Taking Care of Your Shih Poo’s Coat

As you cuddle up with your adorable Shih Poo on the sofa, have you ever felt the need to run your fingers through their soft and fluffy coat? A Shih Poo’s coat not only adds to their charm but also serves as a reflection of their overall health. However, their beautiful coat can also be a source of trouble if not maintained properly. Shih Poos are susceptible to several coat problems that can lead to discomfort and even health problems. In this article, we will explore the common coat problems in Shih Poo dogs and provide you with step-by-step solutions to address and prevent them. So if you are tired of dealing with matted hair, knots and tangles, dry or oily coat, or excessive shedding, keep on reading!

Why Shih Poos Need Regular Coat Care

Why Shih Poos Need Regular Coat Care
For Shih Poo owners, maintaining their canine’s coat should be a top priority. Neglecting to give your furry friend the proper care it needs can lead to a myriad of problems over time. From matted hair to excessive shedding, Shih Poos are known to have coat problems that can become challenging to manage. It’s essential to understand the unique characteristics of your pet’s coat and the benefits of regular coat care. By doing so, you can address potential issues before they escalate. To learn more about the different coat types and how to groom your Shih Poo’s coat, check out our articles on Shih Poo Coat Types and Shih Poo Double Coat Grooming.

Shih Poo Coat Characteristics

Shih Poo dogs have a unique coat that is a mix of both their Poodle and Shih Tzu parent breeds. These dogs have a soft and fluffy coat that is curly, wavy, or even straight depending on their parentage. Shih Poo coats come in a variety of colors, including black, white, brown, gold, cream, and red.

One of the most notable characteristics of Shih Poo coats is that they are hypoallergenic. This means that they are less likely to cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to animal fur or dander. However, this doesn’t mean that Shih Poos are completely hypoallergenic, as there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog.

Shih Poo coats are also prone to matting, which can cause discomfort and even pain for the dog. Matting occurs when loose hair, dirt, and debris become tangled and knotted together. This can be especially problematic for Shih Poos, as their soft and fluffy fur can easily become tangled if not properly groomed.

To prevent matting and other coat problems, it is important to provide regular care and attention to your Shih Poo’s coat. This includes regular brushing, bathing, and grooming to keep their fur clean and healthy. Providing quality nutrition and conditioning treatments can also help keep your Shih Poo’s coat in top shape.

For more information on Shih Poo grooming tips, check out our article on Shih Poo coat brushing. And if you’re struggling with excessive shedding from your Shih Poo, be sure to read our article on Shih Poo shedding tips.

Benefits of Regular Coat Care

Taking care of your Shih Poo’s coat on a regular basis has numerous benefits. Here are some of the advantages of regular coat care:

  • Healthier coat: Regular brushing and grooming can help to distribute your dog’s natural oils throughout their coat, resulting in a healthier and shinier coat. It can also help to prevent matting, which can lead to skin irritation, infections, and other health issues.
  • Better hygiene: Regular baths and conditioning treatments can help to keep your Shih Poo clean and smelling fresh, reducing the risk of bacterial and fungal infections. A clean coat can also reduce the amount of dirt and debris that your dog tracks into your home.
  • Early detection of health issues: During regular grooming sessions, you may notice lumps, bumps, or other abnormalities on your dog’s skin that could indicate an underlying health issue. Early detection can lead to faster treatment and a better outcome for your dog’s health.
  • Bonding time: Brushing and grooming your Shih Poo can be a great way to bond with them and strengthen your relationship. It can also help to reduce their anxiety and stress levels by providing them with physical touch and attention.
  • Reduced shedding: Regular brushing can help to remove loose fur from your Shih Poo’s coat, reducing the amount of shedding in your home.

By taking the time to care for your Shih Poo’s coat on a regular basis, you can help to keep them healthy, clean, and happy. Additionally, you can enjoy the many benefits of bonding with your furry companion while ensuring that they look and feel their best.

