Bathing a Shih Tzu is a bit more involved than putting your dog in the sink and scrubbing away. However, the process is not overly complicated or time consuming. This can actually be a great time for your and your dog to bond together.
For these instructions, we are using the word 'sink'; however, these steps will be applicable even if you have your dog in the tub.
Once you have both the bath area and your Shih Tzu prepped:
Fill the sink with 2 or 3 inches of warm water. Test the temperature by dipping your wrist.
Using two hands, gently place your Shih Tzu down, ensuring that he is on the non-slip mat. If he stands up with his paws on the side of the sink, that is fine.
Wet down the body. It is best to use a spray nozzle for this. However, if you do not have this, use a small cup. Be sure that the coat is thoroughly soak down to the skin.
Now it is time for the shampoo. Be sure to read the label, in case it needs to be watered down. Apply a liberal amount to your hand and start to work it in, adding more as needed.
Scrub every area of the body, including the armpits, genitals and tail. Massage the shampoo over the body for 3 to 5 minutes.
Dip the washcloth into the sudsy water, wring it out a bit, and then gently swipe over all areas of the face. For the eye area, start at the inner eye and swipe down over the lid. Then, up over the brow and over the forehead.
If your Shih Tzu is having issues with tear stains
, take this opportunity to scrub under the eyes with a child-sized soft bristled toothbrush, that you have dipped into the sudsy water. Of course, take care to not touch the eyes.
Rinse the shampoo out. It is important to rinse very well. This is because even if you are using a superior shampoo, it is meant to do its job and then be removed. Any residue will prevent the conditioner from doing its job.
Now it is time to condition the coat. Apply this very generously. Work this into all areas for 3 to 5 minutes.
Rinse out the conditioner. If the water level has risen too high, first allow a bit to drain by loosening the plug just a bit as not to startle your Shih Tzu. When rinsing, be sure to be thorough. The conditioner is meant to do its job and then be removed. Since it is a thick, luxurious product, you so not want this staying on the coat as it will weigh it down.
With the towel opened up, gently pick up your Shih Tzu, remove him from the bath, and place him on the towel. Allow him a good shake, and then carefully fold up the ends to wrap over him.