How to Groom a Maltese Shih Tzu

By Falinia Adkins

The coat style your Maltese Shih Tzu favors determines how often the coat requires grooming. Shorter coat styles reduce grooming in all dogs. The types of combs and brushes this breed combination requires depend on coat type. Daily grooming is necessary for longer coats to remove tangles and mats. Routine nail, ear, eye care prevents common infections and nail disorders. A quality diet, fresh water and routine veterinary care improve skin and coat quality as well.

Puppy cuts are less likely to tangle and mat.

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Encourage play for about ten minutes before grooming sessions. This rids the dog of excess energy, making it more manageable during grooming sessions.

Feed the dog skin and coat treats during grooming sessions as rewards to maximize skin and coat potential.

Comb the coat to remove all mats and tangles before brushing and bathing to remove soil, dead hair and debris from the skin and coat.

Check for skin sores, hot spots or raised areas on the skin during regular grooming sessions. This detects skin problems early before they become severe.

Bath the dog once every seven to ten days to keep skin and coat healthy using skin nourishing pet-safe shampoos and conditioners. Use coat whitening shampoos only when necessary to prevent dry skin and brittle coat.

Perform routine coat trimming to keep long coats free from dead ends and maintain short coats at their proper length. Trim hair away from anal area to prevent anal impaction problems.

Trim the dog’s nails, including the dewclaw, weekly and trim hair out from between pads and toes as needed.

Lightly mist the coat down with coat softener before routine brushing sessions. This softens the fur, making it less likely to break during grooming.

Brush the coat daily using a pin brush or bristle brush if your dog's coat is closer to that of a Shih Tzu. This removes dust and prevents mats and tangles.

Wash eyes free from dust and tears daily. Trim hair away from eyes to reduce staining and infections as needed.

Brush teeth once a week to remove bacteria and kill bad breath. Offer plaque fighting dental chews a few times a week, and inquire about your dog’s dental health during regular checkups with the veterinarian.

Remove ear hair using pet safe powders designed to dry out the hair in the ear canal. This powder is designed to reduce pain and irritation during the hair removal process.