Thinking of adopting a Chi but wondering ‘Do Chihuahuas shed a lot?’
Then you’ve come to the right place!
In this guide, I will tell you all about Chihuahua’s shedding: how much is too much, what constitutes normal shedding, as well as the factors that trigger abnormal shedding in Chihuahuas.
I will also discuss some important tips to stop Chihuahua from shedding too much and ways you can deal with the shed hair.
Also Read: Why Does my Chihuahua Snort Like a Pig
Do Chihuahuas Shed a Lot?
Chihuahuas are cute little dogs-feisty, lovable, loyal, and immensely affectionate.
However, they do shed all year round.
Also, depending on their coat type and coat length, they may shed a lot more than other dog breed in the canine world.
The good news is that most healthy Chihuahuas (whether long haired Chihuahua or short haired Chihuahua) only shed moderately throughout the year and considerably once or twice a year during summer and spring when the weather is warmer.
So in case you are planning to buy or adopt a Chihuahua but are worried it might shed all around the place, then worry not: this is a fairly moderately shedding breed.
The good news is that, Chihuahua shedding is manageable too. While you cannot stop it entirely, you can take steps to contain it. I will be discussing many great tips to help reduce your dog’s shedding, so read on!
Why is my Chihuahua Shedding so Much? What Triggers Abnormal Shedding in Chihuahuas?
The answer to the question ‘do Chihuahuas shed a lot’ depends on the coat type of the Chi in question.
If you have a short haired Chihuahua with no undercoat, then you will definitely notice less hair around.
On the other hand, if you own a long haired Chi with a double coat, then the longer hair will be ‘more’ visible everywhere.
In reality, Chihuahuas shed as much as other small breeds like French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers and so on. However, there are exceptions to every rule, and sometimes a Chi could shed abnormally.
Here are reasons why some Chihuahuas shed more than normal:
1. Normal annual shedding
Shedding is a normal process in all dogs as it paves way to new hair growth and helps your Chi remove the dead hair.
Normal shedding occurs all through the year. It also consists of the annual ‘blowing of coat’ – which typically occurs during the warmer months when Chihuahuas literally molt out of their old coat.
It is quite normal for Chihuahua owners to feel that their pet’s shedding is extensive at this stage.
However, you needn’t worry – this is normal and your Chihuahua is also developing a new coat as well.
2. Infections and skin diseases
Unfortunately, our beloved Chihuahuas are susceptible to developing skin issues.
Many Chis are known to develop fungal and/or bacterial skin infections which could cause unnatural shedding.
Other skin problems like eczema, sunburn, and dandruff can also cause excess licking followed by abnormal hair loss.
With proper care, diet, and grooming, you can completely prevent this type of shedding.
3. Heat cycle and hormones
In ‘un-fixed’ female Chihuahuas, excess shedding often occurs around the estrus or heat cycle. Hormones are definitely responsible for the shedding.
This does not imply that a spayed Chihuahua will not shed. She will shed too just not as much as an un-spayed Chi does.
Also, pregnant and lactating Chihuahuas shed quite a lot due to hormonal changes just after whelping.
4. Underlying health issues
If you find yourself asking the question ‘do Chihuahuas shed a lot’ all year-round, then maybe your pet has an underlying health issue like hypothyroidism.
In hypothyroidism, a dog’s thyroid gland may not be producing adequate thymine and that can lead to issues like weight gain/weight loss, abnormal hair fall or shedding, etc.
Other health problems related to the kidneys, liver or the adrenal gland can also cause shedding. Some nervous issues that result in excess licking can also cause patchy hair loss in Chihuahuas.
In Chihuahuas, allergies that cause excess or abnormal shedding are of three types: environmental, food, and parasitic allergies.
Environmental allergies consists of allergies to pollen, mold, and dust. These tend to cause itching and skin problems that could result in severe hair fall.
Parasitic allergies like fleas, mange, mites, scabies, lice, and ticks can also cause scratching and result in patchy hair loss.
Food allergies are usually the main culprits behind hair loss in Chihuahuas. Your pet may be allergic to certain protein or ingredients in its commercial dog food which could result in abnormal shedding.
6. Poor nutrition and deficiencies
Another cause of excess shedding in Chihuahuas is poor diet. Many times, commercial or even home-cooked diets may not be meeting your pet’s nutritional needs.
A Chihuahua needs balanced diet with proteins, vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids.
A lack of these nutrients can also cause unseasonal shedding.
Any change in your dog’s routine or environment: change of place, a new dog or another house pet, or even a new baby can trigger stress hormones which could cause excess shedding.
Many Chihuahuas have separation anxiety and might suffer from excess stress if they are left alone for prolonged periods. This can cause abnormal shedding too.
What is Normal Chihuahua Shedding Frequency? How Much Shedding is Too Much?
Unfortunately, there is no definite answer to the question ‘what is normal Chihuahua shedding?’.
Double coated, long haired Chihuahua could shed a lot more than short hair Chihuahua which will still be considered as ‘normal’ shedding. Also, shedding in both Chihuahua coat types is more pronounced during the warmer months.
In general, Chihuahuas of both coat types shed a bit by bit throughout the year and more during spring and summer months.