Common Coat Problems in Shih Poo Dogs

Common Coat Problems In Shih Poo Dogs
It’s no secret that Shih Poos are a beloved and popular crossbreed among dog owners. These little pups are known for being sweet, loving, and loyal companions. However, like any dog, Shih Poos require regular grooming and upkeep in order to stay healthy and happy. In particular, their coats can be susceptible to a variety of issues that owners should address in order to maintain their well-being. From matted hair to shedding, let’s delve into some common coat problems that Shih Poo owners should be aware of.

Matted Hair

Matted hair is a common problem in Shih Poo dogs that can lead to discomfort, pain, and even skin irritation. Matting happens when hair becomes tangled and clumps together, forming knots that are difficult to remove. This is especially common around the ears, belly, and under the legs.


  • Lack of regular grooming and brushing
  • Humidity and wetness
  • Shedding
  • Rubbing on carpets, furniture, or other surfaces

If your Shih Poo’s fur is prone to matting, it’s important to be proactive in addressing the issue to prevent it from becoming severe. Some signs of matting include changes in texture, loss of shine, and the appearance of knots and tangles.

Addressing the Issue:

  • First and foremost, use your fingers to gently untangle any mats you find. Mats that are too tight can cause discomfort to your dog, so taking a slow and gentle approach is crucial.
  • Next, using a slicker brush, carefully brush out any remaining knots or tangles. Starting at the base of the fur and working your way towards the end, carefully detangle any mats.
  • In severe cases where brushing doesn’t help, you may need to resort to a clipper or scissors. However, it’s important to be very careful when doing so, as cutting too close to the skin can lead to cuts or irritation.
  • To prevent matting in the first place, make sure to regularly brush your Shih Poo’s coat at least once or twice a week. This will help remove any loose hair or debris and keep the coat from getting tangled.
  • Consider taking your dog to a professional groomer for a haircut or grooming session. This can provide a fresh start and make it easier to maintain their coat going forward.

Remember, a matted coat can cause discomfort and pain to your Shih Poo, so it’s important to be proactive in preventing and addressing this common coat problem.

Knots and Tangles

Knots and tangles are common coat problems in Shih Poo dogs that can cause discomfort and pain. These tangles are formed when loose hair gets caught in matted hair, forming clumps that stick together. Over time, these knots can become tight and painful for your furry friend. To prevent this from happening, it is crucial to address tangles and knots as soon as you notice them.

Causes of Knots and Tangles

Knots and tangles can be caused by several factors, including:

Lack of groomingWhen your Shih Poo’s coat is not brushed regularly, loose hair can become trapped in matted hair and knots can form.
Physical activityShih Poos that are active tend to develop more tangles and knots than those who are less active, as more movement leads to more tangling.
HumidityIn areas with high humidity, Shih Poo coats can become moist and sticky, which can lead to tangles and knots.
Coat length and textureShih Poos with longer coats and softer hair are more prone to tangles and knots than those with shorter, coarser hair.

How to Address Knots and Tangles

Addressing tangles and knots requires a bit of patience and effort on your part, but it is essential to keep your Shih Poo’s coat healthy and comfortable. Here are some steps to take:

1. Start by using a detangling spray or conditioner to help soften the knot or tangle. This will make it easier to remove without causing your dog discomfort.

2. Use a slicker brush or comb to gently work through the knot or tangle, starting from the outside and working your way in. Be patient, as this may take a bit of time.

3. If the knot or tangle is too severe, you may need to use scissors to trim it away. Be very careful when doing this and avoid cutting your dog’s skin. It’s best to leave this to a professional groomer if you’re unsure.

Preventing Knots and Tangles

Once you’ve tackled the knots and tangles in your Shih Poo’s coat, it’s crucial to take steps to prevent them from forming again. Here are some tips to consider:

– Brush your Shih Poo’s coat at least once a day, paying careful attention to areas prone to tangling.
– Consider getting your Shih Poo a shorter haircut to lessen the chance of tangles and knots.
– Avoid letting your Shih Poo run through fields or areas with tall grass, as this can cause tangles and knots.
– Ensure your Shih Poo’s diet is balanced and provides the necessary nutrients to promote overall coat health.

