Good Shih Tzu bathing techniques are essential for healthy coats and skin
A good bathing technique is essential for keeping your Shih Tzu’s hair in good shape and keeping skin problems at a minimum. A lot of Shih Tzu owners say they have skin problems. This is a problem I have not encountered a lot in my existence with the Shih Tzu. However, it does happen more in some bloodlines. Follow the instructions in this article and you should have no problem in keeping a nice smelling and clean Shih Tzu in your presence at all times.
Gather together everything that is needed before you start to bath your Shih Tzu. This is always handier than having to run here and there gathering up your supplies and tools once the process begins.
The first bath you give your Shih Tzu may be traumatic. It truly is best to delay bathing Shih Tzu puppies until they are at least 3 months old. For the first bath you might try using a small bowl, dishpan or the kitchen sink rather than the bathtub. Always be sure the water is neither too cold or to hot. Shih Tzu puppies react violently sometimes to either extreme. Be careful your Shih Tzu puppy does not jump or wiggle out of your hands.
If the temperature of water is “just right,” there will be less chance of the Shih Tzu puppy wiggling out of your hands. Use a mild shampoo especially formulated for dogs that is “tearless.” Regular baby shampoo can be used. I have never had a problem with dry skin when I used baby shampoo. It is just harder to rinse out. Shampoo formulated especially for dogs and puppies is usually easier to rinse out. I do like using Fluffy Puppy shampoo for puppies and even on the faces of my older Shih Tzu because it is tearless.
Pouring water gently over your Shih Tzu puppy in the kitchen sink, a small bowl or dishpan is much less alarming than using a high powered sprayer. Once your Shih Tzu puppy is use to his bath, you can try using the spray attachment which is much better and faster at getting out all the shampoo. You can also use a gallon milk jug (when it is empty and rinsed out of course) to first pour water over the puppy. After being washed, the Shih Tzu puppy must be dried off completely before being allowed outside again.
An older Shih Tzu can be washed in the bathtub using a shower attachment. Place a rubber mat in the bottom of the tub to provide firm footing just as you would for yourself. Your choice of shampoo and conditioner depends upon the type of coat your Shih Tzu has. Avoid using human shampoo on your Shih Tzu. I have used Pantene, but like the baby shampoo, it is harder to rinse out of the hair and I just don’t like the way it leaves the Shih Tzu’s hair looking dull.
Many Shih Tzu are allergic to human shampoo. I have found them to be “itchy” after a bath with human shampoo. I switched over completely to shampoos especially formulated for dogs. Some human shampoos have been known to coat each hair and build up after use, which is probably what causes the itching. There are so many really good brands of dog shampoo on the market these days; there is truly no good reason to use human shampoo on your Shih Tzu. In summertime it is a good idea to use a shampoo to fight against fleas.
Be prepared to get splashed as your Shih Tzu gets older in the bath. Either wear grooming aprons made especially for this function or wrap a large towel around you.
If you are afraid you might get water in the ears of your Shih Tzu, plug the ears with cotton before beginning the bath. Getting water in the ears can cause ear infections.
Really wet down the hair of a Shih Tzu good before applying the shampoo. Pour the shampoo down the middle of the Shih Tzu’s back. As it runs down each side work it into the hair with a squeezing movement of the fingers. Do not rub or massage. The coat is more apt to become tangled with rubbing movements. The best way to get the cleanest hair is to gently squeeze the shampoo through the hair really working up a thick, good lather. You will need to pour a little extra shampoo on each leg and foot, the tail, chest and stomach areas. Lift your Shih Tzu up by the front legs to shampoo the stomach and then wash the chest. Wash the head and face last using the tearless shampoo.
If you are bathing a very dirty Shih Tzu, you will need rinse really well and repeat the process, then rinse really good again. A good human hair dryer works find for the Shih Tzu. Brush the hair while blowing drying in order to make the hair straight.