How do I trim my Shih Tzu's eyelashes?

No lash extensions needed.

No lash extensions needed.


Groomer didn't trim eye lashes. She's five months old and I would like to trim them, they get dirty.

Reader's Comments

Karen Says

I have a tiny electric trimmer that I use for their eyelashes & between their toes. Not expensive I think I paid $20 for it. Hope this helps.

Our Answer

Thank you for your question about eyelash trimming. Even the best groomers can miss things once in a while and it’s important that we know how to perform little touch ups at home. Since eye health is one of the biggest health concerns with the breed, keeping the hair around the eyes properly trimmed is crucial. Overgrown hair can lead to watery eyes, tear staining, blocked ducts and even infections.

To trim eyelashes, start with a clean face. Use cotton balls dipped in warm water to clean around the eyes and on each side of your dog’s nose. You might also use a treated pad for removing tear stains, but be certain your product does not include antibiotics. Tear stain products with antibiotics are not recommended by most vets. Giving your dog antibiotics when they aren’t needed could render her resistant to their positive effects if she ever does need them.

If your dog is calm and compliant to trimming you can simply give the upper eyelashes a quick snip with a pair of blunt-end scissors. Never use sharp-ended scissors on your Shih Tzu, especially around their very vulnerable, protruding eyes.

If your pup squirms a lot or you don’t feel confident using scissors, an electric trimmer can be used instead. Use the trimmer without any attachments and gently touch the end of the trimmer against the eye lashes.

I suggest that if you’re not familiar with using an electric trimmer that you practice somewhere else before using it around the dog’s eyes. Trimming the hair on your dog’s pads is a great place to begin. While they are extremely safe, using an electric blade on your baby’s face can be nerve wracking if you’re not experienced with the tool.

One of my Shih Tzus is very stubborn and skittish and I actually find that the scissor method is less traumatic for both of us. Perhaps the noise of the electric trimmer so close to her ears makes her nervous, and a nervous dog is difficult to groom.

Sanitation is of utmost importance when trimming around your dog’s eyes. Make certain your hands and your trimming tools are clean. Germs and bacteria could easily be transferred to your Shih Tzus exposed eyes. I remember when I was a child there was a pair of scissors in the junk drawer known as the “dog scissors.” If our little Pomeranian-mix needed something trimmed from his face, foot or tail we pulled out the dog scissors and threw them right back into the drawer when we were done. Yuck!

Today I know better and use sterile wipes or a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean my dog-trimming tools. If you ever do give your Shih Tzu a complete haircut at home, remember to start with the face and work towards the rear. Never the reverse.

If your groomer consistently leaves your dog’s eyelashes too long, talk to her about it. Your groomer may have a preference for flirty long lashes or maybe she thinks you do; either way she’ll probably be happy to give your dog the cut you want if you take the time to let her know your preferences.

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