When you’re looking for the best shampoo for Shih Tzus, you need to look for a shampoo and conditioner product that is specially formulated with your Shih Tzu’s coat in mind. Their minimal shedding coats shouldn’t fool you – these dogs have high-maintenance grooming needs. As a Shih Tzu mom or dad, you’ll need to be prepared to groom your fluffy friend every day. Shih Tzus require specific grooming tools and a grooming regimen to stay clean, healthy and looking their best.

We’re going to cover everything you need to know about grooming your Shih Tzu, from the best Shih Tzu shampoos to the most frequently asked questions about Shih Tzu bathing. Does your dog hate taking a bath? We’ll give you some tips and tricks on how to make bath time a more enjoyable time for both you and your pet. So, what are the five best dog shampoos and conditioners for Shih Tzus in 2019? Keep on reading.

What are the different types of Shih Tzu shampoos?

Do you use the same shampoo and conditioner as your best friend? What about your mom or dad? Everyone’s hair, and shampoo and conditioner needs are different. Some of us suffer from dry scalps and dandruff and need a moisturizing shampoo, while others treat or dye their hair and need a formula for their specific hair-care needs. Your little Shih Tzu is no different. What works for one dog may not meet the needs of another. If your pet is prone to fungal infections or is still a little stinky even after a bath, you’ll need to pick a Shih Tzu shampoo that will address your dog’s individual needs.

Sensitive Skin

Dogs and humans have what is called an acid mantle on the surface of their skin. The purpose of the acid mantle is to protect the deeper layers of the skin from inflammation, infection, and irritation. Fatty acids make up the acid mantle, and when dogs or humans sweat, the lactic and amino acids in sweat create what’s called the skin’s natural pH level.

In human beings, a healthy pH level is slightly acidic, and on a scale of 0 to 14, humans have a pH level of 5.5. Dogs have skin that is slightly less acidic, with a pH level of between 6.5 and 7.5. The less acidic the skin is, the more sensitive and prone to irritation it is. When pH levels become unbalanced, all sort of uncomfortable skin conditions can occur. Inferior shampoo brands that use a lot of parabens and sulfites can quickly throw your dog’s pH balance out of whack and make his skin itchy and red. For dog’s with incredibly sensitive skin that can’t handle most mainline shampoos, you’ll need a Shih Tzu shampoo specifically for dogs with sensitive skin.

Anti-fungal Shampoos and Conditioners

Dogs and humans have naturally-occurring yeast on their skin. When pH levels are balanced, the amount of yeast on the skin is beneficial to your dog’s health. But when pH levels go haywire, yeast can multiply and make your dog sick. Hot, humid weather, and feeding your dog foods that are high in sugar or fructose can encourage the growth of yeast. Sometimes, a dog can get a yeast infection after they’ve had surgery or are recovering from another illness which has lowered their immune system.

If your dog is excessively scratching, rubbing, or chewing and licking their paws, they may have a yeast infection. Always speak to a vet before diagnosing your dog yourself. Fortunately, there are specially formulated dog shampoos that are antifungal and can get yeast levels back to where they should be.

Shedding Control

It’s a myth that Shih Tzu dogs don’t shed. This Shih Tzu breed does shed, but it’s a little bit different than how other breeds do it. First of all, Shih Tzus do not have fur; they have hair. The difference between fur and hair is two-fold:

  • Hair grows much longer than fur. The fur on most dogs will only grow to about two to three inches long. On a dog like a Shih Tzu, the hair can grow to the floor. Just like you brush your hair every day, a Shih Tzu needs the same amount of care.
  • The texture of fur is much thicker than hair. Your Shih Tzu’s hair is very fine compared to most other dog breeds and their coat.

Of course, hair doesn’t shed as frequently as fur. If your Shih Tzu has very long hair, the hairs that do fall out will sometimes stay stuck in the coat, and the dog won’t seem like it is shedding as much. Shih Tzus with short hair will tend to lose their hair around the house, so it may look like the dog sheds more. If your Shih Tzu’s hair is dry, the hair can fall out more frequently. It’s a good idea to choose moisturizing shampoos and conditioners for this dog breed.

