Why Is My Shih Tzu’s Face Always Wet? What You Need To Know.

I’ve been raising these adorable furballs for over a decade, and let me tell you, I’ve seen my fair share of soggy faces. In fact, I’ve tested countless methods to keep my Shih Tzu’s face dry and clean.

If you’re tired of your pup looking like they just took a dip in their water bowl, keep reading. In this post, I’ll share the top reasons behind those wet Shih Tzu faces and give you practical tips to tackle this damp dilemma.

What’s Up with Those Watery Eyes?

Ever wondered why your Shih Tzu’s eyes seem to be constantly leaking? Let’s break it down:

  1. Eye Structure: Shih Tzus have big, round eyes that stick out a bit. This cute feature can cause some tear drainage issues.
  2. Tear Production: These little guys make tears all day to keep their peepers healthy. Sometimes, it’s just too much for their tiny tear ducts to handle.
  3. Facial Shape: That adorable flat face? It can make it tricky for tears to drain properly.

The Soggy Beard Situation

It’s not just the eyes causing all the wetness. Your Shih Tzu’s eating and drinking habits play a big role too:

  • Enthusiastic Drinkers: Many Shih Tzus love to splash around in their water bowls.
  • Messy Eaters: Let’s face it, table manners aren’t their strong suit. Food and water can get trapped in all that facial fur.

Health Factors to Consider

Sometimes, a constantly wet face might be a sign of an underlying health issue:

  1. Eye Irritation: Allergies or other irritants can make eyes water more than usual.
  2. Eyelid Problems: Some Shih Tzus have eyelids that roll inward or extra eyelashes that poke their eyes.
  3. Blocked Tear Ducts: Just like humans, dogs can get clogged tear drainage systems.

Practical Tips to Keep Your Shih Tzu’s Face Dry

Now that we know why your Shih Tzu’s face is always wet, let’s talk about how to fix it:

1. Grooming is Key

Regular grooming isn’t just about making your pup look fab. It’s crucial for managing that wet face issue:

  • Trim Around the Eyes: Keep the hair around your dog’s eyes short. This helps tears flow where they should instead of all over the face.
  • Beard Trims: A shorter beard means less fur to hold onto water and food particles.
  • Daily Face Wipes: Gently clean your Shih Tzu’s face every day with a pet-safe wipe or a soft, damp cloth.

2. Mealtime Strategies

Let’s face it, Shih Tzus aren’t known for their table manners. But we can help them out a bit:

  • Raised Bowls: These can help your Shih Tzu eat and drink without dunking their whole face in the bowl.
  • Water Fountains: Some dogs prefer running water, which can lead to less mess.
  • Special Bowls: Look for bowls designed to keep long-eared dogs’ ears out of their food and water.

3. Health Check-Ups

Sometimes, a consistently wet face needs a professional opinion:

  • If you notice a sudden increase in tear production
  • If your Shih Tzu seems uncomfortable or paws at their eyes often
  • If you see any changes in eye color or clarity

Understanding Your Shih Tzu’s Eyes

Let’s take a closer look at those adorable Shih Tzu peepers:

Eye Anatomy 101

Shih Tzus have what we call “brachycephalic” features. In simple terms, this means they have flat faces and big, round eyes. While this gives them that sweet, expressive look we love, it also comes with some challenges:

  • Protruding Eyes: Their eyes stick out more than some other breeds, making them more prone to irritation.
  • Shallow Eye Sockets: This can sometimes make it harder for tears to drain properly.
  • Facial Folds: Those cute wrinkles around their eyes can trap moisture and debris.

Why Dogs Produce Tears

Believe it or not, those tears aren’t just there to make your Shih Tzu look sad when they want a treat. They serve important functions:

  1. Eye Protection: Tears help wash away dust and debris that might irritate the eye.
  2. Lubrication: They keep the eye moist and comfortable.
  3. Nutrition: Tears actually carry nutrients to parts of the eye.

When to Worry About Your Shih Tzu’s Wet Face

While a bit of dampness is normal, sometimes a constantly wet face can be a sign that something needs attention:

Red Flags to Watch For

  • Color Changes: If the discharge from your Shih Tzu’s eyes changes color (like becoming yellowish or greenish), it’s time for a vet visit.
  • Swelling or Redness: Any puffiness or redness around the eyes needs to be checked out.
  • Squinting or Pawing: If your pup seems uncomfortable or is constantly pawing at their eyes, something’s probably up.

Living with a Wet-Faced Shih Tzu

Alright, so we’ve covered the whys and hows of wet Shih Tzu faces. But what about day-to-day life with these adorable, slightly damp doggos?

Embracing the Mess (Sometimes)

Let’s be real – sometimes, you just have to laugh at the situation. Your Shih Tzu’s wet face might leave marks on your clothes or furniture, but it’s all part of the package deal of loving these little goofballs.

Finding Humor in the Wetness

  • Keep a “Shih Tzu towel” in each room for quick wipe-downs and giggles.
  • Start a funny photo collection of your pup’s most “freshly misted” moments.

