The Best Shampoos For Shih Tzus


The Best Shampoos For Shih Tzus

As an Amazon affiliate we earn a small commission from qualifying purchases – at no additional cost to you of course! We only recommend products we have tested and use for our own dogs.

A friend I met at a local puppy training class was bemoaning how difficult it is to keep her one-year-old Shih Tzu looking good. Although she knows it will get better once Sophie, her puppy, has established her adult coat, but, at the moment, it’s a constant battle against knots, tangles, mats, and dirt.

In our conversation, we started talking about the best shampoos for Shih Tzus and, as there were ten other dog owners present, soon had a vast array of potential products and suggestions. 

After much deliberation, we collectively decided that Sophie would best most from a good wash with Chamolile Shampoo & Conditioner, followed by thorough brushing. She looked phenomenal afterwards!

Our Top Choice For Shih Tzu Shampoo:

Our TOP Choice
Healthy Breeds Chamomile Dog Shampoo & Conditioner with Oatmeal & Aloe for Shih Tzu

This mild shampoo is derived from natural, plant-based ingredients, making it gentle on the skin and leaving the long hair of your Shih Tzu soft and smooth to the touch.

Containing chamomile and oatmeal, our shampoo will leave your Shih Tzu smelling delicious while giving him the benefits of oatmeals’s calming properties and ability to soothe dry or itchy skin. Chamomile has similar benefits and can reduce itching as well as treating dry skin and dandruff.

Chamomile calming shampoo creates a foamy lather but rinses out easily, leaving the coat clean and conditioned. Not only will this product moisturize, detangle, calm, clean, and condition, but its concentrated formula means more baths for your bucks. 

Check the current price here!
shampoo shih tzu

Table of Contents

Sophie is a sweet little dog who loves pampering so much she doesn’t even mind having a bath. This is fortunate as she’s prone to skin allergies and tends to get a bit smelly if she’s not bathed regularly. Of course, her long-flowing locks also benefit from frequent detangling and moisturizing. 

 We tried out some other shampoos on her and her Shih Tzu friends, too! The owner of Ollie the Shorkie also chimed in. All shampoos show-cased can of course be used for Teacup Shih-Tzus as well.

Here are our runner-ups:

Best Shampoo for Smelly Shih Tzus

Our Pick for Smelly Pups
Natural Dog Shampoo for Smelly Dogs

Shih Tzus aren’t particularly active dogs, so are unlikely to come back from a walk covered in mud. Sadly, that doesn’t mean they always come up smelling of roses. 

Shih Tzus are prone to bad body odor because the oils they secrete to protect their skin and coat can produce a smelly odor.

While there are a few other grooming techniques you can use to keep your Shih Tzu smelling good, using a good shampoo designed to tackle body odors will give some good results. 

This natural shampoo for smelly dogs contains lavender oils and leaves your dog smelling good enough to eat. 

In addition to the delightful lavender fragrance, this natural dog shampoo contains colloidal oatmeal. Not only for smelly dogs, but this shampoo is also recommended for Shih Tzus with “skin issues from allergies” and will leave your dog’s coat soft, too.

Check the current price here!
shih tzu puppy after bath

Best Shampoo for Shih Tzu Puppies

Our pick for Shih Tzu Puppies
Burt's Bees for Dogs All-Natural Tearless Shampoo & Conditioner

As a puppy, the Shih Tzu has soft, sensitive skin and a fine, fluffy coat so, it's recommended you use a natural shampoo, like this one from Burt’s Bees.

Made with high-quality, natural ingredients, Burt’s Bees shampoo won’t irritate your Shih Tzu’s skin or eyes, making bathing a more pleasurable experience for both dog and owner. 

A mild shampoo with conditioning properties, Burt’s Bees is pH balanced for puppies in particular and contains buttermilk that soothes the skin and softens the hair. Linseed oil deeply conditions the coat while other natural ingredients, like avocado, honey, lavender, and oatmeal cleanse and moisturize.

All Burt’s Bees products are cruelty-free and made without any added fragrances, colorants, or sulfates. This all-natural 2-in-1 shampoo also contains omega 3s and vitamin E that help to strengthen the hair and prevent breakage.

As it lacks any strong smell, many dogs prefer it to fragranced shampoos that are too strong for their noses.

