To keep your Shih Tzu in excellent health, it is important that you take good care of their hygiene. Although it is not necessary to bathe them every day, it is advisable to do it at least once or twice a month. Bathing your Shih Tzu using a good shampoo is important to remove any accumulated dirt, facilitate the removal of dead hair, and eliminate bad smell. In most Shih Tzus, regular brushing will keep their fur and coat in good condition, eliminating the need for too frequent baths.

When bathing your Shih Tzu, it is important to use a good shampoo, developed specifically by professionals. Dog shampoos are formulated to take care of both their skin and hair, attending to their different needs. In the market, you can find a wide variety of them.


  • Before bathing, brush your Shih Tzu well to detangle their hair. Otherwise, the knots formed will become matted and more difficult to remove.
  • Use a specific dog shampoo.
  • Except on sunny and hot days, it is recommended that you bathe your Shih Tzu indoors. Place a rubber mat on the floor of the tub to prevent your Shih Tzu from slipping.
  • Use lukewarm water, neither too cold nor too hot.
  • Prevent water from entering your Shih Tzu’s ears. If necessary, cover their ears with cotton.
  • Start by washing their face with a damp cloth.
  • Lift their ears and carefully clean the inside surface.
  • Thoroughly wet the Shih Tzu with the showerhead. Make sure to moisten all their skin well.
  • Apply the shampoo by rubbing your hand in different sections. Lather up their back, sides, neck, chest, belly, paws, feet, and tail.
  • If the hair is very dirty, rinse and repeat the lathering process.
  • Completely remove the shampoo with the shower. Rinse several times if necessary.
  • If you use a hair conditioner, use a specific one for dogs.
  • After rinsing your Shih Tzu thoroughly, let them shake themselves, then towel dry them.
  • You can use a specific dryer for dogs. Make sure that the temperature is not too high and that the air current does not directly affect your Shih Tzu’s skin.
  • Don’t let your Shih Tzu go outside until they’re completely dry.  If they are still wet and it’s cold outside, they could catch a cold.



The frequency of the bath depends on each Shih Tzu. Those who spend more time outdoors should bathe more frequently than those spending most of their time in an apartment.

The type of hair is also a factor that needs to be considered. Shih Tzus accumulate more dust and dirt because of their long hair, so they need to bathe more often than short-haired dogs.

As a general rule, you shouldn’t bathe your Shih Tzu more than once or twice a month, unless they have gotten very dirty for some reason. For best results, consult your vet to find out what is the appropriate bath frequency for your Shih Tzu.


Your Shih Tzu’s skin (and ours) is covered with a protective layer called an acid mantle. This layer serves as a barrier to protect the skin from environmental pollutants, bacteria, and viruses. When we bathe, soaps and shampoos destroy this layer. Therefore, it is important to use a quality and specific shampoo for your Shih Tzu, with moisturizing agents that replace the protective layer that has been removed from their skin.


The skin of Shih Tzus and that of humans is very different, so it is not appropriate to use human shampoos for them. The skin has a protective layer on its surface that helps maintain the balance of the bacterial flora. This cloak has a specific pH, which must be maintained for the skin to be healthy. In the case of Shih Tzus, the pH is neutral or slightly alkaline, ranging between 5.5 and 7.5, while ours is slightly acidic (ranges between 5.2 and 6.2). Dog-specific shampoos have a pH between 7 and 7.5, which is suitable for their skin, while our shampoos are more acidic and can damage the coat that covers your Shih Tzu’s skin, creating an environment where bacteria, viruses, and parasites can proliferate. Because of this, your Shih Tzu could suffer from desquamation, dehydration, dermatitis, dryness, excessively oily skin, inflammation, etc. In addition to that, the epidermis of Shih Tzus has fewer sublayers than that of humans, it is thinner. Therefore, a shampoo formulated for humans can be abrasive to Shih Tzus and can damage their skin.

Shih Tzu’s hair is also very different from ours, they have a secondary layer of fur that protects them from inclement weather and insects. This also makes it necessary to use a special shampoo that can keep their hair in excellent condition.



Skin Type

It is important to consider your Shih Tzu’s skin type when choosing a good shampoo for them. If their skin is healthy and smooth, use a neutral dog shampoo. If, on the other hand, they scratch their skin frequently and have dandruff, irritated skin or some type of dermatitis, look for a shampoo for sensitive skin.

Hair Color

It is important to consider your Shih Tzu’s hair color. There are special shampoos for white-haired Shih Tzus (their hair tends to become yellowish), black-haired Shih Tzus (it can turn reddish and lose shine in the sun), and brown-haired Shih Tzus.

Shih Tzu’s Age

Shih Tzu puppies have a more delicate skin than adult Shih Tzus, so you should choose a special shampoo for them.

Older dogs may have mobility problems and cannot cope well with bathing, so a dry shampoo may be appropriate.

Bad Smell

There are shampoos with deodorant agents, which effectively eliminate odors and leave a pleasant aroma in your Shih Tzu’s hair.

Dermatological Problems

There are specific shampoos for sensitive skin: hypoallergenic, for atopic skin, for dermatitis, flea, antifungal, anti-dandruff, etc.


Best Shampoo for Dry Skin and Itching: Wahl Dry Skin & Itch Relief Shampoo

This is a coconut lime verbena scented shampoo that moisturizes dry skin, cleans the coat, and stops itching. It has an alcohol and paraben-free formula that is very safe to use even for Shih Tzus that have sensitive skin. Furthermore, it has a balanced pH level which prevents any irritation and possible allergic reactions from happening.

When using this product on your Shih Tzu, you don’t need to use too much because its richness easily covers a huge area of your Shih Tzus body, this helps you save some money too. It’s even used by professional groomers and suggested by veterinarians for those Shih Tzus that have sensitive skin. 