Creating a Shih Tzu-Friendly Home

A few tweaks around the house can make life easier for both you and your damp-faced friend:

  1. Washable Fabrics: Choose easy-to-clean materials for areas where your Shih Tzu likes to rest their face.
  2. Strategic Towel Placement: Keep small towels or wipes in convenient spots around your home.
  3. Waterproof Mats: Place these under water bowls to catch spills and drips.

The Social Life of a Wet-Faced Dog

Your Shih Tzu’s damp face might draw some attention when you’re out and about. Here’s how to handle it with grace and humor:

  • Educate with a Smile: When people ask about your pup’s wet face, use it as a chance to share what you’ve learned.
  • Carry Wipes: Keep some pet-safe wipes handy for quick clean-ups before greetings.
  • Embrace the Uniqueness: Your Shih Tzu’s wet face is part of what makes them special!

The Bright Side of Wet Faces

Believe it or not, there are some upsides to having a Shih Tzu with a perpetually damp face!

Built-in Face Wash

Think about it – your pup’s face is getting a constant gentle cleanse throughout the day. It’s like they have their own personal spa treatment!

Extra Cuddle Time

All that face-wiping means more one-on-one time with your furry friend. It’s a great chance for bonding and showing them some extra love.

A Unique Identifier

In a world full of Shih Tzus, your damp-faced darling stands out. It’s like they have their own signature look!

DIY Solutions for Wet Shih Tzu Faces

Let’s get hands-on with some homemade remedies to keep your Shih Tzu’s face drier:

1. Homemade Eye Wipes

You can make your own gentle eye wipes using:

  • 1 cup of distilled water
  • 1 tablespoon of boric acid (available at most pharmacies)
  • A splash of tear-free baby shampoo

Mix these ingredients and store them in an airtight container. Use a soft cloth dipped in this solution to gently clean around your Shih Tzu’s eyes daily.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Some Shih Tzu parents swear by an apple cider vinegar rinse to help with tear staining:

  • Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 10 parts water
  • Use a cotton ball to gently apply the solution around the eyes (avoid getting it in the eyes)
  • Rinse with clean water and pat dry

3. Coconut Oil Treatment

Coconut oil can help repel water and reduce staining:

  1. Melt a small amount of coconut oil in your hands
  2. Gently apply it to the fur around your Shih Tzu’s eyes and mouth
  3. Be careful not to get any in their eyes

Feeding Tips for a Drier Face

What goes into your Shih Tzu can affect what comes out – including those pesky tears. Here are some feeding tips that might help:

1. Consider a Raw Diet

Some Shih Tzu owners report fewer tear stains after switching to a raw diet. Always consult with your vet before making major diet changes.

2. Watch for Food Allergies

Food allergies can cause excessive tearing. Common culprits include:

  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Wheat
  • Chicken

Try an elimination diet under your vet’s guidance to identify any problem foods.

3. Add Probiotics

Probiotics can support overall health, which may help with tear production. You can find dog-specific probiotic supplements or add small amounts of plain yogurt to their diet.

Grooming Tools for Wet-Faced Shih Tzus

Having the right tools can make managing your Shih Tzu’s wet face much easier. Here are some must-haves:

  1. Stainless Steel Comb: Great for removing tangles in facial fur
  2. Blunt-Tipped Scissors: For trimming around the eyes and mouth
  3. Microfiber Towels: Absorbent and gentle for face drying
  4. Tear Stain Remover: Look for natural, dog-safe formulas
  5. Beard Brush: Helps keep the beard area clean and tangle-free

Preventing Eye Irritation

A lot of the wetness on your Shih Tzu’s face comes from eye irritation. Here are some tips to keep those peepers happy:

  1. Regular Eye Checks: Look for redness, swelling, or discharge daily
  2. Trim Nails: Long nails can scratch eyes if your pup paws at their face
  3. Use Protective Eyewear: Consider doggy goggles for windy days or swimming
  4. Clean Bedding: Wash your Shih Tzu’s bedding regularly to reduce allergens

When to Seek Professional Help

While many wet face issues can be managed at home, sometimes you need to call in the pros. Here’s when to seek help:

  1. Persistent Redness or Swelling: If eye irritation doesn’t improve with home care
  2. Changes in Eye Appearance: Cloudiness, color changes, or visible third eyelid
  3. Behavioral Changes: Increased pawing at eyes or face, or reluctance to be touched there
  4. Excessive Tearing: If your Shih Tzu’s face is constantly soaked despite your best efforts

Remember, your vet is your partner in keeping your Shih Tzu healthy and comfortable. Don’t hesitate to reach out with concerns.

Wrapping It Up

Living with a Shih Tzu means embracing a little bit of mess along with all the love and joy they bring. Their wet faces are just one of the quirks that make them so special and endearing.

Remember, every dog is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. The key is to find a routine that keeps your Shih Tzu comfortable and healthy while not driving you crazy with constant clean-ups.

At the end of the day, whether your Shih Tzu’s face is wet or dry, they’re still the same lovable, loyal companion that brightens your life. So grab a towel, give that damp face a gentle wipe, and enjoy all the slobbery kisses and wet-nosed nuzzles that come with being a Shih Tzu parent!

Have you found any unique solutions for keeping your Shih Tzu’s face dry? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below – let’s help each other out in our quest for drier, happier Shih Tzus!

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