By taking the time to address knots and tangles in your Shih Poo’s coat and implementing preventative measures, you can ensure your furry friend’s coat stays healthy and pain-free.

Dry Coat

A dry coat is a common problem in Shih Poo dogs that can lead to discomfort and even health issues. Shih Poos have a curly, silky coat that requires proper moisture to maintain a healthy shine. Without enough moisture, their coat can become dry and brittle, causing itching and irritation. Here are some steps you can take to address and prevent dry coat in your Shih Poo:

  • Provide Adequate Hydration: Ensure that your dog’s water bowl is refilled regularly throughout the day to keep them hydrated. Dehydration can lead to dry skin and coat, making it essential to keep your Shih Poo hydrated.
  • Use Moisturizing Shampoo: Use a high-quality moisturizing shampoo to keep your dog’s coat hydrated and healthy. Look for shampoos with natural ingredients such as aloe vera, oatmeal, and coconut oil that soothe and hydrate the skin.
  • Add Omega-3 Fatty Acids to the Diet: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for maintaining a healthy coat. You can add them to your dog’s diet by including fatty fish like salmon or by providing supplements like fish oil.
  • Keep the Coat Clean: Regular grooming and grooming with a moisturizing conditioner can help to prevent dryness. Grooming helps to remove dead skin cells and distribute the natural oils of the skin evenly throughout the coat, which helps to prevent dryness.
  • Avoid Over-Bathing: Frequent bathing can strip your dog’s coat of its natural oils, leading to dryness. Avoid over-bathing your dog and stick to a regular bathing schedule of once every six to eight weeks.

By taking steps to address and prevent a dry coat in your Shih Poo, you can help to keep them comfortable and healthy. With regular care and maintenance, you can ensure that your Shih Poo’s coat remains soft, shiny, and healthy.

Oily Coat

One of the most common coat problems in Shih Poo dogs is an oily coat. An oily coat can lead to several other problems like matting, knots, and allergic reactions. It happens when the sebaceous glands in the dog’s skin produce excessive amounts of sebum, the natural oil that coats the dog’s fur.

The table below lists the causes, symptoms, and ways to address oily coat problems in Shih Poo dogs.

CausesSymptomsWays to Address
A poor diet– Greasy or oily fur
– Skin irritation
– Excessive scratching or licking
– Switch to a high-quality dog food
– Add fatty acids or omega-3-rich supplements to their diet
Hormonal imbalances– Greasy or oily fur
– Skin irritation
– Thinning fur or bald patches
– Consult with a veterinarian to address the hormonal disorder
– Treat underlying health conditions
Environmental factors– Greasy or oily fur
– Dandruff
– Skin inflammation or infections
– Bathe your dog regularly with a mild dog shampoo
– Avoid over-bathing as it can strip natural oils from their skin
– Use a conditioner formulated for oily skin
– Keep your dog away from environmental triggers like dust or pollen

In addition to addressing the root causes, there are several ways to prevent and manage an oily coat. Regular grooming and brushing can help distribute natural oils evenly in your dog’s fur, preventing build-up. Avoid using human shampoos or harsh chemicals that can dry your pet’s skin and cause their skin to produce more oil. Opt for a dog-specific coat conditioning treatment that helps regulate oil production and maintain a healthy, shiny coat. Lastly, trimming and haircuts can be an effective way to prevent matting and excessive oil buildup in dense areas like the ears and armpits.


Shedding is a natural process in which dogs lose old or damaged fur. However, excessive shedding could be a sign of an underlying health problem or a lack of proper grooming. In this section, we will look at the causes and solutions to excessive shedding in Shih Poo dogs.

