Do Shih Tzu Shed

Do Shih Tzu Shed? Understanding Your Furry Friend’s Coat

Are you considering adding a Shih Tzu to your family but concerned about shedding? Shedding is an important factor to consider when choosing a pet. In this article, we will unravel the truth about Shih Tzu shedding and provide you with valuable insights into their unique coat. So, let’s dive in and explore whether Shih Tzus shed or not.

The Shih Tzu Coat: What Makes It Unique?

Shih Tzus possesses a luxurious double coat that sets them apart from other dog breeds. Unlike dogs with fur, Shih Tzus have hair, which grows continuously rather than shedding seasonally.

Their hair is soft and silky, similar to human hair, making them a sought-after breed for those with allergies or sensitivities. Understanding the distinct characteristics of their coat is crucial in managing shedding effectively.

Shih Tzus has a topcoat, known as the guard hair, which protects against the elements. Underneath the topcoat is a soft and dense undercoat that provides insulation. This double-layered coat contributes to its signature appearance and requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and tangle-free.

Do Shih Tzu Shed? The Truth About Shih Tzus

Contrary to popular belief, Shih Tzus do shed, just like any other breed. However, their shedding is less noticeable due to the unique nature of their hair. While they don’t experience heavy shedding like some breeds, regular grooming is still necessary to maintain their coat’s health and cleanliness.

Shih Tzus has what is known as a low-shedding coat. This means that they shed less hair compared to breeds with fur. The hair that Shih Tzus shed tends to get caught in their long hair rather than falling onto the floor or furniture, making it less noticeable. However, if their coat is not properly maintained, the shed hair can become tangled and result in mats.

Why does Shih Tzus Shed so little?

Shih Tzus is known for shedding very little, and this is due to a combination of factors. First and foremost, Shih Tzus has a unique coat that is made up of hair, not fur. Unlike fur, which sheds constantly, hair grows to a certain length and then falls out on its own.

Additionally, Shih Tzus have a low-shedding gene, which means they shed less than many other breeds of dogs. Another factor that contributes to the low shedding of Shih Tzus is their size. Shih Tzus are a small breed of dog, and as a result, they simply do not have as much fur or hair as larger breeds.

Why Your Shih Tzu Puppy is Shedding
Why Your Shih Tzu Puppy is Shedding

Factors That Influence Shih Tzu Shedding

Several factors can affect Shih Tzu’s shedding patterns. It’s essential to consider these factors when understanding and managing their shedding effectively:

1. Coat type

Shih Tzus can have either a single coat or a double coat. Double-coated Shih Tzus have an undercoat of soft, downy fur that provides insulation, while the topcoat comprises longer, coarser hairs. This topcoat is what gives Shih Tzus their signature long, flowing locks. While single and double-coated Shih Tzus shed, the double-coated variety tends to shed more.

2. Age

A Shih Tzu’s age can also affect shedding. Puppies generally shed less than adult dogs, but they may go through a shedding period when they lose their baby fur and grow in their adult coat. Senior dogs may also shed more due to age-related changes in their skin and coat.

3. Health and nutrition

A Shih Tzu’s overall health and nutrition can also play a role in shedding. Dogs with poor diets or health issues may experience more shedding than healthy dogs. It’s important to feed your Shih Tzu a high-quality diet and to keep up with regular veterinary checkups to ensure their overall health and well-being.

4. Seasonal changes

Seasonal shedding is natural in the animal kingdom (including among humans and cats). During winter, you wear clothes that will keep you warm. This concept affects Sh Tzu’s likeliness to shed in the different seasons of the year.

Many dogs, including Shih Tzus, experience a seasonal shed in the spring and fall. During these times, they may shed more heavily than usual as their bodies prepare for a temperature change. This shedding is often referred to as “blowing their coat.”

5. Stress

Like humans, dogs can experience stress, leading to shedding. If your Shih Tzu is experiencing a lot of stress, such as from changes in routine or environment, they may shed more than usual.

You can look at other symptoms to confirm whether the dog is going through a stressful period.

These symptoms you should watch out for include:

  • Destructive behavior
  • Tail between its legs
  • Ear pinned back
  • Pacing
  • Panting or drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Aggression
  • Avoidance

Once you ascertain that your Shih Tzu might be stressed, you must find their stress source and get rid of it or find a better way to make them feel comfortable again.

In my experience, stress among dogs can be caused by different events, including introducing new people or pets into your home, unfamiliar places, overstimulation, or loud noises.

It could also be a disease, an upset stomach, a sprained bone, or an illness. If you try everything to make your Shih Tzu comfortable but nothing seems to work, you need to schedule a visit with your vet and see what else could be wrong.

