How to Bathe Your Shih Poo: A Step-by-Step Guide

Getting your furry friend clean and smelling fresh can be a daunting task, especially if you’re new to pet ownership. If you’re a proud owner of a Shih Poo, a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle, you’ll want to ensure their grooming routine is as stress-free as possible. Fret not – we’re here to guide you through a step-by-step process of bathing your Shih Poo, leaving them looking and feeling their best. Grab your towel and let’s get started!

Pre-Bath Preparation

Pre-Bath Preparation
Preparing your Shih Poo for a bath is an essential task that pet owners should not overlook. Although many dogs dislike bath time, it is a vital part of their grooming routine to keep them healthy and hygienic. Before giving your furry friend a bath, it’s best to prepare everything you need and to properly prep your dog to ensure a successful and enjoyable bathing experience. By doing so, you can prevent common mishaps and arm yourself with the knowledge to address any issues that may arise. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of pre-bath preparations that will make bathing your Shih Poo easier and more efficient. But before you get started, check out our article on the benefits of bathing your Shih Poo to know why regular washing is essential for your pet’s well-being.

Gather Supplies

To give your Shih Poo a comfortable and successful bath, it’s important to gather all the necessary supplies before getting started. Preparing in advance will make the process smoother for both you and your furry friend.

Here are the supplies you’ll need:

1. Shampoo[1]Choose a shampoo specially formulated for dogs. Shampoos for human use can strip the natural oils from your Shih Poo’s skin and cause irritation.
2. ConditionerA conditioner will help keep your Shih Poo’s coat healthy and shiny. Look for a conditioner designed for dogs.
3. Towels[6]You’ll need several towels to dry off your Shih Poo after the bath. Choose absorbent towels that can easily soak up water.
4. Brush[7]A brush will help remove tangles and mats in your Shih Poo’s coat. Choose a brush with soft bristles that won’t irritate your dog’s skin.
5. Nail ClippersYou’ll need nail clippers designed for dogs. Be sure to have styptic powder on hand in case you accidentally cut the quick.
6. Ear Cleaner[4]Choose an ear cleaner designed for dogs. Never use cotton swabs, as they can push dirt and wax further into the ears and cause injury.
7. Treats[5]After the bath, reward your Shih Poo with a small treat. This will help them associate bath time with positive experiences.
8. Non-slip MatPlace a non-slip mat in the tub or shower to prevent your Shih Poo from slipping and injuring themselves.
9. Shower NozzleA shower nozzle or sprayer will make it easier to wet and rinse your Shih Poo’s coat. If you don’t have one, a cup or pitcher can work as well.
10. Warm WaterBe sure to have warm water ready for your Shih Poo’s bath. Cold water can be uncomfortable and cause your dog to resist the bath.

Take your time to gather all the supplies in one place, so you won’t have to run around searching for things while your dog is waiting. This is also a good opportunity to ensure that all the supplies are easily accessible, and you won’t have to reach for things during the bath.

Brush Your Shih Poo

Brushing your Shih Poo before their bath is essential to help prevent mats and tangles. Using the right tools and techniques can make this process easier and more effective. Make sure you have a slicker brush and a comb on hand to properly groom your Shih Poo.

Step 1: Start by using the slicker brush to gently brush your Shih Poo’s coat, starting at the head and working your way down to their tail. Be gentle and avoid pulling on any mats or tangles, as this can be uncomfortable for your pet.

Step 2: Once you have brushed through your Shih Poo’s coat, follow up with a comb to help remove any remaining tangles or mats. Use the comb to gently work through the fur and detangle any knots.

Step 3: If you encounter any stubborn mats or tangles, avoid the mistake of cutting them out with scissors, as this can be dangerous and may result in accidental injury. Instead, use a detangling spray or solution to help ease them out gently with your fingers or a comb.

By properly brushing your Shih Poo before their bath, you can help make the grooming process more comfortable and enjoyable for your pet. Avoiding mats and tangles will also make it easier to keep their coat healthy and clean in the long term.

Clip Your Shih Poo’s Nails

Trimming your Shih Poo’s nails is an essential part of their grooming, just as important as bathing and brushing. Long nails can cause discomfort while walking and even lead to joint issues. Before you start trimming, make sure you have the necessary tools: nail clippers, styptic powder (in case you accidentally cut too far and hit the quick), and treats to reward your pup.