Causes of Shedding in Shih Poo Dogs:

|Seasonal shedding|Shih Poos are known to shed more in spring and fall as part of their body’s natural response to the changing season.|
|Stress|Stressful events such as moving homes or changes in routine can cause Shih Poos to shed more than usual.|
|Poor nutrition|A diet that lacks essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and biotin can cause excessive shedding.|
|Medical conditions|Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease, or allergies can cause Shih Poos to shed more than usual.|

Solutions to Excessive Shedding:

1. Regular Brushing and Grooming: Regular brushing and grooming of your Shih Poo’s coat can help remove old and damaged fur, thereby reducing shedding. Use a slicker brush to remove tangles and mats, and a deshedding tool to remove loose fur.

2. Proper Nutrition: Ensure your Shih Poo is on a balanced and healthy diet that contains essential nutrients. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and biotin can promote healthy skin and fur.

3. Regular Baths: Regular baths can help remove loose fur and reduce shedding. Use a shampoo that is specifically designed for dogs with shedding problems.

4. Conditioning Treatments: Conditioning treatments can help nourish and strengthen your Shih Poo’s coat, reducing shedding in the process. Look for conditioners that contain ingredients such as Aloe Vera, vitamin E, and jojoba oil.

5. Trimming and Haircuts: Regular trimming and haircuts can help remove damaged and loose fur, reducing shedding. Take your Shih Poo to a professional groomer for best results.

By following these solutions, you can help reduce excessive shedding in your Shih Poo dog and keep their coat healthy and shiny.

Addressing and Preventing Shih Poo Coat Problems

Keeping your Shih Poo’s coat healthy and looking great requires regular care and attention. Addressing and preventing common coat problems in Shih Poo dogs is crucial in keeping them comfortable, healthy, and happy. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure your furry friend’s coat stays glossy, silky-soft, and tangle-free. Let’s explore some proven methods for addressing and preventing Shih Poo coat problems.

Regular Brushing and Grooming

Regular brushing and grooming is a crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy coat for Shih Poo dogs. It prevents matting, tangles, and shedding, and can contribute to keeping your dog’s coat soft, shiny, and healthy. Here are some tips to ensure that your Shih Poo’s coat stays in top condition:

  • Brushing: Brush your Shih Poo’s coat daily using a slicker brush or comb. This will get rid of dirt and tangles, and promote proper blood circulation for healthy hair growth.
  • Fur cutting: If you prefer a shorter hair look, consider cutting your dog’s hair once a month. This will help to avoid matting or tangling, and make it easier to groom your furry friend.
  • Fur drying: Proper drying for your dog’s coat is important. You should dry your dog’s coat completely using a towel or a blow dryer before letting them outside. Wet coats can lead to bacterial infections, and lead to an array of skin problems.
  • Grooming: Take your Shih Poo for regular grooming appointments with a professional groomer who has experience trimming dog’s hair. Shih Poo’s require delicate trimming since their hair is long and thin, so it needs a special haircut.
  • Ear cleaning: Cleaning your dog’s ears is an important part of grooming. You must use an ear cleaning solution to clean your dog’s ears regularly, preventing infections or any potential ear problems. Build up of wax, dirt or bacteria can cause serious health issues.

By taking the time to brush, groom and trim your dog’s hair you are ensuring its health and avoiding common coat problems. Regular grooming also strengthens the bond between you and your furry friend. Remember, a little daily care can make a big difference to your dog’s health and happiness.

Proper Nutrition

A proper diet is essential for maintaining a Shih Poo’s optimal coat health. Inadequate nutrition can result in a dull, dry coat that is more prone to shedding and matting. Here are some key nutritional considerations to keep in mind:

  • Protein: The foundation of any healthy diet is protein. Shih Poos require a diet that is high in lean protein, such as chicken or fish.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These healthy fats are crucial for maintaining healthy skin and promoting hair growth. Foods such as salmon, chia seeds, and flaxseed oil are great sources of omega-3s.
  • Vitamin E: Another important nutrient for healthy skin and coat, vitamin E can be found in foods such as almonds, spinach, and sweet potato.
  • Biotin: This B vitamin is essential for healthy hair and can be found in foods such as eggs, liver, and salmon.

It’s important to choose high-quality dog food that meets all of these nutritional requirements. Talk to your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your Shih Poo based on their age, activity level, and overall health.