Dandruff Control

Dandruff is usually a symptom of dry skin, and Shih Tzus are a breed of dog that is prone to this issue. Cold weather, dry climates, and feeding your dog foods it’s allergic to can trigger dandruff. If you have a black or a brown Shih Tzu, dandruff can be easy to spot. In white dogs, not so much. Shih Tzus have high-maintenance grooming needs, and if you aren’t brushing your dog down to the skin, dead skin can become trapped, creating mats and the appearance of dandruff. Fortunately, there are shampoos for Shih Tzus with dandruff-prone skin. Shih Tzu dandruff shampoo should contain either high-quality, all-natural ingredients or the ingredients miconazole nitrate or chlorhexidine gluconate.

Deodorizing Shih Tzu Shampoo

The Shih Tzu’s skin will naturally secrete oils to protect their skin and coat. These oils will keep the hair looking shiny, silky, and feeling soft. However, these oils can also produce a smelly odor that can linger even after you bathe your pet. After bathing your Shih Tzu puppy, the last thing you want is for your home to continue smelling like an unwashed dog. There are Shih Tzu shampoos on the market you can purchase that are specially formulated to minimize these odors while still protecting your dog’s skin and hair from dryness.

Top 5 Tips for Keeping Your Shih Tzu’s Coat Clean and Healthy

The Shih Tzu has what’s called a double coat. The breed has an outer coat of hair that’s one texture, while the undercoat has a slightly different texture. While the outer coat will keep your dog protected from the elements, the inner coat provides better insulation because it is thicker and closer to the dog’s skin. While the natural oils that your dog’s skin secretes can protect the hair and make it shiny and soft, too much oil can trap dead skin cells, create mats, and also make the coat look dull and lifeless.

Brushing your dog correctly every day will help spread the oils and keep them from building up and causing problems. Also, keep in mind that each dog can have slight differences in their coat’s texture. Some Shih Tzus have hair that is finer and silkier, while others may possess a thicker or coarser coat. These differences can also influence the best shampoo for your Shih Tzu pet.

  1. Brush your Shih Tzu every day.

Brushing every day will cut down on mats and dandruff. It will also keep your dog’s hair free from tangles and make it look shiny and soft. For Shih Tzus, you’ll need a slicker brush, plus a greyhound comb for untangling knots.

  1. Brush the hair down to the skin.

Make sure to get the slicker brush all the way down to the skin. This will help evenly distribute the oils and make the hair look shiny and sleek.

  1. Feed your Shih Tzu high-quality, nutritious food.

High-quality kibble for your Shih Tzu should be free of fillers and meat byproducts. Things like corn, sugar, or high fructose corn syrup should not be in your dog’s food. The first several ingredients in your dog’s kibble should include lean meats, and not ingredients like beaks, organs, or bones. For a healthy, shiny coat, Shih Tzus need a diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids will not only make your dog’s coat look good, but they will also reduce skin inflammation, too.

  1. Make sure your dog is free of pests and parasites.

Intestinal worms, external parasites, and fleas can sap your dog of vital nutrients and energy, making their coat look dull and lifeless. Always make sure your pet attends regular check-ups at the vet and is de-wormed if needed.

Fleas and ticks can make your dog miserable and cause them to scratch and lose their hair. There are tons of high-quality and effective flea and tick medications on the market that you can use to protect your dog from these pests before they strike, or get rid of infestations after they happen.

  1. Use the right kind of shampoo and conditioner for your Shih Tzu.

Poor quality shampoos or the wrong type of shampoo for your dog can make their coat look limp, lifeless, or even cause the hair to fall out. The quality of Shih Tzu shampoo can significantly impact how shiny your dog’s coat will look. Avoid shampoos and conditioners that have synthetic parabens or harsh soaps and scents in them. Shampoos for Shih Tzus should have a strong enough formulation that they get rid of excess oils without stripping your dog’s skin of much-needed moisture. The best shampoos for Shih Tzus will also have the correct pH balance for a dog’s skin.

What is the best Shih Tzu shampoo?

The best shampoo for your Shih Tzu in 2019 is…

Buddy Wash Green Tea and Bergamot Dog Shampoo and Conditioner

Key Benefits:

  • Coconut-based so it will leave your Shih Tzu’s coat feeling extra soft.
  • Includes wheat protein, a natural deodorizer that is safe for puppies.
  • All-natural and soap free for extra shine and avoidance of dandruff.

Dog shampoos are often irritating for human skin, but Buddy Wash Green Tea and Bergamot Dog Shampoo and Conditioner is tested on human beings, and not animals. You won’t experience itchy, dry, or red skin when you use it to wash your Shih Tzu. The formula also uses coconut and all natural cleaners that are specially formulated for a dog’s pH levels, leaving your Shih Tzu with soft, shiny hair and refreshed – not dried-out- skin.

