It should be how most Chihuahua owners describe this all-time favorite dog breed. It hailsfrom its name-sake state in Mexico.
This smallest of all pups in the canine Kingdom is also loyal, charming, and bold. What’s not to keep you from going to your reputable breeder for a Chihuahua, right?
Well, except when shedding is one of your concerns (and you know how annoying fur all-around can get).
So let’s answer the question, do Chihuahuas shed? If yes, how intense and how often? Let’s find out.
Do Chihuahuas Shed?
Yes, Chihuahuas shed in the same manner that all dogs do. Are there exceptions to the rules? Well, there are if the dog is hairless like Xoloitzcuintli or Chinese Crested.
They do shed. The silver lining is, they are not considered heavy shedders like Golden Retrievers. Or if you compare their level of shedding to dogs of their size, it is not as heavy as Pomeranians or Pugs do.
Speaking of size, they are also so tiny that there is not so much hair to shed, anyway.
If a moderate shedder will fit you, Chihuahuas are worth considering. But if you are an allergy sufferer looking for a “hypoallergenic dog”, Chi’s might not fit the bill.
Chihuahuas Coat Types
First things first, like the many types of Chihuahua like apple head, deer head, teacup, and fawn. Then there are also several types of hair or coat it sports.
One type is a short-haired Chihuahuas. Its coat sits close to the body and its texture is shiny and straight. Its coat is easier to maintain and a bristle brush to groom this Chi type is perfect.
If there are short-haired Chis, there are also long-haired ones. Its mane is longer, usually thick around the ears, underbelly, and tail. It can be wavy or flat that is subject to knots and mats so brushing with a metal comb and slicker brush often is a must.
Now, there’s also the subject of whether they are single-coated or double-coated. It does not follow that only the long-haired Chihuahuas can be double-coated. Because it is also possible in the reverse.
A single-coated Chi has a topmost layer of thick hair. While the double-coated one has an extra layer of soft, thin hair that keeps regulating its body temperature.
It takes more time to brush a double-coated Chihuahua because you are basically bruising two layers of fur and it will also shed more.
A de-shedding tool for your Chi with an undercoat will come in handy.
Chihuahuas come in different colors but this does not affect the amount it sheds as it is in the coat type.
Why Do Chihuahuas Shed?
In Mexico, while we picture it as tropical and baking hot, some states also experience thick snows during winter including Chihuahua.
Dogs shed to help regulate their body temperature. They are also called homeotherms which means that they maintain a body temp of 101-102.5 degrees °F but unlike us when we sweat, they cannot so they use other means to satisfy that.
Yes, shedding helps your dog prepare for the new season. Shedding gives way for new hairs and Chihuahua’s shedding cycle involves 3 stages:
- Anagen- or growth phase where papilla contributes to hair growth by supplying nutrient-rich blood.
- Catagen- or transition phase where hair follicles mature and separate from the papilla
- Telogen- or the resting phase wherein hair falls out after waiting for some time
So you see, hair shedding may be a nuisance but it is just part of a normal and healthy process.
How Much Do Chihuahuas Shed?
There are dog breed types that are heavy shedders but thankfully, this little Mexican pooch is considered a medium shedding dog. For sure they will shed bits of hair every day throughout the year but they will tend to shed a little bit more during the shedding season.
When Do Chihuahuas Shed?
It was mentioned that Chihuahuas shed all year long but when is that peak? It is usually during spring and fall that they shed more than usual. In spring also, they shed the heaviest.
Why do they shed most during these seasons? Because it is when their coat changes to adapt to the new season. At the end of spring, for example, Chis will shed its winter coat and thin it out in preparation for summer. It needs to shed a lot that is why it is the so-called heaviest shedding season.
During this season, you’ll need your brush handy to help remove its undercoat.
Interestingly, it is not the change in weather that triggers the fall and growth of fur but the variation of sunlight. When seasons change, there is also a dramatic difference between the sunlight hours and that’s when the dog’s pineal glands are triggered to shed heavily.