In addition to a healthy diet, you may also want to consider giving your Shih Poo a daily supplement to help support their coat health. Supplements such as fish oil or biotin can be beneficial, but always consult with your vet before starting any new supplements.

Remember, proper nutrition is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to maintaining your Shih Poo’s coat health. Regular grooming and proper hygiene are also essential for preventing and addressing coat problems.

Regular Baths

Regular baths are an essential part of a Shih Poo’s coat care routine. They help to keep their coat clean, moisturized, and free of any irritants that may cause skin problems. Bathing your Shih Poo should be done with care and precision, so as not to aggravate any existing coat problems. There are some crucial steps to consider when giving your Shih Poo a bath.

Bathing Schedule: The frequency of bathing your Shih Poo depends on their coat type and texture. A general rule of thumb is to bathe them every four to six weeks. Bathing them too often can cause their skin to dry out, which can result in itching and flaking.

Water Temperature: The water temperature should be lukewarm, not too hot or too cold. Extreme temperatures can lead to discomfort and cause your pet to become anxious.

Proper Shampoo: Always use a high-quality shampoo specifically formulated for dogs. Shampoos that are too harsh or contain chemicals can cause skin irritation and dryness. Choose a mild shampoo that is gentle on your dog’s skin.

Brushing: Before giving your Shih Poo a bath, you should brush their coat to remove any tangles or mats. This will make it easier for the shampoo to penetrate their coat and clean it properly.

Bathing Technique: Wet your Shih Poo completely, starting from their head and working down to their tail. Take care not to get any water in their eyes or ears. Apply the shampoo and massage it gently into their coat. Rinse thoroughly to ensure that all of the shampoo is removed.

Drying: After a bath, use a clean towel to dry your Shih Poo off. Avoid using a hairdryer, as it can damage their delicate coat. If you must use a hairdryer, use it on the lowest heat setting and keep it at a safe distance.

Giving your Shih Poo regular baths is crucial for their coat care routine. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that their coat remains healthy, shiny, and free of any skin irritations. Remember to always use high-quality products and take the necessary precautions to ensure that the bathing experience is a positive one for your furry friend.

Conditioning Treatments

To keep your shih poo’s coat healthy, soft, and shiny, you might want to consider including conditioning treatments in your regular grooming routine. Conditioners are especially helpful if you live in areas with hard water, frequent bathing or if your dog’s coat tends to get dry and dull. They can also help in detangling knots and preventing breakage while brushing.

Types of Conditioning Treatments

There are several types of conditioning treatments available on the market that you can use to improve your shih poo’s coat health. Some of the most popular ones include:

Leave-in ConditionersThese are typically applied after bathing, and you don’t need to rinse them off. They help to improve your dog’s coat texture and keep it moisturized throughout the day.
Rinse-out ConditionersAs the name suggests, you need to rinse off these conditioners after applying them to your dog’s coat. They usually come in cream or liquid form and work to detangle and soften the coat.
Deep Conditioning TreatmentsThese are thicker in consistency and require a longer application time compared to other conditioners. They penetrate deeply into the coat to provide extra nourishment and repair any damage.

How to Apply Conditioning Treatments

When applying conditioning treatments to your shih poo’s coat, make sure to follow the instructions on the product label. Some general tips include:

  • Use lukewarm water to wet your dog’s coat.
  • Apply the conditioner evenly throughout the coat, focusing on areas that tend to get dry or tangled.
  • For leave-in conditioners, use a towel to remove excess water before applying the product.
  • For rinse-out conditioners, leave the product on for a few minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
  • For deep conditioning treatments, cover your dog’s coat with a warm towel or shower cap after applying the product. Leave it on for the recommended time before rinsing it off.
  • Gently pat your dog’s coat with a towel to remove excess moisture and let it air dry or use a hairdryer on a low setting.


Using conditioning treatments on your shih poo’s coat can help to keep it healthy, soft, and shiny. Different types of treatments are available, and each has its own application method. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product label, and you’ll notice a positive difference in your dog’s coat in no time.

