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Care and grooming of small dogs

Discussion in 'Dogs - all breeds / types' started by Tonique, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. Tonique

    Tonique New Member

    :? HELP ME! I have a new 4 year old shi tzu and I'm not sure how often to bathe her. I've heard that you shouldn't bathe them more than once a month. But when I bathe her it only takes a matter of days for the smell to return.
  2. lil96

    lil96 New Member

    I know I have heard that too, (not bathing them too often) but some dogs get dirtier and smellier than others. My old dog, who was a black lab mix, I nearly never bathed her in her whole life. But the dog I have now is a white spitz and I have to bath him quite often, his coat doesn't seem to suffer much from it. I thinkit is only only problem if the dogs skin or hair becomes irritated, but I don't really know, sorry.
  3. Aqueous

    Aqueous New Member

    I bathe Rocky about once a month.

    Their coats need the natural oils to help their coats from becoming damage or brittle. If you bathe them too often you end up stripping the oils away.

    You could try puppy wipes. I don't think they would be as bad as frequent bathes.
  4. Tonique

    Tonique New Member

    I try to bathe her no more than once every three weeks but she gets very oily fur and dandruff that makes her skin itch, I don't want to dry out her skin but she smells so bad that we can't let her on the furniture. I bought some groomers cologne but that only maskes the smell and only for awhile. I've heard of skin conditions that make dogs stink but it seems silly to take her to the vet just because she smells there has to be some shampoo or over the counter medicine I can use?
  5. raindigger

    raindigger New Member

    Tonique, I'm a groomer, plus I own a shih with the same symptoms. In fact, working at the vet clinic has led me to believe many shih tzus have this. It's usually caused by an allergy common in the breed and one of the complications is seborrhea. Greasy, dandruffy, funky-yeasty smell. Other symptoms may include licking feet, scratching and ear problems. To treat the seborrhea you can get the sampoo from the vet or even use the human brands. Always follow directions, like leaving it on for 10 min. or so and rinse, rinse, rinse. Shampooing will only treat the symptom though, not the cause.
  6. Shineillusion

    Shineillusion New Member

    Yeast infections of the skin are common in dogs. If they have a funky yeasty smell, it's probably a yeast infection.

    Too frequent bathing removes the protective sebum the dog's body produces to lubricate and protect the skin. The body responds by producing a lot more sebum. Some dogs are prone to overproduction of sebum to begin with, and with frequent bathing, they go into overdrive. The result is greasy skin and coat, and a yeast overgrowth.

    So that leaves you with the question "Do I bathe or do I not?" The answer is yes, you bathe. But you need a medicated shampoo like Sebalux or Melaseb, which you get from your vet. This will clean up the excess sebum AND attack the yeast infection. Then you use a vinegar/water rinse, one cup vinegar to a gallon of warm water. This is extremely important.

    The vinegar/water rinse will remove all traces of shampoo from the dog's skin. Any shampoo residue left on the skin will cause irritation, flaking and itching, so you have to be sure that nothing is left behind. The vinegar also temporarily leaves the skin slightly acidic, which makes it less hospitable for yeast growth.

    Here's another groomer's trick that will make the shampoo work better, and save you money. Get a small tub or basin and fill it with warm water. Add enough shampoo to make a hyperdiluted solution...about a cap full. Put the dog into the tub and use a nylon bath scrunchy to apply the solution, working it in well so that the skin is soaked. Let the dog soak for 5-10 minutes, then rinse. Rinse again. Then use the vinegar/water rinse.

    Don't worry that the shampoo doesn't produce a lot of rich lather. You don't want it to. Lather actually chokes the cleaning action of the shampoo.

    You can also use a leave-in conditioner, like The Stuff or Show Sheen. But use it sparingly. These are best applied to a wet coat and combed through.
  7. abbeys-mom

    abbeys-mom New Member

    I have Shih too. I have heard that the condition of the coat/skin has a lot to do with what you feed your dog. Maybe you should look into a high quality kibble, like Innova or some of the others mentioned on this board, I feed Innova and I have no issues with smelly dog, other than just regualr dog smell.
    We take Abbey to the groomers every 6 weeks, but I have now decided that I am going to start going every 12 weeks, with a home bath in between visits.
    My questions is this, I read somewhere that I should mix conditioner and water, and spray on her coat before I brush her is this true? I have just been brushing her coat dry, and I am wondering if this contributes to breaking hair.

    Also, if I am to apply a conditioner when bathing - do I apply after the water/vinegar mix? And do I rinse out the conditioner completely?

  8. Shineillusion

    Shineillusion New Member

    If you're using a cream conditioner after her bath, I'd dilute it a bit, apply after the vinegar rinse and let it set 3-5 minutes, then rinse with clear water.

