Like every other dog, a Shih Tzu needs to be groomed regularly. Grooming a Shih Tzu includes nail clipping, bathing, hair cutting, etc. The only thing that requires special attention in case of this breed is its long, silky fur which needs combing on a regular basis. Given below are a few Shih Tzu grooming tips.
The first thing that should be kept in mind while bathing a Shih Tzu is to use a pet shampoo and not one meant for humans. This dog's coat requires a mild shampoo and hence, use one recommended by a vet. This is one of the non-shedding dog breeds and hence grooming it is quite easy. See that you do not bathe your Shih Tzu until it gets dirty. If you bathe it frequently, the oils present on the dog's coat are removed and can harden the fur. Brush the fur before and after bathing to avoid tangles from forming. Insert some cotton balls in its ears to avoid water from going inside.
Brush your Shih Tzu at least twice a week. Use a brush that is recommended by a vet. You can use a wire brush or any dog brush bought from a pet store. Frequent brushing will help to avoid tangles and remove dirt. While brushing your Shih Tzu, see that you start from the bottom and go to the top. Start brushing from the feet, then the legs, and the belly, in a downward direction and then move towards the back. Use a different brush for the face area. See that while grooming the coat, you brush completely till the skin to remove all the tangles. The dog should be brushed regularly, if possible on a daily basis, to maintain its silky soft hair.
This is a breed that is susceptible to many dental problems because of its small jaw. So brush your Shih Tzu's teeth at least twice a week. Use a recommended dog toothpaste and brush. Once in a year, take your Shih Tzu for professional teeth cleaning. Initially, it will take time for the dog to get adjusted with teeth brushing. Start with teeth wiping and then slowly move towards brushing. While brushing its teeth, see that you pay special attention to the teeth in the back portion. If you notice any infection or cavity, contact a vet immediately.
The best time to clip your Shih Tzu's nails is after bathing it. After a bath, the nails become soft and nail clipping becomes easy. Ensure that you not cut the quick of the nail. The quick region contains nerves and it can bleed if cut by mistake. So please make sure you do not hurt your dog while nail cutting. Use a nail trimmer and other proper supplies and trim its nails once a month.
The beard and face portion of Shih Tzus gets stained due to many reasons. Food, water, and tear saturation can be reasons for your dog's dirty face. This dog secretes tears because of its typical eye structure and these tears can stain the dog's face. To avoid this staining, keep the facial hair short. Short hair will surely reduce the staining of the face due to tears. Wipe the face gently on a regular basis to keep your dog looking neat and clean.
You can give different looks to your dog by making cute hairstyles. There are plenty of Shih Tzu grooming styles, but many pet owners like to keep the hair short, since it is easy to maintain. Try and experiment with the length of the hair all over the body. You can keep the length of the facial hair short, while those on the back and legs can be kept longer. Check on the Internet for some sweet Shih Tzu haircuts and clip off the hair using clippers. Haircuts make this breed look more adorable. Tie some cute ribbons on its long hair to improve its look.
The Shih Tzu is a very cute toy dog and makes a wonderful family pet. You can save hundreds of dollars by using the above mentioned grooming tips for a Shih Tzu. You can go for professional dog grooming once in a while, but regular grooming can be easily done at home and you need not spend too much on it. Grooming your pet at home is fun and makes for a good connection between you both.