How Often Should You Bathe A Shih Tzu? In general, you don’t need to bathe your Shih Tzu all that often, you should give your Shih Tzu a bath every 3 to 4 weeks. Puppies need bathing more often and her is why.
Although it is recommended to give your Shih Tzu a bath every three to four weeks, a Shih Tzu puppies may need bathing more often as they tend to soil themselves when they go to the toilet.
During the winter when your dog is running around in mud you may need to do it a little more often. Be careful not to give your Shih Tzu a bath too often as this can strip away the natural oils from their coat, this can cause dry skin and other skin problems.
If you leave it too long between baths your dog’s coat can accumulate excess body oil, and over time it can start to smell, especially if you live in bigger cities where pollution from cars can harm the coat of your dog.
How To Bathe a Shih Tzu
Grooming your dog doesn’t always entail giving it a bath. Giving your dog a brush to remove dirt and matted hair might be all it needs to freshen up your dog’s look.
Brushing your dog’s coat also spreads your dog’s natural oils evenly into its coat, which is good for the coat and keeps the hair follicles more active.
When you do brush your dog don’t just brush the topcoat, lift the top layer up to brush the lower layers of fur.
Use a comb to dig deeper into the fur to remove knots and also to get closer to your dog’s skin. By lifting the lower layer of fur you can also check the skin for damage or infections.
Don’t just to the fur around the torso of your dog, dig deeper and comb the legs, tails and all the way down to their toes.
Bathing your dog is not only good for their health but it’s also playing time, Shih Tzu looks to play which also builds a bond between you both.
Dogs have their own way of cleaning themselves. You will sometimes see them licking their fur, but just because they are doing this it doesn’t mean they don’t need a bath, especially if you have been out for a walk on a wet day and they have rolled around in the mud.
It’s important that you get into a routine with your dog, that way they will know what to expect when they see you running the bathwater.
What Kind Of Shampoo Should I Use On My Shih Tzu?
There are many high-quality shampoos and conditioners made especially for dogs. It is important that you purchase the highest quality of dog shampoo and conditioner you can get. There are many dog shampoos available from sites like Amazon.
When looking for the kind of shampoo to use on your Shih Tzu it can be quite daunting with the large range available.
There are a few things to look for that might narrow down your search and they include shampoos that are tear-less. The last thing you want to do it wash your dog and make their eyes sting from the shampoo.
You may also want to look for a shampoo that is Hypoallergenic, especially for Shih Tzu puppies. Some of the better quality Hypoallergenic shampoos contain avocado.
Avocado is a protein-rich full of vitamins and amino acids, which is good for your dog’s overall condition.
Coconut oil is also added to dog shampoo, it nourishes the scalp and strengthens the hair as well as reducing the excessive buildup of oil on the fur and skin.
You may also find some shampoos that contain lanolin. Lanolin is great for moisturizing your dog’s skin, it also acts as a good water barrier.
Can I Use Conditioner On My Shih Tzu After Washing?
When you wash your own hair you might use a conditioner to put some bounce back into your hair, the same goes for your Shih Tzu.
Using conditioner can help with hair breakage, it can also act as a barrier to stop your dog’s skin from itching, which is beneficial for long-haired dogs like the Shih Tzu
There are a few types of shampoo you can use for your dog, even a spray shampoo that not only conditions your dog’s hair but can also protect it from the sun.
This is beneficial if you live in a hot state like Florida, where temperatures can get high, especially in the summer. It’s also good for protection against the wind.
Unlike humans, where we rinse-out conditioner after applying you can leave the conditioner on your dog. Any conditioner that needs rinsing out it not usually strong enough for the Shih Tzu breed so keep an eye out for leave-in conditioner.
Some Shih Tzu dogs and especially puppies might have sensitive skin so if you see any dry skin or inflammation consult your vet for advice on shampoos and conditioners that they would recommend.
Can I Wash My Shih Tzu Puppy With Baby Shampoo?
Shampoos produced for humans are not a good choice for your dog as they can contain pHs. pHs is added to human shampoo to help increase hair density and to fight against thinning hair, this can cause irritation to your dog’s skin so don’t use them.
There are a number of items you will need over and above the shampoo and conditioner we have talked about, they include.
- A hairdryer specifically made for dogs
- Double-sided stainless steel dog comb
- Bristle and nylon mixture dog brushes
- Cotton balls
- Pin brush
Before Bathing Your Dog
Before you start you need to get everything ready that you’re going to need so you don’t have to leave your puppy unattended. You can either do it in the bath or a basin, sometimes the sink depending on the size of your dog.
Make sure the dog is happy in the bath, we want to make this a really positive experience so make sure they’ve had plenty of treats so they’re not going to be scared of this experience.
If it is the first time to have given your dog a bath they can be quite nervous. There are a few ways you can introduce your dog to bath time, the last thing you want is your dog running around inside your bath when you are trying to wash them, you need a calm dog so that it can all go smoothly.
Let your dog run free in the bathroom while you are running the bath, they will get used to the sound of running water so the next time they are ready for a bath the sound will be familiar.
Try adding one of your dog’s toys to the bath, this will be a familiar item they can play with while you are washing them.
