Shih Tzu is a hypoallergenic dog breed that doesn’t shed much. But did you know that there are some factors that cause abnormal shedding in Shih Tzus?
Unlike other dog breeds, these cute fellows are small, affectionate, and playful. Many people say that Shih Tzus don’t shed. But it’s not the case because this dog breed also goes through this issue and it’s quite normal.
Today, we’ll talk about the famous Shih Tzu breed and Shih Tzu shedding. Also, we’ll discuss the reasons why Shih Tzus shed and tips to control Shih Tzu shedding.
After reading this article, you’ll get to know the difference between normal and abnormal Shih Tzu shedding, factors increasing shedding in your Shih Tzu, and how you can avoid them.
So, without further adieu let’s dive into the details.
How Much Do Shih Tzu Dogs Shed?
Shih Tzu dogs have double coat hair: shorter inner hair layer and longer inner layer. That’s why they are called the double-coated breed of dogs.
There’s a misconception that Shih Tzus don’t shed at all. Just like other dog breeds, Shih Tzus also shed, but less.
Now, why do people think that Shih Tzus don’t shed?
Well, the most important reason behind Shih Tzu’s hair shedding is that, unlike other dog breeds, Shih Tzu’s coat is made of silky hair, not fur. That’s the reason why Shih Tzus are considered a non-shedding dog breed.
When a Shih Tzu reaches its adult age (6 to 12 months) it loses its puppy coat and develops an adult coat made of hair.
So, under normal conditions, Shih Tzu shedding is barely noticeable because they lose less hair than other dog breeds. Also, these dogs have thick double coats that trap their hair. For this reason, Shih Tzus are also called hypoallergenic because you’ll not see allergic fur here and there on the floor.
But if you see excessive shedding, it means your dog has a problem or you might be doing something wrong.
So, let’s discuss why Shih Tzus shed. Also, we will talk about some factors that result in abnormal or excessive shedding.
Two Common Reasons Why Shih Tzus Shed
The following are the two normal situations that result in Shih Tzu’s shedding:
The most common reason behind adult Shih Tzus shedding is pregnancy. It’s a common situation in which a Shih Tzu sheds after giving birth to little ones. It’s also known as Pregnancy Shed and varies from dog to dog. If your Shih Tzu is pregnant or has passed the delivery stage, it’s normal if it sheds.
2. Seasonal Shedding
Seasonal shedding is common in all types of dog breeds including Shih Tzus. With the change in season, your Shih Tzu will shed to renew its coat and regulate the body temperature. However, you should not see excessive shedding in any season.
Because of low temperatures in winter, your Shih Tzu will have dry skin. As a result, your dog’s skin will reach a weakened state, decreasing hair density and causing shedding. On the other hand, Shih Tzus shed more in spring and summer, but not as much as other dog breeds do.
Now, you might think about why Shih Tzus shed more in spring but less in winter. It’s because they have to renew their undercoats according to the changes in weather.
In spring and summer, Shih Tzus lose their thick undercoats to avoid the heat. Similarly, in winter, they renew their undercoats and develop thick coats to survive cold temperatures.
These are the two common reasons why Shih Tzus shed. Whether Shih Tzu shed due to pregnancy or seasonal change, you shouldn’t see excessive shedding. If you see so, it means you’re making some mistakes that you should not do.
Apart from these reasons, there are some factors that impact the amount of shedding in Shih Tzus. These include:
- Sex (male or female)
- Coat quality
- Stress and anxiety
- Skin problems
What Causes Excessive Shedding In Shih Tzus?
If you doubt that your Shih Tzu is shedding too much, you should look for the following factors as they result in excessive or abnormal shedding in these dogs.
- Weak immune system
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Food allergies
- Bacterial infections
- Environmental factors
All these factors result in excessive shedding in Shih Tzus. If you notice that your dog is looking unhealthy and is shedding too much, you better see a vet for identifying the cause behind it.
Shedding In Shih Tzu Puppies
The rate of shedding in a Shih Tzu puppy is different from an adult Shih Tzu. A newly born Shih Tzu has short, fine, and thick coats as compared to adults. During the growth of a baby Shih Tzu to an adult Shih Tzu, you’ll experience shedding which is absolutely normal.
