Grooming, Health

Best Shampoo For A Shih Tzu – Natural & Safe!

shih tzu shampoo


What Is The Best Shampoo For A Shih Tzu


earthbath shih tzu shampoo
Best Choice Shampoo For Shih Tzu – Earthbath

In this post, you’ll find information about specially formulated dog shampoo that will be suitable for bathing your Shih Tzu. I’ll explain why it’s dangerous to use human shampoo and the benefits of using the right kind. I’ll also provide a brief step-by-step guide to bathing your Shih Tzu and a list of dog Shampoos I would recommend.


Dog shampoo is specially formulated for dogs so by understanding what shampoo is best for your Shih Tzu you can protect them from any skin irritations and give them the best-looking coat possible.


Our best choice award for Shih Tzu shampoo goes to the all-natural Earthbath range of shampoo and conditioners. It’s made from all-natural biodegradable ingredients, has a hypoallergenic formula, a balanced pH level, no chemicals, and is good for dogs with sensitive skin and allergies. You can read our extended review here.


Jump straight to shampoo & conditioner reviews…


Article Contents


  1. Correct Cleaning Agent
  2. Right PH Balance (to protect the skin)
  3. Damaging Their Coat
  4. Free Of Chemicals And Bad Ingredients
  1. Shampoo And Conditioner For Shih Tzu
  2. Shampoo For Shih Tzu With Sensitive Skin
  3. Shampoo For Shih Tzu With Allergies
  4. Shampoo For Shih Tzu With Fleas & Ticks


What To Look For In A Shampoo And What To Avoid


  • Correct Cleaning Agent.
  • The Right pH Balance.
  • Damaging Your Dog’s Coat.
  • Chemicals And Low-Quality Ingredients.


The Shih Tzu is a breed of dog that has a double coat. This is comprised of an outer coat and an inner coat and they both have different textures. The outer coat provides your dog with protection from the environment including such things as the cold and the rain. While the inner coat is a dense layer that insulates the dog keeping him warm in cold weather.


To give their coat a good clean you’ll need 3 essential products – shampoo, conditioner, and a leave-in spray. If you know the right kinds and right quality products to buy you’ll leave your Shih Tzu with a healthy, silky, glowing coat.


Correct Cleaning Agent


The type of cleaning agent in the dog shampoo you buy is extremely important. Your Shih Tzu will be constantly secreting natural oils from their skin pores and these are important for keeping the hair and skin of your dog moisturized. Just like in human hair, over time these oils start to build up and the hair will eventually become greasy and smelly.


Part of the reason for shampooing your dog is to remove these oils and it’s the cleaning agent that’s responsible for this. The cleaning agent is essentially a molecule made up of hydrophobic and hydrophilic chains that trap the oil and debris we want to remove. How well this job is done depends on the quality of the cleaning agent.


Therefore, if you use a cheap shampoo with a lower concentration of the cleaning agent then your Shih Tzu will not be cleaned properly. Quality products will have quality ingredients and this one is obviously very important.


If you use an inferior product you’ll notice that after bathing your dog they’ll still feel a bit greasy and maybe a bit smelly too.


The Right PH Balance


The PH level of the shampoo you use on your Shih Tzu is another important consideration. As you probably remember from your high-school science class, the PH scale is used to measure how alkaline or acidic a certain product is with acidic products being lower down the scale and alkaline higher.


If the chemical makeup of the shampoo does not have the correct PH balance then it can have some serious consequences for your dog. A quality dog shampoo should have a PH balance of around 6 or 7. But with inferior products, this can be lower and more acidic leading to problems such as dry eye, skin irritation and yeast infections.


This is the main reason it’s extremely important to never use human shampoo. Human skin and dog skin are not quite the same and therefore the shampoo we use can have a far more acidic PH balance (somewhere in the range of 4.5 to 5.5).


ph scale best shampoo shih tzu


One of the main differences between human and dog skin is that the outer layer of dog skin is not as thick as human skin. This means a more acidic shampoo can strip away too many upper layers of skin and can cause your dog severe irritation and itching.


The PH balance of shampoo can also have a negative effect on the color and shine of your dog’s coat.


best shampoo for shih tzu




Damaging Their Coat


One of the problems with inferior dog shampoos is that they can wash too hard. This may sound odd as the whole point of shampoo is to clean your dog’s hair. However, over-cleaning can cause a lot of damage to your Shih Tzu’s coat.


Some low-grade shampoos can be too harsh due to chemicals and poor cleaning agents. This can leave your Shih Tzu’s hair in a worse condition than when you started. These types of shampoos can do a lot of damage to the cuticles and cause splits end to develop.


Shampoos that over-clean can also remove too many of the natural oils that your dog needs to keep its skin healthy and moisturized.


Free Of Chemicals And Bad Ingredients


It’s a good idea to look for a shampoo or conditioner that is chemical-free or produced from natural products. Organic shampoo should also be an option for the wider benefits.


