It’s a common sight seeing Shih Tzu clothing and apparel. Almost anywhere in the world, you can see dogs dressed in warm coats and jackets. With a breed as fun and full of character as the Shih Tzu, it’s no surprise that pet parents dress up their Shih Tzus in stylish and eye-catching outfits. You often hear the term “fur baby” as increasingly a lot of us treat our pets like our own children and want them to be attractive and presentable at all times. This Tzu clothing choice has expanded to meet that need as it’s now not just about keeping our dogs warm, there are also dog outfits designed to make your pooch fashionable. But underneath the glitzy and the fashionable outfit is this important question: Do you need to put clothes on your Shih Tzu?

Here are various Reasons for Putting Clothes on a Shih Tzu

  • This prevents them from having chills during the cold season. Small dogs like Shih Tzus don’t have a lot of body fat and because of this, they are not able to keep themselves warm during cold days. Dog coats and Shih Tzu jackets are important to keep them warm during winter and the cold months. But don’t forget the summer and spring where there may still be a chill in the air when they are exposed to a room with cold air conditioning.
  • It helps your Shih Tzus when walking outdoors. Some Shih Tzu exercise daily is very important. They like their food and daily exercise keeps them in good condition and at a healthy weight. It also plays a major role in your dog’s behavior and well-being. Putting on a water-proof jacket or a coat on your Shih Tzu during walks on snowy, or rainy days will keep them warm and dry.
  • Staying warm after grooming. Toy breeds with long coats just like Shih Tzus who just had a clip may find it hard to adjust with their new haircut especially if it’s made shorter than usual. In some cases, they will feel insecure and become uncomfortable. Having something on like a shirt will make them feel calm and more secure.
  • For potty walks during rainy days and bad weather. Making your Shih Tzu wears something warm and/or waterproof will help them go outside and focus on what they have to do without the feeling of being rushed. Bad weather can really interfere with your Shih Tzu’s outdoor potty needs.

So there you are, some great reasons why adding some warm or waterproof clothing is good for your Shih Tzu. But what about dressing them up for fun?

Honestly, that depends on you and your dog. Some dogs love the attention of their owner and will happily play dress up on a daily basis. Other dogs will fight you every step of the way even when it comes to having a waterproof jacket on! So really the answer is, consider your dog.

Shih Tzu’s as a breed tend to not mind wearing various outfits and most of the time they are easy to please. If you like outfits then get your dog used to them from a young age so it becomes a part of their normal routine.

You are only really limited by your own imagination, there are Halloween outfits, Christmas jumpers, and even t-shirts in summer. Though you’ll need a very relaxed Tzu if you want to get them into any doggie footwear.


We are generally very concerned about the well-being of our beloved pooch and of course, we want them to not freeze even in winter. And that is why various pet shops carry sweaters, coats, and socks on a large scale.

When shopping for clothes, you must ensure that you pick the best and the most comfortable outfit for your Shih Tzu. Don’t just judge by the looks, but be wise and think about how it could effectively make your pet warm without making them itch or become uncomfortable.

You should pay attention to the materials which these clothes are made of. Choosing something light for the warmer months if your goal is to defend your pet from the sun, and heavier materials to protect them from the cold during winter.

In addition to the cold, protecting your Shih Tzu from the rain can be another option to make it feel warm and to facilitate drying when you get home from their daily walk. The wind increases the feeling of being cold, so it is another factor to consider and understand how to dress your Shih Tzu and that’s not just in the winter, Fall and Spring days can bring unexpected chills.

In these cases, both with rain and wind, it is better to opt for a raincoat, a garment made of resistant materials. Dressing a dog in a normal sweater in the rain will make them wet even more, with the risk of catching a cold. Which, is something that we would not want for our beloved friend.

Most definitely, you need to make sure that you are getting them the right size. Very tight clothes are not ideal for Shih Tzus because it can limit their movement and will cause them to feel irritable. On the other hand, loose dog garments can also cause problems like getting caught on sticks, and other objects that could cause pet injuries. Always take measurements around the circumference of your Shih Tzu’s neck, chest, and around their body to ensure that you are going to get them something that will perfectly fit.

