Dog Club Life is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
Does your Shih Tzu have itchy, dry skin? Does he/she need shampoo to help soothe and heal their sensitive coat and skin?
If so, try one of these 9 best shampoos for Shih Tzus:
The 9 Best Shampoos For Shih Tzus
- Best Overall: Honey Dew’s Cleansing Shampoo for Smelly Dogs
- Most Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo: Burt’s Bees All-Natural Tearless Shampoo & Conditioner
- Best Whitening Dog Shampoo: TropiClean Whitening Dog Shampoo
- Best Moisturizing Dog Shampoo: Paws & Pals Oatmeal, Sweet Basil & Turmeric Shampoo
- Best Holistic Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo: 4-Legger USDA Certified Organic Dog Shampoo
- Best Fragrance-Free Dog Shampoo: Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Pet Shampoo
- Best Conditioning Dog Shampoo: Buddy Wash Relaxing Green Tea & Bergamot Dog Shampoo & Conditioner
- Vet’s Favorite: Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo
- Best for Puppies: Nature’s Miracle Puppy Shampoo & Conditioner
Best Overall: Honey Dew’s Cleansing Shampoo for Smelly Dogs
- Made from natural ingredients
- Contains lavender oils
- With colloidal oatmeal
- Deodorizing and moisturizing formula
Your Shih Tzu may not be as active as other dog breeds, but that does not necessarily mean they remain clean and fresh longer than other dogs.
With Honey Dew’s Cleansing Shampoo for Smelly Dogs, you can now be sure that he stays smelling like sweet lavender after every bath. With its special deodorizing formula, you can be sure his skin stays hydrated while easing his skin allergies after every wash.
Most Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo: Burt’s Bees All-Natural Tearless Shampoo & Conditioner
- 2-in-1 formula
- With buttermilk, honey, avocado, oatmeal, linseed oil, and lavender
- fragrance, colorants, sulfate, and chemicals free
- Made in the USA
- Comes in 3 sizes
The Burt’s Bees All-Natural Tearless Shampoo & Conditioner is a mild shampoo formulated with conditioning properties. Its natural ingredients work great in soothing dry, irritated skin, deeply conditioning his fur, and preventing breakage. Many dogs love this it does not contain any unnecessary strong scent.
Best Whitening Dog Shampoo: TropiClean Whitening Dog Shampoo
- Whitening and brightening formula
- pH Balanced
- Soap Free and Paraben Free
- Awapuhi and coconut leaves scent
- Made with naturally derived ingredients
- Comes in 4 sizes
You can keep your white Shi Tzu looking fresh and clean with TropiClean Dog Shampoo. It effectively cleans and whitens your fur baby’s coat with its natural and safe ingredients.
With its sweet but mild aroma, you can have that peace of mind knowing you are grooming your pooch with a moisturizing and conditioning dog shampoo trusted by vets.
Best Moisturizing Dog Shampoo: Paws & Pals Oatmeal, Sweet Basil & Turmeric Shampoo
- Made from all-natural, vegan and organic ingredients
- With Aloe, jojoba, and coconut oils
- Recommended by a veterinarian foundation
- Irritant and tear-free
Paws & Pals Oatmeal, Sweet Basil & Turmeric Shampoo is a worthy investment if you are after an organic and all-natural shampoo guaranteed to moisturize dry dog’s skin and brittle coats.
It can ease your canine buddy’s itchy skin caused by dryness, dander, and fleas. It even features a great balance of essential oils, making it one of the best organic dog shampoos for sensitive skin.
Best Holistic Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo: 4-Legger USDA Certified Organic Dog Shampoo
- All natural organic, non-GMO oat kernel extracted oatmeal
- With lavender essential oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, aloe vera, and olive oil
- 100% biodegradable
- Comes in a 16oz bottle
The USDA certified the 4-Legger USDA Certified Organic Dog Shampoo as all-natural and organic. It is made with only the finest ingredients known to gently cleanse and soothe irritated skin. It is specifically formulated to deodorize your canine buddy’s coat while also acting as a natural flea repellant.