Some of the ingredients you should avoid in your dog shampoo:


  • Artificial Colouring (D&C, FD&C, Yellow 5).
  • Cocamide (DEA or MEA).
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine.
  • Diazolidinyl Urea.
  • Imidazolidinyl Urea.
  • Quaternium 15.
  • Formaldehyde.
  • Isopropyl/Isopropanol.
  • 2 Propanol.
  • Propyl.
  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone.
  • Paraben.
  • Phthalate.
  • Phosphates.


Pay particular attention to paraben, phthalate, and phosphates. These ingredients are far more difficult to thoroughly remove when rinsing your dog’s coat. Unwanted chemicals left on your Shih Tzu could cause them to itch and lick their skin excessively leading to skin problems and an upset stomach. On top of this, the coat will also look limp and oily.


Some of these ingredients will be impossible to remember so you should write them down or print them out so you can check the ingredients of the shampoo and conditioner you decide to purchase.


What Shampoo To Buy For Your Shih Tzu


So now that you understand what kind of shampoo is best for your Shih Tzu we can move on and talk about the actual products. All the shampoos, conditioners, and leave-in products I have recommended are made completely with organic ingredients.


I only recommend products that have at least a 4 out of 5 rating and I include a link for you to read through the reviews before making a commitment.


As different dogs will have different needs I’ve grouped the products into 4 categories:



Best Shampoo For A Shih Tzu


If your Shih Tzu doesn’t suffer from any skin or allergy issues you can use a good quality but simple shampoo.


Earthbath All Natural Shampoo


earthbath shih tzu shampoo


best choiceEarthbath shampoos are made from all-natural and biodegradable products. It doesn’t contain DEA, perfumes, synthetic dyes, or any harsh chemicals that could affect either your Shih Tzu or the environment. This is a good product for hair that is rather oily and also helps to promote healthy skin.


The shampoo can also help to heal areas of dry or damaged skin. It will also add moisture to your dog’s skin that helps to create a nice shiny coat. This brand also provides shampoo in different scents, including vanilla, rosemary, and mango.


Best Features:


  • All-natural and biodegradable ingredients.
  • Variety of scents.
  • Hypoallergenic formula.
  • Suitable for sensitive skin and allergies.
  • PH 7.
  • Reasonable prices.
  • No chemicals.
  • Helps to heal areas or dry or damaged skin.


Check The Price On Amazon


Bark2Basics Strawberries & Cream Natural Dog Shampoo


 bark2basics dog shampoo bark 2 basics shampoo


Bark2Basics Natural Dog Shampoo is a good quality dog shampoo made with natural ingredients. It does not contain any harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances, making it a great option for dogs with sensitive skin or allergies.


The shampoo is easy to use, and it lathers well, making it easy to spread across your Shih Tzu’s coat. It effectively cleans and leaves the coat smelling fresh and clean. The scent is not too overpowering, and it provides a subtle and pleasant fragrance that lasts for several days.


bark2basics dog shampoo


The Bark2Basics brands provide a range of shampoos for different needs and with different scents including blueberry, oatmeal, coconut, honey, and wild berry.


This shampoo is made in the USA and is cruelty-free. It is also pH balanced for dogs, which ensures that it does not irritate their skin or cause any dryness.


Overall, I would recommend Bark2Basics Shampoo as a natural, and effective shampoo. It leaves the coat looking and smelling great while also being gentle on your dog’s skin.




  • Natural ingredients.
  • 100% biodegradable.
  • Soap free.
  • Enriched with protein.
  • Wide range of shampoos to choose from.
  • Made in the USA
  • No harsh ingredients.


Check The Price On Amazon


Vital Pet Life Oatmeal Aloe Dog Shampoo


vital pet life shampoo 


Vital Pet Life shampoo is made with natural ingredients, including colloidal oatmeal, aloe vera, and pro-vitamin B5, making it a great option for dogs with sensitive skin or skin issues.


The shampoo lathers well, and it is easy to apply and spread evenly across your dog’s coat. It effectively cleans and leaves the coat looking and feeling clean and healthy. Additionally, oatmeal and aloe vera work together to soothe and hydrate the skin, which helps to relieve itching and dryness.


vital pet life shampoo


The shampoo has a pleasant, mild fragrance that is not too overpowering and does not linger too long. It is also pH balanced for dogs, which ensures that it does not irritate their skin or cause any dryness.


One of the things I like about this shampoo is that it is made in the USA and is cruelty-free. It is also free from harsh chemicals, parabens, and sulfates, making it a safe and natural option for dog owners who are concerned about the ingredients in their pet’s grooming products.


Overall, this shampoo is gentle, effective, and provides excellent relief for dogs with sensitive skin or skin issues.




  • Natural ingredients.
  • Gentle on hotspots.
  • No artificial dyes, sulfates, or parabens.
  • No petroleum or alcohol.
  • No animal by-products.
  • Animal cruelty-free.
  • Made in the USA.


Check The Price On Amazon


Tropiclean 2-in-1 Dog Shampoo


       tropiclean shih tzu shampoo1 


The Tropiclean 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner is another great choice containing only natural products. The coconut and mango extract help to separate tangled fur allowing you to easily brush out any knots. While the kiwi and papaya nourish and moisturize the fur and skin leaving your Shih Tzu looking and smelling great.


