Proper Drying Techniques for Shih Tzu: A Comprehensive Grooming Guide

Shih Tzus are known for their luxurious, long coats that require regular grooming and proper drying techniques to maintain their beautiful appearance. Improper drying can lead to matting, skin irritation, and even health issues. In this article, we’ll explore the best practices for drying your Shih Tzu’s coat, ensuring a healthy and happy companion.

The Importance of Proper Drying

Proper drying is crucial for maintaining the health and appearance of your Shih Tzu’s coat. Leaving your dog’s coat damp or partially dried can lead to several problems, including:


Damp hair is more prone to tangling and matting, which can be painful for your dog and difficult to remove. Matted fur can also trap moisture, leading to skin irritation and potential bacterial or fungal infections.


Dampness can cause an unpleasant odor, especially if your dog’s coat is not dried thoroughly after bathing or grooming.

Preparing for Drying

Before you begin the drying process, it’s essential to prepare your Shih Tzu and the grooming area properly.


Start by brushing your Shih Tzu’s coat thoroughly while it’s still damp. This will help remove any loose hair and prevent matting as the coat dries.

Towel Drying

Use a clean, absorbent towel to gently blot and squeeze excess water from your dog’s coat. Be careful not to rub the coat vigorously, as this can cause matting and damage the hair.

Grooming Area

Choose a well-ventilated area with good air circulation for drying. Avoid drying your Shih Tzu in a humid or damp environment, as this can prolong the drying process and increase the risk of matting and odor.

Drying Methods

There are several methods you can use to dry your Shih Tzu’s coat effectively. The method you choose will depend on your dog’s coat type, the time you have available, and your personal preferences.

Air Drying

Air drying is a gentle and natural method that works well for Shih Tzus with shorter coats or those who don’t mind spending more time drying. After towel drying, allow your dog to air dry in a well-ventilated area, brushing the coat periodically to prevent matting.

Blow Drying

Blow drying is a faster and more efficient method for drying your Shih Tzu’s coat. Use a high-velocity dryer designed specifically for dogs, and keep the dryer moving constantly to prevent overheating or damaging the coat. Start with a lower heat setting and gradually increase the temperature as needed.

Forced Air Drying

Forced air drying is a professional grooming technique that uses a high-velocity dryer and a specialized drying stand or cage. This method is ideal for Shih Tzus with longer coats, as it allows for even drying and prevents matting. However, it requires specialized equipment and may not be practical for home grooming.

Finishing Touches

Once your Shih Tzu’s coat is completely dry, there are a few additional steps you can take to ensure a polished and healthy appearance.


Brush your Shih Tzu’s coat thoroughly after drying to remove any remaining loose hair and distribute the natural oils evenly throughout the coat.


Apply a high-quality dog conditioner or coat polish to add shine and protect the coat from environmental damage.


If necessary, trim any stray or unruly hairs around your Shih Tzu’s face, ears, and feet to maintain a neat and tidy appearance.

Maintaining a Healthy Coat

Proper drying is just one aspect of maintaining a healthy and beautiful coat for your Shih Tzu. Regular grooming, a balanced diet, and appropriate exercise are also essential for your dog’s overall well-being.

Looking to train your Shih Tzu? Check out our articles on crate training with treats, agility training, common mistakes in crate training, potty training tips, and agility equipment for all you need to know!


Drying your Shih Tzu’s coat properly is crucial for preventing matting, skin irritation, and odor. By following the techniques outlined in this article, you can ensure your furry companion’s coat remains healthy, shiny, and free of tangles. Remember, patience and consistency are key when it comes to grooming your Shih Tzu. With the right approach, you can keep your dog looking and feeling their best.

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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