Best Fragrance-Free Dog Shampoo: Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Pet Shampoo
- Natural, organic, and non-toxic
- With plant-derived cleansers, aloe vera, and rosemary oil
- Contains no alcohol, synthetic colorants, sulfates, and phthalates
- For dogs over 6 weeks
- Fragrance-free formula
- Comes in a 16oz bottle
The Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Pet Shampoo is one of the best natural, organic, and pet-safe dog shampoos you can trust for your canine buddy’s cleansing needs. Its fragrance-free formula is perfect for dogs who don’t like harsh scents. This can help fight skin irritations, deodorized that nasty dog smell, and offers a 100% money-back guarantee.
This dog shampoo also features a pH-balanced formulation to maintain your favorite Shih Tzu’s natural oils and skin pH. This works great even if you are using topical flea solutions for your pooch. It won’t wash off such treatment and will help ease his dry and sensitive skin.
Best Conditioning Dog Shampoo: Buddy Wash Relaxing Green Tea & Bergamot Dog Shampoo & Conditioner
- Soap-free 2-in-1 formula
- Made with natural conditioners and pure botanical extracts
- With aloe vera and tea tree oil
- Made in the US
- Comes in 2 sizes
The Buddy Wash Relaxing Green Tea & Bergamot Dog Shampoo & Conditioner is a soap-free shampoo and conditioner made from nature’s finest ingredients like green tea, sage, chamomile rosemary, tea tree oil, and aloe vera.
These are known to effectively soothe painful and irritated skin while leaving soft and silky fur. This formula is made in the US, giving you the confidence to know this is made with quality and pet-safe ingredients.
Vet’s Favorite: Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo
- With Benzethonium Chloride and ketoconazole
- With aloe vera
- 100% paraben-free
- Comes in 2 sizes
The Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo is an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial solution perfect for dogs with bacterial and fungal skin infections. It contains aloe vera extract to speed up the healing process. Use this twice weekly and reduce usage after you see signs of improvement.
Best for Puppies: Nature’s Miracle Puppy Shampoo & Conditioner
- Comes 4-in-1 benefits
- Shampoo and conditioner formula
- Free from dyes, soaps, and perfumes
- Safe to use with tick and flea treatments
- Fresh spring water scent
Puppies are so precious and have very sensitive skin, which is why they deserve something as special as the Nature’s Miracle Puppy Shampoo & Conditioner. This 2-in-1 formula gently cleanses, conditions, deodorizes, and neutralizes nasty odors. It is free from toxic and harmful ingredients, including dyes and perfumes.
With this dog shampoo, you are sure to keep your Shih Tzu puppies feeling and smelling clean and fresh. You can even use this shampoo and conditioner combo while treating your fur baby with tick and flea products. It won’t wash off tick and flea formulas and will leave a lasting fresh spring water scent.
Things To Consider When Buying A Shampoo for Shih Tzus
If your Shih Tzu has longer hair, you’ll want to choose a shampoo designed for long-haired dogs. If he/she is short-haired but has sensitive skin, select a tearless shampoo that is gentle and moisturizing.
Look for a shampoo that contains natural plant-based ingredients, such as aloe vera, coconut oil, and olive leaf extract. These ingredients will help to ensure your Shih Tzu’s coat is clean and free of dirt and odors while still being gentle on his/her skin.
Look for a shampoo that has moisturizers to help soothe your Shih Tzu’s skin while cleaning the dirt and oils from his/her coat. You’ll also want to look for a gentle shampoo that won’t leave any residue on your dog’s fur, which is why it’s best to avoid human shampoos in most cases.
This is especially important for tearless shampoos; look for ones that are specifically labeled as chemical-free. These shampoos don’t contain any artificial dyes or fragrances that may irritate your Shih Tzu’s skin.
To ensure your Shih Tzu’s skin and coat are as healthy as possible, you’ll want to select a shampoo that has been pH-balanced. If the shampoo isn’t balanced, it could strip away necessary oils from your dog’s fur and cause damage and dryness.
Choose a shampoo that rinses easily and doesn’t require excessive scrubbing to remove, as this will only irritate your Shih Tzu’s skin.
If your dog has skin allergies, you’ll probably want to select a tearless shampoo that is designed for sensitive skin. Look for ingredients such as aloe vera, oatmeal, and natural oils to help relieve itching and dryness.
Types of Shampoos for Shih Tzu
These shampoos are good for dogs that have hot spots or skin irritation on their skin. They help to fight against yeast and bacteria on the skin, which can soothe your Shih Tzu’s itchy skin.
