While shih tzus can stay fairly clean, they often have a tough time keeping things from sticking to their fur. Shih tzu shed a lot. The average lifespan of a shih tzu is 13 years and proper grooming helps prolong their life by keeping them clean and comfortable. If you have a shih tzu or you plan on getting one, this guide is going to give you all the information you need in regards to bathing your shih tzu.
Bath Time Preparations
Before you give your shih tzu a bath, you will want to make sure you are using safe, high-quality shampoo, conditioner, and soap. The high-quality soaps will ensure your dog’s skin and coat stay healthy and clean. Your shih tzu should be getting bathed once every 3 weeks. Puppies may need a bath more often than that. With so many choices of dog soaps, shampoos, and conditioners out there, you will want to pick one that is tearless and hypoallergenic. You may also want to get a spray conditioner to leave in, after your dog has had its bath.
Additional Supplies Needed
In addition to the shampoo, conditioner, and soap, you will want to make sure you have a pet-safe blow dryer, washcloths, towels, cotton balls, a comb, and a doggie brush. You will use the stainless steel comb after your shih tzu is dried. The bristle brush should be used before you bathe your shih tzu. Cotton balls can be used to block the water from getting in your dog’s ears while they are bathing.
Getting a Shih-Tzu Puppy Used to Bathing
If your shih tzu puppy has never had a bath before, you will need to get them acclimated to bathing. For example, you can bring your puppy into the bathroom and just let them hear the water running. You can have them hear the blow dryer turning on and off, as well. Slowly get your puppy closer to the water, letting them get used to it, before putting them fully into the water. You should slowly move the blow dryer near your puppy, as well. This will reduce their fear of bath time. While you are playing with your shih tzu, you can also touch their ears and paws to get them used to what you will be doing during their bath time.
Bath Time for Your Shih-Tzu
Since mini shih tzu and shih tzus in general are smaller in size, you can either use the bathtub or the sink to bathe them. You should put a towel in the bottom of the tub or the sink to prevent your puppy from falling or slipping during their bath. Make sure you have all your bathing supplies in one area, so you don’t have to turn your back on your dog. It might be helpful to also place a chew toy in the bathing area with your shih tzu. This could help them to stay entertained while they are getting a bath.
Finishing Bath Time
After you have finished bathing your shih-tzu and drying them off, you should comb through their coat. After you have finished doing that, you can apply the leave-in conditioner to their coat, as well. Once you have done this, you should carefully clean out your shih-tzu’s ears. You could also take this time to trim up his or her nails. This is everything you need to know about bathing your shih-tzu. Shih tzu colors are beautiful, even more so when they're clean and nicely groomed. Now, bath time for your shih-tzu can go much smoother and you can keep their coat smoother and healthier, too.