Should You Groom Your Shih Tzu at Home?


As a proud owner of a Shih Tzu, keeping your furry friend well-groomed and looking their best is undoubtedly an essential part of your pet care routine. While many pet owners prefer to take their Shih Tzu to a professional groomer, others may want to try grooming their pup at home for various reasons. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of DIY Shih Tzu grooming, provide a step-by-step guide on how to groom your Shih Tzu at home, and offer tips for a successful DIY grooming session. So, whether you’re a seasoned at-home groomer or considering it for the first time, read on to learn more.

What is Shih Tzu grooming?

Shih Tzu grooming refers to the process of maintaining a Shih Tzu’s appearance and hygiene. As a long-haired breed, Shih Tzus require frequent grooming to prevent matting and tangling of their fur. This includes brushing their coat, trimming their fur, cleaning their ears and teeth, and trimming their nails. Shih Tzus also need regular bathing to keep their coat clean and healthy. Additionally, certain areas of a Shih Tzu’s body, such as their eyes and anal glands, require special attention during grooming to prevent health issues. Grooming a Shih Tzu can be a time-consuming and challenging task, but it is crucial for their overall health and wellbeing. Taking care of your Shih Tzu’s grooming needs at home can be a cost-effective and rewarding experience. However, certain tasks may require the expertise of a professional groomer. For more tips on Shih Tzu grooming, check out our detailed articles on the topic.

Why groom your Shih Tzu at home?

Grooming your Shih Tzu at home can be a cost-effective and rewarding experience for both you and your dog. Here are some reasons why you might want to consider grooming your Shih Tzu at home:

Reasons to groom your Shih Tzu at home:Explanation:
Save moneyGrooming your Shih Tzu at home can save you money compared to taking them to a professional groomer.
Bond with your dogGrooming your Shih Tzu can be a way to bond with them and strengthen your relationship.
Customize the cutWhen grooming your Shih Tzu at home, you have more control over the final result and can customize the cut to your liking.
Make your Shih Tzu more comfortableGrooming your Shih Tzu at home can help them become more comfortable with the grooming process since they are with you in a familiar environment.
Avoiding grooming-related stressSome dogs can become stressed when taken to a groomer’s salon due to unfamiliarity with the surroundings and possible exposure to other dogs.

However, grooming your Shih Tzu at home also has its downsides:

While it can be cost-effective and offer the chance to bond with your pet, grooming can be a complicated process that requires skill and good hairdressing tools. You’ll also need to pay attention to potential risks like accidentally trimming their skin or making them uncomfortable. It’s important to learn the right grooming techniques before attempting it at home. This way, you can make sure your pup is both comfortable and safe during the grooming process.

If you have any concerns or doubts, you can always consider consulting a professional groomer. They offer a range of services and can give advice on DIY grooming techniques or refer you to resources that can help. Remember, no matter how you decide to approach grooming, doing it regularly is essential for your Shih Tzu’s hygiene and health.

The Pros of DIY Shih Tzu Grooming

The Pros Of Diy Shih Tzu Grooming
Grooming your Shih Tzu at home may seem like a daunting task, but there are many benefits to taking on this responsibility yourself. In this section, we’ll explore the advantages of DIY Shih Tzu grooming and how it can benefit both you and your furry friend. From saving money to customizing your pup’s look, there are plenty of reasons to consider becoming your dog’s personal groomer. So, let’s dive in and discover the pros of grooming your Shih Tzu at home!

You’ll save money

One of the biggest advantages of DIY Shih Tzu grooming is that it can save you a lot of money in the long run. While taking your dog to a professional groomer can cost anywhere from $30 to $100 or more, grooming your Shih Tzu at home is significantly cheaper.

To give you an idea of just how much money you can save, take a look at the table below:

Grooming TaskProfessional Grooming CostDIY Grooming CostTotal Savings
Shampoo and Conditioner$10-$15$5-$10$5-$10
Teeth Cleaning$50-$100$0$50-$100
Tear Stain Removal$15-$25$7-$10$5-$15

As you can see from the table, if you do all of the grooming tasks yourself, you can save anywhere from $100 to $200 per year or more. These savings can add up over time and help you keep more money in your pocket.

Of course, you’ll need to invest in some basic grooming supplies, such as clippers, scissors, shampoo, and brushes, but these are one-time expenses that will pay for themselves quickly.

