also need a variety of blade sizes. Useful sizes are 10, 7, 4, and 4F.
For beginners, a puppy cut is one of the basic Shih Tzu haircuts. It involves trimming the coat short over the whole body, tail, and ears. You may also leave the tail and ears hair long with a puppy cut. For the face, you may use blunt-tipped scissors to cut the hair around the eyes.
How Do You Trim Shih Tzu Hair?
Get your tools ready and within your reach. Always calm your pup before starting the process. You don’t want a resistive and flailing dog while you are handling sharp devices. Once you’re both ready, you can begin.
Here are the three common Shih Tzu haircuts to try:
The Puppy Cut
Also known as the summer cut, you trim your dog’s hair to one to two inches in length. It makes everyday grooming less demanding and significantly more manageable. Your Shih Tzu’s coat will not be as prone to tangles so brushing sessions will be less frequent.
This cut is best for the hot months but be careful when going out. See to it that your adorable pup doesn’t get sunburned. If you decide to maintain this cut, your pet will need a trim every three months.
The Teddy Bear Cut
The key to the Teddy Bear haircut is to think round. Your goal is to trim your pup’s hair so it gets a round face, round legs, and round paws. Trim the hair on the head and look to a slightly longer length. Clip the body’s hair slightly shorter but go for that fluffy appearance.
Many owners prefer this cut because it is a low-maintenance hairstyle. It allows the adorable personality of their Shih Tzu to come through.
The Show Cut
Considered the signature haircut of the Shih Tzu breed, this cut gets the coat to grow into a long flowing coat. It also allows for that hallmark topknot on their little heads. The length of the coat sweeps down to the floor as they walk.
This style is high maintenance. You need to keep the coat tangle-free so it can gracefully flow on their bodies. If you have a lot of time on your hands and want to show off your Shih Tzu, this hairstyle is the best.
How to Trim Shih Tzu Ears
For long ear hair, you will need your shears. A regular, curved, and thinning shears can best trim this length. For short ear hair, you will need both your shears and your clippers.
Begin by feeling the end of the ear. This helps you be careful so you don’t cut part of your beloved pup’s ear. Also, you don’t want to cut the hair too close to the ear. For short hair, use the clippers on the outside flap. Under the flap, use the shears to trim the hair. You can also shape the ears using this tool.
Use the shears to trim around one to two inches from the bottom for long hair that looks like pigtails on your Shih Tzu. Like in cutting people’s hair, groomers tuck the hair between their fingers to mark the line they want to cut.
After achieving your desired length, ensure the cut is even. Make your Shih Tzu look at you and compare both sides. Make them look up or lift their head. You will see longer hair sticking from the back. Cut that as well. Finally, use the thinning shears to look naturally at the end of the hair shafts.
How to Trim Shih Tzu Feet
Get your comb, clippers, and shears ready. After calming your dog, you can have it lie down with its front paws forward. Start by combing the fur on the first paw. Always ensure that there are no tangles before cutting. Grab your shears and tip the edges of hair following the rounded shape of the foot.
Do the same with the other front paw. Then, address the back feet in the same manner, but this time, with your pup standing up. If you want the hair to be shorter, use a clipper with a small blade following the shape of the paw. Now, you are done with the top part of the paws.
Don’t leave your Shih Tzu’s paw pads out. Paw pads are made of thicker skin. These are the bottom part of its paws that makes contact with the ground when walking or running. You won’t find hair growing on the pads. However, in between the paw pads, hair continues to grow.
Grab your pet’s paw by the ankle to reveal the paw pads. If you can, comb out the hair from between the paw pads. Otherwise, use your fingers to expose them for trimming. Pull back the hair from the top part of the paw so you don’t cut them again.
Use the shears to trim the hair from the paw pads. Do it in a scooping motion, ensuring you reach the crevices between the paw pads. For a neater trim, you may use a small clipper or a clipper with a small blade.
Should I Brush My Shih Tzu?
To maintain its lustrous double coat, combing and brushing are highly recommended. By doing this, you prevent tangles and mats from forming. See that you choose the right comb and brush for your pet. Never brush its dry coat. Give it a spritz of hydrating mist before brushing.
How Often Should You Brush a Shih Tzu?