To begin, gently hold your Shih Poo’s paw and use the clippers to trim off the very tip of the nail. Avoid cutting too close to the quick, as it can cause bleeding and pain. If your Shih Poo has light-colored nails, you can see the pink quick, so be sure to avoid it. However, if your Shih Poo has dark nails, use caution and trim small amounts at a time to avoid hitting the quick. If you accidentally cut too far, quickly apply the styptic powder to stop the bleeding.

It’s important to get your Shih Poo used to having their nails trimmed from a young age. If your Shih Poo is already an adult and unaccustomed to having their nails trimmed, start slowly and only trim a few nails each session. Praise and treat them each time to create a positive association. If you’re unsure about the process, consider taking your Shih Poo to a professional groomer for assistance.

Remember, if you avoid trimming your Shih Poo’s nails, it can lead to discomfort and issues down the road. Plus, regular trimming helps avoid accidentally scratching you and your furniture during playtime. So, be patient and gentle while trimming your pup’s nails, they will eventually get used to it.

Make sure to check out our article on common bathing mistakes that Shih Poo owners make, and how you can avoid themhere. Alternatively, if you’re short on time and want to use an alternative to bathing, take a look at our article on Shih Poo bathing vs dry shampoohere.

Bathing Your Shih Poo

Bathing Your Shih Poo
Now that you have prepped your furry friend for bath time, it’s time to get them squeaky clean! Bathing your Shih Poo is a crucial part of their grooming routine, as it helps to remove dirt, oils, and odors from their coat, keeping them fresh and healthy. However, giving your Shih Poo a bath can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’ve never done it before. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this step-by-step guide that will make bath time a breeze for both you and your furry friend! So, let’s dive in and learn how to bathe your Shih Poo like a pro!

Get Your Shih Poo Wet

Before you start bathing your Shih Poo, it is important to make sure they are comfortable with water. If your Shih Poo is new to bathing, it is recommended to introduce them to water gradually. Here are the steps to follow to properly get your Shih Poo wet.

Step 1: Fill up the tub or sink with warm water at a depth that your Shih Poo can comfortably stand in.

Step 2: Gently place your Shih Poo in the tub or sink.

Step 3: Use a cup or a showerhead to wet your Shih Poo’s fur, starting at their back and work your way to their face.

Step 4: Be careful not to get water in your Shih Poo’s ears or nose. You can plug their ears with cotton balls to prevent this.

Step 5: Use your hand or a soft washcloth to wet your Shih Poo’s face and head.

Step 6: Ensure that the water is warm, but not too hot or too cold, as this can be uncomfortable for your Shih Poo.

Step 7: Speak calmly to your Shih Poo throughout the process to keep them at ease.

It is important to note that every Shih Poo is different, and while some may enjoy water, others may not. By following these steps, your Shih Poo has a better chance of being comfortable during the bathing process.

Shampoo Your Shih Poo

Now that your Shih Poo is fully wet, it’s time to shampoo their coat. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  1. Choose the right shampoo – You should select a shampoo that’s specifically made for dogs. Avoid using human shampoo, as it can cause irritation to their skin.
  2. Apply shampoo – Pour a small amount of shampoo on your hand, and then lather it onto your Shih Poo’s coat. Massage the shampoo gently into your dog’s fur to ensure it reaches the skin. Pay extra attention to the areas where your Shih Poo gets dirtiest, such as their legs and underbelly.
  3. Rinse thoroughly – Use lukewarm water to rinse off all the shampoo from your dog’s coat. Make sure you rinse thoroughly, since any leftover shampoo can cause skin irritation and discomfort.
  4. Repeat if necessary – If your Shih Poo’s coat is extremely dirty, you may need to repeat the shampooing process. However, keep in mind that frequent shampooing can strip your dog’s coat of its natural oils, so it’s important to not overdo it.
  5. Dry your Shih Poo – Once you’ve finished shampooing and rinsing, it’s time to dry off your dog. Use a clean towel to blot out any excess water, and then use a hair dryer on the lowest setting to dry their coat. Be sure to hold the hair dryer at a safe distance from your Shih Poo’s skin, and avoid using it on their face, ears, and other sensitive areas.