However, it’s important to note that if you do encounter any issues, such as skin problems or matted fur, you may need to take your dog to a professional groomer, which can add to your overall expenses. Additionally, if you’re not careful during the grooming process, you may accidentally injure your dog or cause them discomfort, so proceed with caution and follow all safety guidelines.

You can bond with your dog

One of the benefits of grooming your Shih Tzu at home is that you can bond with your furry friend. Grooming is a great way to spend quality time with your dog while also taking care of their hygiene needs. It also allows you to build trust and deepen your relationship with your pet.

During a grooming session, your Shih Tzu will be looking to you for guidance and reassurance. This is a perfect opportunity to show your pet some love and affection, reinforcing your strong bond. Additionally, taking the time to groom your Shih Tzu yourself can also be a therapeutic and enjoyable experience for both you and your dog.

Table: Ways to bond with your Shih Tzu during grooming

BrushingTake your time to gently brush your Shih Tzu’s hair, speaking softly to them and giving them verbal praise.
TrimmingIf you decide to trim your Shih Tzu’s hair at home, make sure to be patient and use positive reinforcement throughout the process.
BathingGive your Shih Tzu a relaxing bath, using gentle shampoo and talking to them in a soothing voice.
Teeth cleaningUsing a pet-specific toothpaste and toothbrush, gently clean your Shih Tzu’s teeth while talking to them and giving them treats for good behavior.
Ear cleaningTake your time cleaning your Shih Tzu’s ears, using a gentle solution and praising them when they cooperate.

By grooming your Shih Tzu at home, you can bond with your furry friend while also taking care of their hygiene needs. Of course, if you’re new to grooming, it might take some time to get used to the process. Check out our resources on Shih Tzu puppy grooming tips or top 5 Shih Tzu haircuts for summer for more ideas on how to bond with your furry friend during grooming.

You can customize the cut

A great advantage of DIY Shih Tzu grooming is the ability to customize your pet’s haircut to your liking. When you visit a professional groomer, they may have standard cuts that they offer, but with DIY grooming, you have the freedom to give your furry friend a unique, personalized haircut. Before you begin, it’s important to research different hairstyles and decide what you like best. You could go for a classic lion cut, a teddy bear cut, or something more quirky like a Mohawk.

Once you have your desired haircut in mind, you can use clippers, scissors, and other grooming tools to achieve the look. Make sure to start with clean, detangled fur and to work slowly and carefully to avoid cutting too much or unevenly. Don’t forget to trim around the paws, tail, and ears to complete the look.

If you’re feeling creative, you can use colored hair dye made specifically for pets to add some fun accents to your Shih Tzu’s fur. This is a great way to show off your personality and your pet’s personality. Just make sure to use pet-safe dye and follow the instructions carefully.

Customizing your Shih Tzu’s haircut can also help to highlight certain physical features or to hide any imperfections that you may not want to draw attention to. For example, you could opt for a longer fringe to cover up tear stains or a longer body cut to make your pet look more proportional.

It’s important to keep in mind that while DIY grooming offers the freedom to customize your pet’s cut, it also requires some skill and patience. If you’re new to grooming, it’s best to start with a simple trim and work your way up to more complicated cuts. You can also consult with a professional groomer or watch video tutorials to learn more advanced techniques.

Customizing your Shih Tzu’s haircut is a fun and unique way to show off your creativity and bond with your pet. Just make sure to do your research, use the right tools, and approach the grooming process with patience and a steady hand.

Your Shih Tzu may feel more comfortable

Grooming is an essential part of maintaining your Shih Tzu’s physical health and appearance. By grooming your furry friend at home, you can ensure that their coat is clean and well-maintained, which can contribute to their overall comfort. A Shih Tzu that is properly groomed may experience less itching, matting, or other coat-related discomforts.

When you groom your Shih Tzu at home, you can carefully manage the grooming process. You can provide your pet with regular grooming sessions to keep their coat free from mats, tangles, and dirt. Additionally, you can keep a keen eye on your pet’s skin, looking for any signs of irritation, hot spots or rashes, which can be uncomfortable.

Professional grooming salons tend to cater to many pets throughout the day, so some dogs may feel uncomfortable in a busy grooming environment. By contrast, grooming your Shih Tzu at home is significantly quieter and more controlled. This environment can calm your furry friend down and make them feel more relaxed during their grooming session.