To make them comfortable in the bath you can also put a shower mat in first, this will help them grip the bottom of the bath stopping them from sliding around.
Before you put your dog into any water give it a brush to remove any clumps of fur, it’s a lot easier to remove the matted fur when it is dry rather than when it is wet.
As I stated previously, lift the top layers of fur to get right into the lower layers, use a comb if necessary to get the fur a smooth a possible before bathing your dog.
If you are one of those people who shave your Shih Tzu then bathing your dog will be much easier as there wouldn’t be as many mats in their fur. But if you prefer the fur to be longer, then it will be more of a challenge.
If the knots are really bad, and you cant remove them with a comb then there are detangling sprays you can buy from places like Amazon. They will help you work through these tough knots in their fur.
When you are brushing your dog using the pin brush start at the front and make your way backward.
Don’t just do their back and tail, most of the knots will be on the belly area and on their legs. Lay your dog on their back to get access to their stomach area, your dog will love this as most dogs like being stroked.
A pin brush is a great tool to remove knots and dirt from your dog’s fur before you give him or her a bath.
The flexible pin brush is great for getting out dead hair and massaging the skin and getting a really glossy coat. The pin brush is flexible and can also be fitted to the size of your palm, which makes grooming very comfortable.
Brush through your dog’s coat to get nice and deep into their fur. Use nice gentle strokes to remove dead hair, what great about this type of brush is that it doesn’t hurt.
It doesn’t cause any damage to your dog’s skin, it just promotes healthy skin and a nice glossy coat by getting that dead hair out.
Before you put your dog into the bath you can use the cotton balls to plug up their ears.
Before placing your dog into the bath its important the water isn’t too hot. You and I might like to lay in a hot bath but your dog is different, it should be lukewarm not hot.
How To Bathe a Shih Tzu Face
The first part of your dog you should wash the area around their nose and eyes. Use one of the damp face clothes to wipe around their eyes, nose, and mouth, being especially careful around their eyes.
Shih Tzu is prone to stained eyes, this is the area just below the eye where you can see dark stains.
You can use hydrogen peroxide to remove the stains with the cotton balls you have ready, again, be very careful you don’t get any into their eyes or mouth.
Once your dog is wet use the dog shampoo to clean your dog’s fur. You might need to dilute the shampoo as some dog’s skin are more sensitive.
Try it at full strength for the first time, if they don’t show any sensitivity to the shampoo then continue, if they do, then dilute it to get the right strength for your dog.
Apply the shampoo to the back of their head working your way back towards the tail then under their stock and legs. Make sure you have washed all areas before you rinse.
Apply the shampoo into your hand and gently lather up, be careful that you don’t use too much shampoo but as long as it’s all rinsed out afterwards it won’t be a problem.
Give them a nice little massage, make sure they’re washed all over paying particular attention to their back end.
You can also do their feet as well, make sure the shampoo is well rubbed in and the coat is all lathered up nicely.
The whole bath process should take no longer than about five minutes from start to finish, otherwise your puppy will get bored and they’ll also start to get cold.
Once your dog is all shampooed up switch the water on again, make sure you test it again on your wrist to make sure it’s the right temperature. I find using a showerhead cleans the shampoo out much better than using a jug and the bathwater your dog is standing in.
Start rinsing off all the shampoo, this is the really important part because if you leave any shampoo in the coat it can irritate the dog afterwards and give them Itchy skin or scurvy skin so we need to make sure that all of the shampoos is washed out and the water is running clear.
How To Make Your Shih Tzu Hair Silky
Once you have washed your dog use the conditioner. Read the instructions carefully as some dog shampoos can be left on rather than rinsed off.
Once your dog is all rinsed off you could squeeze out any excess water if you’ve got a very long-haired dog, otherwise, get yourself your nice fluffy towel and start drying them off.
You want to make sure that they’re kept wrapped up and warm. Shih Tzu puppies can’t regulate their own temperature very well so we don’t want them to get cold, we need to keep them covered up.
Once you have finished bathing your dog use towels to hand dry your dog, then use a hairdryer to finish.
The sound of a hair dryer can be quite scary for a dog at first, so try to acclimatize them to the dryer by having it around the living room prior to bath time.
Turn it on a few times so they get used to the noise and when you do come to use it to dry them they won’t be as frightened.
You may have to do this a few times before you use the dryer for the first time to dry them, it depends on the dog but you can usually tell by the reaction of your dog to the noise when you have turned it on a few times.
It’s important to use a dog-specific hairdryer and a hairdryer made for humans are set to higher temperatures and can get too hot for your dog. Use the dryer to get deep into the fur ensuring it is totally dry.
Once you have finished drying your dog then it’s time for the final deep comb with the double-sided stainless steel dog comb.
Try to make bath time more like playtime so both you and your dog won’t be stressed when the next bath time comes along.
When To Bathe Shih Tzu Puppies For The First Time
The age that they should first need a bath is probably around about eight to ten weeks of age.
How Often To Bathe a Shih Tzu Puppy
There’s a debate on how often you should bathe your puppy but it’s entirely up to you when you want to do it. Maybe once a week, once every couple of weeks, but really when they’re dirty. The shampoo you use is meant for puppies so it won’t be too harsh and it shouldn’t strip the oils from the coat.