You just got yourself a Shih Tzu, but you have doubts about how to take care of it and how to keep it clean the right way. And, you probably wonder how often should you bathe a Shih Tzu. Don’t worry, we got your back!
The Shih Tzu breed, unlike other dog breeds, has a thicker and longer coat that comes in a variety of vibrant coat colors. They have very sensitive skin, and they tend to have allergies and dry skin if it’s not treated with the right bathing products.
An important thing to know is that you definitely shouldn’t do weekly bathing due to their skin conditions. Even though they keep themselves more or less clean, you should give your Shih Tzu a bath every three to four weeks, sometimes a little more if they get into mud, soil themselves, or something like that.
Your Shih Tzu’s skin depends on the coat prep, the timing of the baths, the products that you use, and bathing methods. Sometimes, they won’t care if they are clean or not, so be willing to clean them regularly.
We have prepared simple tricks and tips for bathing your Shih Tzu, so keep reading!
How Often Should I Bathe My Shih Tzu Puppy?
Because of their natural body oils that keep their skin soft and moisturized, they shouldn’t be bathed too often; however, Shih Tzu puppies need more baths as they tend to soil themselves by accident.
Their thicker and longer coat deserves more attention and care than a coat of other breeds, especially because Shih Tzus are known for their love to run in mud.
So, once again, you should bathe your Shih Tzu every three to four weeks to maintain its hygiene and healthy skin. When your puppy comes back all muddy, you know what to do.
How To Bathe A Shih Tzu
Baths are very important for a Shih Tzu’s health. Shih Tzu dogs are a long-haired breed, so you need to pay more attention to their sensitive coat.
For a Shih Tzu puppy, you will need the right bathing products for the dog’s skin, and a nice place to settle your pooch while you treat him like a king.
His bath time should be fun and comfortable, so he can get used to regular baths, plus you won’t have problems next time you need to bathe him.
We prepared for you some things you should do before you start to bathe a Shih Tzu, so that the bath can run smoothly. Let’s check them!
3 Pre-bath Steps
1. Groom Your Shih Tzu
As you should do regular baths, you should also do regular grooming. Home dog grooming is quite easy when you learn how to take care of your dog’s coat. Before you start the bathing process, you should make sure there are no tangles, mats, or dead hair. You can brush a dog’s hair with a bristle brush.
If you are not sure whether you would do this properly, visit the groomer and he will take care of your furry friend.
2. Pick The Right Spot
You should provide a basin that is big enough for your Shih Tzu’s size, then put it into a bathtub, so it is easier for you to control the situation.
3. Prepare Bathing Necessities
You need to prepare the washcloths, cotton balls, dog shampoo, or if you don’t have that, baby shampoo will do, along with a wash-out conditioner, and a soft towel.
A Shih Tzu is a hypoallergenic breed, so logically, they require hypoallergenic shampoo. The best shampoo would be the one that will not irritate your dog’s skin, so make sure to invest in that one.
Let’s Bathe Your Shih Tzu!
• Check if the basin is perfectly clean.
• Place the bathing necessities where you can easily reach them.
• Pour warm water into the basin.
• Put your doggy in the basin, and when he is comfortable, start wetting his body.
• When you are sure that you have wet the entire body, start shampooing your Shih Tzu. Make sure to first shampoo and lather the area they don’t like, then proceed with other body parts. Massage and rub the shampoo until you reach the skin.
• Use one of the washcloths you prepared, wet it in foamy water, and wash your Shih Tzu’s face gently, especially around the eyes, to remove tear stains. After you’ve done this, dry the eye area with another washcloth.
• After that, with a washcloth, clean the genital area.
• Wash out the shampoo. Make sure that there is no shampoo left on the coat because the conditioner will not work unless it is free of shampoo.
• Conditioning time – the conditioner is crucial for your dog’s hair and coat. Put the conditioner all over the coat.
