A good shampoo must be able to do the following:
1) Gently remove body oils and debris - All throughout the day and each day from when you shampoo your Shih Tzu to the next time that you cleanse the coat, body oils are accumulating. These are secreted from pores in the skin and are the body's natural way of keeping both skin and coat moisturized. However, when this oil builds up, it has nowhere to go.
Without the right shampoo to properly wash it away, it will start to become smelly and hair will look greasy. You probably know that water and oil do not mix, right? Well, cheap shampoo that is too much water and not even proper cleansing agents will not be able to wash away that oil.
If you've ever shampooed your Shih Tzu only to notice that he still smelled a bit funny
or that the coat really did not have that much improvement, this is the most likely reason why.
2) But without stripping the coat
- The element of cleaning without stripping is also crucially important. Sure, a product may wash away that oil and small particles of debris, but some shampoos over-clean. If a shampoo is too harsh, it takes away so much and is so rough on hairs, that the coat will be in worse condition after a bath.
Low-grade ingredients and fillers can be terrible for silky hair, damaging the outer coating that naturally protects each strand, leaving it vulnerable to split ends. This in turn, will not only cause the hairs to lose their shine but will also affect the coat's ability to grow as it should.
3) Must be correctly pH balanced. This is such an important element in choosing the best shampoos for Shih Tzu and will have a major effect on the skin and coat. Human shampoos and many inferior pet shampoos are pH balanced to be acidic. Humans need a 4.5 to 5.5 acidic level, canines are close to neutral and a great deal more alkaline.
If the chemical makeup of a shampoo is too acidic or lacks in alkaline, this can have many negative effects. It can lead to dry skin,
irritation and even yeast infections due to the top layer of skin (the body's natural defense mechanism) being chemically stripped away. In addition, inappropriate selection of a shampoo can affect a Shih Tzu's coloring
, dulling colors and removing shine.
4) Are chemical-free.
Beware of pet shampoos that contain paraben, phthalate and/or phosphate. These ingredients are notorious for being difficult to wash away. Any remaining particles can cause irritation and in some cases, if licked the shampoo is routinely used and a Shih Tzu licks excessively due to the itchiness the chemicals cause, can lead to upset stomach
5) Wash out appropriately
- If a shampoo is too thick and its ingredients are oil-based, some residue will remain on the skin. This clogs skin pores and can leave the coat looking oily.
Shampoos for different needs:
- For Shih Tzu without issues such as itchy skin or frizzed or broken hairs, your essential basic shampoo will be best to move forward as a good foundation. Used in conjunction with the right conditioner and leave-in, you'll have all 3 products working harmoniously for a luxurious coat.
For sensitive skin - In most cases, if a Shih Tzu has intolerance for shampoos, this is due to those products being improperly pH balanced and/or containing irritating chemicals; you'll be able to use essential basic shampoos that will resolve the issue(s).
- Allergies can really do a number on this tiny toy breed. A shampoo for Shih Tzu with allergies will properly clean while meeting all 5 elements as listed above, but will also add soothing elements for red, itchy or irritated skin.
For skin & coat issues
- For skin yeast infection, fungal & bacterial skin infections and dandruff, you'll need specialty shampoo that are formulated for these issues while maintaining the integrity of a high quality shampoo.