Winter Grooming Tips for Shih Tzu with Long Coats

As winter approaches, it brings colder temperatures and harsher weather conditions. For pet owners, this means ensuring the health and well-being of their furry friends, particularly those with long coats such as Shih Tzus. Grooming during winter months can pose a unique challenge, but with the right tools and care techniques, it’s possible to keep your Shih Tzu happy, healthy, and stylish despite the snow and cold winds. In this article, we’ll explore the essential grooming tools and supplies you’ll need, share some winter coat care tips, and offer cold weather safety tips to keep your Shih Tzu comfortable and protected from the elements.

Grooming Tools and Supplies

Grooming Tools And Supplies
Ensuring that your Shih Tzu with a long coat looks refreshed and healthy requires proper grooming tools and supplies. With a variety of options available in the market, it can be challenging to pick the right ones for your furry companion. However, selecting the appropriate supplies can significantly help maintain your pet’s coat and prevent any matting or tangling. By regularly grooming your Shih Tzu’s coat with the right brushes, combs, and scissors, you can avoid costly visits to the groomer. In this section, we will introduce you to the best grooming tools and supplies that you can use to keep your Shih Tzu’s coat in good condition. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about Shih Tzu coat types, silky coat tips, and coat brushing benefits that can help you make the most of your grooming routine.


Proper grooming tools are essential to keep your Shih Tzu’s long winter coat healthy and free from matting or tangling. Using the right brushes will help distribute natural oils throughout their coat, stimulate the skin and prevent matting.

Pin Brushes: Pin brushes are effective for loosening tangles and removing loose hair. They have widely spaced wire pins that are set on a rubber base, which helps to protect your dog’s delicate skin. Pin brushes can be used on a daily basis.

Slicker Brushes: Slicker brushes have fine, short wires that are tightly packed together. They are designed to remove loose hairs, dirt, and mats from your Shih Tzu’s coat. Using a slicker brush on a weekly basis will help to prevent matting.

Bristle Brushes: Bristle brushes are made with soft bristles that are gentle on your shih tzu’s long coat. They are ideal for removing loose hair and debris from your dog’s coat. Bristle brushes can be used on a daily basis.

Undercoat Rakes: These grooming tools are designed to remove dead hair and undercoat without damaging the topcoat. They are ideal for Shih Tzu breeds that have an undercoat.

Grooming Gloves: These gloves have rubber tips that are gentle on your Shih Tzu’s skin. They are ideal for removing loose hair and massaging your dog’s coat.

Using a combination of these brushes will help you to ensure that your Shih Tzu’s coat is well-maintained and healthy. Regular grooming will also allow you to bond with your pet and help catch any potential coat problems early. For more information on grooming your Shih Tzu’s thick coat, check out our article on grooming Shih Tzu with thick coats.


Combs are essential tools for maintaining a Shih Tzu’s long coat, especially during the winter season. They come in different types and sizes, each serving a specific purpose. Here are some of the combs that you can use to keep your Shih Tzu’s coat tangle-free and healthy:

CombDescriptionBest For
Slicker CombThis comb has fine, short wires tightly packed together, making it easy to remove loose fur, mats, and tangles.Removing tangles and mats and thinning out heavy coats.
Wide-tooth CombThis comb has widely spaced teeth, making it perfect for detangling and fluffing out long, curly, and wavy fur.Detangling and fluffing out long, curly, and wavy fur.
Metal CombThis comb has long, sturdy teeth, helping to get deeper into the coat’s layers, making it perfect for removing loose fur, mats, and knots.Removing loose fur, mats, and knots on medium and long coats.
Flea CombThis comb has tightly spaced teeth, making it perfect to remove fleas and flea eggs.Removing fleas and fleas’ eggs.

Using a combination of these combs on your Shih Tzu will help keep their coat healthy and tangle-free throughout the winter months. It’s important to note that combing alone won’t solve all coat problems. For more serious coat problems, such as excessive shedding, skin irritations or matted fur, see your veterinarian or a professional groomer; and if you want to learn more about Shih Tzu coat types, haircuts or diet, follow the links to our relevant articles.


When it comes to grooming a Shih Tzu’s long coat in the winter, having a good pair of scissors is essential. Scissors can be used to trim hair around sensitive areas, such as the eyes, ears, and paws, that can be easily irritated when the hair is too long. They can also be used for shaping the coat and creating a neat, clean look.

