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How To Keep Your Shih Tzu’s Teeth Clean (Explained!)



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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Shih Tzus are beautiful little dogs that belong to a healthy breed. They have a good life span and once you adopt them, they will stick around you for a long period. To ensure a healthy and long life for your pet, taking good care of their health is important.

Oral health is as important as looking out for their health in general. Ignoring dental issues can have severe repercussions and your dog can get serious illnesses.

Following good dental hygiene can be good for your Shih Tzu. They can feel fresh and lively and you always get a chance to enjoy their sweet smelled kisses. Our easy tips can help you save some time and you can follow them even when in a hurry.

Key Takeaway

  • Keeping your Shih Tzu’s teeth clean involves regular brushing, using dental sprays when brushing is not possible, introducing dental chews and toys, maintaining a healthy diet, and scheduling professional cleanings.
  • You should brush your Shih Tzu’s teeth at least two to three times a week, but daily brushing is ideal for preventing dental diseases and keeping their mouth healthy.

How To Keep Your Shih Tzu’s Teeth Clean?

How To Keep Your Shih Tzu's Teeth Clean

To keep your Shih Tzu’s teeth clean, you should incorporate regular brushing, provide dental chews and toys, maintain a healthy diet, use water additives, and schedule professional cleanings.

Regular Brushing

Brushing your Shih Tzu’s teeth is the most effective method to maintain their dental health. Use a dog-friendly toothpaste and a suitable toothbrush. Start slow, allowing your pet to get used to the sensation, and aim to brush their teeth several times a week.

Dental Chews and Toys

Dental chews and toys can help to clean your Shih Tzu’s teeth. These items are designed to remove plaque and tartar as your dog chews them. They also stimulate saliva production, which can help wash away harmful bacteria.

Healthy Diet

A balanced diet plays a crucial role in your Shih Tzu’s overall dental health. Foods that are high in sugar or carbohydrates can lead to plaque buildup. Instead, opt for high-quality dog food that promotes dental health.

Water Additives

Water additives can be an easy way to improve your Shih Tzu’s oral health. These products are added to your dog’s drinking water and can help to kill bacteria in the mouth and freshen breath.

Professional Cleanings

Finally, regular professional cleanings by a veterinarian are essential. This procedure involves a thorough cleaning of your Shih Tzu’s teeth and gums to remove any plaque or tartar buildup that brushing and chewing cannot reach.

Benefits Of Regularly Brushing Your Shih Tzu’s Teeth

Regularly brushing your Shih Tzu’s teeth can help prevent dental diseases like periodontal disease, remove plaque and tartar, freshen their breath, and contribute to their overall health.

Prevents Dental Diseases

One of the key benefits of regular tooth brushing is the prevention of dental diseases. Shih Tzus are prone to conditions like gingivitis and periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth loss and other health problems. Regular brushing helps keep these conditions at bay by removing harmful bacteria from your dog’s mouth.

Removes Plaque and Tartar

Brushing your Shih Tzu’s teeth regularly helps to remove plaque and tartar buildup. Plaque is a sticky film that can harden into tartar if not removed. Both can lead to gum disease and tooth decay if left unchecked. Regular brushing ensures that these harmful substances are removed before they can cause problems.

Freshens Breath

Bad breath in dogs can be a sign of underlying dental problems. Regular brushing not only helps to maintain your Shih Tzu’s oral health but also keeps their breath fresh. This makes those close cuddles and kisses much more enjoyable!

Contributes to Overall Health

Dental health is closely tied to a dog’s overall health. Bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream and affect various organs, including the heart and kidneys. By maintaining your Shih Tzu’s dental health through regular brushing, you’re also contributing to their overall well-being.

How Often Should You Brush Your Shih Tzu’s Teeth?

How To Keep Your Shih Tzu's Teeth Clean

Shih Tzus need to brush their teeth at least once a day with a good dog toothbrush. This practice can prevent several oral diseases and your dog will always have fresh breath. The best way to instill this habit is to make it a routine.

If you are new to this routine always make sure to relax your Shih Tzu first. Once your pet is in a good mood and in a comfortable position, only then start brushing.

Then, clean your dog’s teeth for at least 2 minutes to remove all the food particles from the teeth. If you have good toothpaste, your Shih Tzus teeth will always be clean just by following this practice on a daily basis.

Another important factor that should be kept in mind while getting supplies is buying the right toothpaste and toothbrush. Always get a dog’s toothpaste and never use a human paste on them.

It contains harmful elements that can be dangerous for your dog. Also, they swallow the toothpaste as kids do, so get a good flavored one as per your dog’s liking. You can experiment with different flavors and settle on the one that your dog prefers.

