7 Vital Tips for Grooming a Shih Tzu

Written by: Arlene D.
| Published on May 30, 2023

Shih Tzus, known for their flowing coats and charming personalities, is a breed that requires significant grooming attention. While they’re adorned with beautiful hair rather than fur, maintaining their distinctive appearance can be challenging for the uninitiated. Here are seven crucial grooming tips tailored specifically for Shih Tzus:

1. Regular Brushing

Shih Tzus have a dense, double coat that requires regular brushing to prevent mats and tangles. Brushing should ideally be a daily routine. Use a pin brush or a slicker brush for effective grooming.

2. Appropriate Bathing

Shih Tzus should be bathed every three to four weeks. Use a mild dog shampoo and conditioner to maintain the health of their skin and hair. Rinse thoroughly to prevent any residual product from causing skin irritation.

3. Hair Trimming

Shih Tzus’ hair grows continuously, just like human hair. Regular trimming, particularly around the eyes and the rear end, can prevent discomfort and hygiene issues. Many owners prefer keeping their Shih Tzu in a ‘puppy cut’ for easier maintenance.

4. Eye Care

Shih Tzus often have issues with tear staining because of their large, round eyes. Regularly clean around their eyes with a soft, damp cloth. You can use a vet-approved eye-cleaning solution for stubborn stains.

5. Ear Care

Their long, droopy ears are prone to infections. Clean their ears weekly with a vet-recommended solution. Make sure to dry their ears thoroughly after bathing to prevent moisture buildup.

We like the PetMD brand of ear wipes available on Amazon.

6. Dental Care

Dental hygiene is paramount in Shih Tzus due to their small jaws. Regular brushing with dog-safe toothpaste can help prevent periodontal disease.

For dogs who hate brushing, another good option are these tasty dental chews, available on Amazon. 

7. Nail Trimming

Keep their nails short to avoid discomfort while walking. If you can hear their nails clicking on the floor, it’s time for a trim. Be careful not to cut into the quick, causing pain and potential bleeding.

This highly rated nail grinder on Amazon makes nail trims a breeze. 

Now that you’re aware of these seven vital tips, here are answers to seven frequently asked questions about grooming Shih Tzus:

Q1: How often should I brush my Shih Tzu’s hair? A: Daily brushing is recommended to prevent tangles and matting.

Q2: Can I use human shampoo and conditioner on my Shih Tzu? A: No, human shampoo and conditioner can disrupt the pH balance of your Shih Tzu’s skin, leading to irritation or dryness.

Q3: Should I trim my Shih Tzu’s hair at home? A: Yes, you can, but it requires patience and practice. If you’re not comfortable doing it, seek help from a professional groomer.

Q4: How often should I clean my Shih Tzu’s ears? A: Clean your Shih Tzu’s ears once a week, or more frequently if they are prone to ear infections.

Q5: Can I use a hair dryer after bathing my Shih Tzu? A: Yes, but use a low heat setting and keep the dryer a good distance away from their skin to avoid overheating.

Q6: How often should I trim my Shih Tzu’s nails? A: Typically, a Shih Tzu’s nails should be trimmed every three to four weeks.

Q7: What can I do to prevent tear stains? A: Regularly cleaning your Shih Tzu’s eyes can help. Also, consider using a vet-approved eye cleaning solution.

Grooming your Shih Tzu requires patience and consistency, but it’s a fantastic bonding activity that keeps your pet looking their best and feeling comfortable. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to maintaining your Shih Tzu’s distinctive and charming appearance.

Question for a Vet? Chat Online Now

The iHeartDogs Ask a Vet tool gives you access to verified veterinarians 24/7. Get professional help for your pup and feed shelter dogs now.

iHeartDogs is reader supported. Our articles contain affiliate links where we are paid a small commission for linking to a product at no additional cost to the reader.

Recent Articles

Interested in learning even more about all things dogs? Get your paws on more great content from iHeartDogs!

Read the Blog