Shih Tzu

Grooming Your Shih Tzu: Tips for Coat Care and Maintenance

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By LITTLE PUPPY PAWS | May 16, 2023
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Are you a Shih Tzu owner struggling to keep your dog’s coat healthy and clean? Do you find your Shih Tzu constantly shedding, matting, or tangling? Maintaining your Shih Tzu’s coat can be challenging, but with the right grooming techniques and tools, you can ensure your dog’s coat stays healthy and beautiful.¬†

To maintain a healthy and lustrous coat, Shih Tzus require regular grooming. This includes brushing, bathing, trimming, and nail clipping. Proper grooming helps to keep your dog’s coat free from mats and tangles, prevents skin irritations, and helps maintain your dog’s overall health.

Grooming Your Shih Tzu and How to Maintain Their Coat?

Grooming plays a vital role in keeping your Shih Tzu’s coat healthy, beautiful, and free from tangles and mats. With their long, luxurious hair, Shih Tzus require regular maintenance to ensure their coat remains in top condition.

Brushing Your Shih Tzu’s Coat

Regular brushing is crucial to keep your Shih Tzu coat free from mats and tangles. Shih Tzus have a double coat, a soft undercoat and a long outer coat. This makes them prone to matting and tangling, especially around the ears, legs, and belly. Brushing your Shih Tzu’s coat regularly, preferably daily, will help prevent matting and tangles, remove dirt and debris, and distribute the natural oils evenly throughout the coat.

Use a slicker or pin brush to groom your Shih Tzu coat. A slicker brush is perfect for removing mats and tangles, while a pin brush can help to smooth the coat and remove loose fur. Start at the top of your dog’s head and work down the body, brushing toward hair growth. Be gentle when brushing around sensitive areas like the face, ears, and belly. You can also use a comb to remove any remaining tangles.

Bathing Your Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus require regular baths to keep their coat clean and healthy. However, excessive bathing can strip the natural oils from their coat, leading to dry skin and skin irritations. It is recommended to bathe your Shih Tzu every three to four weeks, depending on their activity level and coat condition.

Use a gentle dog shampoo when bathing your Shih Tzu. Avoid using human shampoos as they can be harsh on their sensitive skin. Wet your dog’s coat thoroughly and apply the shampoo, starting at the neck and working your way down the body. Be sure to rinse thoroughly, as any leftover shampoo can irritate your dog’s skin.

Trimming Your Shih Tzu’s Coat

Trimming your Shih Tzu’s coat is essential for maintaining their appearance and preventing matting and tangling. If your dog’s coat is getting too long or is prone to matting, it’s time for a trim.

You can trim your Shih Tzu’s coat at home, but seeking professional help is recommended for a more polished look. A groomer can give your Shih Tzu a trim that suits their unique coat type and facial features. They can also trim the hair around the eyes, mouth, and anus to prevent irritation and keep your dog clean.

Carefully Clipping Their Nails

Keeping your Shih Tzu’s nails trimmed is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Long nails can cause discomfort, lead to joint problems, and interfere with their gait.

You can trim your Shih Tzu’s nails at home, but knowing the correct technique and tools is essential. Use a sharp nail clipper designed for dogs and avoid cutting the quick, pink area of the nail that contains blood vessels and nerves. Cutting quickly can be painful and cause bleeding. If you’re unsure about how to trim your dog’s nails, ask your veterinarian or a professional groomer for help.

Dealing with Mats and Tangles

Shih Tzus can still develop mats and tangles in their coat despite regular brushing. These can be painful and uncomfortable for your dog, leading to skin irritations and infections.

If you notice mats or tangles in your Shih Tzu’s coat, avoid using scissors to cut them out as this can be dangerous and cause injury to your dog. Instead, use a dematting tool or a mat splitter to remove the mats and tangles gently. You can also apply a detangler spray to make the process easier. Be patient and gentle when dealing with mats and tangles, as your Shih Tzu may experience discomfort.

Maintaining Ear Health

Shih Tzus have long ears that can trap moisture and debris, leading to ear infections. Maintaining your dog’s ear health is essential by cleaning their ears regularly.

Use a cotton ball or a soft cloth and an ear-cleaning solution recommended by your veterinarian to clean your Shih Tzu ears. Gently wipe the ear flap and the outer part of the ear canal, avoiding the deeper part of the ear. Contact your veterinarian if you notice any signs of ear infection, such as redness, discharge, or foul odor.

Importance of Eye Care

Shih Tzus have large, round eyes prone to tears and eye discharge. This can lead to staining and discomfort. To maintain your Shih Tzu’s eye health, it’s essential to keep their eyes clean and free from debris.

Use a damp cloth or soft tissue to gently wipe your Shih Tzu’s eyes. Avoid using harsh chemicals or products near your dog’s eyes. Contact your veterinarian if you notice any signs of eye infection, such as redness, discharge, or swelling.

Dental Care

Good dental hygiene is crucial for your Shih Tzu’s overall health. Dental problems can lead to pain, infection, and even organ damage.

Brush your Shih Tzu’s teeth regularly using a soft-bristled toothbrush and dog toothpaste. Avoid using human toothpaste as it can be harmful to your dog. You can also give your dog dental chews or treats to help maintain their dental health.

Coat Supplements

In addition to regular grooming, you can also supplement your Shih Tzu diet with coat supplements. These can help improve your dog’s coat health and reduce shedding.

Look for supplements that contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, biotin, and vitamin E. These nutrients can help promote healthy skin and coat, reduce inflammation, and improve your dog’s immune system.


Grooming your Shih Tzu can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Regular grooming helps to keep your dog’s coat healthy, clean, and beautiful. Following this blog’s tips and techniques, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu coat stays lustrous and free from matting and tangles. Always be patient and gentle when grooming your dog, and seek professional help if you’re unsure about any aspect of grooming. Your Shih Tzu can have a healthy and happy life with proper care and attention.