Long flowing hair and silk cushions.
No, we’re not describing the things an A-list Diva aspires to in her dressing-room, but rather the expectations of that darling of the dog world, the Shih Tzu.
Shih Tzu’s aren’t heavy shedders, but that’s about the only easy thing about their long, luxurious coat.
To keep it looking at its glamorous best you need inside knowledge about the best shampoo for Shih Tzu.
Quick look: Top 5 Best Shampoos for Shih Tzu in 2018
Of course one of the trademarks of the Shih Tzu is that long flowing coat.
In fact their coat grows so long that they need a topknot to stop it getting into their eyes (which makes for a great excuse to adorn your Shih Tzu with a satin ribbon bow or two!)
Since most of those long hairs in the coat are potentially quite old, there is a tendency for it to become dry and dull.
Then brushing a dry coat can lead to broken hairs and an unkempt appearance.
In an effort to improve things, you brush more regularly, which leads to a vicious circle.
So how to square this circle?
This regal canine companion excels in many ways.
From their friendly temperament to teddy bear cute looks.
However their hirsute appearance does takes time and commitment to keep it at its best, and the Shih Tzu pet parent must be prepared to groom their dog every day.
Daily care includes combing through the coat to remove tangles and giving it a good brushing to spread natural conditioning oils over the coat.
This also massages the skin, which improves the blood flow to the hair follicles, which in turn helps keep that coat at its luxurious best.
Keeping their hair clean and conditioned is also vital for your Shih Tzu to look their best.
To do this requires on the best shampoo for Shih Tzu dog which softens and conditions, adding vitality and strength to the fur.
With the wide choice of products on the market, the choice can seem overwhelming.
But don’t worry.
Let us help, with our suggestions as to the best shampoo for a Shih Tzu so that you can choose from products used and approved by fellow pet parents.
Let’s start at the beginning with that most beguiling of things, a Shih Tzu puppy.
But don’t let those fuzz-ball good looks deceive you: these guys get up to all sorts of trouble.
Add into that that they can be tricky to toilet train (which with long fur is b-a-d news) and often need extra help with their personal hygiene.
A puppy’s delicate skin places extra demands on a shampoo.
Our shopping list for a best shampoo for Shih Tzu puppies goes something like: cleans effectively, smells divine, gently moisturizing, and won’t irritate the skin.
Ho hum, sounds pretty impossible – but wait – it seems Earthbath All Natural Puppy Shampoo ticks all those boxes and more besides.
“More?” You say, "What else can we ask of a shampoo?"
Well, for a start there’s the fact that all the ingredients are natural.
It’s great to know that you aren’t bathing your precious pup is a chemical cocktail, but in things that sound good enough to eat such as a coconut based cleanser, aloe vera, cherry extract, and olive oil.
The product is free from parabens, DEA, phosphates, and artificial perfumes, which also means it’s kind to the environment as well as your pup.
If we feeling really picky, we could say the scent is not to everyone’s taste, but then perfume is a subjective thing at the best of times so you’re never going to please all of the people all the time.
It’s imperative that your Shih Tzu puppy enjoys their bath time.
When a puppy learns to love his “spa” time it makes life so much easier when they’re older.
However, get it wrong with a shampoo that stings the eyes, and puppy may hate bath time with a vengeance, and resist attempts to wash them in future, which is b-a-d news when that dog has a long coat like a Shih Tzu.
So in a growing list of ideal properties let’s add ‘tear free’ to the list.
And heck, let’s go all out and seek a product that moisturizers like a conditioner, but in a 2-in-1 formulation to keep bathing to a minimum number of sink refills.
In our search for the best shampoo and conditioner for Shih Tzu puppy we concluded that this PET CARE sciences product could not be ignored.
Indeed, rather than a 2-in-1 shampoo, this goes a whole hog further and is a 5-in-1 product.
That’s a whole bunch of extra features such as deodorizing, detangling, and moisturizing, in addition to washing and conditioning.
Again we were determined not to compromise on quality, and again we found a paraben, sulfate, and DEA free shampoo that is made from natural ingredients.
In this case the active components are coconut and palm oil.
So what are the best bits about this shampoo?
OK, did we mention its tear-free, which means if a squirmy puppy gets shampoo in his eye, it isn’t going to put him off baths for life.
This is a gentle, safe, and effective way to cleanse a Shih Tzu puppy and keep their coat and skin in tip top condition.
How do you solve a problem such as a long haired coat that’s prone to tangling up?
Short of the nuclear option of clipping the dog short, you’ll be happy to hear there are products that can help.
Isle of Dogs in our opinion makes the best conditioner for Shih Tzu because this luxury product puts back lost moisture for the ultimate in smooth-coated luster.