What are the pros and cons of using this dog shampoo for your pet?

Pros: All-natural formula that’s made in the U.S.A, and is safe for humans, adult dogs, and puppies too. This dog shampoo includes ingredients that are especially beneficial for the Shih Tzu’s unique grooming needs. They need a shampoo that will leave their fur looking shiny and soft, and this product delivers.

Cons: While the shampoo will deodorize your dog, the scent is not long-lasting.

The Runner-up:

In second place for the best dog shampoo for Shih Tzus is

4-legger Organic, Hypo-allergenic, Lemongrass, and Aloe Shampoo

Key Benefits:

  • The essential oil blend won’t strip your dog’s fur or skin of natural oils, leaving their coat looking shiny and feeling soft.
  • The formula is free from parabens and synthetic chemicals that can dull a Shih Tzu’s hair.
  • Lemongrass has antibacterial and antifungal properties which can keep yeast at-bay if your dog is prone to fungal infections.
  • This dog shampoo is excellent for Shih Tzus who are prone to yeast infections. The shampoo is cruelty-free and also eco-friendly, and comprised of non-GMO ingredients. The shampoo is safe for humans and non-toxic.

What are the pros and cons of the runner-up formula?

Pros: 4-leggers Lemongrass and Aloe Shampoo for Shih Tzus is exceptionally gentle for dry, sensitive skin and Shih Tzus suffering from dandruff or yeast infections. The formula is also easy to rinse and free of all kinds of irritants that you’d find in most inferior brands.

Cons: This shampoo cannot get in your dog’s eyes, and you’ll need to rinse it out immediately if that happens.

5 Tips for Bathing Your Shih Tzu

  1. Brush your dog first. Shih Tzus have thick and tangle-prone hair. Brushing your dog’s coat before they get wet can help the water soak into the hair better and also prevent tangles from worsening and creating painful knots.
  2. Put a towel or another non-slip surface at the bottom of your tub or sink.
  3. Try to avoid filling the tub or sink with water while your pet is in it. Rushing water can make your dog anxious, so fill the tub or sink before putting your pet inside.
  4. Put cotton balls in your pet’s ears to prevent water from getting inside the ear canal, just don’t forget to take them out!
  5. Make sure you have enough towels – put one at the bottom of the tub or sink, use a washcloth for the dog’s face, and several to place over the dog between rinses, so they don’t shake and get water all over the room.

What are some other top-rated shampoos and conditioners for Shih Tzus?

We’ve found several other shampoos that are great for Shih Tzus puppies and adult dogs. Check them out below:

FAQ for Bathing Your Shih Tzu

  • Is it okay to use human shampoo or conditioner on my Shih Tzu?

No, it’s definitely not a good idea to do that. Shih Tzus, like all dogs, have a different pH level to their skin than humans. Using human shampoos or soaps on your dog can irritate their skin and dry out their hair.

  • How frequently should I bathe my Shih Tzu?

Adult Shih Tzus need a bath about every three weeks. Shih Tzus puppies are prone to soiling themselves, so they may need to be bathed more frequently. However, make sure you use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner if you have to wash your Shih Tzu more often than every three weeks. Otherwise, you can dry out their skin and cause dandruff and itching.

  • Can I use a human blow dryer to dry my Shih Tzu’s hair after a bath?

Human hair dryers are loud, hot, and too strong for a Shih Tzu. Not only can they damage your dog’s hair and burn them, but they can also scare your dog. Always use a blow dryer that is designed explicitly for a Shih Tzu.

  • How warm should the water be when I bathe my dog?

Use lukewarm water when bathing your Shih Tzu. What feels warm to you is too hot for a dog.

  • How can I wash my Shih Tzu’s face without hurting his eyes?

Soak a small washcloth in water and apply tear-free dog shampoo to the washcloth. Gently wipe your dog’s face with the washcloth. Use a different washcloth soaked in lukewarm, clean water for rinsing off the soap.

When their hair is well-maintained, Shih Tzus can look adorable and elegant. When choosing a shampoo that’s right for your Shih Tzu pup, make sure to use something that is free of harsh soaps and synthetic ingredients. Try the all-natural Buddy Wash Green Tea and Bergamot Dog Shampoo and Conditioner the next time your Shih Tzu is due for a bath.

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