If your dog has stinky feet or ears, you’ll want to use a deodorizing shampoo to help eliminate the problem.
These types of shampoos are specially designed for dogs with sensitive, irritated skin and will not aggravate the issue. They also help to protect your dog’s coat from damage that can be caused by dirt or sun exposure.
If your Shih Tzu has an excessive amount of shedding, you’ll want to use a shampoo that is specially formulated to help stop the problem. Look for one that contains anti-inflammatory ingredients and oils such as primrose and lavender, which will help reduce shedding and increase shine.
If your Shih Tzu is experiencing dandruff, you’ll want to try a dandruff shampoo that contains ingredients such as tea tree oil and aloe vera gel. These ingredients will help reduce the dryness and irritation that can cause dandruff and also moisturize your dog’s skin and coat.
How to Keep Your Shih Tzu’s Coat Super-Clean and Healthy
When you bathe your Shih Tzu, make sure to use a shampoo that is gentle enough for his/her skin. Rinse the shampoo out carefully and gently towel-dry your dog’s fur.
If you can’t find shampoos that are specifically made for dogs, consider using baby shampoo on him/her. Make sure the shampoo is tearless and pH-balanced.
Avoid using human shampoos on your Shih Tzu, as these products can cause dryness and irritation to his/her skin. Instead, use a gentle dog shampoo that will leave your dog’s coat shiny and soft.
If you have an older or ill Shih Tzu, you may need to bath him/her less frequently.
If your dog has sensitive skin or is experiencing dryness or irritation from allergies, it’s best to bathe him/her once a week with a shampoo that is designed for the condition.
Remember not to bathe your Shih Tzu too often; doing so can cause his/her skin to dry out and irritate his/her coat.
Don’t let your dog go for extended periods of time without bathing him/her; waiting three months between baths is too long.
How often you bathe your Shih Tzu will depend on several factors, such as the type of coat he/she has and how dirty/smelly he/she is.
You’ll want to bathe a Shih Tzu more often if he/she has an oily coat or constantly gets dirty while playing outside, while you’ll need to bathe him/her less often if he/she has a dry coat and stays mostly indoors.
Reasons Why Your Shih Tzu Might Smell Bad
If your Shih Tzu smells bad, it could be because of several reasons:
If your dog is ill or has an infection, his/her body may not be able to properly eliminate waste and toxins through his/her urine and feces. This can cause a foul odor to develop quickly.
A buildup of bacteria and yeast on your dog’s skin can cause him/her to smell bad. If this is the case, you should bathe him/her more often and use a shampoo that contains ingredients that fight off these problems.
If you don’t groom your Shih Tzu regularly, he/she may develop a buildup of dirt and oil on his/her skin. Regular brushing and bathing will remove this buildup and make your dog smell better.
Bacterial or fungal infection
If your Shih Tzu has an ear or skin infection, he/she may develop a strong odor that you can’t miss.
Sometimes dogs can stink because they’re bothered by something; this might be a sign that your dog is fearful, anxious, or stressed.
Tips for Bathing Your Shih Tzu
It’s important to make sure you’re using the right shampoo for your dog and that you’re doing the following:
- Make sure your hands and fingernails are clean before bathing your pet; this will help prevent spreading germs.
- Don’t bathe your Shih Tzu too often; this could dry out his/her skin and dull his/her coat. Bathe your dog once a week or less, depending on the type of coat he/she has.
- Gently brush out all mats and tangles from his/her fur before bathing him/her to make the process easier and more effective.
- Use a shampoo that contains ingredients such as tea tree oil and aloe vera gel to reduce dryness and irritation.
- If your dog has a skin condition, use a shampoo that is designed to treat this.
- Wipe out his/her ears before bathing him/her with a cotton ball dampened with warm water. This will remove dirt and prevent ear infections from developing.
- Place a rubber mat or an old towel on the bottom of your bathtub so your Shih Tzu doesn’t slip.
- Wet your dog with room-temperature water before applying shampoo. This way, it will be easier to remove dirt and debris from his/her coat.
- Use a cup or dish to wet down your dog’s head before lathering him/her up with shampoo; this will prevent the shampoo from going into his/her eyes.