Best Shampoo to Remove Odor: Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor Control

This shampoo has ingredients that remove tough odor which is very common in Shih Tzus that have a thick coat. It also has a surfactant that cleans and conditions the hair. They use a formula that’s paraben-free which prevents irritations and moisturizes the skin. It’s scented with honey sage which leaves your Shih Tzu not only feeling clean and fresh after the bath but also smelling good.

Best Shampoo for Puppies: Burt’s Bees Tearless 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner

This product contains natural ingredients such as buttermilk and linseed oil which are both great in conditioning the hair and soothing the skin. Because this 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner is not too harsh on the skin, it’s very ideal to use for Shih Tzu puppies.

To use it, just put a few drops on your Shih Tzu’s wet hair and start lathering it from their head to their tail (make sure to avoid the eyes). When you’ve covered all of the areas in their body, rinse it thoroughly with water. It’s 100% safe and it keeps your puppy clean.

Best Shampoo for Fleas and Ticks: Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo

This shampoo effectively removes any flea or tick that your Shih Tzu has including the larvae and lice. It also has coconut, lanolin, oatmeal, and aloe vera extracts which soothes the skin. It has an insect growth regulator which halts the flea’s development for about 1 month.

Best Shampoo for Coat Texture: Isle of Dogs Everday Jasmine & Vanilla Silky Coating Shampoo

This gentle formula is perfect for making your Shih Tzu’s coat soft and silky and its moisturizing properties are great in treating damaged and dry hair. This also helps your Shih Tzu’s hair remain flat and not get tangled too easily. It features amazing jasmine and vanilla fragrance which makes your Shih Tzu smell good.

A Shih Tzu with a clean and shiny coat is an indication that they’re well taken care of and it can contribute greatly to their health so if you want to maintain a good coat texture for your Shih Tzu, then this product is perfect for you.

Best Shampoo for Sensitive Skin: Pet Heads Flaky Strawberry Yogurt Sensitive Skin Shampoo

This strawberry yogurt scented shampoo is perfect for Shih Tzus that have sensitive skin. It’s made with silk proteins, yucca, and chamomile that nourishes, soothes, and conditions the hair. Its pH formula also makes it safe if your Shih Tzu accidentally licks or swallows it. Aside from relieving your Shih Tzu from dry and irritated skin, this shampoo also restores the coat’s natural texture. 

Best Medicated Shampoo: Strawfield Pets Chlorhexidine Shampoo

This is a 16 oz 4% chlorhexidine gluconate shampoo that is a safe antibacterial for your Shih Tzu’s wounds, acne, Pyoderma, and dermatitis. It also has antifungal properties that can treat diseases such as ringworm, demodectic mange, yeast infection, and bacterias.

Aside from treating bacterias and infections, this medicated shampoo also removes any bad smell from your Shih Tzu’s skin, face, wrinkles, ear, beard, and hair. If your Shih Tzu is struggling with skin conditions such as dermatitis, dandruff, seborrhea, rashes, and irritation, then this shampoo can also help.

When applied on your Shih Tzu’s skin, it won’t sting their skin or cause them to suffer so rest assured that your Shih Tzu won’t be in pain if you use this product on them.

Best Dry Shampoo: Burt’s Bees All Natural Waterless Shampoo Spray

This shampoo spray cleans and softens your Shih Tzu’s hair without having to actually bathe them in water. It contains natural ingredients that nourish the skin and makes the coat shinier. Just spray it to your Shih Tzu’s tail and on the back of their ears; for the face and ears, make sure to wipe it with a towel first and spray the product making sure to avoid the eyes.

The pH level of this shampoo spray is very mild and suitable for Shih Tzu puppies and those that have sensitive skin. It’s also recommended by veterinarians because it contains no harmful chemicals.



Now that you have chosen the best shampoo for your Shih Tzu, it’s time to put it to use and give your four-legged friend a bath. We are going to give you some tips on the correct way to do it so that your Shih Tzu is perfectly clean and with spectacular hair.

  • It is a good idea that before bathing your Shih Tzu, you take them for a good walk, or play with them to release their pent up energy, especially if they are the type who is afraid of bathing. This will make it easier for them to sit still and be calm during the bath.
  • Before bathing, brush your Shih Tzu’s hair thoroughly to eliminate as much dead hair as possible. If they have tangled hair, try to undo it as much as you can before bathing them.
  • Try not to get water in their ears as it could cause otitis. If necessary, put some cotton inside to protect it.
  • The water shouldn’t be too cold and also not too hot. It is best to use lukewarm water.
  • Once you have thoroughly wet your Shih Tzu’s coat, apply the shampoo along their entire back and start rubbing it all over their body, using your fingertips, until it foams. Don’t forget the legs, pads, and tail.
  • Rinse their body with plenty of lukewarm water, until you have removed all the shampoo because any residue left could irritate your Shih Tzu’s skin.
  • Let your Shih Tzu shake the water off, and then pat them dry with a towel until they’re just damp. Then you can dry them with a  dog dryer, or just let them air dry.
  • Of course, don’t forget to praise your Shih Tzu and give them some prize for behaving so well during the bath.


Best Shih Tzu Shampoo

  • The frequency of bathing depends on each Shih Tzu.
  • Although Shih Tzus do not need to bathe very frequently, it is advisable to do so at least once or twice a month or when they are very dirty or smelly.
  • It is important to use quality shampoo.
  • Shampoos for humans are not suitable for your Shih Tzu since the pH level of our skin is different than theirs. Also,  the skin or Shih Tzus is thinner and our shampoos can be abrasive to them.
  • The most suitable shampoo depends on the type of hair and skin of your Shih Tzu, their age, dermatological problems, or possible bad smells.
  • Consult your vet if you have questions about your selected shampoo.