Generally, Mal-Shis are low maintenance dogs. But when it comes to Maltese Shih Tzu grooming, it can be quite high maintenance. This is why you must establish a regular grooming routine if you want your small dog to look and feel its best. Here are some grooming tips to help you out:
A Maltese Shih Tzu’s coat is long, silky, and somewhat wavy. While this dog is a low shedder, it still requires daily brushing to help it stay free of mats and tangles. It is recommended that you use a slicker or pin brush to comb out your dog’s hair. If necessary, use a detangling spray or conditioner on stubborn knots.
To make Maltese grooming much easier, it is suggested that you clip its hair every six to eight weeks. Use quality clippers and never trim your pooch’s hair while it is still wet. There are various Mal-Shi haircuts that you can choose from: the puppy cut, the teddy bear cut, the top knot, the lion cut, and the full shave.
You should give your Maltese Shih Tzu a bath at least every three weeks to keep its coat and skin clean. Bathe your pooch in lukewarm water and use dog-specific or baby shampoo. Whenever possible, use the same tub to bathe your pooch for consistency and comfort.
It is important that you brush your Mal-Shi’s teeth at least twice a week to prevent tartar and bacteria from building up. If possible, brush its teeth daily to avoid bad breath and gum disease. When brushing, aim for a good three minutes. If your dog is not used to using a toothbrush yet, start first with a finger brush.
You will need to trim your Maltese Shih Tzu’s nails once or twice a month to avoid splitting or cracking. Be careful when trimming because a dog’s nails have blood vessels in them. If you cut too far, bleeding can occur. You will know if your pooch’s nails are long enough when you can hear them clicking on the floor.
Removing Tear Stains
Mal-Shis are prone to tear stains, so it is recommended that you clean the area around its eyes daily to reduce the staining. Wipe your pooch’s eyes with a cotton ball soaked in lukewarm water. You may also treat the eye area with a commercial tear stain remover.
Just like all dogs, a Maltese Shih Tzu’s ears should be checked weekly for redness and odour as these can be signs of infection. Simply wipe out both the outer ears with a cotton ball dampened with ear cleaner. Use an ear cleaner that is gentle and pH-balanced. Avoid inserting anything into your dog’s ear canal.
It is recommended that you start grooming your Mal-Shi while it is still a puppy so it gets accustomed to the process. Make sure you handle your pooch gently so that it sees grooming as a positive experience. Finally, don’t forget to praise or reward your dog for good behaviour.