It occurs when a Shih Tzu puppy is four months old. The puppy faces a little bit of excessive shedding until it becomes at least nine months old and develops its adult coat.
During this phase, you might also notice a change in coat color. So, don’t worry about this at all because there is nothing wrong with your dog.
Grooming Tips For Shih Tzu Owners During Normal Shedding
As we mentioned earlier, Shih Tzus shed so little that we can even notice it. However, you can’t just let your dog shed on its own. If you’re a new Shih Tzu owner, you should know everything it takes to keep your dog healthy.
The following are a few grooming tips that you should follow to become a responsible Shih Tzu owner.
Bath Your Shih Tzu
It doesn’t matter whether you have a Shih Tzu dog or any other pet, you’ll have to adopt a good grooming routine. Many people think that Shih Tzus are hypoallergenic and shed less so they don’t require much grooming. Well, that’s not the case. And if you’re not taking care of your Shih Tzu, it might result in excessive shedding and other health issues.
Most of you might not know that dog breeds like Shih Tzu and Pomeranians face mats (dog fur becomes tangled) quickly because of their fast hair growth. If you show carelessness, your dog will not only look ugly but also face excessive shedding.
During Shih Tzu seasonal shedding, we recommend bathing it every three weeks. This number is neither too less nor too much for Shih Tzus. This bathing routine will keep your dog’s coat clean from oil and other particles.
Things To Consider While Bathing your Shih Tzus
Below are a few things you should keep in mind while bathing your Shih Tzu:
- Always prefer using natural shampoo to clean your Shih Tzu’s hair; if you can’t find one, make sure you use the one that is of the best quality.
- Don’t apply shampoo in large quantities because it contains harmful chemicals that damage dog hair and might result in thin hair.
- Make sure to wash away the remaining shampoo from your dog’s hairs because anything left in the coat will result in more shedding.
- Cover the outer canals of your dog’s ear so water can’t enter and cause infections.
- Always prefer warm water as it suits them best for giving baths to dogs.
- Don’t forget to use conditioner to give the final touch.
- Dry your Shih Tzu either with a towel or a blow dryer, which one is suitable for you.
These are a few important things you need to consider while giving a bath to your Shih Tzu dog. Also, you have to be careful because your adorable pet is sensitive and requires soft hands for bathing.
2. Brush Your Shih Tzu
Apart from bathing, you have to take care of brushing your Shih Tzu’s hair daily. During shedding season, you’ve to use a high-quality tool that will remove loose hairs from the thick coat of Shih Tzu. These hairs catch the oil discharged from dog bodies resulting in an ugly smell. So, brushing daily will keep your dog smell free, even in shedding season.
Regular brushing is a time-consuming job because of Shih Tzu’s thick double coat. If you’re a busy person, we recommend shortening your dog’s hair. A dog with short hair will face fewer mats or tangles, resulting in less brushing effort.
Things To Consider While Brushing
Below are a few things you should keep in mind while brushing your Shih Tzu:
- Use shampoo to make the brushing process smooth and easy.
- Always use a high-quality brush with rubber teeth for better results.
- Remove all loose hairs from your Shih Tzu’s entire body.
- Remove tightly wound clumps of the hair.
- Pet your dog to make it stay calm during the brushing process.
Unlike bathing, you can brush your Shih Tzu almost every day. If you’re a busy person, you should do this at least two or three times a week. This grooming habit will ensure that your Shih Tzu sheds less and stays healthy.
Things you Should Avoid During Normal Shih Tzu Shedding
Many Shih Tzu owners make silly mistakes during normal shedding that they should avoid. If you love your dog, you should avoid these mistakes to keep it healthy. So, let’s check them out and if you think you’re making the same mistakes, stop them right now!
1. Avoid Frequent Bathing
It’s the most common mistake that Shih Tzu dog owners make during shedding. Most of them don’t even consider it a mistake because they think bathing their dog will reduce shedding.