It is important to keep in mind that the loss of the old coat is accompanied by the ‘formation’ of the new coat too.
Even if you feel your Chihuahua is shedding a lot, as long as you aren’t seeing any bald spots or asymmetrical hair loss, then the shedding is just a replacement of its old coat.
If you still strongly feel that your Chihuahua is shedding too much, then please see your vet.
How to Stop Chihuahua from Shedding?
As discussed before, some amount of shedding is normal and even necessary to help your pet eliminate its old coat and develop the new coat.
As long as your Chi is not suffering from abnormal shedding resulting from a medical issue, then you need not worry.
If the excess hair is a problem for you, the following tips can help greatly:
1. Consistently groom your Chi
Consistent grooming is the best way to remove the loose hair. This will greatly minimize the stray hair all over your carpets, clothes, and furniture.
Use a slicker brush to minimize your Chihuahua’s shedding. Check out our guide on the best brushes for Chihuahua for different coat types like smooth coat Chihuahua, long coat Chihuahua, and short haired Chihuahua.
2. Get your Chi professionally groomed
This is applicable to both long coat and short haired Chihuahua. Professional groomers have the necessary tools required to remove the dead undercoat.
Also, when they use the special de-shedding rakes and tools, the dead undercoat will all come out resulting in your having to deal with a lot less hair at home.
Professional grooming can also minimize skin issues that could cause abnormal shedding.
3. Feed it a good diet
Speak to your vet if your Chihuahua’s shedding may be a result of poor diet, deficiencies, or even food allergies.
Once you eliminate food allergies, your pet’s overall health will improve and so will your dog’s coat condition. The shedding will also taper off.
Check out our guide on the best dog food for Chihuahuas.
4. Feed your pet vitamins and coat supplements
5. Use a de-shedding shampoo
De-shedding shampoos help exfoliate the skin to remove dead and loose stray hairs. This reduces the amount of fur on your clothes, sofas, and beds.
Check out our guide on the best shampoo for Chihuahua where we have recommended many top-rated shampoos including one for de-shedding.
Before bathing, brush your Chi once thoroughly. This will prevent loose clumps of dead hair from clogging your bathroom drain. After bathing, dry your pet and then brush once again to remove stray hair.
6. Treat allergy-related shedding with hydrocortisone shampoo
Speak to your vet about skin allergies. Feeding a good diet should minimize these but ask your vet if an itch-relief hydrocortisone shampoo can further minimize the shedding.
How to Deal with a Shedding Chihuahua?
As mentioned earlier, you need not rush to the vet if your Chi is shedding normally (which means as long as the shedding is not resulting in bald areas or asymmetric hair loss patterns.)
If the shed hair is still rather annoying to you, you can take the following steps:
1. Vacuum your home regularly
Clean your home and vacuum all the rooms regularly. Chihuahua is not a hypoallergenic dog so if you or a family member suffers from pet allergies, cleaning with a HEPA filter vacuum can help reduce hair and dander too.
You can also run a wet rag all over the furniture to remove stray fur.
2. Use a lint roller or squeegee
A lint roller can minimize the hairs on your upholstered furniture, bed, clothes, etc.
This is an economical and budget friendly way to keep your home free from the shed hair. You can also keep one in your car, purse, etc.
3. Consider covering your furniture
Use furniture covers to cover the areas that your pet sits in – beds, sofas, etc. You can change the covers frequently and wash and dust them outdoors in the yard to minimize shed hair from getting all over the place.
4. Limit your pet to one part of the house
You can also minimize hair all around the house by restricting your pet’s entry in your bedroom, living room etc.
You can also consider confining your Chihuahua to one room in the house or restrict its movement using a crate.
FAQs on Do Chihuahuas Shed a Lot
1. Are Chihuahuas low shedding?
Most Chihuahuas are low shedding but it depends on their coat type. Long-haired and double coated Chihuahuas will shed considerably twice a year, mostly during warmer months.
In general though, this is a fairly low to moderate shedding breed.
2. Why is my Chihuahua shedding more than usual?
If your Chihuahua is shedding more than usual, it may be having a food allergy, skin issue, or even an underlying disease. Please see your vet if the shedding results in patchy hair loss, bald spots, red spots or blisters, etc.
3. What can I feed my Chihuahua to stop shedding?
Feed your Chi high-protein diet. Make sure the food also contains balanced omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
A diet rich in fish, eggs, and other lean meat can also help. You can also add a teaspoon of coconut oil to your pet’s diet to give its coat a healthy shine and also minimize shedding.
4. Can a raw diet help minimize my Chihuahua’s shedding?
Some vets and pet parents swear by the BARF (Bones and Raw Food Diet) stating that it can greatly minimize shedding.
However, there are certain downsides to feeding raw foods to Chihuahuas. One of the major concerns is the fear of salmonella poisoning. Therefore, please speak to your vet before making the switch.
Do Chihuahuas shed a lot?
Compared to many dog breeds, Chihuahuas are moderate to low shedders. The long haired and double coated breed might seem to shed more than the single coat Chihuahua simply because the hair is more visible.
In general, all Chihuahuas shed throughout the year and considerably shed during the warmer months.
If excess of abnormal shedding with bald patches is a concern, please see your vet right away.