    Between baths, it would be better to use a leave-in conditioning spray rather than use a diluted conditioner. You're much less likely to end up with greasy looking coat and mats that way. Heavy conditioners do tend to cause more matting than light conditioners and sprays.

    As for extending your intervals between visits to the groomer; pay extra attention to your home grooming if you do this. Check the area behind the ears, between the legs, between the toe pads, and the armpits for mats. Check under her tail for matted hair and feces/urine scalds. Another thing you might want to do is ask your groomer if you could just bring her in for a nail trim, sanitary trim and neaten the face & feet.
  9. seaecho

    seaecho New Member

    I had a Shih tzu for 13 years, and she was bathed regularly about every 7-10 days for her entire life. She never had a skin problem, no itching or scratching. I always used a mild shampoo and conditioner afterwards. Her skin never got dry from the frequent bathing. I think Shih tzus just get stinky a bit quicker than your average short haired dog. Mine certainly did. I believe keeping her skin and hair clean kept her from having skin problems, instead of the reverse.
  10. abbeys-mom

    abbeys-mom New Member

    Wow, great info Shineillusion, thanks!

    One more, I am currently growing out Abbey's short fur on face look. The fur/hair on her muzzle is growing stright up, it looks kinda funny. With length will this hair fallover to the sides? Or is this muzzle fur part of what is tied into the top knot?
    It looks to me from pictures and a few sites I have looked at on topknots, that the muzzle hair tends to drop to either side once long enough, and it is the fur between the eyes and just above that is in teh top knot, right? I have not found one site that actually tells how to grow into a top knot.

    Also, when I brush Abbey every 2 days, what type of leave on conditioner should I get?
  11. abbeys-mom

    abbeys-mom New Member

    This is kinda what I am looking to do with Abbey's hair. I think it is so cute!!!

  12. Shineillusion

    Shineillusion New Member

    The leave in conditioner I like best is called The Stuff. Another one that is very good is Show Sheen. Show Sheen is actually a horse product, but works well for dogs, too. Use either one sparingly.

    Growing out the facial and topknot hair can be frustrating. It just seems to take so much time for it to get long enough that the weight of the hair causes it to fall into place. Once it's long enough, the muzzle hair should fall on either side of the muzzle. Only the hair between the eyes and on the top of the head goes into the topknot. You can train the muzzle hair to fall to the sides by putting a dab of styling gel or (of all things) KY jelly on it and combing it into place. Don't get too discouraged. If the hair is sticking up straight, you're almost there.

    Be sure to explain to your groomer what you want to do. Nothing is more frustrating than to get the hair almost grown out and then the groomer trims it short again.

    One thing I've done that helps during the transition period is to start with a smaller topknot, and scissor the hair over the eyes into a 'visor', sort of like bangs. As the hair on top of the head gets longer, I then start scissoring less visor, and train the hair up, into the topknot. Many people like the visor look with a topknot, and keep it that way, rather than grow out the entire topknot.

    Once the topknot is grown out long enough, you have some options for what to do with it. You can pull it up into one single pony tail, divide it into two pony tails over the ears, or you can 'bun and bow' it. Some people even braid it.

    To bun and bow, you need an elastic band, and a bow with an elastic band on it. Pull all the hair up into a single pony tail and fasten with an elastic band. Then double the hair over and put the elastic band with the bow over both layers, so you have a bun instead of a pony tail. Fan the bun out evenly. Very cute. You can also make small buns over the ears, which is also very cute.
  13. Tonique

    Tonique New Member

    Thanks guys for the tips She's so precious and loving all you want to do is cuddle her but boy when she gets close sometimes the smell is too much. So ok how about another question? She is very well housetrained she goes out first thing in the morning, last thing before bed and as soon as I get home from school. I'm a full time student so ocassionaly there's a long time to go in the afternoons but she does just fine almost never an accident. However even though she's gone out at night and nights are shorter than the time I sometimes am at school she goes in the corner of the living room 2 or 3 times a week during the night. when we first got her it was every night. Her previous owners let her sleep in the room with them, but all of our pets know not to come in our room, That is my husband and I's pet hair, pet toy, pet smell, free space. I think maybe she gets scared at night or sometimes I feel like she's punishing us for not letting her sleep in the room. I know that's probably silly. Anyway is there any way I can not get treats on the floor and keep my room to myself?
  14. lil96

    lil96 New Member

    Do you crate her? If you don't then try to crate her through the night, that can help
  15. Tonique

    Tonique New Member

    I don't know i kinda view that as a last resort. I'd rather give in and let her in my room. I don't have a problem with crates I just would really rather she have her freedom if she wants to get up during the night. But if nothing works I'll have to do it. Thanks though.
  16. lil96

    lil96 New Member

    if you want to give her a little more freedom than a crate, maybe try closing her off in the kitchen? But i think you should post a new topic, as most people won't get this far into the post and lots of people have suggestions! Good Luck!

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