Remember, bath time can be stressful for your Shih Poo, so be patient and calm throughout the entire process. Once the shampooing is done, give your furry friend some love and attention to make them feel comfortable and loved. With these simple steps, your Shih Poo will have a clean and healthy coat!

Rinse Your Shih Poo

After shampooing your Shih Poo’s coat, it’s important to thoroughly rinse out all the shampoo. Leftover shampoo can irritate your pup’s skin, causing discomfort and itching. Follow these steps to ensure a proper rinse:

  • Use lukewarm water: Adjust the water temperature to be neither too hot nor too cold. Water that’s too hot can burn your Shih Poo’s skin, while water that’s too cold can cause them to become uncomfortable.
  • Start from the head: Use a cup or showerhead to wet your Shih Poo’s head first. Be careful not to wet their ears too much, as this can cause infections. Gently massage their head and face in a circular motion to work out any remaining shampoo.
  • Work your way down: Now that your pup’s head is wet, move on to their body. Wet their neck, chest, back, and legs, making sure to work through their coat with your fingertips. Pay extra attention to areas that tend to hold shampoo residue, such as the underbelly and armpits.
  • Rinse thoroughly: Once your Shih Poo is fully wet, it’s time to rinse out all the shampoo. Use your cup or showerhead to pour clean water over your pup’s coat until all traces of shampoo are gone. Make sure to rinse out their coat completely, as any leftover shampoo can cause skin irritation.
  • Check for matting: As you rinse, be sure to check for any tangles or matting in your Shih Poo’s hair. Use a wide-tooth comb to gently work out any tangles you may find. This will make drying and brushing easier later on.

Remember to rinse your Shih Poo’s coat until the water runs clear. If you notice any excessive itching or skin irritation after your pup is dry, consult your veterinarian. With a thorough rinse, your Shih Poo will be left with a soft, clean coat that will make them feel like a million bucks.

Dry Your Shih Poo

After rinsing your Shih Poo thoroughly, it’s time to dry them off. A damp dog is not only uncomfortable, but it can also lead to skin irritations and even infections. Here’s how to dry your Shih Poo after their bath:

  1. Use a towel: Start by using a clean towel to gently rub your Shih Poo’s coat. Avoid rubbing too aggressively, as this can damage their fur and irritate their skin.
  2. Blow-dry: Next, use a blow dryer on a low heat setting to dry your Shih Poo’s coat. Keep the blow dryer at a safe distance so you don’t accidentally burn their skin, and use your free hand to keep their fur from tangling.
  3. Check for damp spots: Make sure to thoroughly dry every area of your Shih Poo’s coat. Pay extra attention to areas like their armpits and behind their ears, where moisture can get trapped and cause irritation.
  4. Avoid using human hair dryers: While it may be tempting to use your own hair dryer to speed up the drying process, these dryers can get too hot for your pet’s sensitive skin. It’s best to invest in a pet-specific dryer that’s made for their needs.

Remember, drying your Shih Poo effectively is important for their health and comfort. By following these tips, you can ensure that your furry friend stays happy and healthy after their bath.

Post-Bath Grooming

Now that your Shih Poo is squeaky clean and smelling fresh, it’s time to move on to the next step – post-bath grooming! This step is just as important as bathing since it ensures that your furry friend looks and feels their best. From brushing their coat to trimming their hair and checking their teeth, post-bath grooming is an essential part of your pup’s hygiene routine. So, grab your grooming tools, and let’s get started!

Brush Your Shih Poo’s Coat

Brushing your Shih Poo’s coat after a bath is an essential part of the grooming process. It helps to remove any tangles or mats that may have formed while washing your furry friend. Here are some steps to follow for a successful post-bath brushing:

Step 1: Gather the right tools. You will need a slicker brush, a comb, and possibly a dematting tool if your Shih Poo has any stubborn mats.

Step 2: Begin by using the slicker brush to gently remove any loose hair from your dog’s coat. Remember to brush in the direction of hair growth and avoid any areas that may be tender or sensitive.

Step 3: Use the comb to carefully work through any tangles, starting at the ends of the hair and working your way up to the roots. If you encounter a stubborn mat, use the dematting tool to gently loosen it without pulling too hard.

