Home Bathing Your Shih Tzu Essential Tips: How to Keep a Shih Tzu Clean

Essential Tips: How to Keep a Shih Tzu Clean

by Scott Lipe
How to Keep a Shih Tzu Clean

Keeping your Shih Tzu clean is essential for their overall health and well-being. Regular grooming is necessary to maintain their beautiful coat and prevent any hygiene-related issues. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with expert tips and advice on how to keep your Shih Tzu clean and looking their best.

Grooming your Shih Tzu goes beyond just giving them baths. While bathing is important, it should be done cautiously as frequent baths can strip the natural oils from their skin. We recommend bathing them approximately once every three weeks using a pH balanced shampoo specifically designed for dogs. Additionally, using a high-quality conditioner like Earthbath’s Oatmeal & Aloe Conditioner can help moisturize their coat and keep it healthy.

Key Takeaways:

  • Regular bathing is important, but it should be done sparingly to avoid stripping the natural oils from the Shih Tzu’s skin.
  • Use a pH balanced shampoo and conditioner made specifically for dogs to keep their coat moisturized.
  • Consider using paw wax to protect their paws from dirt and hot surfaces.
  • Clean your Shih Tzu’s ears regularly to prevent debris buildup and potential infections.
  • Take care of their face by cleaning it regularly to prevent tear stains and dirt buildup.

Use Paw Wax to Act as A Shield

When it comes to maintaining cleanliness in your Shih Tzu, paying attention to their paws is essential. Their adorable little feet can easily pick up dirt, mud, and other outdoor debris, which can then be transferred to their coat. To keep your Shih Tzu clean and prevent their coat from becoming dirty, consider using a paw wax like Mushers Secret Pet Paw Protection Wax.

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Paw wax is designed to act as a shield, providing numerous benefits for your furry friend. It helps repel dirt, ensuring that less grime accumulates on their paws. This not only reduces the chances of dirt transferring to their coat but also makes cleaning their paws a breeze. Additionally, paw wax offers protection from hot surfaces, such as pavement and sand. This is especially crucial during summer when the heat can be intense.

Furthermore, using paw wax can provide better traction for your Shih Tzu. This is particularly important during walks or outdoor activities, as it helps prevent slipping on smooth surfaces and minimizes the risk of injuries. Paw wax also helps prevent the formation of snowballs between their toes, which can be uncomfortable and cause irritation.

Another advantage of paw wax is that it helps repel allergens and chemicals, keeping your Shih Tzu’s paws safe from potential irritants. This is particularly beneficial if your furry companion has sensitive skin or allergies. Additionally, paw wax helps moisturize the paws, preventing them from becoming dry, cracked, or irritated.

By incorporating paw wax into your Shih Tzu’s hygiene routine, you can maintain cleanliness and ensure the overall well-being of their paws. This simple yet effective product offers a range of benefits, all aimed at keeping your Shih Tzu clean, healthy, and happy.

Keep the Ears Clean

shih tzu ear cleaning

Proper ear cleaning is an essential part of shih tzu hygiene practices. Shih tzu’s ears are prone to getting dirty and can trap excess wax, moisture, and debris, leading to discomfort and potential ear infections. To prevent these issues, it’s necessary to regularly clean the inner ear flaps and the ear canal.

Here are the steps to effectively clean your shih tzu’s ears:

  1. Start by gently wiping the inner ear flaps with specialized wipes designed for dogs, such as Earthbath Specialty Ear Wipes. This helps remove any dirt or debris on the surface.
  2. Next, clean the ear canal every three weeks by using drops specifically formulated for ear cleaning. Apply the drops as directed, and gently massage the base of the ear to loosen any built-up wax or debris.
  3. After allowing the drops to work for a few minutes, use a clean cloth or cotton pad to wipe away any loosened debris from the ear canal. Do not insert cotton swabs or other objects into the ear canal, as this can cause injury or push debris further inside.

Consistently following these ear cleaning practices can help prevent ear infections and maintain optimal ear hygiene for your shih tzu.

Tips for Preventing Ear Infections

In addition to regular ear cleaning, here are some tips to further prevent ear infections in your shih tzu:

  • Keep the ears dry, especially after bathing or swimming. Use a clean towel to gently dry the ear flaps and the base of the ears.
  • Avoid exposing your shih tzu’s ears to excessive moisture or foreign substances. When bathing, take care to prevent water from entering the ear canal.
  • If you notice any signs of ear infection, such as redness, swelling, discharge, or a foul odor, consult your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

To ensure the well-being of your shih tzu, incorporate regular ear cleaning into their grooming routine and take proactive measures to prevent ear infections.

Recommended Products for Shih Tzu Ear Cleaning

Product Description
Earthbath Specialty Ear Wipes Affordable and effective wipes for cleaning the inner ear flaps and removing dirt and debris on the surface.
Zymox Ear Cleanser A gentle and non-toxic cleanser formulated to prevent ear infections and maintain ear hygiene.

