Best Shampoo For Your Shih Tzu

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Bath time with your Shih Tzu is not just for aesthetic purposes, however, it’s crucial for the good health of your Shih Tzu’s skin and coat.

Therefore the products used are also very important as well as the bathing techniques that are implemented.

Giving your dog a bath is important and something everyone knows. However, most people are not exactly sure why the bath is good for dogs.

Best Overall
Healthy Breeds Chamomile Dog Shampoo & Conditioner with Oatmeal & Aloe for Shih Tzu - OVER 200 BREEDS - 8 oz - Gentle for Dry Itchy Skin - Safe with Flea and Tick Topicals
Espree Silky Show Shampoo, 20-Ounce
Nature's Specialties Plum Silky Pet Shampoo for Dogs and Cats, Professional Groomers, Concentrate, 32oz
Petpost | Dog Whitening Shampoo - Best Lightening Treatment for Dogs with White Fur - Soothing Watermelon Scent - Maltese, Shih Tzu, Bichon Frise Approved - 8 oz. (8 Ounce)
Best For Puppies
Healthy Breeds Puppy Shampoo Natural for Shih Tzu - OVER 100 BREEDS - Nourishes & Moisturizes for Growth - Safe with Flea and Tick Topicals - 16 oz
Our Rating
9.9
9.7
9.5
9.4
9.8
MSRP
$11.99
$8.99
$26.00
$13.97
$16.39
Size
8 oz
1 gallon
32 oz
8 ounce
16 oz
Ingredients
Aloe vera, chamomile, cactus, calendula fir needle oil and colloidal oatmeal
Aloe vera
Silk proteins, aloe vera, panthenol, fragrance, essential oils
Coconut, aloe vera
Lanolin, aloe vera
Organic
Not specified
Yes
Not specified
No
No
Best Overall
Healthy Breeds Chamomile Dog Shampoo & Conditioner with Oatmeal & Aloe for Shih Tzu - OVER 200 BREEDS - 8 oz - Gentle for Dry Itchy Skin - Safe with Flea and Tick Topicals
Our Rating
9.9
MSRP
$11.99
Size
8 oz
Ingredients
Aloe vera, chamomile, cactus, calendula fir needle oil and colloidal oatmeal
Organic
Not specified
More Information
Espree Silky Show Shampoo, 20-Ounce
Our Rating
9.7
MSRP
$8.99
Size
1 gallon
Ingredients
Aloe vera
Organic
Yes
More Information
Nature's Specialties Plum Silky Pet Shampoo for Dogs and Cats, Professional Groomers, Concentrate, 32oz
Our Rating
9.5
MSRP
$26.00
Size
32 oz
Ingredients
Silk proteins, aloe vera, panthenol, fragrance, essential oils
Organic
Not specified
More Information
Petpost | Dog Whitening Shampoo - Best Lightening Treatment for Dogs with White Fur - Soothing Watermelon Scent - Maltese, Shih Tzu, Bichon Frise Approved - 8 oz. (8 Ounce)
Our Rating
9.4
MSRP
$13.97
Size
8 ounce
Ingredients
Coconut, aloe vera
Organic
No
More Information
Best For Puppies
Healthy Breeds Puppy Shampoo Natural for Shih Tzu - OVER 100 BREEDS - Nourishes & Moisturizes for Growth - Safe with Flea and Tick Topicals - 16 oz
Our Rating
9.8
MSRP
$16.39
Size
16 oz
Ingredients
Lanolin, aloe vera
Organic
No
More Information

Well, some of the reasons are that it washes away body oil, removes excess dirt and sweat as well as tiny particles trapped in the coat and also keeps skin balanced and healthy.

Lastly, giving your Shih Tzu a bath removes odors and makes your Shih Tzu smell like a baby.

Ultimately though, it all starts with choosing the right shampoo for your Shih Tzu. In the following guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best options on the market when it comes to shampoo for Shih Tzu and why you should be investing in them.

best Overall: Healthy Breeds Chamomile Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo

HEALTHY BREEDS CHAMOMILE OATMEAL & ALOE SHAMPOO

The Healthy Breeds Chamomile Oatmeal & Aloe Soothing Shampoo & ConditionerHealthy Breeds Chamomile Oatmeal & Aloe Soothing Shampoo & Conditioner contains natural botanical extracts of chamomile, calendula, cactus, fir needle oil, aloe vera as well as colloidal oatmeal.