Step 4: Be sure to pay special attention to your Shih Poo’s face, ears, and tail, which are areas that are prone to tangling.

Step 5: When you have finished brushing, give your dog a final once-over with the slicker brush to get rid of any loose hairs or debris.

Remember, regular brushing is important not just after a bath, but also in between baths to keep your Shih Poo’s coat looking and feeling healthy. By following these simple steps, you can help your furry friend stay comfortable and looking their best.

Clean Your Shih Poo’s Ears

The ears of your Shih Poo can often become a breeding ground for bacteria and infections if not cleaned regularly. To ensure that your furry friend stays healthy, you should clean their ears at least once a month. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean your Shih Poo’s ears:

Step 1: Start by gently holding your Shih Poo’s head still and lifting one ear at a time.
Step 2: Use a soft cloth or cotton ball soaked in an ear-cleaning solution to wipe the inside of their ear flap.
Step 3: Next, use a cotton swab to clean the crevices inside the ear. Remember not to go too deep as it can harm their sensitive ear canal.
Step 4: If you notice any foul odor, redness or discharge, it could be a sign of an ear infection, and you should consult your veterinarian before proceeding with the cleaning process.
Step 5: Once you’re done with one ear, repeat the process with the other ear.

Cleaning your Shih Poo’s ears is an important part of their grooming routine, as it not only helps keep their ears clean and odor-free but also prevents any infections that can cause severe ear damage. Always remember to use an ear-cleaning solution that’s vet approved and to take your time during the process, treating your furry friend gently and with care.

Trim Your Shih Poo’s Hair

Maintaining your Shih Poo’s hair can be a bit challenging, but it is crucial to trim their hair regularly to keep them looking tidy and free from mats. Follow these steps to trim your Shih Poo’s hair:

Step 1: Choose the Right Clippers
Make sure to choose the right clippers for your Shih Poo’s hair type. If your Shih Poo has thicker or coarser hair, you may need stronger clippers. On the other hand, if your Shih Poo has fine hair, then standard clippers will suffice.

Step 2: Brush Your Shih Poo’s Hair
Before you begin trimming, make sure to brush your Shih Poo’s hair thoroughly to remove any knots or mats. This will make the trimming process smoother and prevent any discomfort for your furry friend.

Step 3: Start Trimming
When you start to trim, begin with small cuts and work your way slowly through your Shih Poo’s hair. Start at the top of their head and work down to their back, sides, and legs.

Step 4: Trim the Face
For their face, use scissors to trim the hair around their eyes and mouth carefully. Be cautious not to accidentally poke your Shih Poo with the scissors.

Step 5: Trim the Paws
Use clippers to trim the hair around your Shih Poo’s paws. This will prevent any tangles or mats from forming between their toes, which can be painful and uncomfortable for your furry friend.

Step 6: Finish and Reward Your Shih Poo
Once you have finished trimming your Shih Poo’s hair, give them lots of love and reward them with a treat. This will make your furry friend feel appreciated and loved.

Remember, regular trimming is essential for maintaining your Shih Poo’s healthy and happy life. Regular grooming also strengthens the bond between you and your furry friend.

Check Your Shih Poo’s Teeth

Whilst grooming your Shih Poo, it’s important to not forget their dental hygiene. Dental problems can lead to a host of issues, including bad breath, gum disease, and tooth loss.

To properly check your Shih Poo’s teeth, follow these simple steps:

Step 1:Open your Shih Poo’s mouth.
Step 2:Examine their teeth and gums for any signs of discoloration, swelling, or inflammation.
Step 3:Look for any loose or missing teeth.
Step 4:Check for any build-up of plaque or tartar on their teeth.
Step 5:Make a note to schedule a professional cleaning with your veterinarian if there are any signs of dental problems.

If you notice any concerning issues during your dental check, it’s important to address them promptly. Bad dental health can lead to serious health problems for your Shih Poo. Keeping their teeth clean and healthy can help prevent these issues and keep your furry friend happy and healthy.

Give Your Shih Poo a Treat!

After all the hard work of bathing and grooming your Shih Poo, it’s time to reward them for their good behavior with a tasty treat.

But what kind of treat should you give your Shih Poo? Ideally, you should choose a treat that is healthy and safe for dogs. Look for treats made of natural and high-quality ingredients that are low in calories and free from harmful chemicals. Avoid giving your Shih Poo human food or things like chocolate, as these can be toxic to dogs.