Well, that’s not the case because your dog will shed and replace its coat completely during the shedding season. People do this quite often because they don’t want to face allergies caused by dog hair.
You don’t have to worry about allergies due to Shih Tzu hair because these are hypoallergenic dogs. So, don’t bathe your dog multiple times a week because shampoo or other chemicals will damage the coat of your Shih Tzu.
Also, frequently bathing your dog will remove natural oil from its body, making the skin dry. As a result, you will make your pet prone to skin diseases.
2. Avoid Unnecessary Medicines
New Shih Tzu owners believe that these dogs don’t shed at all. That’s why when they see shedding, they think that their dog is going through a hair loss problem.
To cure this, they give medicines to their pets that result in other health issues. You have to understand that shedding is common in Shih Tzu dogs, so don’t buy medicines to stop shedding.
Here, you just have to take extra care of grooming your pet and that’s it. There is no need to waste money on those expensive medicines because seasonal shedding is a normal process in Shih Tzus.
3. Shave Your Shih Tzu Dog Regularly
Some Shih Tzu dog owners don’t want to brush and clean loose hair regularly. For this reason, they simply shave their dog to cut the hassle.it’s a foolish act because your Shih Tzu’s double coat regulates the body temperature and prevents the dog from weather changes.
Shaving your dog will not only make it prone to skin infections but also make your dog look ugly. So, spare some time for proper grooming of your Shih Tzu instead of doing such silly things.
Most Effective Tips To Control Shih Tzu Shedding
Before ending today’s discussion, let’s share our effective tips on how to control Shih Tzu Shedding. Yes, you can’t stop your Shih Tzu from shedding but you can control it by taking some effective measures.
Note that these tips will help you control both normal and excessive Shih Tzu shedding. So, let’s check them out.
1. Focus on your Pup’s Diet
Properly grooming your Shih Tzu is indeed the best method to reduce Shih Tzu dog shedding. But if you think your dog is shedding too much, you have to focus on its diet. How often you should feed your Shih Tzu dog depends on its age.
When you have a Shih Tzu puppy that is under three months old, you have to feed it according to the physical demands of your pup as your vet advises. Shih Tzu puppies need more food because they’re more prone to hypoglycemia, a disease in which there is a rapid decrease in blood sugar levels. To avoid this, you have to keep your pet full of food.
If your Shih Tzu is one year old, you must feed it three times a day. It’s a perfect feeding frequency to improve your dog’s health.
The same is the case with adult Shih Tzus. You can feed them two to three times a day to keep them healthy. And remember that a healthy dog has healthy hair.
2. Get Good Quality Food for your Shih Tzus
Apart from feeding frequency, you also have to focus on food quality. The best method is to prepare homemade dishes for your adorable pet. If you don’t have time for this, you can simply use wholesale foods including fish, sweet potato, blueberries, brown rice, and whole yogurt.
These food items will keep your dog’s hair healthy and also affect overall doggo’s health positively.
Also, make sure to keep toxic foods away from your Shih Tzu. Some foods that are toxic for these dogs include onions, grapes, salt, tea, coffee, etc.
3. Use Supplements
Using supplements is not a bad idea. Nowadays, you get a lot of supplements that you can feed your Shih Tzu to make it healthier. There are different supplements available to fulfill certain deficiencies in Shih Tzus.
For example, the high-calorie nutritional supplement is the best way to increase calorie intake for Shih Tzu puppies and improve their growth. The same is the case with other nutritional supplements. However, you have to consult a vet before giving supplements to your lovely pet.
Some other beneficial supplements for Shih Tzus include omega fatty acid supplement, joint supplement, antioxidants, etc.
Shih Tzus are one of the most famous dog breeds in the world. Whether you want adorable puppies or just looking for beautiful dogs that don’t require much attention, Shih Tzus are for you without giving a second thought to, “do Shih Tzus shed a lot?”
Thanks for making it this far till the end. Today, we discussed everything you need to know about Shih Tzu’s hair shedding. Do let us know in the comments if you own a Shih Tzu. Also, let us know how you take care of your pet. Thanks!
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