- Use a sponge to apply shampoo along your dog’s back, and only use a few drops of shampoo at a time so it doesn’t run off. You can also use a spray bottle with water in it to wet down your Shih Tzu’s body before applying the shampoo.
- When lathering your dog up, start at his/her head and work your way down to the tail so you can see where the shampoo is going.
- Massage shampoo along his/her skin as well as into the fur to ensure it’s thoroughly cleansed.
- If there are mats or tangles in your Shih Tzu’s fur, you can use a detangling shampoo to remove them. You can also use a metal comb or brush to safely and gently detangle his/her fur.
- Rinse your Shih Tzu by holding him/her under running water and massaging the fur as the water is flowing. Make sure all of the soap rinses off his/her body.
- Blot your Shih Tzu’s fur with a towel to remove excess water. You can also use a blow dryer on the lowest temperature setting to help dry his/her hair.
- Check your dog’s ears after drying him/her off to ensure they’re clean and free of debris.
Common Shih Tzu Skin Conditions
Your Shih Tzu may develop skin problems such as blackheads, yeast infections, and hot spots.
Blackheads are caused by a buildup of oil and dead skin cells on your dog’s skin. All you have to do is gently scrub the oil away to get rid of them.
Yeast infections usually appear as an itchy red rash or bumps on your dog’s skin, and they can make him/her smell.
Hot spots are caused by allergies or irritation of the skin that causes red, moist lesions to appear on your Shih Tzu’s body. You need to take him/her to the vet if he/she develops these.
Shih Tzu Eye Issues, Bathing & Smells
Your Shih Tzu may develop problems with his/her eyes, which can lead to discharge and/or a stinky smell.
Luckily, most of these issues are easy to treat at home. If your dog’s eye is red or swollen, gently wipe it clean with some warm water and saline solution. If there’s an excessive amount of discharge in his/her eye, use a cotton ball dipped in saline solution to wipe it clean.
If your Shih Tzu’s eyes seem irritated or swollen after you bathe him/her, it could be because his/her bathwater was too hot. Make sure the water is lukewarm when bathing him/her next time.
Your Shih Tzu may also start to smell bad if he/she has a skin condition or an eye issue. In this case, you need to take him/her to the vet so he/she can get treated appropriately.
If there’s no medical reason for your Shih Tzu’s odor, it could be because of his/her diet.
You should feed your Shih Tzu a high-quality food that doesn’t contain any byproducts since these can make him/her produce an unpleasant odor.
Try switching to different dog food or adding some digestive enzymes to his/her meals before making any drastic changes.
There are also some other things you can do to improve your Shih Tzu’s smell.
If you have him/her groomed on a professional basis, make sure the groomer bathes him/her before bringing him/her home.
It’s also possible that he/she has rolled in something smelly outside or had an accident and didn’t tell you about it.
Be sure to keep a close eye on your Shih Tzu when he/she’s playing outside to prevent accidents from happening, and have him/her checked out by the vet if you notice anything unusual about his/her health.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of shampoo should I use on my Shih Tzu?
All dogs need to be bathed, but many Shih Tzu owners find that his/her hair doesn’t require frequent shampooing. If you’re looking for a shampoo specifically for this breed, look for one that moisturizes and has oatmeal in it.
How often should a Shih Tzu be bathed?
It depends on your Shih Tzu’s skin condition.
If his/her skin is dry, you should wash him/her more often so he/she doesn’t have to deal with extra debris on his/her fur.
If your Shih Tzu has an oily coat, washing him/her frequently can make this issue worse, so you may only want to wash him/her every four months.
Can I use human shampoo on my Shih Tzu?
You should avoid using human shampoo on your dog because it contains fragrances and other ingredients that can be harmful to him/her.
Bathing your Shih Tzu with the right shampoo is very important.
It can help prevent and treat common Shih Tzu skin problems and eye issues, so be sure to look for a shampoo that’s specifically made for him/her if you don’t want him/her to have any issues in his/her skin or eyes.
If your Shih Tzu is smelly, it’s probably because you’re not washing him/her often enough.
Be sure to bathe him/her at least once every four months, or more frequently if his/her eyes or skin seem dry. Also, make sure he/she gets checked out by the vet regularly.