In case you hadn’t cottoned on, using a dog conditioner is the doggy equivalent of conditioning your hair.
We’ve tracked down this Isle of Dogs product which is outstanding in its field, precisely because it makes so a real, physical difference to your ability to keep a long-haired dog tangle free.
Indeed, this product is so good that we picked up some top tips from regular users.
One of which was you can get away with a less expensive, (but gentle) shampoo because the conditioner is such a hero product.
We can say this because that noticeable silky spring that it imparts to hair, means it’s less prone to tangles which means less stress at grooming time.
Another feature of this Silky Coating Conditioner is that it smells divine.
It has a trademark scent of jasmine and vanilla, which one enthusiastic fan told us lingers on their dog’s coat for a full two weeks.
For those pet parents obsessed about coat condition and are happy to push the boat out for a powder puff soft finish, you’ll want to consider the shampoo and spray-in detangler from the Isle of Dogs range for a fur-bulous just come out of the salon finish every day!
You love your fur-friend but you don’t love their hitch-hikers.
Fleas and ticks are unwelcome guests and quite right too because fleas cause irritation and ticks carry disease.
There are many choices for ridding you pet of parasites (some more effective than others).
Make your choice carefully and be sure to research to pros and cons of each option.
However, for the Shih Tzu who spends most of their time indoors and is at low risk of catching fleas or ticks, then you may want to consider an anti-parasite shampoo.
Off course with a long coated dog you also need to look for a product that is moisturizing rather than drying on the coat.
This is because many of the active ingredients that discourage fleas and ticks are harsh and can lead to drying.
We chose this TropiClean shampoo as our best flea and tick shampoo for Shih Tzu because it balances our wish list so perfectly.
For starters, this shampoo is free from permethrin and pyrethroids which are ingredients that are toxic to the environment (and in high enough concentrations, to your pet.)
TropiClean Natural Flea and Tick shampoo does what it says on the label because it has all natural ingredients, and you can see the fleas being washed off your pet as you use it.
However, whilst we recommend this product in its class, be aware that the flea life cycle does mean it’s often necessary to use anti-parasite products on the pet’s bedding and the home, in order to kill the next generation of fleas lurking in the soft furnishings.
But what about the dog with a sensitive skin?
The Shih Tzu is a breed prone to an easily irritated skin.
This means that regular shampoos containing a high percentage of chemicals or artificial fragrance are prone to trigger allergic reactions.
But worse even than this, many dogs are allergic to pollens or other allergens in the air, which shows itself as itchy skin.
Vets recommend regular coat cleansing in order to wash those allergens away.
But you can find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place when the cleansing shampoo also triggers allergies.
The answer is this soothing 4-Legger shampoo that is certified organic, made from natural ingredients, and hypoallergenic.
We recommend 4-Legger Organic Dog Shampoo as a best shampoo for Shih Tzu with allergies because of its wholesome qualities.
It uses the moisturizing and soothing properties of aloe vera and lemongrass to promote a clean coat, but without a harsh stripping effect.
The shampoo is free from chemicals including those pesky parabens and astringent sulfates.
Sustainably sourced and made in the US, this eco-friendly and vegan compatible product is indeed an outstanding product against which to measure others.
But don’t take our word for it! Pet parents gave us glowing accounts of how it made bathing a muddy dog a breeze, and how their dog smell so divine afterwards they couldn’t stop snuggling them.
All this without an itch or scratch in sight!
And finally…What is the Best Shampoo for Shih Tzu?
When choosing the best shampoo for your Shih Tzu, consider them as an individual.
Do they have a particular coat care concern such as extreme drying, allergies, or parasites?
Bear this in mind and look for compatible products.
There is much debate about parabens and sulfates, and their desirability in a product.
Whilst they are applied to the skin, rather than ingested, the risks are minimal – but even then this is something not all pet parents are comfortable with.
If you prefer not to take even the smallest risk with your pet’s health, then select a shampoo that is made from all natural ingredients.
Indeed, there’s never been a better time to have a wide choice because there are many excellent shampoos out there that do just this.
And of course, no matter what your shampoo choice, be sure to make bath time fun for your dog!
Investing a little time and attention, to reward your dog for willing participation in a bath, will reap dividends in the long run when it comes to future bathing.
Remember, even the best shampoo can’t guarantee a splash free bath, but making bath time fun is a must.
Dr Sarah Robinson attended veterinary school at Oklahoma State University receiving a D.V.M. in 2008. Sarah’s longtime interest is to help people to better communicate with their pet companions, and in doing so, to help them to strengthen their relationships with their dogs and cats. Sarah has published numerous articles on canine feeding in pet related magazines, veterinary journals and leading natural health web sites.