Shih Tzus have become popular among pet lovers over the years because of their cute and adorable looks. But, if you’re planning to get one, take note that owning a Shih Tzu isn’t just about buying a puppy or rescuing one from the shelter. It’s also about knowing how to properly take care of your dog to keep him safe and healthy.
One of the things you should learn is grooming your pet. Shih Tzus have long, floor-length coats and fast-growing hair, so it’s important to pay attention to these features or else they’ll end up with dirty and matted hair. Of course, just like any other kinds of dogs, it’s essential to give them regular baths to keep them clean.
Not sure where to begin? Here are a few tips to help you get started:
No matter how old your Shih Tzu is, it’s important to give him a bath every three weeks. Avoid bathing him more frequently than that unless he gets extremely dirty. Remember: more frequent baths don’t automatically equal to a more beautiful dog!
Of course, when bathing your pet, make sure to use high-quality shampoos and conditioners. They might cost more than cheaper versions, but they’re worth the investment since they can effectively remove dirt while protecting your Shih Tzu’s coat and keeping it soft and healthy.
One of the most important things you should do as a Shih Tzu owner is to brush your dog’s coat. If you have a Shih Tzu puppy, you can make do with giving him a brushing every three days since his coat is still short. (His coat grows longer as he grows older and will reach optimum length when he’s around two years old.) By the time your puppy reaches one year old, you can give him a brushing once a day or every three days, depending on how dirty his coat is.
Here’s the thing, though: don’t just grab a brush and put it through your dog’s coat! Shih Tzu hair is sensitive to static electricity and will easily break off when exposed to it, leaving your dog with an uneven and unsightly coat. So, before doing anything, buy canine leave-in conditioner or make your own by mixing water with dog conditioner and placing the solution in a spray bottle. Whichever you choose, spritz some of the liquid on your dog’s coat to make it wet and reduce static electricity.
When brushing your Shih Tzu’s legs, make sure to start on his upper legs and work your way down to his paws. When it comes to his face, use a face comb to comb through his mustache, topknot hair, and face hair. If you encounter a matted area, patiently untangle it using the comb and some conditioner. If you can’t untangle it, the best step to take is to clip it to prevent it from growing bigger. Never leave a matted area unattended since it can pull at your Shih Tzu’s skin and cause irritation.
These are some of the things you should remember when grooming your Shih Tzu. You can take these steps on your own but, if you don’t have the time or energy, you can always have your pet groomed by a professional to ensure he stays in good shape at all times.