Trimming and Haircuts

Trimming and haircuts are an essential part of maintaining a Shih Poo’s coat health. The frequency and type of trimming/haircut your Shih Poo will need depends on their coat type and personal preference. Here are some tips to help you decide on the right trimming or haircut for your furry friend:

  • Consult a Professional: It’s always best to consult a professional groomer who has experience with Shih Poos before attempting any trimming or haircut. They can help you choose a style that will compliment your dog’s appearance and lifestyle.
  • Regular Trimming: Regular trimming, especially around the eyes, ears, and paws, can help prevent matting and discomfort. The fur at these areas grows quickly and is more prone to tangles, so regular trimming can keep them looking neat and tidy.
  • Full Haircut: If your Shih Poo has a longer, flowing coat, a full haircut may be necessary to keep their fur from getting matted and tangled. This type of coat requires more maintenance, and a shorter cut can make it easier for you to comb and groom your pooch.
  • Bathing Before Haircut: It’s best to give your dog a bath before taking them for a haircut. This can make their hair easier to cut and style, and a clean dog is always more comfortable during the grooming process.
  • Keep their Personality in Mind: In addition to their coat type, it’s essential to consider your Shih Poo’s personality when deciding on a trimming or haircut style. Some dogs may become anxious or stressed during grooming, so a more straightforward, low-maintenance style may be best for them.

Trimming and haircuts are vital aspects of Shih Poo coat care. With proper grooming practices and the help of a professional groomer, you can keep your furry friend’s coat healthy and looking fresh.


In conclusion, ensuring your Shih Poo’s coat is healthy and well-maintained is essential for their overall health and happiness. Regular brushing, grooming, and baths are important preventative measures to avoid common coat problems such as matting, knots, tangles, dryness, oiliness, and excessive shedding. Additionally, providing your furry friend with high-quality nutrition and conditioning treatments can also contribute to a healthy and shiny coat. Don’t forget to also schedule regular haircuts and trimmings to prevent the coat from becoming too long and unmanageable.
Overall, taking care of your Shih Poo’s coat requires time, dedication, and patience, but the benefits are well worth it. A healthy and shiny coat not only looks great but can also indicate good overall health and wellbeing. So, make sure to give your furry friend the love and attention they deserve when it comes to their coat care.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Shih Poo?

A Shih Poo is a mixed breed dog that is a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle.

What kind of coat does a Shih Poo have?

A Shih Poo can have a long, soft, and wavy coat that is either curly or straight, depending on the Poodle parent’s coat type.

How often should I groom my Shih Poo’s coat?

It’s recommended to groom a Shih Poo’s coat at least once a week to prevent matting, tangling, and other coat problems.

Can Shih Poos suffer from dry skin?

Yes, Shih Poos can suffer from dry skin, which can lead to itching, flaking, and other skin problems.

Is it normal for Shih Poos to shed?

Yes, all dogs shed to some extent, even those with non-shedding coats like Poodles. However, Shih Poos are known for having low shedding coats, making them a good choice for people with allergies.

What is the best way to prevent matting in my Shih Poo’s coat?

The best way to prevent matting is to brush and comb your Shih Poo’s coat regularly, starting at the roots and working your way out to the tips.

Can diet affect my Shih Poo’s coat health?

Yes, a healthy diet that is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals can help maintain a shiny and healthy coat.

Is it necessary to take my Shih Poo to a professional groomer?

While it’s not necessary, taking your Shih Poo to a professional groomer can help ensure a thorough and safe grooming session, especially if your dog has a thick and curly coat.

Can applying too much conditioner on my Shih Poo’s coat cause problems?

Yes, over-conditioning can make your dog’s coat look greasy and attract dirt and debris, so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and only apply a small amount of conditioner.

Are there any special tools I need to groom my Shih Poo’s coat?

Yes, you’ll need a slicker brush, a metal comb, and scissors or clippers if you plan on trimming your dog’s coat. It’s also a good idea to invest in a detangling spray and a conditioning treatment for extra coat care.


Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DogCareHacks, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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