There are different types of scissors that can be used for grooming a Shih Tzu’s coat. Straight scissors are great for basic cutting and trimming, while curved scissors can help create a more rounded, natural look. Thinning scissors can be used to remove bulk from the coat and create a more even texture. It’s important to choose the right type of scissors for the desired look and to ensure they are sharp to avoid tugging or pulling on the hair.

Using scissors on a dog can be daunting, especially for those new to grooming. It’s important to be cautious and take breaks frequently to avoid injuring the dog. Holding the scissors at an angle and cutting small amounts of hair at a time can also help make the process easier.

In addition to scissors, other grooming tools such as brushes, combs, and shampoo can also be used to keep a Shih Tzu’s long coat healthy and shiny. For more information on common coat problems and haircuts for Shih Tzus, check out our articles on Shih Tzu coat problems and Shih Tzu haircuts and coat types. A healthy diet can also contribute to a shiny coat, so be sure to read our article on Shih Tzu diet for a shiny coat.

Shampoo and Conditioners

The choice of shampoo and conditioner is crucial for keeping your Shih Tzu’s long coat healthy and shiny during the winter months. When selecting a shampoo and conditioner, it is important to choose products specifically designed for dogs, as human shampoos can be too harsh and strip away the natural oils in your dog’s skin and coat.

Shampoo: When choosing a shampoo, look for one that is mild and gentle on your dog’s skin. Avoid shampoos that contain harsh chemicals, such as sulfates and parabens. Instead, opt for products with natural ingredients like oatmeal, aloe vera, and coconut oil. These ingredients can help soothe dry skin and maintain a healthy, shiny coat.

Conditioner: Conditioner is essential for keeping your Shih Tzu’s hair tangle-free and easy to manage. Look for a conditioner that is designed for dogs and contains ingredients like shea butter, jojoba oil, and vitamin E. These ingredients can help moisturize and nourish your dog’s coat, leaving it soft and silky.

Here is a table showcasing some popular dog shampoo and conditioner brands:

EarthbathUltra-MildOatmeal and Aloe Conditioner
Burt’s BeesHypoallergenic ShampooDander Reducing Conditioner
Isle of DogsLush Coating ShampooSilky Coating Conditioner
4-LeggerUnscented Hypoallergenic ShampooCalming Lavender Conditioner

Remember to always read the labels and ingredients list when choosing a shampoo and conditioner for your Shih Tzu. Avoid products that contain artificial fragrances, colors, and preservatives as these can also irritate your dog’s skin. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian for recommendations on the best shampoo and conditioner for your furry friend.

Towels and Hair Dryer

When it comes to winter grooming for Shih Tzu with long coats, towels and a hair dryer are essential for proper coat care. Here are some tips for using them effectively:

  • Choose the Right Towels: Use soft and absorbent towels made from microfiber or cotton to gently dry your dog’s coat after a bath. Avoid using rough or scratchy towels that could damage their sensitive skin.
  • Blot, Don’t Rub: After wetting the coat, wrap a towel around your dog and gently press down to absorb excess water. Avoid rubbing, as it can cause matting and tangling in the long hair.
  • Use a Hair Dryer: A hair dryer set on low to medium heat can help to completely dry your Shih Tzu’s coat. Make sure to hold the dryer a safe distance away from their skin, and use a nozzle attachment to direct the airflow and prevent tangling.
  • Brush While Drying: While using a hair dryer, use a slicker brush to gently brush your dog’s coat. It will help to prevent matting and remove any tangles that may have formed during the drying process.

Remember that a Shih Tzu’s long coat is delicate, and proper drying techniques are essential for maintaining its health and beauty. By using the right towels and hair dryer, and taking care to avoid tangling and damage, you can keep your furry friend looking and feeling great all winter long.

Winter Coat Care Tips

Winter Coat Care Tips
As temperatures drop, it’s important to take extra care of your furry friend’s coat to keep it healthy and shiny. Shih Tzu with long coats require special grooming during the winter months to protect against the harsh climate. Here are some essential tips to keep your pup’s coat in tip-top condition: from regular brushing and combing to proper bathing and drying, we’ll cover everything you need to know to keep your Shih Tzu’s coat beautiful and healthy during the winter season.

Regular Brushing and Combing

To maintain the health and beauty of your Shih Tzu’s long coat during winter, regular brushing and combing are vital. This is especially important if your furry friend spends a lot of time outside, as snow and ice can easily tangle their hair. With the right tools and techniques, you can keep your pup’s coat tangle-free and looking great.