Get my puppy clean today!
05/11/2023 03:00 am GMT

Best for Sensitive Skin

Pro Pet Works All Natural Organic 5 in One Oatmeal Pet Shampoo + Conditioner

Dogs are prone to skin allergies that can cause dry, itchy skin, hair loss, hotspots, and rashes. This vet endorsed shampoo from Pro Pet Works has been specifically designed “for pets with food, grass, and flea bite allergies” and offers relief from both itching and hot spots.

Containing aloe vera and almond oil, it helps to keep the dog’s skin hydrated and healthy. The combined benefits of these two ingredients will give your dog better protection from the sun while healing dry or irritated skin. 

Although this shampoo’s odd, cherry fragrance won’t be to everyone’s liking, it’s so good at relieving itching and getting rid of dandruff, that you’ll learn to live with it. It doesn’t linger long but does help to eliminate that horrible wet dog smell.

Some dog owners even say Pro Pet Works’ organic shampoo is more effective than a vet-prescribed shampoo in terms of relieving skin irritations and preventing the hair from matting.

A shampoo that can alleviate your dog’s discomfort and relieve his itching is worth its weight in gold and, while expensive, Pro Pet Works’ hypoallergenic 2-in-1 shampoo is a lot cheaper than gold.

Check the price now!

Best Shampoo for White Shih Tzus

shih tzu price
Best for White Shih Tzus
TropiClean Whitening Shampoos for Pets

As Sophie’s mainly white, my friend wanted to try a product that would really make her dazzle, so she gave TropiClean’s whitening shampoo a whirl. 

Sophie looked whiter than snow by the time she’d finished and walked around in a cloud of sweet-smelling aromas for hours after.

This whitening shampoo not only brightens the colors in the coat but also moisturizes the skin and conditions the coat. It contains colloidal oatmeal which will relieve skin irritations and awapuhi extract that hydrates, repairs, and protects the coat. 

TropiCleans whitening shampoo features a unique botanical blend that includes yucca, chamomile, and mallow extracts. While the yucca promotes the “shedding and exfoliation of dead skin cells," helping to prevent dandruff, chamomile makes the coat soft and shiny, and mallow “helps soften hair and enhance elasticity.” 

Unlike many whitening shampoos, this one “smells sweet, without that hint of whitening chemicals,” and effectively treats skin conditions resulting from environmental allergies as well as eczema and Cushing's disease.

Make that white pooch shine!
05/07/2023 10:45 am GMT

Best Budget Option

Best Budget Choice
Arm & Hammer For Pets 2-In-1 Shampoo & Conditioner for Dogs

Suitable for puppies and effective against odors as well as dirt, this affordable shampoo contains baking soda for an extra deep clean.

While it won’t brighten white Shih Tzus, it will give them a thorough cleansing and condition the coat at the same time, leaving it “soft and fluffy”. Arm & Hammer’s 2-in-1 shampoo keeps dogs “cleaner [for] longer” without being harsh on their skin.

It rinses out easily and will help make “long and tangled” coats more “soft and manageable." It doesn’t have a strong perfume, but you will get a hint of cucumber and mint while you’re working up a lather.

Free of nasty chemicals, including sodium lauryl sulfate, Arm & Hammer’s 2-in-1 shampoo uses natural ingredients like aloe vera, sage leaf, and mint oil to invigorate the coat and remove impurities.

Get this shampoo deal now!
05/05/2023 04:00 pm GMT

Buying Guide

  • Cleans Effectively

Any shampoo for Shih Tzus needs to be capable of cleaning the coat effectively, removing the build-up of natural oils as effectively as it removes dirt and debris. Cheap shampoos often lack the right cleansing agents to tackle such oils and could leave your Shih Tzu looking greasy and smelling unpleasant.

  • Contains Natural Ingredients

While you want to remove oil build-up, you don’t want to strip your Shih Tzu of all his natural oils as these are crucial to his skin’s well-being and the condition of his coat. Shampoos that contain chemical cleaning agents can be too harsh, so always look for one that contains natural ingredients.   

  • pH-Balanced

While human skin has a pH balance of around 5.5 to 5.6, dogs are more alkaline, so need a shampoo with a pH balance of between 6 to 7. Using a shampoo that’s too acidic “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.”

A shampoo with the wrong pH balance can also dull the colors of your Shih Tzu’s coat and remove some of its natural shine.

  • Easy To Wash Out

A shampoo that is too oily will be difficult to fully remove from your Shih Tzu’s coat. As a result, the residue could clog the pores of his skin, making his fur look greasy. 

