Curious to find out how much Chihuahuas shed before you adopt one into your family? The Chihuahua is one of our all-time favorite dog breeds, and he is one of the smallest pups in the canine kingdom. And considering how much of our time his feisty personality takes up, his coat isn’t too intense compared to other dog breeds.
Yes, the Chihuahua sheds, but thankfully, he only sheds moderately throughout the year, and slightly heavier during the shedding seasons. Unfortunately, we aren’t going to tell you how to stop his shedding completely, because this is impossible. But we are going to let you into a few of our shedding secrets. And all of them will help you to manage his shedding as best as possible.
No matter whether your Chihuahua is a deer head or an apple head, a long coat, or a short coat, we have the answers that you are looking for. From how much he sheds to what triggers it, and what you need to manage it well, we’ve got you, and your Mexican friend, covered. So, let’s get started.
The Chihuahua has two coat types, one is the short-haired coat, and the other is the long-haired coat. The short-haired Chihuahuas coat sits close to his body, and it is shiny and straight in texture. It isn’t thin, but it isn’t thick either – it falls somewhere in the middle.
The long-haired coat is obviously longer, but it doesn’t fall to the floor as other smaller dog’s coats do. It is thicker around his ears, mane, underbelly, and tail. Longer-haired coats shed the same amount as a short-haired Chihuahua. But because their hair is more prominent, it seems as though they shed more.
Both the short-haired and the long-haired Chihuahua have double coats. They comprise of two layers that both work in harmony to keep him warm and to regulate his body temperature. The underlayer is wooly and helps him to retain his body heat. And the outer layer guards his underlayer and body against the elements, such as wind, snow, and rain.
The Chihuahua is spoilt for choice when it comes to coat colors. His breed standard recognizes the colors black, black and tan, blue and tan, chocolate, chocolate and tan, cream, fawn, fawn, white, and red. He has been known to sport other colors, but these aren’t officially recognized. He can also have a coat that’s a mixture, displaying some larger spots blended of the colors we’ve mentioned above.
Regardless of what color coat he has, he will shed just as much as any other coat color. Therefore all colors have the same grooming schedule. If you are houseproud, you might want to consider matching your décor to the color of your Chihuahua. For example, if he has lighter colored fur, it is going to be less obvious against a lighter colored sofa compared to a black one.
Chihuahua Shedding Frequency
Chihuahuas shed every day, but thankfully, they are light to moderate shedders throughout the year. When shedding seasons come around, they tend to shed that little bit more. But thankfully, they do not drop their coat compared to other breeds such as the Golden Retriever. And because they are so tiny, there isn’t much hair to shed in any case.
When Chihuahuas Shed
The Chihuahua is from Chihuahua, which is a northern state in Mexico. Although Mexico is commonly thought of as tropical and baking hot, some states do get freezing snowy winters, and Chihuahua is one of them. The point of seasonal shedding is to prepare their coat for different seasons. And this is when they shed the most.
Shedding seasons occur during spring and winter. At the end of spring nearing summer, he will shed his winter coat in an attempt to thin it out for the summer. This is the heaviest shedding season as he has more to drop. It’s also the season you’ll need to be ready to remove his undercoat with a brush. His lighter summer jacket will protect him from the elements, but keep him cooler. Then, when winter approaches, he will dump this jacket and make way for his much-needed heavy-duty winter coat.
Aside from the change in seasons, there are other reasons why the Chihuahua might shed. Some triggers are nothing to worry about, and others might be, so it’s essential to monitor any changes in his shedding behavior.
Stress is another common reason why he might shed. Just like us, dogs can become stressed. And because the Chihuahua is a sensitive boy (don’t tell his friends that!), he does stress easily. His coat will thin out more than it would normally, but his coat will return to normal when the stress disappears from his environment. This is normal and usually nothing to worry about.
Excess shedding could be a sign that he has a skin infection or that he has a parasitic infestation such as fleas or mites. It could also be a sign that he is allergic to something, or a new shampoo product hasn’t agreed with his skin. Any changes in this skin need looking at, so be sure to take him to the vet for a checkup. This is particularly true if you see inflamed or sore skin, or if he is losing hair in patches.
Usually it is something simple that can be treated. But sometimes, it can be a sign that something more sinister is around the corner. Excessive hair loss is a common symptom in many more severe health concerns. Which is why you should always take him to the vet for further investigation to be safe.
Managing Your Chihuahua’s Shedding
Now you know that the Chihuahua sheds, and hopefully you’ve accepted the fact that there is nothing that you can do about it. But there are many ways that you can manage it, and keep his shedding to a minimum. All Chihuahua’s are different, so some techniques may work, and some may not. And for some, a few of them will be needed to be effective.
Brushing is the best way to manage any dog’s coat and the rate at which he sheds. Regular brushing also helps to spread his natural coat oils, remove dirt, and to keep him looking his best. By picking his dead hair up with a brush, it reduces the amount that lands onto the floor and annoys you.
