In the previous articles of Totally Shih Tzu, you were given some guidelines on how to look for the right shih tzu puppy and choose a responsible breeder. I guess you already found your shih tzu puppy by this time and had taken the puppy home. There will be additional responsibilities waiting for you now that the puppy is already under your care. One of them will surely be grooming. Most shih tzu owners, especially the first time owners, have little knowledge about shih tzu grooming. So what are the things needed to groom your puppy?
What are the things needed?
The things enumerated below are the things that you basically need when grooming your shih tzu. You will need to memorize these things as I will just mention them in my next articles. I posted some pictures below to help you better understand what these things look like. You can enlarge the pictures by clicking on them.
You need a very good pin brush. This is really a “must” for a shih tzu. You can choose among the several brands of pin brush available in the market like the All Systems, Plush Puppy, Hindes, Psi, Chris Christensen, or Scalpmaster. I have used All Systems and Plush Puppy. Right now, I am trying the Hindes and Psi pin brushes. So for the meantime, I personally recommend All Systems or the Plush Puppy. A pin brush can costs Php 600.00 up to Php 1,600.00 depending on which brand you choose.
You need two sizes of steel comb, one large and one small. Large steel comb is used in the body for checking mats while the small steel comb is being used for the face. Small steel comb costs around Php 100.00 to Php150.00 and a large steel comb can reach up to Php 300.00
Pin Tail Comb
This is a type of comb wherein the other half is pointed. There are plastic pointed combs and there are steel pointed combs. I prefer the steel pointed ones like in the picture below. I don’t usually use the comb part (I prefer using the steel comb rather than this one). I just use the pointed part (the steel part of the comb) for parting the hair. You can buy pin tail combs in department stores. The cheapest one costs around Php 50.00 but there are pin tail combs that costs Php 200.00.
Band Removal Scissors
This type of scissors is different from the regular scissors. Have a closer look at the tip of this scissors in the picture below. It has a curved shape used to pull the bands away from the coat. This scissors can help you minimize cutting your shih tzu’s hair. Although you can always use a regular scissors in cutting the bands.
The bands are used to tie your shih tzu’s hair. As your shih tzu grows older, the hair gets longer also (unless you decided to cut them or not groom them at all) so you will need to tie their hair. Bands keep the hair away from the face as to prevent eye irritations. Bands should never be used repeatedly. If you want to minimize hair breakage, you need to cut the bands everytime you change it. You can also put a dog bow after you tie the hair with latex bands. Don’t use the bows directly because you cannot cut the bands that are attached to the bows.
No Rinse Shampoo
You will need this type of spray when cleaning your shih tzu. What differentiates this product from the regular shampoo is that you can use it like you normally do in a shampoo without having to rinse at all. You can put no rinse shampoo in a spray bottle so you will not have a hard time using it in small areas like your shih tzu’s face. Some brands that have no rinse shampoo are Pure Paws and All Systems. Both of the products work well although Pure Paws smells nice as compared to All Systems.
Conditioning sprays are used to mist your shih tzu’s coat. You need to mist the coat when brushing to lessen coat damages. One good conditioning spray is the Ultra Shine Conditioning Spray. Another good conditioning spray is the Fabulous Grooming Spray. If you are on a tight budget, you can make your own conditioning spray by mixing one teaspoon of conditioner to one pint of water. However, I find this mixture a little heavy for my shih tzu’s coat.
Chin pillow is used as a support for your shih tzu’s chin when grooming the face. It will make the puppy more comfortable and at ease. If you want to make your puppy to stay put when doing his head, use a chin pillow. So better start training your puppy to use chin pillow early.
Brush and Cornstarch
Cornstarch helps clean the hair. It can also make drying faster without even using a blower. You can apply cornstarch by using a soft brush like the one in the picture below.
The nails should also be regularly trimmed by using nail clippers. You can either use the scissor-type nail clipper or the guillotine-type nail clipper. Nail clippers cost around Php 150.00 to Php 200.00.
Hair blower is another thing that you must never forget. Make sure that the hair blower you are buying has a cold shot button. One brand of blower I know that has a cold shot button is the Black & Decker blower. But if money is not a problem for you, why not buy an Oster stand blower? It is a very nice investment especially if you have lots of shih tzu.
You can buy any kind of scissors be it small or large as long as you are comfortable using it in trimming your shih tzu’s hair.
Other things you needed are the ear cleaner solution, styptic powder, eye cleaner, towels, tissue
What are the other things that may come in handy?
There are several things that may be useful in grooming your shih tzu but are really not necessary for you to buy. These are just tools that can make your grooming easier.
You might want to buy hair clippers. It will be easy for you to trim the hair if you have hair clippers. Hair clipper can come as a pocket clipper (for use in the anus and foot pads) or as a regular hair clipper that is used to trim or style the body.
You might also need to have a grooming table to make your shih tzu more comfortable in grooming. You can either buy a grooming table which costs around Php 7,0000 or just customize your own grooming table. The most important thing in a grooming table is that the surface of the table should never be slippery. A rubber mat can be placed on top of the table or you can just simply spread a large towel when you are going to groom your shih tzu.
Right now, these are the list of things that I have in mind. As soon as I remember something, I will add them here in Totally Shih Tzu so better visit us from time to time for updates on the things needed for grooming.