Ideally, you should brush your Shih Tzu’s long hair every day. You can do it less often if your dog’s hair is shorter. Brushing keeps tangles at bay. Without knots, mats won’t set in. You keep your pet’s skin health in tiptop shape.
How Do You Brush a Shih Tzu?
Begin by lightly misting its hair with a detangling or hydrating spray. An alternative is a mix of water and a teaspoon of conditioner in a clean spray bottle. Shake the bottle each time before spraying. Misting the hair with these products keeps the hair from breaking. It also helps to remove any tiny knots.
Start brushing the dog’s foot with a pin brush. This technique is called line brushing. Do it in both directions by parting the hair in a line and brushing one small section at a time. You may use a comb or your fingers to part the hair. When brushing, always work your way outward.
Brush several times until the brush goes smoothly through the hair. Your Shih Tzu has a thick double coat so make sure you brush from the skin to the top surface. Most tangles and mats are set in the inner coat.
Brush one section at a time for around ten strokes before moving to another portion. After the paw section, continue to your Shih Tzu’s body, legs, tail, and head. If you spot tangles and matting, don’t pull or tug at it.
Be very careful in brushing the face, especially around the eyes. Take precautions when going through sensitive areas such as under the arms, chest, and neck. These areas tend to mat worse. You might hurt your pet if you’re brushing too rigorously. You can address these later with a comb.
After brushing all areas of your pup’s body, it’s time to use the steel comb. This type of comb will aid in detangling tiny knots. Use the de-matting comb as necessary in particular areas. Again, avoid pulling or tugging too hard as it can hurt your Shih Tzu.
As the last step, you may run through all areas again with a slicker brush. This brush will also help to smooth out tangles and knots. It can also remove loose hair shafts from the undercoat. Doing this lessens the chances of developing new tangles.
The time it takes to brush your canine will depend on the length of its coat. If you do it regularly, your pup will get used to it, making the process a lot easier.
What Is the Best Brush for a Shih Tzu?
Purchase a high-quality pin brush and a slicker brush. These two are must-haves for your toy breed. Getting the correct type of brush will make this critical maintenance task more manageable. Having a comb to help with tangles is also a good idea.
The pin brush is similar to a human brush. They have metal pins with rounded ends. The difference is that they are stronger and more durable. They are made specifically for detangling. These brushes come in different sizes. Use one with 20-millimeter pins for your fur baby with short hair. A 27-millimeter pin is best for your long-haired Shih Tzu.
The slicker brush has similar metal pins but is much sharper. They don’t have rounded edges. This makes these brushes suitable to go all the way through the undercoat. It gets mats and tangles out. However, since its pins are sharper, avoid using it on your pet’s face, especially near the eyes.
One variety of the slicker brush is triangular. It is perfect for targeting knots and mats in hard-to-reach areas.
Should you wish to take brushing a step further, you may also opt to get a bristle brush. This brush not only gets the tangles; they also give your pet a shiny coat. Plus, dogs are fond of being bristle-brushed. It stimulates their skin, releasing natural oils, which are suitable for their skin health.
In addition to brushes, including a comb in your grooming kit is a good thing. This is because combs are great with mats or tangles, especially in sensitive places. They are also perfect for combing and cleaning your Shih Tzu’s face.
There are different types of combs. Find one that your pup needs. A greyhound comb is best for removing any final mats. If you are fond of putting a topknot in your long-haired Shih Tzu, a rattail comb is best for the job. This type of comb is excellent for parting hair. Especially on the face, the fine-toothed flea comb is a perfect option to remove those little crumbs.
How to Hand Strip a Shih Tzu
Hand stripping is a type of grooming procedure that involves removing dead hairs by hand in place of a clipper. It is said to keep the coat healthy by speeding up the natural process of shedding and growth.
Hand stripping your Shih Tzu usually involves removing tangles and de-matting its coat. To remove a tangle, wet your hands with conditioner. Then, work the knot or mat out by hand. Doing this will induce the growth of new hairs in place of the rough, tangled, and matted hair shafts.
Have your groomer show you the proper method if you want to try it. Stripping is done using your thumb and forefinger to grasp and pull a few strands gently. Also, you don’t do it all at once. It is usually done in sections seasonally. They say a unit will come off quickly without pain if it is ready.
Can You Give a Shih Tzu a Haircut?
