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Good Shih-Tzu Bathing Techniques

07 Aug 2010 | by Camille Goldin | Posted in: Grooming

Being long-haired and short-legged, Shih-Tzu tend to get dirty a lot. Their coats can also get matted, particularly when dirty, and skin infections can be a problem. The breed is also prone to allergies, so it is important to keep irritating dirt away. How often your Shih-Tzu will need to be bathed will depend partly upon the environment and your dog’s activities, so observe and notice when his or her hair appears dirty. I bathe my Shih-Tzu every two weeks, but different dogs’ needs vary.

Shampooing your dog’s coat is different from shampooing your own hair, so you need a different shampoo. Shampoo for people is designed for removing oil. Shampoo for dog is designed to remove the dirt that dogs get into on the ground. Pet supply stores sell a variety of dog shampoos. If you notice your Shih-Tzu licking his or her paws or scratching a lot, he or she is likely to have allergies. A shampoo with oatmeal can be soothing. If your dog’s hair is mostly white, a shampoo designed for white dogs can brighten his or her coat. If there have been skin problems such as infections, your veterinarian can recommend a special shampoo. A dog hair conditioner is also a good idea to prevent snarls.

When your Shih-Tzu is a puppy, you can bathe him or her in the bathroom sink. As he or she grows, you can use the bathtub. Put cotton balls into your Shih-Tzu's ears to prevent admitting water, as this can cause infection.

Source: blogabove.com

Place a towel onto the bottom of the tub to prevent your dog from slipping. Adjust the faucet to provide lukewarm water, and allow only a few inches to flow into the tub. Use a plastic cup to pour water over your dog. Place shampoo into your hand and rub it into the fur. Rinse thoroughly. As you rinse, observe the water to see if it is clear. If it is brown, wash again and rinse until the water runs clear. Rinse a second time when the tub is empty. This will get out any shampoo residue. Be sure to rinse the paws well, so that no shampoo is left to cause itching. Next apply dog hair conditioner to the entire surface of your Shih-Tzu’s coat. Rinse again.

Remove the little guy or girl from the tub and dry either with a towel or a dog blow dryer. A human blow dryer tends to be too harsh for a small dog. Be sure to do a thorough drying job. Pay particular attention to the belly, which is close to the ground where it can pick up dirt, and the ears, which are prone to infection in Shih-Tzu. Remove the cotton balls and gently remove the hairs that grow in the ears. The ear hairs are what make this breed susceptible to ear infections.

Brush your dog’s hair, spraying on a detangler if necessary. Keeping the hair evenly distributed will allow it to provide maximum protection from the sun. If it becomes matted, trying to brush it out will be too painful and mats will have to be cut out.

If your dog’s hair is short, brushing and drying it until it is smooth and fluffy is enough. If he or she has long hair, you will need to make a ponytail. This is not just a matter of style, although it is unquestionably cute. The ponytail is also important to keep hair out of the eyes so that your Shih-Tzu can see, and to prevent eye infections.

Once a month after your dog’s bath, apply flea and tick killer to the nape of his or her neck. Just keeping him or her clean is not enough to prevent parasites from taking hold, and flea and tick collars do not work because they protect only a small part of the body. Do not wash your Shih-Tzu for three days after applying the solution, and do not allow a pet cat to groom the dog during this time. Dog flea and tick prevention is poisonous to cats.

If you have any further questions regarding grooming your Shih-Tzu, be sure to ask your veterinarian or an expert in dog grooming. Enjoy your dog.

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