If you’re considering getting a Shih Tzu, one question that may come to mind is whether or not they shed. The good news is that Shih Tzus are considered to be a low-shedding breed, which makes them a great option for people who are allergic to dog hair or simply don’t want to deal with a lot of shedding. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about Shih Tzu shedding, from how much shedding to tips for managing it.
What is a Shih Tzu?
A Shih Tzu is a small breed of dog that has captured the hearts of many people worldwide. These furry little creatures are known for their charming personalities and beautiful coats. This makes them a popular choice for pet owners looking for a loyal and affectionate companion.
Originally from Tibet, Shih Tzus were brought to China by Tibetan monks, where they quickly became a favorite of the imperial court. In the 1930s, the Shih Tzu made its way to Europe, where it became a popular choice among the upper class. Today, these dogs are recognized by the American Kennel Club and are a beloved breed worldwide.
Do Shih Tzus Shed? Factors that Affect Shih Tzu Shedding
Yes, Shih Tzus do shed. But Shih Tzus are considered a low-shedding breed, which means they shed very little compared to other breeds. However, they do still shed to some extent, and the amount can vary depending on a variety of factors.
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.
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.”
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
- Panting or drooling
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.
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
- 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 keeps the Shih Tzu’s coat healthy.
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.
Why does Shih Tzus Shed so little?
Shih Tzus are known for shedding very little, and this is due to a combination of factors. First and foremost, Shih Tzus have 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.
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.
How to Manage Shih Tzu Shedding
If you’re concerned about managing your Shih Tzu’s shedding, there are several things you can do to help minimize the amount of fur in your home. Here are a few tips:
1. Brush your Shih Tzu regularly
Regular brushing is one of the most effective ways to manage shedding in Shih Tzus. Brushing helps remove loose fur before it can fall off your dog and onto your furniture or clothes. It can also help distribute your dog’s natural oils, keeping its coat healthy and shiny.
2. Bathe your Shih Tzu as needed
Regular bathing can also help manage shedding in Shih Tzus. Bathing can help remove loose fur and keep your dog’s coat clean and healthy. However, be careful not to over-bathe your dog, as this can strip their skin of natural oils and make shedding worse.
3. Keep your home clean
Regularly cleaning your home can also help manage shedding. Vacuuming, sweeping, and dusting can remove any loose fur that has already fallen off your Shih Tzu and prevent it from accumulating in your home.
4. Consider a professional groomer
If you’re struggling to manage your Shih Tzu’s shedding, you may want to consider taking them to a professional groomer. A groomer can give your dog a trim or shave that can help reduce shedding, as well as keep their coat healthy and tidy.
5. Use specialized grooming tools
There are also several grooming tools available that are designed specifically for managing shedding in dogs. These tools can include shedding blades, slicker brushes, and de-shedding combs. Ask your veterinarian or groomer for recommendations on the best tools for your Shih Tzu coat type and shedding level.
How to Prevent Shih Tzu from Shedding?
There are a few things you can do to help reduce shedding and keep your Shih Tzu’s coat healthy and looking its best:
- Brush your dog regularly. This will help remove loose hair and distribute natural oils throughout the coat.
- Bath your dog every 4-6 weeks. This will help to remove any dirt and debris that may be trapped in the coat.
- Give your dog a healthy diet. A nutritious diet will help to keep the coat healthy and promote good overall health.
- Keep your dog well-groomed. Regular grooming will help remove dead hair and keep the coat neat and tidy.
- Check for parasites. Parasites such as fleas and ticks can cause excessive shedding. Ensure your dog is on a regular deworming and flea/tick prevention program.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals on your dog’s coat. This can strip the natural oils and cause the coat to become dry and brittle.
- Keep your dog’s nails trimmed. Long nails can cause the coat to become matted and uncomfortable for your dog.
- Have your dog checked by a veterinarian. Sometimes shedding can be a sign of an underlying health condition. If you are concerned about your dog’s shedding, visit your vet to check him out.
By following these simple tips, you can help to reduce the amount of shedding and keep your Shih Tzu coat looking healthy and shiny.
In conclusion, Shih Tzus shed, but the amount of shedding can vary from dog to dog. Factors such as coat type, age, health, and season can influence how much your Shih Tzu sheds. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to manage shedding, including regular brushing, bathing, and cleaning, as well as consulting with a professional groomer and using specialized grooming tools.
1. How often should I brush my Shih Tzu to manage to shed?
It’s recommended to brush your Shih Tzu at least once a day to manage shedding effectively.
2. Can a Shih Tzu diet affect shedding?
Yes, a Shih Tzu diet can impact shedding. Feeding your dog a healthy, balanced diet can help keep its coat healthy and reduce shedding.
3. Should I shave my Shih Tzu to reduce shedding?
Shaving your Shih Tzu is not recommended, as it can cause skin irritation and other health problems.
4. What’s the best way to clean up Shih Tzu fur from furniture and clothes?
Using a lint roller or a vacuum with a pet hair attachment can be an effective way to clean up Shih Tzu fur from furniture and clothes.
5. How much shedding is normal for a Shih Tzu?
Some shedding is normal for all dogs, including Shih Tzus. However, excessive shedding can be a sign of an underlying health issue and should be addressed by a veterinarian.
- American Kennel Club: Shih Tzu Coat Care: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/shih-tzu/care/shih-tzu-coat-care/
- Shih Tzu Expert: Do Shih Tzu Shed?: https://shihtzuexpert.com/do-shih-tzu-shed/
- The Spruce Pets: Shih Tzu Coat Care and Grooming: https://www.thesprucepets.com/shih-tzu-coat-care-and-grooming-4688588
- Shih Tzu Guide: Shih Tzu Shedding: https://shihtzuguide.com/shih-tzu-shedding/
- Vet Street: Shih Tzu: https://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/shih-tzu