6. Parasites, Ticks, and Fleas

Ticks, fleas, and other parasites tend to cause your Shih Tzu to become uncomfortable and itchy. This will result in more scratching and hair loss.

If you ever suspect your dog has ticks or fleas, you must inspect it properly and closely. You can quickly treat ticks and fleas using a specialized insecticide or flea shampoo from a pet store or vet.

In these cases, your home must be cleaned, especially in spaces where the dog used to lie. These include blankets, furniture, and bedding; you must go through your laundry to ensure it’s properly cleaned.

7. Pregnancy or Neutered

Different hormones (mainly testosterone) can play a massive part in ensuring hair follicles remain healthy and strong.

Significant changes in an animal’s hormones (including pregnancy or getting neutered) tend to cause changes in hair follicles and skin elasticity. This may result in significant shedding over the next couple of months.

However, do not worry! Your Shih Tzu’s coat may generally return to its normal state over time.

8. Allergies

Allergies can cause itchy and inflamed skin, like parasites and ticks, which might result in scratching and more shedding.

You can quickly tell if your Shih Tzu is suffering from any allergies by looking for the following signs:

  • Inflamed, infected, or red ears
  • Scabs from scratching or patches of fur missing
  • Red, itchy skin
  • Constant scratching
  • Sneezing
  • Red and watery eyes

Shih Tzu allergies can be food- or environmentally-based, and you will need to consult with the vet to determine the exact cause and avoid it.

9. Poor Diet

Food is the main culprit whenever excessive shedding is introduced among Shih Tzus and other dog breeds.

According to studies, excessive shedding, flaky skin, and a dull coat can be caused by a deficiency of omega 6 and 3. 30 percent of your dog’s daily protein intake can help renew its hair and skin.

A Shih Tzu’s coat and skin are susceptible to certain deficiencies in their nutrition. You ought to ensure provide balanced and high-quality dog food.

Balanced diets contain a balance of Essential Fatty Acids and Proteins that promote skin elasticity and stronger hair follicles. This will reduce shedding and keep the Shih Tzu’s coat healthy.

10. Grooming

Regular grooming is important for all dogs, but it can be especially important for Shih Tzus. If their fur becomes matted or tangled, it can lead to shedding. Regular brushing and grooming can help prevent this and keep your Shih Tzu coat healthy and shiny.

Shedding Patterns: What Can You Expect From a Shih Tzu?

Understanding the typical shedding patterns of Shih Tzus is essential for managing and maintaining their coat. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Puppy Shedding: Shih Tzu puppies have a different coat texture compared to adults. They may go through a puppy coat “blowout” phase, where their fluffy puppy fur sheds as their adult hair grows in. This shedding phase is temporary and typically subsides as they mature. During this phase, regular grooming and brushing are essential to prevent matting and keep their coat healthy.
  • Adult Shedding: Shih Tzus generally have minimal shedding, thanks to their hair-like coat. You may notice some hair in the brush or on your clothes, but it’s usually not excessive. Regular grooming sessions can help remove loose hair and prevent matting. Brushing your Shih Tzu’s coat daily or every other day is recommended to keep your coat tangle-free and minimize shedding.

It’s important to note that each Shih Tzu may have slight variations in their shedding patterns. Some individuals may shed more than others due to factors such as genetics, overall health, and coat care.

How Often Do Shih Tzu Dogs Shed?

Shih Tzu dogs shed minimally compared to other dog breeds. However, they go through two heavy shedding periods each year, typically during the spring and fall.

During these times, you may notice increased hair around your Shih Tzu’s ears, face, legs, and undercoat. To help reduce shedding and keep your Shih Tzu’s coat healthy and looking its best, brush them regularly and give them occasional baths.

When Shedding May Signal a Problem?

While some shedding is normal for Shih Tzus, excessive or sudden shedding may indicate an underlying issue. Keep an eye out for the following signs that may warrant a visit to the veterinarian:

  • Patchy or Uneven Hair Loss: If your Shih Tzu develops patches of hair loss or bald spots, it could be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as allergies, hormonal imbalances, or skin infections.
  • Excessive Itching or Scratching: Persistent itching or scratching can lead to hair loss and may indicate the presence of parasites, skin infections, or allergies. Fleas, ticks, mites, or allergies to certain ingredients in food or grooming products can cause itching and excessive shedding.
  • Changes in Coat Texture or Quality: If your Shih Tzu coat becomes dull, dry, or brittle, it could be a sign of nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, or an underlying health issue. Consulting with a veterinarian can help identify the cause and provide appropriate treatment.