This luxurious dog shampoo gently conditions the coat while adding moisture and nourishing the skin with oils that are naturally produced.

It’s ideal for sensitive dog skin as it is a natural cleaner and alleviates dryness and itchy skin. It will clean the coat leaving it smooth, fresh, and manageable without the use of harsh and irritating chemicals.

It is safe for use with topical flea control products as well, and it can be used as often as necessary as it treats the coat with natural oils.

It’s also a proudly USA-made product so you can buy with complete confidence. All our products are 100% satisfaction guaranteed.

Pros:

  • Uses natural oils to clean and condition
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Safe for everyday use

Cons:

  • May be harsh on some dogs skin

Runner Up: Espree Silky Show Shampoo

ESPREE SILKY SHOW SHAMPOO

The Espree Silky Show Shampoo will leave your dog feeling like a show ring champion. Not only does it clean and condition the skin, but it also improves texture and shine in your dog’s coat.

The shampoo conditions damaged coats as well. The product is made with 100% organically grown aloe vera and is proudly made in the USA so you can buy with total confidence and peace of mind.

Pros:

  • 100% organic
  • Improves shine and coat texture
  • Made in the USA

Cons:

  • Fragrance is not pleasant

Alternative: Nature’s Specialties Plum Silky Pet Shampoo

NATURE'S SPECIALTIES PLUM SILKY PET SHAMPOO

Nature’s Specialties Plum Silky Pet Shampoo for Dogs and Cats is a great and invigorating shampoo for both dogs and cats and contains silk proteins, deodorizers, conditioners, and is non-oily.

As it cleans, it also adds moisture and highlights, giving your dog’s hair body and leaving a pleasant and long-lasting fragrance.

The shampoo is concentrated so it can also be diluted with the ratio of 24: 1 for many pet shampoos.

It has a biodegradable blend in our proprietary mild shampoo base with silk proteins, aloe vera, panthenol, Vitamin A, D and E, fragrance as well as essential oils. Its pH balanced so it won’t irritate your dog’s sensitive skin.

Pros:

  • Great deodorizing fragrance
  • Non-toxic
  • Concentrated

Cons:

  • Not enough lather

Alternative: Petpost Dog Whitening Shampoo

PETPOST DOG WHITENING SHAMPOO

The Petpost Dog Whitening Shampoo is probably one of the most powerful whitening formulas available for dogs. The manufacturers have spent many years developing the formula, and it’s become a favorite for pet owners around the world.

The formula comprises mainly coconut oil, wheat proteins, oats, and aloe vera, which leaves your dog’s skin and coat in tip-top shape.

The shampoo also contains a fresh cut watermelon fragrance, which will leave your dog smelling better than before. Every care has been taken to ensure that your dog will not just look, but feel great as well after using this shampoo.

The coconut oil and aloe will alleviate dry and flaky skin so that your dog’s skin and coat remain healthy, shiny, and beautiful. It’s also proudly made in the USA so you can buy with complete confidence knowing that you are getting a quality product.

Pros:

  • Whitening formula
  • Coconut and aloe for soothing dog’s coat
  • USA made

Cons:

  • Watermelon scent is barely noticeable

bEST FOR pUPPIES: Healthy Breeds Tearless Puppy Shampoo

HEALTHY BREEDS TEARLESS PUPPY SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER

Puppies need extra care. The Healthy Breeds Tearless Puppy Shampoo & Conditioner is the best on the market for Shih Tzu puppies. It cleanses and conditions the puppy’s skin and coat and is mild enough to use on your puppy’s face as well.

In fact, you can use it on puppies four weeks of age.

As your puppy gets older, the shampoo still contains the relevant ingredients to maintain, and moisturize your Shih Tzu’s coat.

It’s also safe for use with topical flea control products, and there are no harmful irritants and chemicals used in this product. You can use it as often as your dog needs it as it preserves the natural oils of the dog’s skin and coat.