If you recall from your science calls, this biological clock is called the circadian rhythm. This rhythm is the collection of physical, mental, and behavioral changes exhibited by all animals including dogs in response to the change in light or photoperiod in its environment. The light or darkness does not only tell your Chi to sleep but also to shed.
Interesting, right? So remember that reduced daylight starts the heavy shedding in Chihuahuas letting them get rid of that summer coat to prepare for a thick and warmer coat for winter; and vice versa.
How to Stop My Chihuahuas Shedding?
First and foremost, that is an impossibility because as discussed, it is a natural cycle that happens to dogs. Besides, it allows them to cope with the change in temperature.
The good news is, managing so that your dog sheds to a minimum is possible. Here are some tips and tricks to minimize dog shedding:
- Brushing- this is the best way to manage your dog’s shedding as it removes excess hair. If you have a short-coated Chihuahua, you need to brush it once a week throughout the year. During the shedding season, amp it up twice a week. If your Chi is long-haired, brush it twice a week and during shedding season, brush it frequently every other day.
Since your Chi is so small, it will only take about five minutes of your time brushing this cute pooch. This diva dog will also love that extra attention and bonding session!
- Use a Furminator- it is a fur terminator or eliminator. It gathers dead hair and helps reduce their shedding. Best of all, it works for all breed and coat types. Other grooming products like undercoat rakes, combs, slicker brushes, and pin brushes in combo with this one will also be a lifesaver
Again, for your short-haired Chi, go for a soft bristle brush while a pin or slicker brush will go well with your long-haired dog.
- Bathing- bathe your little short-haired dog once every 8 to 12 weeks or every 4 to 8 weeks if your dog is long-haired. Use a gentle shampoo that uses natural ingredients. Do not attempt to bathe your Chi so often that you might disrupt the natural oils in its coat.
After bathing your dog, use a blow dryer on the cool-air setting to remove loose hair and brush again. A de-shedding spray will also come in handy.
- Diet- what your dog eats and the nutrition it comes inside its body also affect not just its health but also the quality of its coat. Feed your Chihuahua a high-quality kibble that provides a balanced diet.
Supplements are also very much welcome. Go for those with optimal levels of omega fats like fish oil, omega-3, and omega-6. Consult your vet for the right dosage as too much of it will only harm your pooch.
Can I Shave My Chihuahua?
No! You shouldn’t shave your Chihuahua even if you use high-end dog hair clippers as for one, there is a possibility that you will nick your dog.
Chihuahuas are not meant to be hairless also as their coats help them adjust to the temperature of their environment.
In addition, shaving your Chi will expose its skin to sun damage. Without its fur, nothing will protect it from the sun’s harmful rays and sunburns.
So never shave your Chi.
Is Excessive Shedding Alarming?
While shedding is normal, it becomes alarming and will call for a visit to the vet when your Chihuahuas shed a lot.
Hair scattered around the house is pretty normal especially if there’s no visible change in your dog’s body. However, if you notice a patch or two missing, uneven fur, clumps of hair, falling hair with just the slight pull, never hesitate to go to your vet as it might be a sign of something grave.
What Are The Other Triggers Why My Chihuahua Shed?
Seasonal change is a normal and healthy trigger of shedding. But when the shedding is too much, it may be a sign of some problems below:
- Skin infection
- Parasitic infestation
- Poor nutrition
- Cushing’s Disease
- Food allergies
So always monitor your dog for something unusual!
How to Minimize Dog Hair in the House?
Will just leave this here as it might also help you deal with your house while doing so for your shedding dog. Here are some tips to minimize dog hair inside the house:
- Use a lint roller- your sofas, recliners and other upholstery will enjoy a hair-free day!
- Vacuum and sweep floors- let that hair ride away!
- Using a squeegee on the floor and wet rubber gloves over the upholstered furniture will also help a great deal.
So do Chihuahuas shed? Yes, but thankfully, they are only moderate shedders which will peak only at certain seasons when they need to change their coats.
By following the tips and ways above, you are also ensuring not just a dapper-looking Chi but also a healthy one!
Enjoy grooming your pooch and make it a fun bonding session between you! He’ll love the attention!