The amount that you brush him will be dependent on whether he is a short-haired or a long-haired Chihuahua. If he is a short hair Chi, you will only need to brush him once a week throughout the year, and twice a week during shedding season. If he is a long-haired Chi, he’ll require brushing twice a week throughout the year, and every other day during shedding season.
But because he is so small anyway, it will take less than five minutes each time, so it won’t take long at all. As long as you taught him how to be groomed as a pup, he should enjoy it as an adult. Brushing him is also a fantastic way to bond with him too. So, everyone’s a winner!
The right brush can make a world of difference when it comes to managing the Chihuahua shed. And getting it wrong can lead to skin irritation or worse, injury. The short-haired Chihuahua will need a soft bristle brush that will gently remove dead hair and dirt. This is also the best brush to use for the shedding seasons, considering how little hair he has.
The long-haired Chihuahua will need a pin or slicker brush to get through his long and wispy hair. And again, this is the best tool to use for him during the shedding season. Be gentle when brushing him, because his small body will feel the dreaded tangle brush-through more so than a bigger dog. Deshedding is important if you head outdoors to exercise your Chihuahua in a harness. This way, hairs don’t turn loose and tug uncomfortably if your pup still occasionally pulls.
To get his coat looking and feeling soft and healthy, he needs the right shampoo. A gentle shampoo made from natural ingredients, such as these oatmeal shampoos, are an excellent option for both Chihuahuas. Because the Chihuahua has large and very sensitive eyes, some owners opt for a puppy shampoo because they offer a tearless formula.
If you have a short-haired Chihuahua, bathe him once every 8 to 12 weeks. Or, if you have a long-haired Chihuahua, wash him once every 4 to 8 weeks. You will need to bath the longer-haired Chihuahua more just because he collects more dirt than his shorter-haired sibling.
Do not think that by washing him more, you can reduce his shedding. Because it could make it worse as you will disrupt his coat’s natural oils. So, stick to the plan. If your Chihuahua has a skin condition that needs medicated shampoo, follow your vet’s guidelines.
Your Chihuahua’s dog food heavily influences the health of his coat. For many of us, if we have a week’s vacation drinking and eating rubbish food, our skin, hair, and overall health is often affected. The same goes for your little Mexican buddy. So, feed him a high-quality kibble that provides him with a balanced diet. And a top tip of ours is to always feed him the best diet that you can afford.
The right diet can also help to decrease his shedding. High-quality kibbles will be full of omega fatty acids that will nourish his skin and coat from the inside out. Which, in turn, ensures that he only sheds when he needs to, not when he is nutritionally deficient. Omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals will keep his coat healthy. Fish, fish oil, eggs, flaxseed, biotin, and vitamin E are great ingredients to look out for.
Sometimes, it is not always possible to feed or change your Chihuahua’s diet to one that provides him with enough omega fats. And this is where supplements step in. Fish oil supplements come in oil or pill form, and they are super easy to add to his diet. Not only will they nourish his skin and coat, but they will also benefit his body in a multitude of different ways.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we have listed some of the most frequently asked questions that Chihuahua owners have when it comes to his shedding schedule and coat.
Do Chihuahuas shed a lot?
The Chihuahua does shed, but not a great deal compared to other dog breeds, He is a light to moderate shedder throughout the whole year, and he sheds a bit heavier during the shedding seasons. Thankfully, because he is so tiny, he hasn’t got much hair to shed.
How can I stop my Chihuahua from shedding?
You can’t. Shedding is a natural and much-needed process that his body needs to do to stay healthy. The best way to deal with his shedding and to minimize it is to follow our tips and tricks above.
Can I shave my Chihuahua?
You shouldn’t shave your dog because you run the risk of their coats getting depleted of their natural oils. You also run the risk of nicking your dog, even if you use a pair of high-end dog hair clippers. The only dogs that should be hairless are the ones born that way, and the Chihuahua is not one of them.
How do I know if it is time to see the vet?
A: Chihuahuas don’t shed all that much, and thanks to his tiny body, it should be much easier to spot any skin concerns. If you notice sore, weepy, or inflamed skin, or that he is continually scratching himself, you need to take him to the vet.
And if you see that he is shedding much more than he usually does, or that he is shedding in patches, this is another sign that something is not right. Ultimately, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so book an appointment with your vet.
So, that is everything that you need to know about the Chihuahua’s coat and his shedding schedule. Overall, he is a light to moderate shedder all year round, and he sheds slightly heavier during the shedding seasons. But considering that he is sometimes small enough to fit into the palm of your hand, there is not much hair there to shed anyway.
By following the ways to manage his shedding listed above, you are ensuring that his coat is as healthy as it can be. As well as decreasing the amount of hair floating around your home. He is a small guy, and thankfully, it doesn’t take a lot of time to groom him. And being the charming diva dog that we all know and love, he’ll love all the extra attention for sure.