We’ve all heard Uncle Ben in Spiderman say that with great power comes great responsibility. Something along those lines can be said of the Shih Tzu: a great pet that comes with a great responsibility. Although grooming your pet is not as poetic as saving mankind, to describe the Shih Tzu as a great pet isn’t over the top.
Pampered by Chinese emperors, the Shih Tzu has been bred for more than a thousand years. The name Shih Tzu is Mandarin for “little lion”, a name associated with the Tibetan Buddhist God of Learning, who is said to travel with a small lion dog that could transform into a full-sized lion. The Shih Tzu is the 2oth most popular dog breed in the world.
Even for such a storied pedigree, the Shih Tzu’s grooming requirements aren’t anything extraordinary. You just have to stick to the regimen.
Cleaning Your Shih Tzu’s Face
Since hair attracts dirt and debris, such as food particles, more than fur, your pooch easily picks up staining on the face. You will need to wipe his face once or twice daily to keep his hair healthy and looking good. This is best done after meals.
Brushing Your Shih Tzu
Use a good quality wire brush with flexible pins to brush the coat. Brush the coat in layers and make sure you comb through until you reach the end of the hair. Start with the legs then the belly and work your way up to the center of the back. Use your fingers to work out any tangles.
The frequency of brushing will depend on the length of your Shih Tzu’s coat, but once every two or three days is ideal.
Bathing Your Shih Tzu
Unless there’s some kind of accident that requires you give your pooch an immediate bath, you should give him a bath once every three weeks. The idea is to balance the frequency of baths with your pet’s natural body oils. Frequent baths will dry both his skin and coat. Not enough baths can make your pet’s skin itchy and the coat greasy.
To start, comb and brush the coat before giving him a bath. Fill up your bathtub (your kitchen sink will also do just fine as well) with warm water. If you don’t have a bathtub, place your doggie under the shower. Once his hair is all wet apply a little shampoo. Make sure shampoo doesn’t get in his eyes or ears. Use less shampoo than you think you need and always rinse him twice to make sure every bit of the shampoo is washed away. Apply the conditioner, leave it for about five minutes before rinsing.
Shih Tzu Nail & Teeth Care
When clipping your pooch’s nails, the first thing you should do is get a comfortable access to the nails. Press the paw pads with your thumb and hold the paw in your palm. Doing this will make the nails “go out” by themselves, making it easier to work with them.
Getting closer to the boundary of the pulp, or the quick, is sensitive to every dog, so cutting off the first nail will guide you how close you are. The dog will show you how close you are to the forbidden area.
With the time, you will be clear on what is the normal length of your doggie’s nails. Cut one little bit at a time rather than taking a big, single cut. The appearance of the first cut will help you control the process.
Be prepared in case of bleeding, make sure you have a tampon with soaked potassium permanganate. There is no cut that cannot be stopped in this way. As soon as you see the little blood drop, press the soaked tampon to the injured place. Hold it like this for about 4 – 5 seconds.
Make sure you use dog toothpaste and a dog toothbrush to clean your pet’s teeth. The toothpaste comes in flavors such as chicken and beef.
Take your toothbrush and work in an up and down motion massaging the gums as you go. Initially, this is a going to be a strange sensation for your Shih Tzu, but the earlier you start brushing his teeth the better. Give him a tasty reward as soon as you finish brushing his teeth. He will associate the reward with toothbrushing, eventually making this activity easier to do.