It is worth noting that grooming your Shih Tzu may improve their teeth’s health, smell, and appearance. While grooming, you have a chance to brush your Shih Tzu’s teeth and clean any tartar (see our article on teeth brushing for Shih Tzus here). Also, the shampoo you choose will play a role in making your dog feel comfortable. A gentle and hypoallergenic shampoo can help ease any allergies, if your Shih Tzu has them.

Grooming your Shih Tzu at home can contribute significantly to their comfort. You can ensure that your pet’s hygiene and coat are appropriately managed, helping to prevent discomfort from a dirty or matted coat. By grooming your Shih Tzu yourself, you are creating a relaxing and comfortable grooming environment that your furry friend may appreciate.

The Cons of DIY Shih Tzu Grooming

The Cons Of Diy Shih Tzu Grooming
While there are many advantages to grooming your Shih Tzu at home, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks. DIY grooming can be challenging for many pet owners, requiring patience, skill, and the right tools. Additionally, there are some risks involved that may not be immediately apparent. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to be aware of if you’re considering DIY Shih Tzu grooming. It’s also important to note that some grooming tasks may be best left to professionals. In cases of complicated or risky grooming tasks, medical conditions or skin issues, or behavioral issues during grooming, you may need to seek the help of a professional groomer.

You might make mistakes

One of the cons of grooming your Shih Tzu at home is that you might make mistakes. While it may seem like a simple task, grooming a dog requires practice and skill. It can be easy to accidentally cut your dog’s skin or fur too short, which can cause discomfort and even pain. Additionally, it can be difficult to achieve a professional-looking grooming job without proper training.

To minimize the risk of making mistakes, it is important to be patient, practice caution, and follow a step-by-step guide. Using the right grooming supplies and grooming your Shih Tzu in a comfortable and well-lit area can also help prevent errors. It may be helpful to watch online tutorials or seek advice from a professional groomer to get a better idea of proper techniques.

To avoid costly mistakes, some Shih Tzu owners choose to visit a professional groomer regularly and perform maintenance grooming at home. This option allows for a professional-looking cut without the added stress and pressure of performing a full grooming job.

If you do make a mistake during grooming, it is important to take action promptly. Visit our article on how to remove tear stains from Shih Tzu for tips on how to deal with staining caused by an accidental cut. Additionally, be sure to seek professional advice if you notice excessive bleeding or other signs of injury.

While mistakes can happen, they can be minimized with proper care and attention during the grooming process.

You’ll have to invest in grooming supplies

Investing in grooming supplies is one of the cons of DIY Shih Tzu grooming. However, it is a one-time cost that can help save you money in the long run by avoiding expensive trips to the groomer. Here are the essential grooming supplies you’ll need:

  • Grooming Shears: To trim and shape your Shih Tzu’s fur. It’s important to invest in high-quality shears as they will last longer and reduce the risk of injuring your dog.
  • Slicker Brush: To remove tangles and mats in your dog’s fur. This brush should have thin, flexible wires and soft bristles to avoid hurting your Shih Tzu’s skin.
  • Pin Brush: To smooth out and detangle your dog’s fur. This brush has pins with rounded tips to avoid hurting your Shih Tzu’s skin.
  • Comb: To help you achieve a smooth and polished look for your Shih Tzu’s coat. Make sure to choose a comb with teeth that are the appropriate length for your dog’s coat length.
  • Nail Clippers: For trimming your Shih Tzu’s nails, which should be done regularly to avoid harmful scratches or possible infection.
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste: To keep your Shih Tzu’s teeth and gums healthy and free of plaque buildup. Look for products that are specifically designed for dogs.
  • Ear Cleaner: To keep your Shih Tzu’s ears clean and prevent infections. Cleaning your dog’s ears regularly can also help reduce the risk of developing hearing problems. For more tips, check out our Shih Tzu Ear Cleaning Tips.
  • Shampoo: To clean your Shih Tzu’s coat and keep it smelling fresh. Look for a mild and gentle shampoo that is specifically formulated for dogs. You can also learn how to bathe your Shih Tzu without using shampoo by checking out our article on Bathing Shih Tzu Without Shampoo.
  • Tear Stain Remover: To eliminate dark and unsightly tear stains around your Shih Tzu’s eyes. Tear stains are caused by excess tearing, which can be prevented or minimized by regularly cleaning the area under the eyes. For more information, check out our Remove Tear Stains Shih Tzu article.
  • Anal Gland Expression Supplies: While not necessary for every grooming session, expressing your dog’s anal glands every 1-2 months will help prevent infections or impactions. This procedure can be performed at home, but make sure to do thorough research and use proper techniques. Learn more about Shih Tzu anal glands by checking out our article on Shih Tzu Anal Glands.

