How to Care for Your Shih Tzu-Poodle Mix’s
You will discover in-depth information on many breeds on different websites. However, there is one in particular that requires a special mention. That is the Shihpoo.
A Shihpoo is a mix between a Shih Tzu and Poodle. Both Shih Tzu and Poodles are small dogs popular for their looks. A Shihpoo, as a mixed breed, combines features of both these pure breeds, sometimes inheriting more traits from one parent, sometimes more from another, and sometimes inheriting traits equally from both. Mixed brees like Shihpoos have no standard look or size.
Even though Shihpoos are fast becoming a popular breed among pet owners, it is not recognized as a separate breed by the American Kennel Club.
There is no need to worry if you want to get a Shihpoo pup or already have one because you can still find a lot of information that will help you.
Caring for your Shihpoo’s Grooming Needs
Shihpoos make for great pets. They are adorable, loving, hypoallergenic, and generally non-shedding. Consequently, proper care of their coat, skin, nails, and teeth will keep them hypoallergenic, low-shedding, and happy and healthy. Here are some simple tips to care for your Poodle mix, especially when it comes to grooming.
- Know the Fur Type
Since Shihpoos are a mixed breed, you need to pay closer attention to your puppy’s individual characteristics. This will help you groom and care for your unique Shihpoo in a way that’s best for her or him.
Your Shihpoo may have a curly coat like Poodles, straight like Shih Tzus. It can also be a mix of the two, meaning it could be wavy. Knowing the fur type of your Shihpoo is very important because curly and straight furs need different types of treatments.
The products you use will also vary according to the fur type. Again, pay close attention to your Shihpoo’s fur. According to experts, some of the best Shihpoo breeders in the world groom their Shihpoos differently based on their fur types.
- Daily Brushing
If your Shihpoo’s fur resembles that of a poodle, it will require daily brushing. Such Shihpoos will be high maintenance, though they are a minority. Brushing is a great way to minimize the chance of tangled fur. Plus, regular brushing keeps your furbaby’s fur looking smooth and shiny.
Additionally, brushing provides an excellent way to massage your little pup. Getting their fur brushed is very relaxing for dogs, especially if you do so as part of a bedtime or other routine. It may even become a bonding activity for you and your dog.
- Use the Right Tools
A fine pin brush is effective in getting the fur detangled but better at keeping it from getting tangled to begin with. Consider a brush with rounded stainless steel heads to avoid damaging your puppy’s skin.
Once you have used the brush, take the comb to get in fur deep. A comb is better for reaching the skin. The comb is gentle on the skin. Combing is good for massaging and getting the circulation going.
The combination of using a brush and comb gets rid of fur that has been shed, knots in the fur, and any dirt in the hair.
- Bathe Regularly
Bathing is a necessary part of grooming. While some Shihpoos will benefit from bathing weekly, others who do not spend much if any time outside may only need a bath every two or three weeks.
There is no hard and fast rule, however. Your puppy may get more or less dirty depending on their activities. If they have been playing in the mud outside, then a bath is necessary.
If your puppy has lighter fur, it may require frequent baths. The frequency of baths is dependent on many factors.
Whenever you bathe your Shihpoo, remember to use products that are suitable for his or her fur type and the sensitivity of their skin. If they have sensitive skin, use milder soaps and shampoos.
Be sure to clean around areas like ears, the chin, armpits, and other hard-to-get places to make sure they are thoroughly washed and rinsed.
- Clear out the Fur from Fleas
It is not uncommon for dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors, especially foraging through wild underbrush where deer, moose, and other flea- and tick-carrying mammals wander, to get fleas in their fur and ticks in their skin.. Your puppy’s fur is soft, supple, and quite inviting to such bugs.
To keep the fur clean and free of fleas, regularly use a flea comb on your furbaby when they come in from time in the bushes. Before you start losing sleep, not every yard and perhaps not even most lawns harbor flea populations.
Flea combs have much finer teeth that are packed more closely together than those of normal combs. Running the flea comb through your dog’s fur can get out anything that may be hiding in there. If you’re not using a normal comb or brush regularly, though, or if your Shihpoo has very curly, Poodle-like hair, flea combs may present you with a nearly impossible challenge.
- Regular Trimming
Shihpoos have beautiful fur that requires regular upkeep. Monthly or bi-monthly trimming is commonly necessary to ensure that your pup’s coat does not become messy.
Trimming is not merely for improving your dog’s appearance alone. If fur is not clipped regularly, it can mat, making it difficult for your dog to see, walk, or even do his/her “doody.” The fur around the feet particularly may require frequent trimming.
You can use trimming scissors to cut the fur at home after a bath. Just follow the flow of the fur and make small cuts. For trimming at home, it is more about shortening the length than styling the coat.
If you are not comfortable with doing it yourself, get an appointment with a groomer. Most Shihpoos, thanks to their patient and friendly demeanors, should get along quite well with most groomers.
- Trimming the Nails
Similar to trimming the fur, cutting the nails is also important from a well-being perspective. Long nails on your Shihpoo may lead to scratching themselves or you, and unkempt nails can be a hotbed for germs and bacteria that could lead to infections in the paw pads.
Keep the nails neatly trimmed. You can get special nail clippers made specifically for small dogs that help you avoid clipping off too much of the nail. Here’s a quick video that shows how to clip a toy breed’s nails. Fast forward to around the 50-second mark to begin.
You can also get the job done at the groomers at the same time you have their hair trimmed or at the vet during a routine check up. Each will typically add a fee on top of your normal visit charge.
- Dental Hygiene
One of the most common issues that small dogs face is dental problems. Issues with teeth can be very painful for your puppy and hard to deal with. Dental crown fractures are much more common in small dogs and cats. Dogs can also get cavities just the same as people can. This is why dental hygiene is an important part of regular grooming.
Brushing the teeth daily is highly recommended. You should also get your dog’s teeth checked at every visit to the vet. This is just a precaution so you can discover any dental problems early on.
Conclusion – Pampering your Shihpoo
Shihpoos are delightful dogs. They are friendly, warm, loyal, and playful. Plus, they are as cute as can be. This is why they are such a special mixed-breed dog. As a Shihpoo mama or Shihpoo papa, you must be prepared to set a routine to maintain your furbaby’s health through regular grooming.
Shihpoos can enjoy quite a lot of pampering. However, the love they give in return is more than worth the care you give them.
Guest Author Bio
Myrah Abrar is a computer science graduate passionate about web development and digital marketing.