Here are some tips for regular brushing and combing:

Slicker brushRemoves tangles and mats
Bristle brushSmooths hair and distributes natural oils
CombDetangles and removes debris

Use a slicker brush to gently remove any tangles or knots from your Shih Tzu’s coat. Work on one section at a time and always start at the tips of the hair and work your way up towards the roots. Be careful not to tug too hard, as this can cause discomfort for your pet.

After using the slicker brush, follow up with a bristle brush to smooth out the hair and distribute natural oils. This will leave your Shih Tzu’s coat looking shiny and healthy.

Next, use a comb to carefully go through your furry friend’s coat and remove any debris or tangles that the brushes may have missed. Pay special attention to the areas around the ears, legs, and tail, as these areas are more prone to matting.

Regular grooming sessions, at least once a week, will help prevent painful matting, keep your pup’s coat healthy, and reduce shedding. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to bond with your furry companion!

Proper Bathing and Drying

Taking care of your Shih Tzu’s long coat during the winter months requires proper bathing and drying. Here are some tips to help you keep your furry friend’s coat clean and healthy.

Tip #1:Use a high-quality shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for dogs with long coats. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to avoid any skin irritation.
Tip #2:Bathe your Shih Tzu in warm water, not hot. Hot water can dry out the skin and coat, leading to irritation and discomfort.
Tip #3:Gently massage the shampoo into your dog’s coat, being careful not to tangle or mat the hair. Use a comb to work out any tangles before rinsing.
Tip #4:After rinsing out the shampoo, apply a moisturizing conditioner. Leave the conditioner in for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
Tip #5:After bathing, gently pat your Shih Tzu dry with a towel. Avoid rubbing as this can cause tangles and matting. You can also use a hair dryer on low heat to help dry the coat. Be sure to keep the dryer at least six inches away from your dog’s skin to avoid burning.

Proper bathing and drying is essential for maintaining your Shih Tzu’s long coat during the winter months. By following these tips, you can keep your furry friend clean, comfortable and healthy.

Trimming and Shaving

When it comes to maintaining the winter coat of your Shih Tzu, trimming and shaving are also essential grooming practices. These practices will help manage the length of your dog’s coat and make it easier to maintain.

Trimming: If your Shih Tzu’s coat is too long and prone to tangles, you may need to trim it regularly. It is best to use scissors and do this by hand as it allows you to have more control over the length of hair you are cutting. Use a pair of sharp scissors specifically designed for pet grooming, and be sure to cut small sections at a time.

Shaving: If your Shih Tzu’s coat is exceptionally long, you may want to consider shaving it. While it is not always the recommended grooming option since the Shih Tzu’s coat acts as an insulator against the cold weather, it may be necessary for some cases. If you do decide to shave your Shih Tzu, pay attention to the length of hair left behind. Leave at least an inch of fur on your dog’s body to protect them from the harsh winter weather.

Use scissors specifically designed for pet groomingLeave at least an inch of fur on the body
Cut small sections at a timeNot always recommended but may be necessary

Remember, it is extremely important to use the proper grooming tools and techniques when trimming or shaving your Shih Tzu’s coat. If you are unsure about how to do this, it is best to seek the advice of a professional groomer. Improper grooming practices can lead to injuries and discomfort for your furry friend.

Moisturizing Products

As the weather gets colder, the dry indoor heat can take a toll on a Shih Tzu’s coat. That’s why it’s important to use moisturizing products to help maintain their shiny and healthy coat throughout the winter season. Here are some great moisturizing products to consider:

  • Coconut Oil: Not only is coconut oil great for cooking, but it’s also fantastic for your Shih Tzu’s coat. When mixed with their shampoo, it can help to deeply moisturize and condition their coat, leaving it soft and shiny.
  • Leave-In Conditioner: A leave-in conditioner is a great option for Shih Tzus with long coats, as it can help to detangle and moisturize their fur between baths. Look for a conditioner specifically designed for dogs to avoid any potential irritation.
  • Omega-3 Supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their health benefits, but they can also help to improve the condition of your Shih Tzu’s coat. You can add a supplement to their food, or look for a dog-specific omega-3 oil to apply to their coat.
  • Shea Butter: Shea butter is a natural moisturizer that can help to soothe dry, itchy skin. Look for a dog-specific shea butter lotion, or use a small amount of human-grade shea butter on your Shih Tzu’s coat as needed.
  • Aloe Vera Gel: Aloe vera gel is known for its soothing properties, making it a great option for Shih Tzus who may have dry or irritated skin. Look for a dog-specific aloe vera gel to avoid any potential irritation.