While purchasing all of these supplies may seem overwhelming at first, keep in mind that they will last for a long time if properly cared for. Additionally, you can purchase them gradually over time instead of all at once to spread the cost out.

Your Shih Tzu may not like being groomed at home

Grooming your Shih Tzu at home has its advantages, but it may not be the best option for every dog, especially if they do not enjoy the grooming process. Some Shih Tzus may become anxious, stressed, or fearful during grooming, making it harder for their owners to provide proper care. Here are some reasons why your Shih Tzu may not like being groomed at home:

  • Lack of familiarity: If your Shih Tzu is used to going to a professional groomer, they may not feel comfortable with being groomed at home. The change of environment and routine may cause them to feel uneasy and insecure about the grooming process.
  • Past negative experiences: If your Shih Tzu has had a bad experience during grooming in the past, they may associate it with fear and discomfort. Even if you plan to groom your dog in a gentle and caring manner, these past experiences may make it challenging to establish trust and cooperation during grooming.
  • Physical discomfort or pain: Grooming may cause pain or discomfort in some Shih Tzus. For example, if your dog has sensitive skin or a skin condition, brushing or clipping may irritate their skin, leading to discomfort or pain. In such cases, it is essential to consult a veterinarian or professional groomer to determine the underlying issue and provide appropriate treatment.
  • Lack of positive reinforcement: If your Shih Tzu does not receive positive reinforcement during grooming, they may not associate it with positive experiences. Positive reinforcement can include treats, praise, and toys to help your dog feel more comfortable and relaxed during grooming. Without positive reinforcement, your dog may feel stressed or bored, making grooming more challenging.

If your Shih Tzu does not enjoy being groomed at home, it is important to consider other options, such as professional grooming. Professional groomers have the expertise, equipment, and supplies needed to groom your dog safely and effectively, even if they have had negative grooming experiences in the past.

How to Groom Your Shih Tzu at Home

How To Groom Your Shih Tzu At Home
Are you ready to learn how to groom your Shih Tzu at home? Great! It’s perfectly understandable to have some concerns about taking on such a task by yourself. But with some patience and the right tools, you’ll find that DIY grooming is not as difficult as it may seem. Follow our step-by-step guide and get ready to master the art of Shih Tzu grooming!

Step-by-Step Guide

Grooming your Shih Tzu at home can be a great way to bond with your furry friend while keeping them looking and feeling their best. Here is a step-by-step guide to DIY Shih Tzu grooming, along with the necessary supplies:

1Prepare the grooming area with non-slip mats or towels to keep your Shih Tzu from slipping.
2Brush your Shih Tzu’s coat to remove any tangles or mats. Use a slicker brush and comb for best results.
3Trim your Shih Tzu’s nails using a dog nail clipper. Be careful not to cut the quick, which is the pink part of the nail containing blood vessels.
4Clean your Shih Tzu’s ears with an ear solution and cotton balls. Be gentle and do not insert anything into the ear canal.
5Clip your Shih Tzu’s fur using dog clippers. Use a guard to trim to your desired length, but be cautious around sensitive areas such as the face, ears, and paws.
6Trim the fur around your Shih Tzu’s eyes using scissors. Be careful not to injure your furry friend.
7Brush your Shih Tzu’s teeth using a dog toothbrush and toothpaste. Use positive reinforcement to make the experience enjoyable.
8Give your Shih Tzu a bath using dog shampoo and conditioner. Rinse thoroughly to avoid leaving any soap residue.
9Dry your Shih Tzu using a towel or blow dryer on the low heat setting. Be gentle and avoid pointing the dryer directly at their face.
10Groom your Shih Tzu’s tail by brushing and trimming as needed. Use caution around the rectal area.

