Do It Yourself Dog Grooming
|One of the first things new Shih Tzu owners discover is caring for your Shih Tzu means grooming! |
|Most new Shih Tzu owners think of the Shih Tzu's coat as the lovely flowing show coat seen in dog |
shows and in photographs. This is the hallmark of the breed, but not practical for the average pet
owner. Keeping the Shih Tzu in show coat condition requires a tremendous amount of time and
effort. Most pet owners opt to keep their Shih Tzu's coat short and more comfortable for their pet.
If you want to save money and groom your dog yourself, there are a few things that you will need to
learn how to do if you don't know how already. Grooming your dog can save a ton of money over
the lifetime of your pet and can be very rewarding. Even short coats require grooming. One of the
first things you will do after adopting your Shih Tzu is to establish a grooming routine. Grooming
routines generally consist of:
Even if you opt to take to your dog to the groomers on a regular schedule, you will still need to
bathe your dog and brush and comb his/her hair. By the way, Shih Tzu dogs are
considered to have hair similar to humans rather than fur as many dogs have. But don't
rule out the possibility of grooming your Shih Tzu at home. It is not as difficult as you might
expect. And, you can save substantial money over the course of a year.
You will need an assortment of supplies to keep your dog in tip top shape. What you will
need depends on whether you decide to do most of the grooming tasks yourself, or elect to
find a good groomer. If you are adopting a Shih Tzu for the first time, you will need to
purchase an assortment of tools. We can give you some guidelines on your grooming
supplies. We will also provide some ideas for must have products if you decide to take
charge of all your Shih Tzu's grooming needs.
Until puppies have had lots of positive grooming experiences, they tend to be a little
squirmy in the bath and on the grooming table. Your puppy will have had several baths
and several introductions to the grooming table before she/he goes home with you. We
recommend that you continue socializing your pup to bathing and grooming. For more
information on bathing your dog, see our pages on Bathing.
Brushing Your Shih Tzu
Brushing and combing your Shih Tzu is probably the number one grooming task that you will have.
Shih Tzu adult dogs have a double coat of very thick hair that can mat easily if not
cared for properly. There are also some very easy ways to remove small mats without
causing undo distress to your little Shih Tzu dog. Daily brushing and combing will prevent
most mats from forming, but if daily grooming is not possible, de-matting might be
necessary. If you decide to let the hair on top of the head grow out, you will want to pull it
up in a topknot to keep it out of your Shih Tzu's eyes. A daily topknot is not difficult to do
and can add charm to your Shih Tzu's appearance.
Puppies' little nails grow quickly and will need to be clipped. Most veterinarians and
groomers will perform this for you, but its also a good idea to learn how to clip your dog's
nails yourself to save a little money.
Shih Tzu Ears
Hair grows inside of the dogs ears from the day they are born and removing these hairs is a
must to prevent infections and keep the dog more comfortable. Most dogs do not like this
procedure, but there are ways to clean your shih tzu's ears without too many tears.
Shih Tzu Eyes
Caring for your Shih Tzu's eyes is also very important and should be part of your grooming
routine. The large eyes of the Shih Tzu make this dog breed more susceptible to certain
eye issues. Our page on shih tzu eye health will provide information on routine care and
signs of eye problems to become aware of so you can take care of them promptly.
Shih Tzu Dental Health
Brushing your dog's teeth is not just for cosmetic reasons. We want our dog to have fresh
breath with every puppy kiss we get, but we also want to maintain overall good health and
prevent problems, Learning how to care for your dog's teeth is an important part of general
care as well as grooming.
For the well groomed shih tzu, you will need to consider the purchase of a clipper that you
will use to clean the dog's pads and private areas. With the purchase of a few different
sized blades, you will also be able to take on the task of giving your shih tzu a hair cut.
Finally, you will want to familiarize yourself with an assortment of popular hair cuts for shih
tzu. These can be done at home or you can request them at your favorite grooming salon.