Similarly, choose the toothbrush wisely. It should be according to the size of your dog’s mouth. This is very important for cleaning the gums properly. If the brush cannot reach the back of the mouth some of the food particles will not be removed. It can lead to different oral diseases afterward says Everything Shih Tzu.

Here is a high-quality toothbrush and toothpaste on amazon.com.

What Are The Signs of Dental Problems in Shih Tzus?

Signs of dental problems in Shih Tzus can include bad breath, difficulty eating, red or swollen gums, excessive drooling, and changes in behavior.

Bad Breath

One of the first signs of dental problems in a Shih Tzu is bad breath. While it’s normal for dogs to have slightly unpleasant breath, a strong, foul odor can indicate dental disease.

Difficulty Eating

If your Shih Tzu is having trouble eating or is showing less interest in food, this could be a sign of oral discomfort. They may chew on one side of their mouth, drop food while eating, or eat more slowly than usual.

Red or Swollen Gums

Healthy gums should be pink and firm. If you notice that your Shih Tzu’s gums are red, swollen, or bleeding, this is a clear sign of dental problems, such as gum disease or infection.

Excessive Drooling

While some drooling is normal, especially during or after meals, excessive drooling can be a sign of dental issues. This could be due to discomfort or difficulty swallowing.

Changes in Behavior

Changes in your Shih Tzu’s behavior can also indicate dental problems. They may become more irritable, show signs of discomfort when their mouth is touched, or lose interest in toys they usually enjoy chewing.

How To Naturally Clean a Shih Tzu’s Teeth

How To Keep Your Shih Tzu's Teeth Clean

To naturally clean a Shih Tzu’s teeth, you can incorporate regular brushing with dog-friendly toothpaste, provide natural dental chews, maintain a healthy diet, and use natural water additives.

Regular Brushing with Dog-Friendly Toothpaste

Regular brushing is an essential part of your Shih Tzu’s oral hygiene. Use a soft-bristled finger brush and canine toothpaste for the best results. It’s recommended to brush your Shih Tzu’s teeth once a day, but if this isn’t feasible, aim for at least two to three times a week.

Natural Dental Chews

Dental chews are an effective way to naturally clean your Shih Tzu’s teeth. These chews are made from natural ingredients and are designed to remove plaque and tartar buildup as your dog chews on them. They also stimulate saliva production, which can help wash away harmful bacteria.

Healthy Diet

Feeding your Shih Tzu a balanced, wholesome diet can contribute significantly to their dental health. Avoid foods that are high in sugar or carbohydrates, which can lead to plaque accumulation. Instead, opt for high-quality dog food that’s rich in nutrients and promotes dental health.

Natural Water Additives

Consider using natural water additives to further improve your Shih Tzu’s oral health. These products are added to your dog’s drinking water and can help to kill bacteria in the mouth, freshen breath, and prevent plaque and tartar buildup. Make sure to choose a product that’s free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.


Q: What kind of toothbrush should I use for my Shih Tzu?

A: It is best to use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush specifically designed for pets. You can easily find them in pet stores or online.

Q: Can I use a regular toothpaste to brush my Shih Tzu’s teeth?

A: No, you should never use human toothpaste as it may contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs. Always use toothpaste specially formulated for dogs.

Q: How do I introduce toothbrushing to my Shih Tzu?

A: Start by letting your Shih Tzu get comfortable with the toothbrush. Allow them to sniff and lick it. Then, begin by gently rubbing their teeth and gums with your finger or a small piece of clean cloth. Gradually introduce the toothbrush and make it a positive experience for them.

Q: My Shih Tzu doesn’t like having their teeth brushed. What should I do?

A: If your Shih Tzu is resistant to having their teeth brushed, try using flavored dog toothpaste that they enjoy. You can also consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog groomer for additional tips and techniques.

Q: Are there any alternatives to brushing my Shih Tzu’s teeth?

A: While regular brushing is the most effective method, there are alternatives available such as dental chews, water additives, and dental wipes. However, these alternatives should not replace regular brushing entirely.

Q: How often should I take my Shih Tzu to the veterinarian for dental check-ups?

A: It is recommended to take your Shih Tzu for a dental check-up at least once a year. The veterinarian can assess their dental health and perform professional teeth cleaning if necessary.

Q: Can I use a regular dental floss for my Shih Tzu’s teeth?

A: No, you should never use dental floss designed for humans on your Shih Tzu’s teeth. It can be harmful if accidentally swallowed or cause injury to their gums. Stick to using dental products specifically made for dogs.

Conclusion and final thoughts

In conclusion, maintaining good oral health for your Shih Tzu is essential to their overall well-being.

By following the tips and tricks outlined in this blog post, you can ensure that your furry friend’s teeth stay clean and healthy for years to come.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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