Remember to go slow, be gentle, and use positive reinforcement to make the experience enjoyable for both you and your Shih Tzu. If your furry friend becomes agitated or uncomfortable at any point during the grooming process, stop and try again another time.

Grooming Supplies You’ll Need

When it comes to DIY Shih Tzu grooming, having the right tools is imperative for a successful grooming session. Below is a list of grooming supplies and tools you will need:

Grooming SuppliesDescription
Dog ClippersChoose high-quality and lightweight clippers, with adjustable blades for different coat lengths.
BladesHaving a variety of sizes will allow you to groom different parts of your Shih Tzu’s coat with ease.
ScissorsUse high-quality scissors for trimming around the eyes, paws, and private areas.
Brushes and CombsGet a variety of brushes and combs depending on your Shih Tzu’s coat type. A slicker brush, a pin brush, and a metal comb can be helpful.
Nail Clippers and Styptic PowderTrim your dog’s nails carefully to avoid the quick. Have styptic powder on hand in case you accidentally cut the quick and it bleeds.
Cotton Balls and Q-TipsUse cotton balls and Q-tips to clean your Shih Tzu’s ears and remove debris from their eyes carefully.
Dog Shampoo and ConditionerUse a good-quality dog shampoo and conditioner to clean and soften your Shih Tzu’s coat without stripping the natural oils.
Towels and DryerAfter bath time, use towels to dry your Shih Tzu thoroughly. You can also use a blow dryer, but make sure to use a low temperature setting.
Treats and Positive ReinforcementMake sure to have your Shih Tzu’s favorite treats on hand to reward good behavior during the grooming session. Positive reinforcement is essential for building trust and maintaining a calm and happy environment.

Investing in high-quality grooming supplies may seem expensive at first, but it will save you money in the long run as it will help maintain your Shih Tzu’s coat at home on a regular basis. By regularly grooming your Shih Tzu, you can prevent matting, maintain their coat’s shine, and strengthen your bond.

Tips for a Successful DIY Shih Tzu Grooming Session

Tips For A Successful Diy Shih Tzu Grooming Session
As a pet owner, grooming your Shih Tzu can be a rewarding experience that helps you bond with your furry friend. However, it can also be daunting, especially if you’re new to pet grooming. To ensure a successful DIY grooming session, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind. These will not only ensure that your Shih Tzu looks and feels great, but will also make the entire grooming process a pleasant experience for both you and your furry companion.

Start slow and be patient

When it comes to DIY Shih Tzu grooming, starting slow and being patient is crucial for a successful grooming session. Shih Tzus may have a hard time adjusting to grooming routines, especially if they are not used to being handled in this way. By taking baby steps, you can help your furry friend feel more comfortable and ease them into the grooming process.

Here are some steps you can follow and tips to keep in mind:

Step 1: Introduction
  • Introduce grooming tools to your Shih Tzu gradually
  • Allow them to sniff and investigate the tools before attempting to use them
Step 2: Practice Handling
  • Practice just holding your Shih Tzu and touching their different body parts
  • Gradually increase the amount of time you handle them and make sure they remain relaxed and comfortable throughout the process
Step 3: Practice with Grooming Tools
  • Slowly introduce each grooming tool, and start with the least invasive ones
  • Practice using them gently, and only progress to the next one once your Shih Tzu is comfortable with the previous tool
Step 4: Start the Grooming Session
  • Start with small areas of your Shih Tzu’s body, such as their paws or face
  • Use treats and positive reinforcement to keep them relaxed and happy during the grooming process
  • Take breaks if your Shih Tzu becomes too restless or agitated during the session

Remember, it’s important to be patient and go at your Shih Tzu’s pace. Rushing the grooming process can lead to more stress and potential injuries for your pet. With a bit of perseverance, you’ll be able to help your Shih Tzu feel comfortable and happy during grooming sessions.

Use positive reinforcement

A great way to keep your Shih Tzu calm and happy during the grooming session is to use positive reinforcement. This means rewarding your dog with praise and treats for good behavior. Here are some tips on how to use positive reinforcement effectively:

Start with short sessionsDo not expect your dog to be well-behaved for a long period of time. Start with small, manageable grooming sessions and gradually increase the grooming time as your dog becomes more comfortable.
Offer praise and positive feedbackDuring the grooming session, verbally praise your Shih Tzu for staying still, listening to commands, and overall good behavior. This will help reinforce positive behavior and encourage your dog to continue to exhibit good behavior.
Provide treats as rewardsOffering treats as positive reinforcement is another way to encourage good behavior. Give a small, tasty treat when your dog completes a task or behaves well during the grooming session.
Avoid punishmentAvoid yelling, scolding or punishing your Shih Tzu during the grooming process. This will create a negative association with the grooming experience and make it more challenging in the future.