Here’s a guide on how to do a precise measurements for your Shih Tzu to get accurate sizes you’ll need for each type of items.


In preparation for summer or winter, perhaps you are planning to buy your Shih Tzu a new shirt — a sweater or raincoat, boots or even accessories for a special occasion. Canine clothes always come in various sizes, so it’s always a must to measure your dog to avoid the hassles of returning or exchanging an item.

The correct fit of the clothing gives your Shih Tzu a high level of comfort and freedom of movement. The right size is crucial for an optimal fit. To determine the right size, you need to get its back length and chest and neck circumference.

Back length / Topline

Measure the back of your Shih Tzu with a flexible measuring tape from the shoulder blades to the base of the rod. Your dog should stand straight for an accurate measurement. The clothing must be long enough to optimally protect the back from the cold or rain, but must not cover the tail or hinder your Shih Tzu’s freedom of movement.

Chest Girth

Measure the chest circumference behind the front legs at the widest part of the chest. To do this, place the measuring tape around the dog’s chest once.

Neck Girth

This is where the collar sits. When taking your Shih Tzus Neck girth, it is knowing the circumference in this area.
You must place the measuring tape on your dog’s withers. From the ridge and in between their shoulder blades onto the top of its chest.

shih tzu clothes - shih tzu measurements

Here, we will be giving some other important points to consider before buying them clothes to wear.

  • If it is the first time that you are buying something, it is best to let the seller advise you, which could be your local pet store or even your veterinarian.
  • Remember that you are shopping for clothes for your Shih Tzu and not for yourself. Therefore, the puppy’s characteristics and traits must be above your own taste. Don’t forget that the goal is protection and functionality, not aesthetics.
  • If you are shopping for fashion and fun, that’s fine if you and your dog enjoy it but don’t force clothing onto your pet for looks alone. If they look uncomfortable then they usually are. There is enough of a range to get something they look adorable in and that is comfortable as well.
  • Make sure to have the patience in giving your Shih Tzu proper training for them to get used to wearing their Shih Tzu clothes. At first, it is likely your dog will feel uncomfortable and would like to rip it off, therefore you must teach your Shih Tzu to accept it but do so gradually. Make it a game and fun for you both.
  • Take the weather conditions into consideration when choosing an outfit of the day for your Shih Tzu. Think of the clothes that will make them feel safe and secure. Choose the one that is suitable when it is hot, or when it’s cold.
  • Always put your Shih Tzu first is the best rule. Keep in mind that it should be a garment in which they will feel comfortable.



This piece of dog clothing is a must-have for Shih Tzu owners during the cold seasons and also best for dogs who live in a location where the temperatures can get very low. It is worth to know that this kind of cloth is not for all breeds of dogs. Shih Tzus have a thick coat but their bodies are small leaving them with too little fat to sustain warmth for them. They are very vulnerable to the cold environment so it’s ideal for every Shih Tzu owners to keep at least one of these in your dog’s closet.

What to look for when buying a coat for your Shih Tzu?

Probably the most important thing when buying a coat for your Shih Tzu is the fitting. The jacket should fit comfortably. It must be long enough to cover the kidneys. Before buying, carefully measure the right size and use the size tables on the Internet to orient yourself. Measure the back length, chest size, and neck size and find the right size in the table. Usually, the sizes of Gr. 20 to Gr. 80 indicated.

Above all, the material should protect against wind and moisture. Although materials with a knit look nice, they have virtually no function for your dog but keep them for fashionable days. Though a cute little jumper/sweater can be great in the house to keep them nice and warm after a groom.

Choose the inner lining of the jacket accordingly carefully, because it should warm your Shih Tzu’s body well, but this must not overheat or sweat. If your Shih Tzu sweats under the jacket, the body loses heat through the moisture and your pet begins to get very cold despite the jacket.

How would you know if your Shih Tzu is too cold?

