When your Shih Tzu is pregnant you want to ensure that she is cared for to the best of your abilities. Keeping her clean during this time is a great way to ensure you do this.
Can Shih Tzu Take A Bath While Pregnant?
Shih Tzu can take a bath while pregnant. As long as you handle her with care, ensure that she is not distressed during this time, and follow the advice as given. Bathing is an essential part of keeping your pregnant Shih Tzu hygienic, safe, healthy, and happy too.
Should You Bathe A Pregnant Shih Tzu? Is It Essential?
Bathing your Shih Tzu is not just something to do to help them smell amazing, it is also essential to keep them clean and free from debris, oils, and dirt. This is even more essential for your pregnant Shih Tzu.
It is an important step to ensure that your pregnant Shih Tzu is hygienic when giving birth and free of debris and dirt when her newborn puppies start nursing.
Is It Safe To Bathe A Pregnant Shih Tzu?
It is completely safe to bathe your pregnant Shih Tzu. However, there are some things to take into considerations to ensure that this is a safe and pleasurable experience for both you and your dog.
Take into consideration that this is a sensitive time for your female Shih Tzu. You mustn’t put any unnecessary pressure on her abdomen. Handle with care is the motto here.
Make sure that all your bathing tools are nearby so you can focus on handling your Shih Tzu. Accidents happen so fast that it is important to keep your attention on your pregnant dog to prevent her from slipping and falling.
This is also important as you need to keep your eye on how your dog reacts to this experience. If she looks very stressed, take a break. Continue once she is calmer. Follow along with her pace to ensure that she enjoys the experience as well.
When Should A Pregnant Shih Tzu Bathe? –Early Pregnancy, Mid, Later Stages Of Pregnancy Towards Whelping
Shih Tzu’s, in general, should be bathed every three weeks. Washing your Shih Tzu too regularly can strip them of their natural oils and cause them to have dry and irritated skin.
However, this might be different for when your Shih Tzu is pregnant. Here it is where your discretion comes into play. If you see that your Shih Tzu is distressed by being bathed it might be important to limit the amount during this time.
On the other hand, if a stressed Shih Tzu is not an issue it is important to keep her as hygienic as possible during her pregnancy. This will lessen the chances of infection or compromise of her health during a time where her immune system is lower than normal.
Either way, it is essential to be careful with the pressure you put on her abdomen.
Also, be wary of bathing her too soon after she gives birth. This is a sensitive time for her. As long as you kept her clean before she gave birth, the puppies should have a clean area to nurse on.
What Are The Risks?
As mentioned before, bathing your pregnant Shih Tzu is safe. However, there are some risk factors to take into consideration.
- Avoid putting pressure on her abdomen. This area is very sensitive during pregnancy. Putting undue pressure on your Shih Tzu’s abdomen can also cause difficulties with her success during pregnancy. This is why it is important to be as gentle as possible with her.
- Using Shampoo that is free of pesticides and chemicals. Pesticides and chemicals can seep through your dog’s skin into her body. This is especially dangerous during pregnancy and can cause many health issues for the unborn puppy as well as your pregnant Shih Tzu.
- Slipping and Falling. Make sure that you are focused on your pregnant Shih Tzu when bathing her. If she slips and falls this can create complications with her pregnancy and possibly lead to a loss of pregnancy. Make sure you have control of her during the whole process. If an accident does happen, call your vet as soon as possible.
- Watch for signs of discomfort. Even if your Shih Tzu used to love being bathed before pregnancy, her hormones might have changed the way she felt about it during pregnancy. Keep an eye on how she reacts during this experience. Stop doing anything that seems to cause her discomfort. Move according to her pace and ensure that this experience is as stress-free as possible for her.
What Are The Benefits?
The benefits of bathing your pregnant Shih Tzu are not limited to leaving her smelling fragrant and clean. There is more to it than just that. Other benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Getting rid of oil build-up on her skin. Oils are a natural part of keeping hair and skin healthy. However, it can build up and cause clogged pores and trap dirt on the skin or hair. Bathing can help to break down the excess oils and leave your Shih Tzu fresh and clean.
- Remove dirt and particles from your pregnant Shih Tzu. Dogs will be dogs, whether pregnant or not. They enjoy playing around in the grass and dirt leaving their fur with trapped dirt and particles. This can irritate the skin if not washed soon enough. During pregnancy, your Shih Tzu’s immune system is lower than normal. Prevent discomfort and infection is essential during this time.