This shampoo is soap-free so you can use it alongside any flea or tick treatments. Being soap-free also means it’s a suitable shampoo for puppies and cats.




  • Natural ingredients.
  • Gentle formula.
  • Long-lasting fragrance.
  • Does not strip your dog’s fur.
  • Prevents tangling & matted fur.
  • Reasonably priced.
  • No parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, phthalates or artificial dyes.
  • Excellent rating and reviews.
  • Safe for puppies.


Check The Price On Amazon


Shampoo For A Shih Tzu With Sensitive Skin


If you know your Shih Tzu has an issue with sensitive skin then you should get a shampoo and conditioner that is specially formulated for this condition. All the products I recommend use 100% natural ingredients so you should be fine using any of these products.


But of course, your dog can still have a reaction to a natural ingredient and if this is the case then trying out the product below might be a good option. Shampoos for sensitive skin will often be made with oatmeal or similar ingredients that can help soothe and heal the skin and they don’t contain any harsh chemicals that can cause irritation.


Four Legger Lemongrass Dog Shampoo


 The shampoo from Four Legger contains all-natural ingredients and is certified organic. This product has no detergents, sulfates, or synthetics and it naturally deodorizes and moisturizes. The lemongrass and aloe vera ingredients can cleanse the skin of all types so is perfect if your Shih Tzu suffers from sensitive skin.


The organic and essential oils also help to soothe your dog’s skin. Another advantage of this product is that is has a concentrated formula meaning you don’t have to use it as much and it’ll last longer. The gentle formula also means that this shampoo and conditioner is hypoallergenic meaning you can also use this product on dogs that suffer from allergies.


This is a great biodegradable, sustainable, cruelty-free, vegan, and eco-friendly product.


Best Features:


  • USDA certified organic.
  • Chemical-free.
  • No artificial or synthetic ingredients.
  • Suitable for all skin types.
  • Hypoallergenic (causes fewer allergic reactions).
  • Suitable for puppies.
  • Concentrated formula.


Check The Price On Amazon


Shampoo For A Shih Tzu With Allergies


If your Shih Tzu has allergies then you’ll need a shampoo that helps to soothe itchy, irritated skin. Some of these products will contain medical ingredients that can also help to heal damaged areas of skin.


If your dog has a severe skin condition then you should always consult your Vet about the right kind of shampoo to use.


Moosh Natural Dog Shampoo


moosh shampoo allergies


best choiceMoosh Natural Dog Shampoo is a great choice if your Shih Tzu is suffering from allergies and gets our best choice award. Its pH balance is perfect for your dog’s skin and is made from 100% organic and natural ingredients. It contains no sulfates, no preservatives, and no chemicals.


The unique feature of this hypoallergenic shampoo is the use of bentonite clay in its ingredients. Bentonite clay is a natural product that is known to show healing effects by naturally bonding with bacteria, fungi, toxins, and heavy metals and removing them from the skin and hair. 


moosh shampoo allergies


It also contains Neem and Argan Oil which have been shown to have antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties. Other natural ingredients include Shea Butter and Aloe Vera which moisturize the skin and leave the coat silky and soft. 




  • pH balanced for dog skin.
  • 100% natural and organic ingredients.
  • No harsh chemicals. No sulfates. No preservatives.
  • Environmentally friendly.
  • Easy to rinse.
  • Neem oil soothes and moisturizes.
  • Argan oil for a healthy shine.


Check The Price On Amazon


Shampoo For A Shih Tzu With Fleas & Ticks


If your Shih Tzu has fleas or ticks then purchasing a shampoo that is specially formulated to deal with the problem is a good idea.


A lot of these products have harsh chemicals to get the job done but in my opinion, there are perfectly good shampoos with natural ingredients that work just as well and why take the risk of harming your dog’s skin or coat if you don’t have to?


If the fleas or ticks are severe and can’t be removed or keep returning your should discuss this with your Vet.


SynergyLabs Richard’s Organic Flea & Tick Shampoo


richards organic shih tzu shampoo


Richard’s Organic shampoo uses 100% natural ingredients and includes active ingredients for the treatment of fleas and ticks. Please note this shampoo is only for dogs and puppies over 12 weeks of age.


It’s soap-free, dye-free, and has a good PH balance suitable for your Shih Tzu. It includes many natural oils including clove oil, cedarwood oil, peppermint oil, and rosemary oil.


Best Features:


  • Natural ingredients.
  • Good PH balance.
  • Free of parabens.
  • Soap-free.
  • Dye-free.


Check The Price On Amazon


Bathing Your Shih Tzu


For in-depth instructions on bathing your Shih Tzu and a full grooming guide, you can our article – How To Groom A Shih Tzu.



Further Reading


If you would like to dig deeper into all areas of caring for your Shih Tzu we recommend you check out the book below.


shih tzu complete guide book cover


Using interviews with 17 top Shih Tzu breeders, author and experienced Shih Tzu owner Molly Weinfurter has created an in-depth look at what it takes to successfully live with, raise, and train a Shih Tzu.


This book has a 4.5 out of 5 rating on Amazon with over 220 reviews.


Buy On Amazon

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