18 Great Shampoos for Shih Tzu Puppies and Adults

My Favorite Shampoos for Shih Tzu Dogs      by Janice Jones      |Published 08-11-2022

New puppy buyers are often overwhelmed by the number of shampoo brands available in the marketplace and will ask for my recommendations.

I thought I'd share this information with you. I'm not an expert on dog shampoo, but I've had my fair share of experience bathing Shih Tzu dogs and tiny puppies. Please note that this is not a sponsored post but is my opinion based on products I have purchased and use regularly.

Puppy is being bathed in the kitchen sink.Shampoos for Puppies and Adults

Great Shampoos for Shih Tzu Owners

There are many different shampoos designed to solve one problem, so I can't say I have a favorite. Instead, I have many favorites. Shampoos enhance coat colors, thicken coats or relieve itchy, irritated skin. There are others designed as medicated for a type of skin condition. Still, others have no other purpose than to smell heavenly.

My Favorite Puppy Shampoos

Puppies get dirty far faster than adults. Their little legs are near the ground, so they pick up dirt and other smells on their paw pads and bodies. They are also clumsy, so they don't often watch where they walk and will walk through messes before you can blink an eye.

Puppies need a shampoo specifically formulated for puppies because most puppies are just learning how to enjoy a bath. They may wiggle, squirm, or even move their front paws as if swimming. They need a shampoo that won't harm their eyes should the shampoo accidentally get into the eyes.

Isle of Dog Shampoos and Conditioners

These are my go-to shampoos and conditioners for normal day-to-day shampoos. They lather nicely, smell great and leave the coat feeling soft and fluffy. The puppy shampoo is the one I use on all the puppies as young as five weeks of age, and the puppies tolerate it well.  They smell nice and leave the coat looking vibrant and fluffy.

I also love the adult version and use it regularly for all my adult dogs.  It does not have the tear-free element as the puppy shampoo does, so I may use the puppy version on my dogs' faces and the adult version everywhere else.  It has a keratin volume element that helps the coat look and feel thicker which is how every good Shih Tzu should appear.  I use the Deep Cleaning formula when one of the dogs gets especially dirty, greasy, or smelly.

Isle of Dogs - Everyday Natural Luxury Tearless Puppy Shampoo

The accompanying conditioner also earns a big thumbs up, in my opinion. Often adult coats do not contain the natural oils found in a newborn puppy coat and the addition of a conditioner brings back that shine, giving the coat a smooth, soft feel.

Please note that this product line also includes a variety of other shampoos and conditioners which I believe to be equally great, but since I have not personally sampled and used them, I can not speak directly to these other products.

2. Another of my favorites is the Bio Silk Line also including the Puppy and Adult formulas

I've used this puppy formula successfully. It is a bit more economical than the Isle of Dog with all the same features.

Top Performance

I usually do not use conditioner on puppies because they already have plenty of natural oils that keep their coats looking luxurious. Older puppies may benefit from a light conditioner.

Here are a couple of my favorites. The Top Performance brand makes a huge selection of shampoos and conditioners, all of which have a different scent or purpose.

It's not always easy to purchase them in smaller quantities because they market their gallon-size containers to professional groomers. Here's two I've used and love for both puppies and adult dogs.  Both are available on Amazon.

Calming Shampoos

Here's a calming shampoo if you have a dog that hates baths. It contains chamomile and lavender and acts like calming aromatherapy.

It also includes the shampoo and conditioner to eliminate the extra conditioning step if your dog refuses to stand still. It's not meant to be a therapeutic formula for itchy skin. I'll have some recommendations for that type of shampoo below.

This Wahl product is one of many in their line. This is the same company that makes clippers and other dog grooming tools.

I've also added a link below to Wahl's Coconut Shampoo.  While it's not considered a calming shampoo, it is made with coconut oil which many pet owners like because of it's effects on dry skin and allergies, two problems which are very common in the Shih Tzu breed.

Color Enhancing Shampoos:  For White Dogs

Color-enhancing shampoos can provide extra brightness to your black or white dog. White shampoos tend to brighten and lighten white or primarily white coats, while black shampoos give a deeper, richer shade of black.

This product is my number one favorite for white dogs, and I've used it with good results on my dogs, Obi, Leia, and Poppy. It's a bit pricy, but it lasts longer if you dilute it before applying it to the coat.  The Chris Christensen line of products are exceptional, but if you want to try something a little less pricy, I've added another link that works well. (AND, No, it's not just for Maltese Dogs

Color Enhancing:  For Black Dogs

For black dogs, I use a similar product made by the same company, Chris Christensen. Some black coats tend to lighten or gray when exposed to the sun over time.

This shampoo is not a hair dye, but it does seem to bring back the black color seen in puppyhood. I've used it in the past on Fletcher and Meiling with excellent results.

Both the white on white and Black on Black are products used by professionals who show their dogs. For the average pet, these products may be overkill.  

There is also another Color Enhancing Shampoo for black dogs that I have used and like equally well.  I added a link to that product as well.

Medicated Shampoos

Shih Tzu dogs are notorious for having allergies and itch skin. Many dogs suffer from these problems, while others have seasonal flare-ups. Serious problems require veterinary intervention in the form of medications and prescription strength shampoos. But for minor problems, some shampoos on the market might take the edge off.

The following product is intended to help dogs with parasitic infections such as a flea allergy, mange caused by mange mites, and scaly skin caused by seborrhea. Fungal and bacterial infections can also add to your dog's discomfort.  Your vet should diagnose these problems and may prescribe something else. If he does prescribe this shampoo, it will be cheaper for you to purchase it directly from Amazon.

Veterinary Formula also sells sprays that might be helpful and can be used with regular bathing.

Seasonal Allergies

Here's a medicated Shampoo for seasonal allergies, itchy skin, and odor resulting from skin allergies. It has a pleasant scent and contains Chlorhexidine, Ketoconazole, and Aloe.

These ingredients combat infection and inflammation and relieve irritation, redness, and itchiness. As with all of these medicated shampoos, it's time to seek veterinary advice if they don't work on their own.

External Parasites

Have a Flea or Tick Problem? If you live where fleas or ticks are a problem for your dog, you may need a special shampoo that will kill fleas and ticks on the spot. If this is an issue for you, I recommend Veterinary Formula for Fleas and Ticks or one made by Adams.

If you want to try something different for fleas and ticks, I've had good results from shampooing an infected dog with Dawn Dishwashing Detergent. I've seen some controversy about using this product, so it's entirely up to you to decide whether it will work for you. It has worked for me, but I didn't have a significant infestation, and one shampoo with dish soap took care of the problem.


Since I've owned dogs for almost half a century, there's a good chance that I've used many different shampoos.  I've chosen these next four items as my choices for runners-up, that is those that I'd can still say I've used and can recommend.  

My recommendations for tearless puppy shampoos which work just as well on adult dogs.

Good choices if you don't need puppy shampoo

Last Words

So, this is my top ten list. It doesn't mean that there are no other equally great shampoos; instead, these are the ones that I have tried on my own dogs and found helpful.

About Janice

Janice is the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu. Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, she served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu.

When not writing, reading, or researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, her husband, and her family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Small Dog Place and Smart-Knit-Crocheting.