Shih Tzu - Bathing Your Shih Tzu


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There is a professional and an amateur way to bath your Shih Tzu. Bathing your Shih Tzu should be done only after the coat is thoroughly brushed and combed. The professional will prepare all necessary materials to be ready at hand before putting the Shih Tzu in the tub. These materials are a sponge, bristle brush, container of shampoo and a heavy towel. A hose attached to the faucet with a spray is most helpful. Water temperature should not be too hot or too cold.

Start at your Shih Tzu’s hindquarters and completely soak the Shih Tzu. Use your hands if necessary to force the water through the Shih Tzu’s coat. Some Shih Tzu have coats that is more water resistant than others. Do not fill the tub with water. Let the water run freely down the drain. To correct bath your Shih Tzu is more like giving it a shower than a bath.

Once the Shih Tzu is thoroughly soaked, saturate the sponge with shampoo and from the rear to front, shampoo every part of the Shih Tzu. Areas that are frequently overlooked of the Shih Tzu are the anus and the foot pads. Be especially careful about shampooing around the eyes of your Shih Tzu. Always use a tearless shampoo to wash the face and around the eye area of your Shih Tzu. A toothbrush works well to wash around the eyes and on either side of the nose just under your Shih Tzu’s eye.

After shampooing your Shih Tzu, take the bristle brush and work the shampoo thoroughly into the coat. Rinse all the shampoo out of your Shih Tzu’s coat. Rinse your Shih Tzu until the water runs completely clear of any suds and shampoo. Take care not to get water directly in the eyes of your Shih Tzu. You can cover the eyes with one hand when rinsing your Shih Tzu’s face, and cover the ears (by placing your thumb over the ear canal) when rinsing near your Shih Tzu’s ears.

If the Shih Tzu is extremely dirty, one shampoo may not be enough. You may need to shampoo your Shih Tzu twice.

When you are certain the Shih Tzu is thoroughly clean, squeeze the water out of the Shih Tzu’s coat with your hands as much as possible. Use a heavy towel to squeeze as much water off the Shih Tzu as possible. Use a cage dryer on the Shih Tzu’s coat to get it damp-dry. The next step is to blow dry your Shih Tzu.

Shampoos: What is a good shampoo and what is a good crème rinse to use on your Shih Tzu? A good shampoo for the Shih Tzu is one that cleanses the Shih Tzu thoroughly and does not contain any harsh detergents harmful to the skin and coat of the Shih Tzu. I like using HealthyPetNet shampoos.

A good shampoo will lather up to a good foam. It will have good feel to the hands and a nice scent of which both you and your Shih Tzu will enjoy using. A good shampoo will leave the coat of a Shih Tzu free of all dirt, grime and grit? It should leave a white coat of a Shih Tzu sparkling white.

Special shampoos: There are many good Shih Tzu shampoos manufactured for specialized needs of the Shih Tzu. There are shampoos to highlight the specific color of the coat of a Shih Tzu. There are shampoos that will do well on the very softer coated Shih Tzu. There are tangle-remover shampoos and many more you can use on your Shih Tzu. You need to experiment and find one good, all-purpose shampoo for your Shih Tzu. You should also be aware of the need for a medicated shampoo if necessary for your Shih Tzu, and a safe flea and tick shampoo for the flea and tick season. You might even find that adding a “tick dip” after the regular shampoo of your Shih Tzu. Be sure you mix the dip according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Crème rinse: A crème rinse is recommended to use after shampooing your Shih Tzu. A crème rinse will help keep the mats out of your Shih Tzu’s coat. To find a good crème rinse for your Shih Tzu is much like finding a good shampoo. The crème rinse you use on your Shih Tzu should perform well. It should have no negative after-effects. Does the coat of your Shih Tzu feel soft and clean afterward? If so, then this is a good sign the crème rinse is appropriate for your Shih Tzu. If you can dilute the crème rinse with several parts of water without losing potency, this often proves even better for the coat of the Shih Tzu.

Connie Limon is a shih tzu breeder. She publishes a FREE weekly newsletter. A professional newsletter with a focus upon health and wellness for you and your pets. Discounts are offered to subscribers. Sign up at:


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