How To Bathe a Shih Tzu: Step-by-Step Guide

Owners who have been living with Shih Tzu for a long time know this wonderful dog breed. They are affectionate, smart, love to play in the yard, and usually get dirty. How to bathe a Shih Tzu so as not to scare your pet and not harm its health, especially if it is a small puppy?

You need to prepare for the water procedure carefully. In this case, all stages are essential. If you carry out all the manipulations correctly and accurately while showing a pet your care and love, the dog will rejoice whenever it hears running water in the bathroom.

How To Wash a Shih Tzu

  1. Prepare all supplies: brush, shampoo, conditioner, towels, hair dryer;
  2. Brush your pet, disassemble the tangles by hand;
  3. Talk to your pet before the bath;
  4. Place a towel on the bottom;
  5. Rinse your dog with warm water;
  6. Wash with soft shampoo;
  7. Use a conditioner for dogs;
  8. Water it well;
  9. Wipe face and ears with a sponge;
  10. Dry with a hair dryer/towel.

Bathing a Shih Tzu Guide

Wet shih tzu dogPets are little members of our families, and that is why we take care of them with such diligence. And this is the right approach because even such a simple procedure as bathing can harm the dog’s health. If you want to make everything safe and fun, read my tips. I think this information will be helpful for you.

How often should a Shih Tzu be bathed?

These pets have a silky coat and delicate skin, so you are probably interested: How often should I bathe my Shih Tzu? The optimal bathing frequency for this breed of dog is every 3 weeks. They have natural body fat protecting their skin from irritation. Therefore, it is unnecessary to bathe the Shih Tzu too often so as not to wash off this protective layer.

Many owners of these cute pets ask: Why does my Shih Tzu smell even after a bath? Most likely, your pet has health problems. An unpleasant smell, even after bathing, suggests that it may be a disease (for example, skin infections, periodontal disease, flatulence), so contact your veterinarian.

How to bathe a Shih Tzu at home?

Make sure you have all your bathing supplies at home: a comfortable bathtub or basin of the right size, warm water, a soft brush, dog shampoo and conditioner, towels, and a hair dryer. Getting your Shih Tzu’s favorite treats is also very appropriate to create the best impression after the water treatment. Below you’ll find step-by-step bathing instructions.

Preparing for bathing

  • Prepare all the bathing essentials in advance: a bathtub or basin, a brush, dog shampoo and conditioner (some use baby shampoo), a muzzle sponge or washcloth, a few towels, a hair dryer, and a pet’s treat.
  • Make sure that the air temperature in the room is normal, close the windows and doors to prevent drafts.
  • Place a towel on the bottom to avoid the dog slipping.
  • If your Shih Tzu gets nervous while taking a bath, you can give it some treats before the procedure.
  • Brush your dog’s coat thoroughly before bathing. The Shih Tzu’s long hair is silky but has a fairly coarse undercoat underneath,so make sure to comb that out as well. Use only a soft brush to avoid scratching delicate skin. After brushing, it is worth looking for tangles. They need to be carefully disassembled by hand. It is better to do this before the bath, as tangles will be more difficult to disassemble after bathing.
  • If the dog is active during water procedures, it is better to put cotton swabs in the ears. If it is calm, then just avoid getting water inside the ears.

Bathing the Shih Tzu

  • Gently place your pet in the bathtub. It is better to bathe puppies in a small bath, and an adult dog can be bathed in a large one.
  • Talk to your Shih Tzu while bathing, so it doesn’t get nervous.
  • Use the hand shower to wet your pet’s coat.
  • Make sure that throughout the procedure, the water is of a comfortable temperature.
  • Avoid contact water with ears as this might cause inflammation and related infections. It is best to gently wipe the pet’s face and ears with a wet clean cloth or sponge after bathing.
  • Use a mild dog shampoo that won’t irritate the eyes if accidentally splashed. Many owners also use baby shampoo. It may be a good option, but you need to buy a high-quality, natural product. Rub a little shampoo in your hands and apply it to your pet’s coat. You can mix the shampoo with water in advance and wash the Shih Tzu with the resulting foam. If the dog is very dirty before the procedure, you can wash it with shampoo twice. A short haircut means that bathing will be easier and more comfortable. Apply the shampoo with light massaging movements.
  • Rinse the shampoo thoroughly from your dog’s body, don’t skimp on time and water. Soap residue on the skin can cause severe skin irritation and itching even if you use a good quality shampoo.
  • Next, you can apply a little dog hair conditioner. After that, a coat will be silky and less tangled if it is long. Rinse it well with warm water.
  • Wash paws well while bathing, and check Shih Tzu’s body for fleas, scratches, and abrasions.

Drying the Shih Tzu after bathing

  • After bathing, drain the water, let the Shih Tzu dry off the water, and wrap it in a large clean towel.
  • Then you can settle in a comfortable place, for example, on the sofa, having covered it with blankets. Dry the dog’s coat thoroughly with a towel and gently comb it with a soft brush.
    If the dog has a short coat and the room is warm enough, you can let the pet dry naturally. But be sure to dry the paws with a towel so that the remaining moisture between the pads does not lead to fungal infections. If you trim your pet’s nails yourself, it’s best to do it after bathing.
  • For animals with long hair, use a hair dryer. The temperature must not be too hot. If you’re taking your Shih Tzu outdoors shortly after your bath, make sure the pet is completely dry.
  • If the Shih Tzu doesn’t like to bathe, give it a favorite treat. In general, it is better to properly accustom a dog to water procedures from an early age, so then it will not be afraid and nervous.
  • Praise after the bath will also not be superfluous: Shih Tzus are smart and will remember your joy after the hygiene procedure.
  • After drying, put a clean collar around the dog’s neck (wash it in advance or take a second one) because a lot of dirt accumulates on pet accessories.

FAQ on Dog Hygiene

Man covering shih tzu dog with towelPet hygiene is one of the elements of maintaining its health. But frequent bathing can be harmful. Read below for answers to key questions about pet bathing.

When can I bathe my Shih Tzu puppy?

Vets recommend bathing Shih Tzu puppies when they are 6 weeks old. First, find a small basin/tub, and put a towel on the bottom. Do everything calmly, and give your pet a treat after bathing to create a good impression.

How to bathe a Shih Tzu without a bath?

Bathing Shih Tzu too often harms their health, so it is better to use methods without water. To keep your pet clean every day, use wipes for pets, dry shampoos, or refreshing sprays. Brush a coat regularly with a soft brush and clean the pet’s teeth. Bathing is still necessary, but it will be possible to do it less often.

Can I bathe a Shih Tzu once a week?

The recommended frequency of bathing is every 3 weeks. If there is a need for more regular bathing, use the methods I described above. If a dog is too dirty, use a small amount of mild shampoo and monitor the pet’s health.

So How To Do It Right? Let’s Sum It Up

If you have a Shih Tzu puppy, you need to accustom it to bathing from an early age gradually. If your dog is an adult and is nervous during bath time, talk to it while bathing, and give it treats before and after bathing. Find the reason for the excitement; perhaps the water is of an uncomfortable temperature, or the shampoo gets into the eyes. Show your care, and the dog will feel great and love bathing.

Also Read About Shih Tzu

How long do you live with a Shih Tzu? Tell me, what methods do you use to make bathing more fun?

Britta Thygesen

Britta Thygesen

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

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