This product is made in the USA, so you have complete reassurance when purchasing it. It’s suitable for approximately 200 different breeds Tand your Shih Tzu puppy will absolutely love it.

Pros:

  • Gentle and mild
  • Proper ingredients
  • No harsh chemicals

Cons:

  • Not enough lather

Shih Tzu Shampoos FAQ

How often do you bathe a Shih Tzu?

HOW OFTEN DO YOU BATHE A SHIH TZU?

Bathing your Shih Tzu is something that you may be tempted to do all the time. In fact, lots of Shih Tzu owners find themselves asking how often they should be bathing their Shih Tzu.

Well, if you find them playing in the mud and messing their paws, you may feel like giving them a bath immediately.

Bathing your Shih Tzu too often is actually not a good thing. Your Shih Tzu secretes natural essential body oils that ensure the skin is kept soft and moist and keeps his coat shiny and healthy as well.

Bathing him too often will wash away the essential oils that your Shih Tzu needs. So frequent bathing will be washing away essential oils that your dog needs to have a healthy skin and coat. Therefore the coat will become pretty dry and possibly red and itchy. 

Don’t leave it too long

Alternatively, don’t wait too long between baths as too much oil can be bad for your dog’s skin. Ultimately, this will lead to the pores becoming blocked, and possible pump skin irritations may develop.

The coat could also become greasy, matted, and this leads to the inevitable bad smell.

So as we’ve already established, bathing your Shih Tzu too frequently and bathing your Shih Tzu, less frequently, is a problem. There needs to be a healthy balance between frequent and infrequent baths.

While some Shih Tzu owners insist that you should never allow your Shih Tzu to go more than three weeks without a bath, others insist that you can leave them up to six weeks without bathing.

So ultimately, it is left entirely to the owner’s discretion. Some owners may feel that they need to bathe their Shih Tzu after three weeks, and others may feel that they can up to six weeks in between baths.

So it all depends on what works for you and your Shih Tzu. Also, if your Shih Tzu gets himself soiled or dirty in between the three week period, then you can give him a bath immediately and then go back to the planned, scheduled interval.

Alternatively, if he’s only lightly soiled his coat, then you can simply wipe it down with a soft clean cloth to keep the skin fresh between baths and also use a specialized dry pet powder.

Can I use human shampoo on my Shih Tzu?

CAN I USE HUMAN SHAMPOO ON MY SHIH TZU?

Human skin and dogs can have very different pH balances. The acid mantle is the thin layer of the skin that protects the topmost layer of the skin known as the stratum corneum.

Ultimately, it protects the skin from contaminants such as bacteria and viruses. It also absorbs water and reduces evaporation keeping the body hydrated. The acid mantle, however, is washed away each time we bath.

Most shampoos and soaps have ingredients that protect and moisturize the skin. This process usually lasts until the acid mantle renews itself.

However, in order for the acid mantle to renew, the proper balance of alkalinity and acidity is crucial. Ultimately this is what is referred to as the pH balance.

So while the normal pH of the skin is anywhere between 5.5 to 5.6, which is on the acidic side, dogs have a normal pH balance of 6.22 to 7.4, which is neutral.

So using a human shampoo can also strip this acid mantle and leave your dog vulnerable to viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It can also make the skin flaky and lead to scratching and abrasions. Ultimately, this all makes it easier for bacteria to invade the skin.

The truth is dogs have more sensitive skin than ours, and while we have 10 to 15 layers of skin cells, canines only have 3 to 5.

So shampoos with the wrong pH balance or harsh chemicals will irritate the dog’s skin and strip away protective oils on the skin.

Therefore without the crucial acid mantle, dogs are left open to a host of dangerous and unpleasant conditions ranging from dry, flaky skin itching, rashes, and infections.

Should you bathe your Shih Tzu before/after hair trimming/cutting?

SHOULD YOU BATHE YOUR SHIH TZU BEFORE/AFTER HAIR TRIMMING/CUTTING?

If you own a Shih Tzu, then you know exactly how hard it is to groom and maintain their coat. As beautiful as it may be, it does take a lot of effort and consistency to keep Shih Tzus looking great at all times.