  • Pinched tail
  • Trembling
  • Rolled up, like with the muzzle under the tail, cold ears and paws.
  • Slow or clammy gait
  • Tense muscles – muscular problems
  • Refusing to go for a walk


When it’s winter time, one must be sure to have their dog’s rain-proof raincoats on hand before stepping out of the doorstep. You don’t want your Shih Tzu to get wet from your walk and bring home dirt to smear on your carpets or sofas. In addition to that, your Shih Tzu will not be at risk of catching a cold because being wet while outdoors in cold weather will definitely trigger them to get one.


Dog T Shirts are clothing that’s specifically designed to fit your pet. If your Shih Tzu is having allergies or if it is feeling cold, you may wish to use a dog T shirt to keep it warm and comfortable. Dog Shirts can come in many colours and variations which makes it the perfect outfit for indoor and outdoor use.


Dog boots are those basic elements of every garment used to cover your dog’s feet. It keeps your Shih Tzu’s skin safe from possible burns due to the scorching summer asphalt.
It also prevents your dog from getting its feet wet and dirty
when it’s raining or simply when inside the house.


Dog hats, crowns, headbands, caps and hair clips – These kinds of items are ideal for Shih Tzus since they have longer hair compared to other breeds. These are accessories that aim to tie their long fur or remove it from their faces to improve the visibility of your pet.


Normally dresses are more appropriate for times when it begins to cool, as they provide heat. There are many options to choose from and we would recommend that you give your pet a lovely and tender look. These dog garments are generally elegant, Most fashion lovers use to dress their pets (especially females).

This is a very fashionable piece of clothing that most owners of the smaller breed dogs like the Shih Tzu, likes to purchase and put on their pets. They are exclusively made for females and comes with a lot of variation in terms of the materials used. Dog dresses are mainly fashion accessories and it is best worn by toy breeds. They can look super cute and it’s great for walking to add some fun to your and their day!


These are usually made of cotton, wool or synthetic fiber. Generally, it also carries a certain percentage of elastic material, which allows a perfect adaptation on your dog’s body.It can be closed and placed by the head, or have openings in front.It is a garment designed to maintain body heat during the cold winter days.


Your Shih Tzu will appreciate a warm and comfortable garment such as sweaters, jumpers and hoodies, which seems to be especially made for them. It can be made of thick wool cloth, soft and comfortable, to protect your dog in the coldest days of winter. Some are made of cotton materials or other plush fabric, which covers the back and the front legs of the dog, so they are very warm. It can be washed, but it is advisable to do it by hand in cold water, to avoid shrinking


There can be various reasons why clothes has become a necessity for Shih Tzus. We’ll show you these.

  • Shih Tzus loves the extra attention
    Many owners enjoy dressing up their fur babies in a glitzy and fashionable style. In a way that sometimes other people would think it is being too much for a pet. What they don’t realize is that this kind of breed actually loves the attention and admiration of other people. Your Shih Tzu loves being pampered and enjoys all the looks and compliments they could get from the people around them. In short, receiving all these glances and compliments makes them very happy which is very good for their mental health.
  • It gives protection from cold due to age (puppies and old dogs)
    When a Shih Tzu gets older, their immune system is starting to become weak. Here it makes sense to protect your pal from being cold or wet. This is also the same for a young Shih Tzu, their body has enough work with the growth of bones and training of the organs, if they are exposed to a freezing atmosphere, it would mean additional work for their small body and their immune system. It’s the same with older Shih Tzus as most of them are reported to be prone to musculoskeletal disorders.
  • Provides them a sense of comfort when they are unwell
    A lot of us wear scarf when we catch a cold or flu. We often tend to dress a bit thicker when we are feeling unwell. Why should that be different for our Shih Tzu in the same situation? Heat can work wonders for dogs with bone diseases such as osteoarthritis, muscle atrophy, or organ diseases.


You now have an overview of why putting on ​​clothing to a Shih Tzu makes sense. No four-legged friend has to freeze. Shih Tzus really need additional clothing especially in winter, when it gets dark quickly, even jackets with integrated reflectors make sense, so that they can easily be seen at night. They need to wear clothes when they are sick and are experiencing restrictions in their movement. If you want to buy your Shih Tzu a coat, a jacket, a cute dress or a shirt, be sure to pay attention to the quality of the product. The correct size and function should also be precisely determined before buying.