Keep the Face Clean

Shih Tzu’s faces can easily become messy due to various reasons such as drinking water, eye goop, tear stains, and food stains. To maintain their cleanliness and prevent any staining, it is important to follow a proper grooming routine for their face.

Cleaning the face regularly using grooming wipes specifically designed for Shih Tzu’s face, like the Earthbath Specialty Eye Wipes, can effectively remove dirt and odor. These wipes are gentle and safe for their sensitive facial area.

Addressing tear stains is also crucial in keeping the face clean and free from discoloration. Tear stains can be prevented by using filtered water and providing your Shih Tzu with stainless-steel or ceramic bowls. These materials help reduce tear staining compared to plastic bowls. Additionally, incorporating daily wiping with grooming eye wipes can further minimize tear stains.

Preventing Tear Stains in Shih Tzu

Tip Description
Use filtered water Filtered water helps reduce mineral buildup around the eyes, which can contribute to tear stains.
Choose stainless-steel or ceramic bowls Plastic bowls can harbor bacteria, leading to tear stains. Opt for stainless-steel or ceramic bowls for better hygiene.
Regularly wipe the eye area Daily wiping of the eye area with grooming wipes can prevent tear stains from developing

Caring for your Shih Tzu’s face not only keeps them looking clean and fresh but also helps maintain their overall hygiene. By incorporating these grooming practices and preventive measures, you can keep your Shih Tzu’s face free from stains and ensure their health and well-being.

Brush Out the Coat

shih tzu brushing techniques

Regular brushing is important to keep a Shih Tzu’s coat clean and prevent matting. Proper shih tzu coat care involves using the right brushing techniques and grooming tools to maintain their hair. The frequency of brushing depends on the length of their coat.

Long Coats

If your Shih Tzu has a long coat, it’s recommended to brush their hair every other day. This will help prevent tangles and keep their coat looking neat and healthy. Use a polish-tipped pin brush like the Chris Christensen 20 mm Little Wonder Pin Brush. This type of brush is gentle on the hair while effectively removing any tangles or knots.

Shorter Coats

If your Shih Tzu has a shorter coat, brushing once or twice a week is usually sufficient. Opt for a well-spaced bristle brush like the Safari Small Bristle Brush. This brush is designed to remove loose hair and keep the coat smooth without causing any discomfort to your furry friend.

When brushing your Shih Tzu’s coat, remember to be gentle and avoid pulling or tugging at their hair. Start from the roots and work your way down to the tips, ensuring that you cover the entire coat. This will help distribute the natural oils and keep their hair healthy.

Regular brushing not only keeps your Shih Tzu looking great, but it also promotes bonding between you and your pet. Take this time to show them some extra love and care while maintaining their grooming routine.

Now that you know the importance of brushing your Shih Tzu’s coat, let’s move on to the next section where we’ll discuss the benefits of using a leave-in spritz to maintain their cleanliness and overall hygiene.

Use a Leave-in Spritz

After brushing your Shih Tzu’s coat, using a leave-in spritz or spray can help maintain the cleanliness and freshness of their coat. These sprays are designed to provide various benefits to keep your Shih Tzu looking their best. Look for sprays that are specifically formulated for dogs and offer the following advantages:

  • Prevent Split Ends: Leave-in spritzes can help prevent split ends, keeping the hair healthier and smoother.
  • Protect the Coat: These sprays create a barrier that protects the coat from environmental pollutants, dust, and dirt.
  • Moisturize the Hair: Spritzes with moisturizing properties can help keep the hair hydrated, especially for Shih Tzus with dry or brittle hair.
  • Prevent Tangles: Using a leave-in spritz helps to prevent tangles and knots, making brushing and grooming sessions easier.
  • Add Shine: Spritzes with shine-enhancing ingredients can give your Shih Tzu’s coat a healthy, glossy appearance.
  • Keep Hair Soft: These sprays can help maintain the softness and silkiness of your Shih Tzu’s hair, preventing it from becoming coarse or rough.

Investing in a high-quality leave-in spritz or spray can make a noticeable difference in your Shih Tzu’s coat. Consider using products from reputable brands such as Isle of Dogs, Davis, or Earthbath. Remember to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to achieve the best results.

Using a leave-in spritz is just one of many grooming practices you can implement to keep your Shih Tzu’s coat clean and well-maintained. In the next section, we will explore how to address the dental and overall hygienic needs of your beloved pet.

Don’t Forget the Teeth and Other Hygienic Needs

shih tzu hygiene tips

Taking care of a Shih Tzu’s hygiene is essential for their overall health and well-being. In addition to regular grooming practices, it’s important to pay attention to their teeth, bathing routine, nail trimming, and water supply.