By using positive reinforcement techniques, you can help ensure that your Shih Tzu enjoys the grooming process and stays calm throughout. Remember to keep the sessions positive and brief, with plenty of praise and rewards for good behavior. Over time, your dog will grow to love grooming sessions, making the task easier for you and your furry friend.

Don’t forget the ears and eyes

When it comes to grooming your Shih Tzu at home, it’s important not to forget about their ears and eyes. Neglecting these areas can lead to discomfort, infection or even permanent damage. Here are some tips to help you properly groom your Shih Tzu’s ears and eyes:

Start by using a cotton ball or pad to clean the outer part of your Shih Tzu’s ear. Be gentle and avoid sticking anything inside their ear canal to prevent damage to the eardrum.Use a damp cloth or cotton ball to wipe away any discharge or dirt around your Shih Tzu’s eyes. Avoid using perfumed or oily products as they can irritate their eyes.
Inspect your Shih Tzu’s ear for any buildup of wax, dirt or debris. If you notice excessive buildup, use a specially formulated ear cleaner and follow the directions carefully.Check for any signs of redness, tearing, or discharge from your Shih Tzu’s eyes. If you notice anything unusual, consult your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
Trim any excess hair around your Shih Tzu’s ear opening with scissors or clippers to prevent matting and to promote better air circulation.Trim any long hairs around your Shih Tzu’s eyes that may obstruct their vision or collect debris. Be extremely careful when using scissors near their eyes to avoid injury.
After cleaning and trimming, reward your Shih Tzu with treats and praise to reinforce positive behavior during grooming.Remember to clean your Shih Tzu’s face regularly to prevent eye infections and irritation from trapped dirt or debris.

Properly grooming your Shih Tzu’s ears and eyes can help prevent discomfort and avoid more serious health problems in the future. It’s important that you take the time to carefully groom these areas to ensure the overall well-being of your furry friend.

Be extra cautious when trimming fur around private areas

When grooming your Shih Tzu at home, it’s important to pay attention to the delicate areas of their body, especially when trimming the fur around their private regions. This can be a sensitive area for your dog, and if not done carefully, can lead to discomfort or even injury. To avoid any mishaps, here are some tips to follow:

Use quality scissorsMake sure to use sharp and precise scissors when trimming around sensitive areas. This will make the process smoother and decrease the chances of accidental cuts or nicks.
Begin with longer furStart by using scissors with a guard comb to trim the fur to a longer length in the area you want to groom. This will allow you to see where you are trimming and prevent accidentally cutting too much.
Trim slowly and carefullyWork slowly and carefully, using small, gentle snips with the scissors. Avoid quick movements or pulling the skin taut, as this can result in injury or discomfort for your dog.
Use positive reinforcementDuring the grooming process, provide your Shih Tzu with positive reinforcement such as praise or treats. This will help ease any discomfort and build trust between you and your dog.
Pay attention to warning signsWatch for any signs of discomfort or distress, such as vocalizations or sudden movements. If your dog shows any signs, take a break or stop the grooming session altogether.

By following these tips and being extra cautious when trimming around private areas, you can ensure a safe and comfortable grooming experience for both you and your beloved Shih Tzu.

When to Visit a Professional Shih Tzu Groomer

As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to know when to seek professional help for your furry friend. While DIY grooming can save you money and be a bonding experience with your Shih Tzu, there are certain situations where it’s best to leave it to the experts. In these situations, a visit to a professional Shih Tzu groomer can ensure that your pup receives the best care possible. Let’s explore some of the reasons why you may need to seek out a professional groomer for your beloved pet.

Complicated or risky grooming tasks

When it comes to grooming your Shih Tzu at home, there are certain tasks that can be more complicated or risky without the proper training or experience. While DIY grooming can be a great way to save money and bond with your dog, it’s important to know when it’s time to turn to a professional groomer for help.