How Often Should I Bathe My Shih Tzu?

As Shih Tzus aren’t particularly active dogs, they don’t usually need bathing daily, as some golden retrievers might. Nevertheless, their long, curled coats are high maintenance and need bathing every three weeks to keep them looking good. 

Bathing your Shih Tzu this often will also help keep his skin healthy and moisturized and keep bad smells at bay. This does not only apply to purebred Shih Tzus, but also mixes such as the Shichon.

What Should My Shih Tzu Grooming Regime Look Like?

In addition to bathing every three weeks, your Shih Tzu needs brushing daily to keep his long coat soft and smooth. 

Shih Tzus have drop ears covered in dense fur, which make “a perfect environment for infection.” Cleaning out any dirt or excess wax every six to eight weeks can prevent ear infections and help keep your dog healthy and sweet-smelling.

 Teeth cleaning is a crucial part of any dog owner’s grooming routine and especially for small breeds, like the Shih Tzu, that “are prone to dental problems,” in part, because of their characteristic undershot jaw.

Brushing your dog’s teeth with good-quality dog toothpaste every day or every other day can prevent problems from developing and alleviate gum infections and halitosis.

The Shih Tzu’s face, like a toddler’s, also needs daily attention.”  With their short noses and naturally teary eyes, Shih Tzus need their faces cleaning several times a day, either with a general grooming wipe or a pet eye wipe.

The Bottom Line

Shih Tzus are friendly and affectionate dogs bred to be loved and to love lying on laps. The only real drawback of owning a Shih Tzu is how much time and effort you have to invest in keeping up appearances. 

With their long hair, sensitive skin, and natural inclination towards the smellier end of dog-owning, Shih Tzus are high maintenance. Regular bathing with a natural shampoo is vital for their well-being, keeping both skin and hair in good condition while making them fragrant enough to cuddle again.

Containing lavender and chamomile Wahl’s 4-in-1 pet shampoo helps to keep your dog calm while you’re busy getting him clean. 

In addition to their soothing qualities, lavender and chamomile also alleviate skin irritations and dandruff. More concentrated than other pet shampoos, Wahl’s lasts longer, making it good value for money, and will leave your Shih Tzu smelling sweet and looking sleek.

If your Shih Tzu is prone to skin allergies, Pro Pet Works’ organic, oatmeal pet shampoo can help rid him of those issues, making him more comfortable at the same time as getting rid of oil build-ups and dirt. 

If, on the other hand, it’s a smell issue that you’re battling with, the natural dog shampoo for smelly dogs can remove those unpleasant odors and make having your Shih Tzu on your lap more comfortable for both of you. Made by Honeydew, this shampoo cleanses and moisturizes, as well as deodorizing, leaving your Shih Tzu feeling as good as he looks.

Burt’s Bees shampoo is ideal for Shih Tzu puppies with their soft, fluffy coats and sensitive skin. It won’t irritate them if it gets in their eyes and uses buttermilk and linseed oil to soothe the skin and soften the hair. 

For those of you with a primarily white Shih Tzu, TropiCleanse’s whitening shampoo could do for you what it did to Sophie – turning her into a dazzle of bright white with flashes of intense color.

Not every Shih Tzu owner wants to spend a fortune on shampoo, and the affordability of Arm & Hammer’s 2-in-1 shampoo for pets makes it as attractive as its ability to perform a deeper clean. 

With baking soda that dissolves and gets into those hard-to-reach places, like between the front legs and under the tail, this shampoo will leave your dog virtually spotless and pleasantly odor-free.

If you care about your Shih Tzu as much as he cares about you, you’ll want him to be in the best condition possible, which you can do by picking out one of the best shampoos for Shih Tzus.

Not only will your Shih Tzu look and smell good, but he’ll also feel better with a clean coat and itch-free skin.

Author: Nicky Hoseck

Author: Nicky Hoseck

Nicky lives on a small-holding on South Africa’s Wild Coast with a selection of animals, a husband, and five dogs. She spends all her waking hours with her Australian Cattle Dog, Koala, either walking, horse-riding, running, or just hanging out.

Originally from the UK, Nicky been living with dogs for over 40 years and is a passionate dog-owner.

With a Masters Degree from the University of London under her belt, Nicky has had a diverse career, training and riding horses, running safari lodges, and hosting volunteers. She’s now a full-time writer.

Check out our effective and affordable online dog training courses!