Skip to main content

Mats




It's a fact of life when you have Shih-Tzus - they get mats. It doesn't matter how often you wash them or brush them, they're going to have mats. So what do you do?

I used to try brushing them out but this is very time consuming and sometimes doesn't really work no matter how hard you try. I did go to the pet store and pay $18 for a little rounded contraption called a "mat remover" that you place in the mat and slowly work up through the fur...the little razor-like insides are supposed to cut through the mat. It works better than a brush, but it's still time consuming and we all know what it's like to get our Shih-Tzus to sit still while we're doing this...next to impossible.

This evening I gave the boys a bath. Little Rocki has some mats...his hair is longer since I didn't have him cut after he got out of the hospital (when he had Parvo) because they had to shave some areas where he had blood tests and the intravenous and I wanted to wait until his scabs were gone and he was completely healed. But when he was partially dry I noticed that the matted parts stuck out from the damp areas. So I called him over and got out his little brush and started brushing the damp mats. They started coming apart much easier than when he is dry. Not only can you spot them, but the fur is more pliable when it's damp. He had one behind the ear (a common area) and one on his back and I got them out quite easily.

So there's the secret...wash your dog...let them dry a bit...and then gently brush out the mats.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ear infections

Dogs with long, floppy ears are prone to ear infections, and Shih-Tzus are certainly not immune. My oldest just got treated for one.

At first, I didn't even realize he had an infection. When I was growing up, we had a Lhasa Apso and whenever she got the infection, there was a distinct odor that came from her ear so we knew it was time to go to the vet. However, when I checked my oldest, there was no odor so I let it go longer than I should have because I thought that it was just overly itchy and perhaps a bit irritated because of this scratching. I realized something was wrong after my husband told me he got up in the middle of the night and found our oldest scratching his ear and crying. That was enough to convince me something wasn't right. I immediately made an appointment with the vet and, lo and behold, he had an ear infection.

So what are the signs? Assuming there is no odor (which is a dead giveaway), this is what you need to watch for:
1. repeated scratching of the affec…

Grooming the Shih-Tzu's eye area

The eye area, and the face in general, are the hardest parts of grooming simply because you need your dog to sit perfectly still in order to cut away in these delicate areas.

The most important tool? Sharp, snub-nosed scissors. I picked mine up at a holistic pet shop where the owners regularly show their dogs so they had a lot of expertise in grooming and actually cater to people who groom their dogs for show, so they had all the right supplies. However, many pet stores carry grooming equipment. The owners explained to me that the snub-nose is most important because if your pet does move, there is no pointed tip to harm them.

Now I have trained my boys to sit still by using voice commands...speaking gently to them and raising my voice slowly and adding firmness if they continue to squirm around. Now they will lay in my arms or sit quietly on the floor while I groom their face. This method of training requires an inordinate amount of patience (which, thankfully, I have). However, I know …

Shih-Tzu hairstyles

I, for one, am fascinated by the hairstyles given to Shih-Tzus. In particular the "top knot" seems to be the thing to do with this breed.

Although my boys have short hair, I've found some links for those who are a bit more adventurous and want to give their dog a bit more panache.

1. Shih-Tzu top knots - illustrations of how to tie the top knot, show knot and puppy knot.
2. A casual Shih-Tzu top knot and the illustrated guide to the Show knot (curling iron required. Really!)
3. One of the most fabulous pics I've seen of a Shih-Tzu. I have no idea how they got the dog to look so perfect, but I suspect it took quite a few hours and hairspray was involved.