By incorporating these moisturizing products into your Shih Tzu’s grooming routine, you can help to keep their coat healthy, shiny, and moisturized throughout the winter season.

Protective Clothing

Winter weather can be harsh on your Shih Tzu’s long coat, but protective clothing can be a great solution. When going outside for walks or bathroom breaks, consider dressing up your pup in winter jackets or hoodies to keep them warm and cozy. These clothing items are specifically designed to protect your pet from the cold while promoting warmth and comfort.

Another important protective clothing item to consider is a winter coat with water-resistant material. This can help prevent your Shih Tzu’s coat from getting wet and matted from snow or rain. Additionally, boots or paw protection products can also help protect their paws from snow, ice, and salt on sidewalks and roads.

It’s important to note that not all dogs are comfortable wearing clothing, so it’s important to gradually introduce them to it and ensure they are comfortable and not restricted in their movements. Always supervise your pet while they are wearing clothing to ensure their safety.

Below is a table summarizing some of the protective clothing options for your Shih Tzu:

Protective Clothing ItemPurpose
Winter jackets or hoodiesTo keep them warm and cozy during walks or bathroom breaks
Winter coat with water-resistant materialTo protect their coat from getting wet from snow or rain
Boots or paw protection productsTo protect their paws from snow, ice and salt on sidewalks and roads

Protective clothing can be a great way to keep your Shih Tzu cozy and safe during the winter months. Just be sure to introduce clothing gradually and always monitor your pet while they are wearing it.

Cold Weather Safety Tips

As winter approaches and the temperature drops, keeping your furry friend warm and safe becomes a top priority. It is important to pay extra attention to your Shih Tzu’s needs during the cold weather months to prevent any discomfort or health issues. Although they have a thick and fluffy coat, they are still susceptible to the harsh weather conditions. It’s essential to take extra precautions to ensure their safety and wellbeing. In this section, we will go over some crucial cold weather safety tips that will help you and your Shih Tzu get through the winter months with ease.

Limit Outdoor Exposure

During winter, it’s essential to limit the outdoor exposure of your Shih Tzu with a long coat, as they are more susceptible to the cold weather. Here are some tips to help you keep your pet safe and comfortable during the chilly months.

  • Avoid Excessive Outdoor Time: If the weather is too cold, limit the time your Shih Tzu spends outside.
  • Use Protective Clothing: Dress your pet in warm clothing, such as a jacket or sweater, when they need to go outside.
  • Avoid Frozen Areas: Refrain from allowing your pet to walk or play in areas with frozen water, as this can lead to hypothermia and other health complications.
  • Monitor Weather Conditions: Keep an eye on the local weather forecast and avoid going outside during extreme weather conditions, such as snowstorms or blizzards.
  • Keep an Eye on Your Shih Tzu: Watch for signs of discomfort or distress, such as shivering or whining, and bring your pet inside immediately if you notice any concerning behavior.

By following these tips, you can help ensure your Shih Tzu with a long coat remains healthy and safe during winter. Remember to pay close attention to your pet’s behavior and provide adequate protection against the cold weather when they need to spend time outdoors.

Use Paw Protection Products

Protecting your Shih Tzu’s paws is important during the winter months. Ice, snow, and salt on roads and sidewalks can be damaging to their delicate paws. To prevent issues such as cracks, cuts, or even frostbite, consider using paw protection products.

There are several types of paw protection products available, and each has its own benefits. Here are a few options to consider:

Product TypeBenefits
Paw waxForms a protective barrier on your dog’s paws and prevents the buildup of ice and snow between their toes. It can also moisturize their paw pads to prevent cracking.
BootiesProvide full coverage of your dog’s paws and are great for extreme weather conditions or for dogs with sensitive paws. They can also prevent your dog from licking any salt or chemicals off the ground.
BalmActs as a soothing balm for your dog’s paws and can be used to treat any cuts or scrapes they may have. It can also have anti-inflammatory properties to reduce any swelling.

When using paw protection products, be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Some products may need to be applied before going outside, while others should be applied after exposure to the elements. It’s also important to make sure the product you choose is safe for your dog to ingest, as they may try to lick it off.

