Grooming is an important part of keeping your Shih Tzu healthy and happy. This adorable breed has a long, thick coat that requires regular maintenance to prevent matting and tangling. If you’re new to Shih Tzu grooming, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of grooming your Shih Tzu at home.
Gather Your Tools
Before you start grooming your Shih Tzu, you’ll need to make sure you have the right tools. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A slicker brush: This type of brush has thin, flexible wires that are gentle on your dog’s coat and can help remove tangles and mats.
- A metal comb: Use a comb with fine teeth to help separate and untangle the hair.
- Scissors: Sharp scissors are necessary to trim any areas that need shaping.
- Clippers: You may need to use clippers to trim the hair around your Shih Tzu’s feet or anus.
- Spray bottle: Fill a spray bottle with water to dampen your dog’s coat before brushing.
- Towels: Keep a few towels handy to clean up any messes and dry your dog off after bathing.
Brush Your Shih Tzu
Shih Tzus need to be brushed regularly to prevent matting and tangles. Use a slicker brush or a comb to work through the hair. Start at the base of the body and work your way outwards. Spray the coat lightly with water to make brushing easier, but don’t soak your dog. Avoid brushing the hair when it’s dry, as this can damage the hair and be uncomfortable for your dog.
Trim the Hair
Shih Tzus often have long hair around their faces, ears, and paws. Use sharp scissors to carefully trim any areas that need shaping. Be careful not to cut the hair too short, as this can cause irritation or leave your dog vulnerable to sunburn. You may also need to use clippers to trim the hair around your dog’s feet or anus.
Bathe Your Shih Tzu
Shih Tzus should be bathed every 3-4 weeks. Use a gentle, dog-specific shampoo and warm water to lather up your dog’s coat. Be careful not to get any water or soap in your dog’s eyes or ears. Rinse your dog thoroughly and then use a towel to dry off. Avoid using a hair dryer, as this can cause your dog’s skin to become dry and itchy.
Check for Skin Irritations
While you’re grooming your Shih Tzu, take the opportunity to check for any skin irritations or other health concerns. Look for fleas, ticks, or other parasites, and inspect your dog’s ears for signs of infection. If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian for advice.
By following these steps, you can help keep your Shih Tzu looking and feeling his best. Regular grooming can also help you bond with your dog and provide an opportunity to check for any health concerns. With a little patience and practice, you’ll be a Shih Tzu grooming pro in no time!