Should I Shave My Shih Tzu? (The Answer Might Surprise You)

Depositphotos ID: 27495345 Copyright: semenovp

One of the best parts of a Shih Tzu is their hair. When it is long and well-groomed it looks amazing, but it is a lot of work. So, you might be wondering should I shave my Shih Tzu? 

If you do, it certainly makes daily grooming easier, and there are some cute cuts out there like the teddy bear cut, but before you make a decision, there’s a bit more you should know, so read on.

Personally, I have my Shih Tzu’s shaved all year long, but I take some precautions in both the summer months and the winter months. 

My Truman has the teddy bear cut on his face which is super cute and then he is shaved from the neck down except for his tail. (You can learn more about Truman here.)

my shih tzu, Truman with a teddy bear cut
Truman at Home – Copyright: Shih Tzu Island

Should I Shave My Shih Tzu in the Winter?

Before you decide to shave your Shih Tzu in the winter, you need to take into consideration where you live and what you are willing to do to protect your Shih Tzu from the cold weather outside and the cooler temperatures inside your home. 

Their comfort will be in your hands.

What Part of the Country Do You Live in?

Do you live in a warmer climate such as south Florida? Or do you live up north in a colder state such as Illinois or Michigan?

If you are somewhere that has a warmer temperature year-round, then shaving your ShihTzu in the winter isn’t a problem. 

If you do live in the northern part of the world, then you will need to be sure that you have ways to keep your Shih Tzu warm if you shave them in the winter months.

That means things such as:

  • Sweaters
  • Heavy coats for outside
  • Warm bedding with blankets
  • Keeping your home temperature at 72 degrees

I do live in the north, in Illinois, and I do have my Shih Tzus shaved. I try to plan the shavings out so they are shaved in October and then I let their hair grow longer from November to March.

That means in the coldest months, they have a little more hair, so they don’t get too cold.

I also have sweaters and warm bedding for them as well as outdoor coats. Also, in the winter months, they aren’t outside for long. 

If there is snow outside, I do shovel trails for them so, they can go out to the bathroom without having to walk through the snow to do so. It helps keep them dry and much warmer.

Even if you live in the south, don’t be surprised if your Shih Tzu gets cold when shaved even if it is 70 degrees outside. 

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My two Shih Tzus are covered up with a blanket right now and it is about 70 degrees in my house at the moment and almost 80 outside. Without the blanket, they are shivering and cold.

So, the bottom line is this when it comes to making sure your Shih Tzus are warm enough. Imagine sitting in your house with no clothes on. Would you be warm or cold?

When you shave your Shih Tzu it is the same as you sitting around without clothes. So, if you would be cold there is a good chance they would be too.

shih tzu outside with flowers behind him
Depositphotos ID: 185492146 Copyright: cranach2

Should I Shave My Shih Tzu in the Summer?

You might be thinking about shaving your Shih Tzu in the summer. You could be assuming it will keep them cool and comfortable, but that might always be the case.

Dogs do not sweat the same way humans do which is through our skin. Instead, they sweat through their tongue and their paws. 

Their hair, even when long, may actually work to keep them cooler in the summer. 

Shaving your Shih Tzu in the Summer May Have Unintended Consequences

Just like us, when your Shih Tzu’s skin is exposed to the sun, it can burn. If you’ve ever had a sunburn you know just how bad they are and how much they hurt.

This can happen to your Shih Tzu as well if they are shaved.

This is especially true if you live in warmer states such as Florida, Texas, or really anywhere in the south.

I used to live in Florida and was amazed just how intense the sun was. It took a very short time to get a sunburn. You didn’t have to be out for hours. Just twenty minutes and you might have an issue.

If you live in a hot spot and shave your Shih Tzu you will need to keep this in mind and find ways to limit their outside time or exposure to the sun.

Because while sunburns are bad, they can also get skin cancer which is a whole lot worse.

Keep in mind that Shih Tzus don’t need too much exercise and just running around the house inside with some active play will be enough. You don’t need to take them out into the hot sun.

If you really want to give them some outdoor activity consider getting them a kiddy pool to splash around in. 

Any outdoor activity should be in the early morning or later in the evening. Avoid the mid-day sun.

Related Questions:

How Often Should a Shih Tzu be Groomed?

Your Shih Tzu will need at the very least a quick brushing each day. You should give them a bath once every three weeks.

If you are taking your Shih Tzu to a groomer, it is best to take them once every six weeks. You can bathe them at three weeks and then the groomer can trim their hair and bathe them at week six.

What is the Best Haircut for a Shih Tzu?

You have a lot of options when it comes to Shih Tzu haircuts. From a top knot to a teddy bear cut, all of them look good.

So, when it comes to the best haircut, that is really going to be up to your own personal preference and how much daily grooming you want to do.

However, the most popular haircuts are the teddy bear cut and the practical top knot.

What Age Do You Start Grooming a Shih Tzu?

Chances are if you get a Shih Tzu puppy that is eight weeks old, it will already have had a bath. You won’t need to bathe your puppy again for about three weeks.

You want your puppy to get used to having a bath, being brushed, and their nails trimmed. Grooming is a life long commitment with Shih Tzus and there is a good chance you will be taking yours to the groomer pretty often.

So, the sooner you can get your puppy used to being handled in this manner, the better.

To Sum it All Up:

The truth is, grooming is much easier if you have your Shih Tzu shaved, but before you go down that road you need to be ready to take steps to keep them safe from the elements. That means ways to keep them warm in the winter and cold and protected from the sun in the summer.

If you can do that and would prefer to have your Shih Tzu shaved, so you don’t have to groom them as much, then go for it. Just keep in mind, it is your responsibility to ensure your Shih Tzu is safe and comfortable and not suffering.


Please Note:

This article is informational only and does not substitute for veterinary advice. Always check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your Shih Tzu’s behavior. This article should not be considered in any way as veterinarian advice.

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