• Wash out the conditioner, but not all of it because it will help make the hair smoother, softer, and healthier.
• Once you’re done with the water, put your Shih Tzu in a soft towel.
Dry Your Shih Tzu
Decide whether to towel dry or blow dry according to your Shih Tzu’s preference.
• Towel dry – You can towel dry your puppy if he has shorter hair and coat. Use a soft towel and gently pat the coat to absorb any extra water.
Make sure not to rub with a towel as you can cause split ends on the hair, or you can create mats and tangles. This can ruin the coat if it is done frequently. After you finish patting the coat, put leave-in conditioner throughout the coat.
Leave-in conditioner will soften the cuticles, and his long hair and coat will be smoother. After that, let your Shih Tzu air-dry. Make sure that it isn’t cold for him.
• Blow-dry – If you decide to blow-dry, then you must know that you’ll have to roll up your sleeves. Divide the coat, and spritz the coat with a leave-in that you decide is the best. You should hold the bottle five to six inches afar, and spritz about one inch from the roots.
Use your two-level comb to untangle from the roots to the tips. After you separate all the hairs, and the conditioner is well-spread through the coat, take the blow dryer, set it to warm, and blow-dry it at a distance of five to six inches away.
Just like you blow-dry your hair, move side-to-side and use your hand to run through the coat. After you dry enough for the hair to be separated, use your pin brush while you finish blow drying. If you notice any tangled or matted hairs, use a little bit of conditioner spray to smooth them out.
Maintain Your Shih Tzu’s Health
Besides bathing, your Shih Tzu needs nails trimming, pad trimming, and teeth and ear cleaning. These things should precede grooming and bathing.
To make sure that their ears are clean and air has space to go through them, your dog will need hair to be plucked out of its ear canal. You shouldn’t do it at home, so it is advised to go to a professional because they are trained, and they know how to get the hair plucked out of a dog’s ear without damaging it.
You should also trim your dog’s nails. It can be harmful for them to walk around with their nails too long. Their nails can be trimmed with nail clippers. You must find out where the quick is, and clip above it.
Also, an important thing you should introduce to your practice is pad trimming. Their paw pads need to be clean and free of dirt they gather up while playing outside.
What Are The Advantages Of Bathing Your Shih Tzu?
We know for sure that dogs need a bath, but do we know the benefits of it?
1. Removing any dirt that comes in contact with the coat.
2. Keeping the coat moisturized and preventing split ends.
3. Preventing dry and itchy skin by keeping the skin moisturized and balanced.
4. Eliminating smell, keeping a Shih Tzu smelling fresh.
5. Washing off sweat.
6. Washing away excess body oil as the body has natural oils to protect it.
7. Treating any skin problems and allergies.
Can You Bathe A Shih Tzu Once A Week?
It is not recommended to bathe your Shih Tzu once a week as they are prone to having sensitive skin. Too frequent baths would dry the dog’s skin. Unless your dog is rolling in the mud every week, you shouldn’t do weekly bathing.
Is There A Difference In The Bathing Routine Between A Male And A Female Shih Tzu?
There’s no real difference. Female and male Shih Tzus follow the exact same bathing steps.
How often should you bathe a Shih Tzu is the question that we hope will not trouble you anymore. We learned that Shih Tzus need a bath every three to four weeks unless they soil themselves – then you need to intervene.
As a Shih Tzu dog owner, you probably know that although they are small dogs, they require great care. They are extremely hairy dogs, and they need proper shampoo for their type.
They need dog shampoo for sensitive skin, or baby shampoo if you don’t have shampoos that are right for them. But, watch out – if you don’t have either, don’t rush to use human shampoos as human shampoos are not appropriate for dogs. They are prone to irritate the dog’s skin.
Besides a bath, your dog needs to be groomed, their nails and pads need to be trimmed, and their ears and teeth need to be cleaned.
With these tips and tricks, the bathing process should be a piece of cake!
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