Complicated or risky grooming tasks that may be better left to the professionals include:

Nail TrimmingTrimming your Shih Tzu’s nails can be difficult and potentially painful if you accidentally cut the quick. The quick is the nerve and blood vessel located inside the nail. If you are unsure how to properly trim your dog’s nails, a professional can do it for you.
Teeth CleaningCleaning your Shih Tzu’s teeth involves more than just brushing. It may also require special tools, like dental picks or scalers, to remove tartar buildup. If not done properly, you may accidentally injure your dog’s gums or teeth. A professional groomer or veterinarian can help with this task.
Anal Gland ExpressionWhile unpleasant, expressing your Shih Tzu’s anal glands is necessary for their health and hygiene. However, this task can be difficult and messy, and if done improperly can lead to infection or injury. A professional groomer or veterinarian can perform this task for you.
Cutting Matted FurTrying to cut out mats or tangles in your Shih Tzu’s fur can be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing. If the mat is close to the skin, you could accidentally cut your dog’s skin or cause them pain. A professional groomer can safely and effectively remove mats and tangles.

Remember, just because you may need help with some tasks doesn’t mean you can’t still groom your Shih Tzu at home. With proper training, supplies, and patience, DIY grooming can be a great way to save money and bond with your furry friend.

Your Shih Tzu has a medical condition or skin issues

It’s important to be aware of your Shih Tzu’s overall health before deciding to groom them at home. If your furry friend has a medical condition or skin issues, you should consult with a veterinarian before attempting any at-home grooming. Here are some medical conditions and skin issues to be aware of:

Medical ConditionConsiderations for DIY Grooming
ArthritisBe cautious when handling your Shih Tzu, and avoid putting too much pressure on their joints.
Chronic painAvoid grooming your Shih Tzu if they seem uncomfortable or in pain.
Heart diseaseAvoid stressful activities or overexertion, and consider breaking up the grooming session into shorter periods.
Respiratory issuesAvoid using any aerosol sprays or scented grooming products that could irritate your Shih Tzu’s respiratory system.

Similarly, if your Shih Tzu has any skin issues such as hot spots, rashes, or infections, it’s best to let a professional groomer or veterinarian handle the grooming. Depending on the severity of the condition, home grooming could potentially exacerbate the issue or cause discomfort for your pup.

Ultimately, the health and well-being of your Shih Tzu should be the top priority, and it’s important to seek professional advice when necessary.

Your Shih Tzu has behavioral issues during grooming

Behavioral issues during grooming can be another crucial factor in deciding whether to groom your Shih Tzu at home or take them to a professional groomer. Grooming can be a vulnerable and uncomfortable experience for some dogs, particularly those with behavioral concerns.

If your Shih Tzu has behavioral issues during grooming, it is important to consider their safety and well-being. Some of the behavioral issues that may arise during grooming sessions include anxiety, fear, aggression, and restlessness. This can make the grooming process challenging for both the dog and the owner.

Behavioral IssuePossible CausesSolutions
AnxietyLack of socialization, unfamiliarity with grooming tools, previous negative experiencesGradually introduce grooming tools, use calming techniques such as music or essential oils, and spend extra time reassuring and petting your Shih Tzu during grooming sessions
FearPrevious negative experiences, lack of confidence, or discomfort with certain grooming tools or proceduresGradually introduce and desensitize your Shih Tzu to grooming tools and procedures, use positive reinforcement and rewards, and seek the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist if necessary
AggressionPain or discomfort, fear, territorial behavior, or aggression towards unfamiliar people and situationsStop grooming immediately and consult a professional groomer or veterinarian. Aggressive behavior can be dangerous both for the dog and the owner, and may require professional intervention or medication.
RestlessnessBoredom, discomfort, or lack of attention and stimulation during grooming sessionsTry to make grooming a positive and enjoyable experience for your Shih Tzu. Provide toys or treats to keep them occupied, take frequent breaks, and try grooming in different areas or positions to keep your Shih Tzu engaged

It is important to ensure that your Shih Tzu is comfortable and safe during grooming sessions, and to address any behavioral issues that may arise. If you are unsure how to handle your Shih Tzu’s behavior during grooming, seek the help of a professional groomer or a dog behaviorist. Ultimately, the goal is to make grooming a positive experience for your Shih Tzu, whether it’s done at home or by a professional.