Some pet owners often struggle with the decision of whether to bath their dog before trimming and cutting or afterward. This decision is entirely up to personal preference and whichever you find easier and also more pleasant for your pet.

However, lots of Shih Tzu owners have found that bathing and brushing their dog before the cutting and trimming begins actually helps to get rid of the clumps and tangles in the hair. Therefore the grooming process is made simpler and less painful.

You can compare it to going to the salon, and before having your hair cut, your stylist washes your hair and gets all of the tangles out and smooths your hair down. The same should be done with your dog.

Additionally, brushing or grooming your dog prior to cutting the hair will eliminate the shed hair on your dog, leaving only the good hair behind to cut.

How should you bathe your Shih Tzu?

Shih Tzus are delightful pets, and this is what every Shih Tzu owner already knows. However, they do need to take a bath every now and again to keep their hair looking smooth and beautiful.

If it is your first time owning a Shih Tzu, however, you may not be sure of how to go about grooming and keeping your dog’s hair looking great. Well, the good news is that it’s still pretty simple, and it all starts with giving our dog a quick bath.

But before we even discuss this, there’s something very important that you must do and this is brushing the hair. It needs to be brushed, in fact, on a daily basis. Some people actually prefer to brush their dog’s hair after bathing while some people find it easier before.

This will depend on the amount of brushing that it needs to be done. If it is just a few knots here and there, brushing before bathing is recommended; however if there’s a whole lot of matting in your dog’s hair, it would be less painful if you give them a bath first.

Shih Tzus are known for their silky and long hair. And this is probably what makes them the most beautiful and sought-after pets out there.

They are considered non-shedders, so they are the perfect pets for people who are allergic to dogs. However, they do have a soft double coat that needs to be brushed every single day in order to keep knots away.

At what age should you start bathing your Shih Tzu?

AT WHAT AGE SHOULD YOU START BATHING YOUR SHIH TZU?

It’s vital that you get your pet used to taking a bath from as early as possible. If you start while they are young, then they won’t be fearful of bathtime. So as long as your Shih Tzu is adequately prepared, they will enjoy and look forward to their baths.

It is effective of your dog’s age; there are a few things you need to do before giving him a bath. Firstly, you should start by brushing your dog’s hair well, and this is because the Shih Tzu has a silky coat but a coarse undercoat.

Make sure that all the supplies you need in order to groom and bath your dog are within arms reach.

Place a towel on the bottom of the tub in order to keep them from slipping around while you are busy with bathing them.

Also, it is highly recommended that you only use a shampoo that is specifically made for dogs. The human shampoo has lots of chemicals in it and tends to strip your pet’s neutral pH balance.

This can also lead to itching, redness, irritation, and make it easier for bacteria and viruses to invade your dog’s skin.

You can also try making a vinegar solution in a small spray bottle with a quarter cup of vinegar diluted with water. The vinegar will get rid of any shampoo residue left behind and leaves the hair soft as well.

Some pet owners choose to put a large cotton ball inside the dog’s ears to prevent water from going into the canal. While this may work for some dogs, it will not work for all of them.

However, if you do plan on using this method of keeping water out of their ears, ensure that you do it carefully and you’re not hurting your dog.

When giving your Shih Tzu a bath, the water should always be warm and never cold. No one enjoys a cool shower, and if you don’t enjoy it, your Shih Tzu definitely doesn’t either.

It’s always a good idea to test the water temperature and make sure that it’s the right temperature before putting your pet inside.

Conclusion

Shig Tzus are beautiful dogs with pleasant temperaments, and they are the pride and joy of every Shih Tzu owner. However, taking good care of your Shih Tzu does require time and effort as well as loving care.

By practicing a few of the above-mentioned tips and ensuring that you groom and bath your dog regularly, you’ll be able to keep their coats healthy, shiny, and looking great for as long as possible.


Heather Howard

Heather has bred Shih Tzu dogs as a family business for over 20 years and has a keen passion for introducing people to this amazing breed. Heather shares all of her knowledge and love for dogs on Shih Tzu Center as a key contributor with grooming, care, and nutrition tips, as well as recommendations for the best products around.