Here are some options for healthy treats that your Shih Poo may love:

Frozen veggiesCut up some carrots, green beans, or peas and freeze them for a crunchy and nutritious treat.
ApplesSlice up some apples (without the seeds or core) for a sweet and crunchy snack.
Peanut butterGive your Shih Poo a spoonful of peanut butter (without xylitol) for a tasty treat.
Bones and chewsLook for bones and chews made of natural ingredients, such as antlers, bully sticks or dental chews, to help promote healthy teeth and gums.

Remember to give treats in moderation as overfeeding can lead to obesity and health problems in dogs. A small piece of treat is enough to make your Shih Poo happy.

Giving your Shih Poo a treat also helps reinforce positive behavior and increases the bond between you and your furry friend. So go ahead and reward your Shih Poo for being such a good dog!


In conclusion, giving your Shih Poo a bath can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend. Providing your pup with regular grooming not only keeps them clean and healthy, but it also strengthens the bond between you both.

Remember to always use dog-specific products during the bathing process, as human products can be harsh on their sensitive skin. Take your time during the Pre-Bath Preparation phase and gather all necessary supplies. Brush your Shih Poo thoroughly to remove any tangles and mats, clip their nails as needed, and promote a calm and relaxed environment.

When it comes time to actually bathe your Shih Poo, start by getting them wet and using a gentle shampoo that will leave their coat looking shiny and smelling fresh. Rinse thoroughly to avoid leaving any harmful residues on their skin, then dry them off with a towel or hair dryer.

After bathing, it’s important to continue with post-bath grooming, including brushing their coat again, cleaning their ears, and trimming any hair as needed. And don’t forget to check their teeth for any signs of dental issues, which can be a common problem for small breeds like Shih Poos.

Always remember to give your Shih Poo a treat after their bath to reward them for a job well done. Taking these steps will not only keep your furry friend looking and feeling great, but will also ensure that they are happy and healthy for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How often should I bathe my Shih Poo?

It is recommended to bathe your Shih Poo every 2-3 months. Bathing them too frequently can strip their fur of natural oils and cause dryness and irritation.

2. Can I use human shampoo on my Shih Poo?

No, it is not recommended to use human shampoo on your Shih Poo. Human shampoo can be too harsh on their sensitive skin and coat. Use a shampoo specifically designed for dogs.

3. Should I trim my Shih Poo’s hair before or after their bath?

It is recommended to trim your Shih Poo’s hair before their bath. This will help make the bathing process easier and ensure that their fur is evenly cleaned and dried.

4. How long should I leave shampoo on my Shih Poo?

You should leave the shampoo on your Shih Poo for about 5-10 minutes before rinsing it off. This will give the shampoo enough time to penetrate their fur and remove any dirt or debris.

5. How should I dry my Shih Poo after their bath?

You can use a towel or a blow dryer to dry your Shih Poo after their bath. If you are using a blow dryer, make sure to use the lowest heat setting and keep the dryer moving to avoid overheating their skin.

6. Can I bathe my Shih Poo if they have fleas?

Yes, you can still bathe your Shih Poo if they have fleas. Use a flea shampoo designed for dogs and follow the instructions carefully to ensure that the fleas are fully removed.

7. What should I do if my Shih Poo gets shampoo in their eyes?

If your Shih Poo gets shampoo in their eyes, flush their eyes with clean water immediately. If the irritation persists, contact your veterinarian.

8. How can I prevent my Shih Poo from shaking water everywhere after their bath?

You can prevent your Shih Poo from shaking water everywhere after their bath by towel drying them thoroughly before releasing them from the bathing area. You can also try using a dog bathrobe to help absorb excess water.

9. Can I train my Shih Poo to enjoy their bath?

Yes, you can train your Shih Poo to enjoy their bath by associating it with positive experiences such as treats and praise. Gradually introduce them to the bathing process and reward them for their cooperation.

10. What should I do if my Shih Poo resists bathing?

If your Shih Poo resists bathing, try to make the experience as stress-free as possible. Use treats and praise to encourage them to cooperate and take breaks if necessary. Consider consulting with a professional dog trainer for additional help.


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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