As you weigh the pros and cons of DIY Shih Tzu grooming, it’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Each dog owner and their Shih Tzu have unique needs and preferences. It’s natural to feel perplexed about whether to take on the task of grooming your furry friend at home or to seek professional help. Ultimately, the choice you make should be based on what you think is best for you and your pet. Let’s explore some final thoughts to help you make an informed decision.

Make the choice that’s best for you and your Shih Tzu

When it comes to grooming your Shih Tzu, it’s important to choose the option that’s best for both you and your furry friend. Here are some things to consider when making your choice:

Budget: DIY grooming can be budget-friendly, as long as you invest in the necessary supplies upfront. However, if you’re not confident in your skills or don’t have the time to devote to regular grooming, paying for a professional groomer may be worth it.

Bonding: Grooming your Shih Tzu at home can be a great way to bond with them, but it’s important to make sure the experience is a positive one. If you or your dog become stressed or frustrated during grooming sessions, it may be better to leave it to the professionals.

Cut: If you have a specific cut or style in mind for your Shih Tzu, DIY grooming allows you to customize their look. However, if you’re new to grooming or unsure of how to achieve your desired style, a professional groomer may be a better choice.

Comfort: Some dogs may feel more comfortable being groomed in their own home, while others may prefer the professional grooming environment. Pay attention to your dog’s cues and body language to determine if at-home grooming is the right choice for them.

Skills: If you’re new to grooming or lack experience, it’s important to be realistic about your abilities. Mistakes can happen, and it’s important to prioritize your Shih Tzu’s safety and well-being. Consider taking a grooming class or starting with simpler tasks before attempting more complicated grooming tasks at home.

Health: If your Shih Tzu has medical conditions or skin issues, a professional groomer may be better equipped to address their specific needs. Similarly, if your dog becomes anxious or displays behavioral issues during grooming, a professional groomer may be able to handle the situation more effectively.

Ultimately, the choice between DIY grooming and professional grooming is a personal one that depends on your unique circumstances and preferences. By weighing the pros and cons, and considering your Shih Tzu’s needs, you can make the best choice for you and your furry friend.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I groom my Shih Tzu myself?

Yes, you can groom your Shih Tzu yourself. However, it’s important to consider the pros and cons before doing so.

What supplies do I need for DIY Shih Tzu grooming?

You will need a variety of grooming supplies, such as clippers, scissors, a brush, shampoo, and towels. Check out our guide for a full list.

How often should I groom my Shih Tzu?

Shih Tzus should be groomed at least every six to eight weeks, depending on their hair length and the style you prefer.

How do I keep my Shih Tzu calm during grooming?

Using positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, can help keep your Shih Tzu calm during grooming sessions. You can also try playing calming music or using a calming spray.

Can I use human shampoo on my Shih Tzu?

No, it’s not recommended to use human shampoo on your Shih Tzu. Use a dog-specific shampoo to prevent skin irritation and maintain a healthy coat.

What is the average cost of professional Shih Tzu grooming?

The cost of professional Shih Tzu grooming varies depending on location and the specific services needed. On average, prices range from $50 to $100 per visit.

Can I groom my Shih Tzu if they have mats in their fur?

It’s not recommended to attempt to groom your Shih Tzu if they have mats in their fur, as this can be painful and may require professional assistance. Take them to a groomer or veterinarian to have the mats removed safely.

What if I accidentally cut my Shih Tzu’s skin during grooming?

If you accidentally cut your Shih Tzu’s skin during grooming, gently clean the area with warm water and apply pressure with a clean cloth to stop bleeding. If the cut is deep or doesn’t stop bleeding, seek veterinary attention.

Can I groom my Shih Tzu’s face myself?

Grooming a Shih Tzu’s face can be tricky, as it requires precision and care around the eyes and nose. It’s recommended to have a professional groomer handle this task, especially if you are not experienced with grooming.

What are some common grooming mistakes to avoid?

Some common grooming mistakes to avoid include cutting too much hair, using dull clippers or scissors, ignoring the ears and eyes, and not maintaining a regular grooming schedule.


Britta Thygesen

Britta Thygesen

A passionate dog owner and a full-time certified dog trainer. Aspires to make DogCareHacks a go-to place for all the doggo info. Shares personal experience and professional knowledge.

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