Most Shih Tzu fur parents learn how to give their pets a haircut. If you have been going to the professional groomers for some time, you might already know how it’s done. Take baby steps to get used to the process. You may cut the hair around its paws first. Then you can work your way up.
How to Clip Shih Tzu
Learning how to clip your Shih Tzu is great. You can save money by not taking it to the groomers. It can also be a valuable bonding time for you and your pet. Follow the steps on how to clip your Shih Tzu:
- Put your pup in a restrained but comfortable position.
- Begin by bathing it. Dry its coat by wiping and blow-drying.
- Using a small blade, clip through the small, sensitive, and private areas.
- Do the paws and face next. Follow the shape of the paws. Be careful when you go near the eyes.
- When you clip the body, shave downward from the neck and follow its hair growth. Do the same in the head. Trim the legs and make the length of hair even throughout.
- Feel where the ear ends. Comb and trim the hair in this area to your desired length.
- Lastly, grab the tip of the tail and clip the hair, ensuring it is even on both sides.
Can You Shave a Shih Tzu?
Shaving your Shih Tzu will not cause permanent damage. Its luxurious double coat will grow back eventually. However, bear in mind that shaving does not necessarily make them feel cooler. If you decide to shave your pet in summer, be careful when going outside as it can get sunburned.
Shaving can also cause several skin issues. When the coat is cut too short, ingrown hairs can appear and result in painful lesions. It can further dry your pet’s skin, making it more sensitive.
How Do You Shave a Shih Tzu?
Should you decide to shave your Shih Tzu, follow the steps on how it is groomed. Start with the private parts, then the paws and face, body, head, and tail; last will be the ears. If your reason for shaving is severe matting, you can directly shave the matted sections until it detaches.
How Long Does It Take for Shih Tzu Hair to Grow?
From a short haircut (puppy or teddy bear cut), it will take 12 to 24 months for your Shih Tzu’s hair to reach floor length. A well-maintained and healthy Shih Tzu can grow its coat at a rate of one-half inch every month.
How to Take Care Of a Shih Tzu Puppy
A Shih Tzu puppy requires coat care, dental care, and general grooming. Its hair is short, and the second coat does not develop until four months old. Coat care is easier for Shih Tzu puppies. It would be best to start them young with grooming activities. Do these tasks regularly, so they get used to them.
You will need to brush their coat frequently, bathe them, and brush their teeth regularly. Check their paws to make sure they are clean. Even if there isn’t much to cut, you can start clipping their nails at around six weeks. Ear cleaning can also be initiated as early as six to eight weeks.
How Do You Clean Shih Tzu Puppies Ears?
The process is similar to how you clean your adult Shih Tzu’s ears. However, you need to be more gentle as your puppy’s ear parts are more fragile. Do the following steps:
- Prepare the ear cleansing solution and cotton balls. To fit your puppy’s small ears, you may want to part the cotton balls in half.
- Place your Shih Tzu puppy on your lap. Ensure that it is in a calm state. It will help if you play with it before your ear cleaning session. This way, it will want to rest and relax.
- Pull your puppy’s ear flap gently to reveal the inside parts. Put a couple of drops of ear cleaning solution towards its ear canal.
- Give the base of its ears a gentle massage to move the solution in its ear parts. This will help to get the debris out of its ear canal.
- Use a cotton ball to wipe the dirt off. You may want to wipe the visible inner flap of the ears as well.
- Use a cotton ball again to wipe your puppy’s ears dry.
How Do You Bathe a Shih Tzu Puppy?
Bathing is an essential part of your dog’s maintenance. You can start bathing your Shih Tzu puppy at three to four weeks old. Do so, especially if it is dirty and stinky. Getting your puppy acclimated to the task is excellent.
Just like in bathing an adult Shih Tzu, prepare all the materials you need. Even if your pup has short hair, you may want to start by brushing its coat. Doing this will introduce it to its future routine. Wet its fur using warm water. Always use top-quality products that are good for your puppy.
Scrub and rinse it well. Since its coat is still short, drying by toweling is adequate. You may use pet drying to ensure it is completely dry before it starts playing again.
How Often Should You Bathe a Shih Tzu Puppy?
Puppies are generally more playful. They can also get their bottoms messy when they poop. They may need to bathe more often than their adult counterparts. It is, however, recommended to give them a bath at least once every three weeks.