Taking the extra step to protect your Shih Tzu’s paws during the winter can prevent painful and costly injuries. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and paw protection products are an easy and effective way to keep your furry friend happy and healthy.

Keep Them Warm Indoors

As the temperatures drop outside, it’s important to keep your Shih Tzu with a long coat warm and cozy indoors. Here are some tips to help:

1. Keep the Home WarmMake sure your home is at a comfortable temperature. If you have a drafty home, consider adding weather stripping or draft stoppers to keep the cold air out.
2. Provide Cozy BeddingGiving your Shih Tzu with a long coat a warm, cozy bed to snuggle up in can be comforting during the winter months. You can place a soft fleece blanket or bed sheet on top of their bed to add extra warmth.
3. Dress Them UpConsider dressing your Shih Tzu in a warm sweater or jacket indoors to help them stay snug. Avoid clothing made of materials that can irritate their skin or cause overheating.
4. Offer Warm Drinks and FoodHot drinks and warm food can help your Shih Tzu maintain their body temperature. Avoid giving them anything too hot or too cold as it can be harmful to their health.
5. Keep Them ActiveKeeping your furry friend active can generate body heat and help keep them warm. Try playing indoor games like hide and seek or fetch to keep them entertained and active during the colder months.

Remember, just like humans, dogs with long coats can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite in extreme cold temperatures. So, it’s essential to provide your Shih Tzu with a warm and cozy spot to help them stay safe and healthy during the winter season.


In conclusion, taking care of your Shih Tzu’s long coat during the winter months is essential for both their health and appearance. With proper grooming tools, supplies, and winter coat care tips, you can keep your furry friend looking and feeling their best.

Regular brushing and combing using the appropriate tools can help prevent matting and tangles. Proper bathing and drying techniques, as well as moisturizing products, can also aid in maintaining your Shih Tzu’s coat health. Trimming and shaving may be necessary for some pups, but be sure to consult a professional groomer before attempting this yourself.

It’s also important to consider your Shih Tzu’s safety during colder weather. Limiting their outdoor exposure and using paw protection products can help prevent frostbite and other weather-related injuries. Keep them warm indoors and dress them in protective clothing when venturing outside.

Remember, a well-groomed Shih Tzu is a happy and healthy one. By following these winter grooming tips and safety precautions, you can ensure your furry friend is comfortable and cozy throughout the cold months.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I brush my Shih Tzu’s long coat during the winter?

You should brush your Shih Tzu’s long coat at least three times a week during the winter to prevent matting and tangling.

What is the best type of brush to use on a long-coated Shih Tzu?

A slicker brush is the best for long-coated Shih Tzus in the winter, as it can penetrate their thick fur and remove any tangles.

Can I use human shampoo on my Shih Tzu?

No, it is not recommended to use human shampoo on your Shih Tzu, as their skin is more sensitive than ours. Instead, use a shampoo specifically formulated for dogs.

How frequently should I bathe my Shih Tzu during the winter?

You should bathe your Shih Tzu once a month during the winter, as frequent bathing can strip their skin of its natural oils.

Is it necessary to trim my Shih Tzu’s long coat during winter?

Trimming your Shih Tzu’s long coat during winter can help prevent snowballs from forming in their fur, but it is not necessary unless your dog spends a lot of time outdoors.

Can I use a hair dryer to dry my Shih Tzu’s coat?

Yes, you can use a hair dryer to dry your Shih Tzu’s coat, but make sure to use a low heat setting and keep the dryer moving to avoid overheating their skin.

How do I protect my Shih Tzu’s paws during winter?

You can protect your Shih Tzu’s paws by using booties or applying paw balm before going outside to prevent cracking and irritation from harsh winter conditions.

What winter grooming products are essential for my Shih Tzu?

Essential winter grooming products for Shih Tzus with long coats include a slicker brush, moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, a hair dryer, and paw balm.

What is the ideal temperature for my Shih Tzu during winter?

The ideal temperature for Shih Tzus during winter is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep them warm with blankets and sweaters when inside.

What should I do if I notice signs of hypothermia in my Shih Tzu?

If you notice signs of hypothermia in your Shih Tzu, such as shivering, lethargy, or difficulty breathing, seek veterinary care immediately and warm them up with blankets and a heating pad on a low setting.


Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DoggoLab, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      Dog Care Hacks