- Relaxing. If your Shih Tzu still enjoys being bathed during pregnancy it might be the perfect time to treat her and help her relax.
Can A Pregnant Shih Tzu Bathe At Night?
Bathing your pregnant Shih Tzu at night has not risk factors in and of itself. However, there are some things to take into consideration.
If your Shih Tzu already has a routine she likes to stick to, she might be too tired to be bathed at night. Depending on how late at night you want to bathe her, it might interfere with her much needed sleep time.
Another factor to consider is that it is significantly colder at night compared to the day. For this reason, it might take longer for your Shih Tzu to dry after being bathed. This could be the perfect storm for a cold or illness of the sort.
If you do decide to bathe your pregnant Shih Tzu at night make sure that it doesn’t interfere with her sleep time. To prevent her from drying in the cold, you can consider drying her with a towel. One that you won’t worry about getting dirty, of course.
Can A Pregnant Shih Tzu Bathe in the winter?
As mentioned above, bathing your pregnant Shih Tzu in the cold is probably not the fondest experience for her or you. However, keeping her clean is essential. During this time you might want to use water that is a tiny bit warmer than usual. Not too much that it irritates your Shih Tzu’s skin.
Also, consider using a towel to dry her afterward instead of letting her dry in the cold. Use conditioners to protect her from the dry air during the winter months.
Always consider the distress she might experience. Keep a close eye on how she reacts to the experience. Stop anything that causes her to look stressed and continue at a pace that is enjoyable to her.
Should A Pregnant Shih Tzu Bathe In Hot, Warm, Lukewarm, Or Cold Water?
It is always best to bathe your Shih Tzu in lukewarm water. Look at her reaction to the temperature of the water and adjust accordingly.
If the water is too hot it can irritate your Shih Tzu’s skin. It can also cause her distress which you will be able to see from her reaction.
If the water is too cold, however, it can also cause her distress. Besides the fact that the cold can cause your Shih Tzu to become sick, the cold water will also not be efficient in washing away excess oils and dirt on your dog.
What Is The Best Shampoo To Use On A Pregnant Shih Tzu? [What Are The Ingredients To Avoid]
It is best to avoid shampoos with chemicals and pesticides. Stick to shampoos that state that they are natural and free of damaging ingredients. If you are unsure be sure to consult your vet.
Here is a short list of ingredients to stay away from when purchasing shampoo for your pregnant Shih Tzu.
- Sodium benzoate preservative. When mixed with citric acid or ascorbic acid this ingredient can become very harmful to your Shih Tzu. Otherwise, it is deemed to be safe.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). It is a well-known skin irritant and can cause toxicity to organs when inhaled.
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate. It is a known surfactant and has a high contamination risk with other ingredients.
- Ammonium Laureth Sulfate. It is also known as a surfactant and can irritate the skin.
- Polysorbates. This ingredient is usually treated with ethylene. If the ethylene is not completely cleaned out at the end, it is contaminated with a known carcinogen.
- Cocamidopropyl betaine. It can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.
This is only a concentrated list of ingredients to look out for. You can view the full list on Pesticide Research’s website.
What Grooming Products Should Be Avoided When Bathing A Pregnant Shih Tzu?
There are no specific grooming products to avoid when bathing your pregnant Shih Tzu. However, it is advised to handle her with care when using grooming products.
As stressed previously it is essential not to put pressure on her abdomen. Instead, opt for picking her up with one arm around her chest and the other by her hind legs.
When grooming her in any way it is also important to avoid putting pressure on her mammary glands. This is especially important close to whelping as the initial fluid from the teats are essential for the puppies. It is best to not interfere with this area and cause accidental leakage before the puppies can nurse from the mother.
When Not To Bathe A Shih Tzu While Pregnant?
There is no specific time when not to bathe your Shih Tzu during pregnancy. Except when it causes her a lot of distress or when advised not to do so by your vet.
If she continues to be distressed during bath time, it might be time to think of creative ways to keep her clean. Perhaps instead of using running water, bathe her from a bucket with water to limit her exposure to the water. You can also try distracting her with something she enjoys, like a treat or a toy.
It is always advised to listen to your vet first and foremost. If you are unsure, get a second opinion from a different vet. As long as you and your pregnant Shih Tzu are safe and happy, that is all that matters.