Managing Shih Tzu Shedding: Tips and Tricks for Owners

Although shedding is a natural process, there are several steps you can take to minimize and manage your Shih Tzu’s shedding effectively. Here are some practical tips and tricks:

Grooming Routines to Minimize Shedding

Regular grooming is crucial in maintaining a healthy coat and reducing shedding. Follow these grooming routines to keep your Shih Tzu looking their best:

1. Brushing

Brush your Shih Tzu’s coat daily to remove loose hair and prevent mats and tangles. Use a slicker brush or a comb specifically designed for long-haired breeds. Start from the roots and work your way to the tips of the hair, ensuring you reach the undercoat.

Pro Tip: Divide your Shih Tzu’s coat into sections and brush each section thoroughly. This approach ensures that you don’t miss any tangles or mats.

2. Bathing

Regular baths help keep your Shih Tzu’s coat clean and remove any loose hair. Use a gentle, hypoallergenic dog shampoo and conditioner formulated for long-haired breeds. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to remove all product residue.

Pro Tip: To prevent matting, blow-dry your Shih Tzu’s coat in a low-heat setting after bathing. Make sure to brush their coat as you blow-dry to prevent tangles.

3. Trimming

Regular trimming or professional grooming can help control the length of your Shih Tzu’s hair, reducing the risk of tangles and matting. Trim the hair around their eyes, ears, and paws to keep them clean and prevent irritation.

Pro Tip: If you’re uncomfortable trimming your Shih Tzu’s hair, consider scheduling regular grooming appointments with a professional groomer. They have the expertise to handle the specific needs of Shih Tzu coats.

4. Ear and Eye Care

Shih Tzus are prone to eye and ear issues, which can lead to excessive tearing and discharge. Keeping their eyes and ears clean and free from irritation can help minimize shedding related to these issues.

Pro Tip: Use a damp cloth or specialized dog wipes to gently clean the area around your Shih Tzu’s eyes and ears. Avoid using cotton swabs or inserting anything into their ears, as it can cause injury.

Diet and Supplements to Support Coat Health

A well-balanced diet rich in essential nutrients can promote a healthy coat and reduce shedding. Consider the following dietary factors:

Protein: Ensure your Shih Tzu’s diet includes high-quality protein sources such as lean meats or fish to support hair growth and coat health.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Incorporate omega-3 fatty acids into their diet through fish oil supplements or foods rich in these essential fatty acids. Omega-3s help maintain a healthy coat and reduce inflammation.

Vitamins and Minerals: Opt for a high-quality dog food that includes essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E, biotin, and zinc.

Pro Tip: Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet and supplements for your Shih Tzu’s specific needs. They can recommend appropriate brands and dosages based on your dog’s age, size, and overall health.

The Non-Shedding Myth: Debunking Misconceptions About Shih Tzus

It’s important to address the misconception that Shih Tzus is completely non-shedding. No dog breed is truly non-shedding, although some breeds shed less than others. Shih Tzus may shed less noticeably due to their hair-like coat, but regular grooming and maintenance are still necessary to keep their coat healthy and prevent matting.

Hypoallergenic Dogs and Shih Tzus: What You Need to Know

Many allergy sufferers seek out hypoallergenic dog breeds in the hope of minimizing allergic reactions. While Shih Tzus is often touted as hypoallergenic, it’s important to note that no dog breed is completely hypoallergenic.

Shih Tzus may produce fewer allergens compared to breeds with fur, but individual reactions may vary. If you have allergies, spend time with a Shih Tzu before committing to ensure you don’t experience adverse reactions.


Q: Are Shih Tzus hypoallergenic?

A: Shih Tzus are often considered hypoallergenic because they produce fewer allergens than dogs with fur. However, individual reactions may vary, so spend time with a Shih Tzu before committing to ensure compatibility.

Q: How often should I groom my Shih Tzu?

A: Regular grooming is essential for Shih Tzus. Aim to brush their coat daily, bathe them every few weeks, and consider professional grooming every 4-8 weeks to maintain their coat’s health and minimize shedding.

Q: Do Shih Tzus require any special dietary supplements for coat health?

A: While a balanced diet is crucial, you can enhance your Shih Tzu’s coat health by incorporating omega-3 fatty acid supplements, such as fish oil, and ensuring their diet includes essential vitamins and minerals.


In conclusion, Shih Tzus do shed, albeit less noticeably compared to other breeds. Understanding their unique coat and implementing proper grooming routines and a balanced diet can help minimize shedding and maintain a healthy coat. Remember, shedding is a natural process, and with the right care, you can embrace your Shih Tzu, shedding and all, as a beloved member of your family.

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