Shih Tzu Grooming
A Quick Guide To Shih Tzu Grooming
Shih Tzu grooming is something that needs lots of thought if you are considering buying a shih tzu. These dogs are little but they have very long hair. You are either going to have to spend quite a bit of money paying groomers or you will have to learn how to groom a shih tzu on your own.
If you start shih tzu grooming when your dog is a puppy, the animal will get used to it easily plus you can use it as a positive way to bond with your puppy. Some of these dogs are kept with short puppy cuts year-round because it makes grooming a lot easier. You will have to decide for yourself whether you want to go this easy route or if you want your dog to have the traditional shih tzu cut.
Every shih tzu needs to be brushed every day. They have long hair which is silky in texture and easily tangled. You will want to make sure to get the proper grooming equipment along with your shih tzu so that you can give them baths, trim their hair and cut their nails, all of which is important to their overall health.
Shih Tzu grooming is not particularly tough as long as you keep up with it every day. Don’t let it go for several days or the hair can get clumpy and matted and be much more of a problem. Dirt and pests can get into a dog’s coat and combine with its natural oils to make tangles. The more you have to pull at tangles, the less your pet will like being groomed, so it is always the goal to stay on top of the situation.
Because of the shih tzu’s natural oils in their hair, it is important not to overdo it with the bathing and shampooing. While the dog should get brushed every day, shih tzu grooming should not involve bathing more than once every ten days. If you do, the hair can get too dry and it can cause skin problems to develop. Another part of grooming is nail trimming and that task should be done around once a month. Use proper dog nail trimmers and do not cut the nails too short.
When you brush a shih tzu, make sure to start out with a quality pin brush. Fill a spray bottle with water and a little bit (cap full) of coat conditioner. Wet your dog and start brushing. Begin with the feet and legs and work your way up to the dog’s back, tail and head. Always brush the coat toward the back of the dog and not towards the front.
It is important to brush the coat all the way down to the skin and to not just brush the surface. If the dog has tangles, you will want to separate them with your fingers and not just keep trying to get the brush to go through them. Unless you are opting for the puppy short cut, you will need to learn to make a topknot to keep your shih tzu’s hair out of his or her face. This is done by brushing hair away from the dog’s eyes and then making a part which goes from the center of each of the dog’s eyes to the mid-point on the head. A latex or other type of band can be used to hold the hair on the head.
Shih Tzu grooming also means being careful of the eyes as this breed of dog is prone to eye ulcers. Every time you brush your dog, use a soft cloth that has been soaked in warm water to clean out the eyes of the dog. If the dog does have eye problems, you may want to use eye drops. A cotton ball that has been made wet with mineral oil is a good way to clean the ears.
If you decide to use a professional groomer, make sure to tell him or her whether you want a haircut for the show ring or a less sophisticated one for home. The latter will obviously be cheaper as it is less time consuming. If you are never going to show the dog, learning shih tzu grooming yourself is an excellent option.