Shih Tzu Hygiene Tips

  • Daily brushing is crucial to maintain your Shih Tzu’s dental health. Use a dog toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush designed for pets. Brushing their teeth helps prevent tartar buildup, gum disease, and bad breath. It’s best to start this routine when they are puppies to get them accustomed to the process.
  • Dental chews can be a valuable addition to your Shih Tzu’s dental care routine. These chews help remove plaque and tartar while providing entertainment for your pup. Look for dental chews that are specifically designed for small breeds like Shih Tzus.
  • Regular bathing is important to keep your Shih Tzu clean and fresh. Aim for a bath every 3 weeks using a mild shampoo and conditioner that are suitable for their sensitive skin. This helps remove dirt, oils, and odor from their coat, keeping them looking and feeling their best.
  • Trimming your Shih Tzu’s nails is necessary to prevent overgrowth and potential discomfort. It’s recommended to trim their nails every 4-6 weeks, depending on their growth rate. Use a pair of pet nail clippers or consider taking them to a professional groomer if you’re unsure about this task.
  • Providing fresh and clean water is essential for your Shih Tzu’s hydration and overall health. Make sure to change their water regularly and keep their water bowl clean to prevent bacteria growth. Stainless steel or ceramic bowls are ideal as they are easier to clean and don’t harbor bacteria like plastic bowls can.

By implementing these hygiene practices into your Shih Tzu’s routine, you’ll ensure they maintain a clean and healthy condition. Regular tooth brushing, bathing, nail trimming, and clean water supply are all important aspects of their overall hygiene.


Keeping your Shih Tzu clean and maintaining a healthy coat requires regular grooming practices. By following these essential tips, you can ensure your furry companion stays clean, comfortable, and looking their best.

Start by establishing a bathing routine, using a pH balanced shampoo and conditioner to prevent stripping the coat’s natural oils and keep the skin moisturized. Apply paw wax to protect your Shih Tzu’s paws from dirt and hot surfaces, promoting better traction and overall paw health.

Keep your Shih Tzu’s ears clean by using specialized wipes and ear cleansers to prevent wax buildup and potential infections. Similarly, regularly clean their face to remove tear stains, food stains, and dirt using grooming wipes specifically designed for sensitive areas.

Don’t forget to brush your Shih Tzu’s coat regularly to prevent matting and keep the hair clean and healthy. Finish off the grooming routine with a leave-in spritz to add shine, prevent tangles, and keep the coat fresh.

Lastly, maintain overall hygiene by brushing your Shih Tzu’s teeth daily with dog toothpaste, providing dental chews for additional cleaning, bathing regularly, trimming nails, and ensuring fresh water is always available.

By implementing these grooming tips and following the recommended practices, you can ensure your Shih Tzu remains clean, happy, and picture-perfect.


Q: How often should I bathe my Shih Tzu?

A: It is recommended to bathe a Shih Tzu about once every 3 weeks using a pH balanced shampoo to avoid stripping their natural oils.

Q: What can I do to protect my Shih Tzu’s paws?

A: Using a paw wax like Mushers Secret Pet Paw Protection Wax can help repel dirt, provide better traction, and keep paws moisturized and healthy.

Q: How often should I clean my Shih Tzu’s ears?

A: Cleaning the inner ear flaps every 3 weeks and swiping away any debris can prevent ear infections. Using products like Earthbath Specialty Ear Wipes and Zymox Ear Cleanser can be effective in maintaining ear hygiene.

Q: How do I keep my Shih Tzu’s face clean?

A: Regularly cleaning the face with grooming wipes like Earthbath Specialty Eye Wipes can help remove dirt and prevent tear stains. Using filtered water and stainless-steel or ceramic bowls can also help prevent staining.

Q: How often should I brush my Shih Tzu’s coat?

A: Long coats should be brushed every other day using a pin brush like the Chris Christensen 20 mm Little Wonder Pin Brush, while shorter coats can be brushed once or twice a week with a bristle brush like the Safari Small Bristle Brush.

Q: What is the benefit of using a leave-in spritz on my Shih Tzu’s coat?

A: Leave-in sprays can prevent split ends, protect the coat, add shine, and keep the hair soft. Look for sprays specifically designed for dogs for best results.

Q: How can I maintain my Shih Tzu’s overall hygiene?

A: Regularly brushing their teeth with a dog toothpaste, bathing, trimming nails, and providing fresh water are important for maintaining your Shih Tzu’s hygiene.

Q: How can I keep my Shih Tzu’s coat clean and maintain their hygiene?

A: By following these tips, such as bathing them regularly, using paw wax, cleaning the ears and face, brushing their coat, and addressing their teeth and other hygienic needs, you can keep your Shih Tzu clean, healthy, and looking their best.

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