Do Shih Tzus Shed?

Besides their happy and lively nature, Shih Tzus are easy to keep and require little exercise to stay healthy, making them a perfect pet for first-time owners.

However, you might opt not to get them as their long luscious hair can indicate excess shedding. 

So, do Shih Tzus shed?

Shih Tzus are mild shedders.

Although they shed seasonally like other dogs, it’s hardly noticeable.

This is because most of the shed furs get caught in their long hair strands and thus don’t end up in your furniture or clothes.

That said, several factors could increase these pups’ shedding like stress, hormonal imbalance, and medications. 

Before deciding whether to get a Shih Tzu or not, it’s vital to understand their coats and the factors that affect their shedding.

This article discusses that and so much more. 

Do Shih Tzus shed

Shih Tzu coats  

Most dogs have furs, while Shih Tzus have hairs.

There is not much difference between the two, but hairs are finer and longer than furs.

Shih Tzus’ hairs are always in a constant renewal state and fall off when they reach the end of this growth cycle.

The stages of these canines’ hair growth include: 

  • Anagen stage – This is the growth phase whereby at least 85% of Shih Tzus hairs are at most times. These dogs’ hairs can grow to floor length without breaking off if your pup is healthy. 
  • Telogen stage – Shih Tzus’ hairs stay in this resting stage when grown. They don’t fall off easily in this phase because the hair follicles keep them in place.  
  • Catagen stage -This is the falling-off phase.  About 10% of Shih Tzus’ hairs are in this stage at a time hence the minimum shedding. 

The three growth cycle stages mean that these dogs’ hair shafts have longer lifespans and shed less.

Normally, Shih Tzus’ hairs will grow two inches before breaking off. 

Shih Tzus’ coats are also double layered.

The inner coat is an insulator keeping these canines dry and warm as the seasons change, while the outer layer protects their skin from pests, dirt, and abrasion. 

Shih Tzus shed

Reasons for Shih Tzu shedding  

Shih Tzus shed their coats to permit the growth of newer and healthier hair.

Additionally, these canines also undergo seasonal shedding, just like other dogs.

They lose their thick coat during the spring to allow the growth of a lighter one while shed at the start of winter to promote the growth of a fuzzier coat. 

Most Shih Tzu owners often overlook these dogs’ seasonal shedding.

This is because their undercoat, which falls off, gets caught in the long topcoat hairs, hence hardly visible.

However, it’s easier to notice this shedding if you clip your Shih Tzu, as the outer coats aren’t able to capture hair. 

Factors that increase shedding in Shih Tzus 

The following factors may increase your Shih Tzus normal shedding level. 

Hormonal imbalance

Shih Tzus are susceptible to contracting a hormonal condition known as Hypothyroidism.

This ailment curbs the production and release of the thyroid hormone, which is responsible for stabilizing metabolism in dogs. Symptoms of Hypothyroidism include: 

  • Excessive shedding
  • A thin and dull coat
  • Darkened skin patches

Poor diet

A well-balanced diet includes vitamins and minerals essential for healthy coats and hair follicles.

Therefore, a poor diet that excludes these supplements will cause Fido’s coat to be thin and weak, hence shedding more. 

Stress and anxiety

Your pooch will shed more when anxious, agitated, or overworked.

These emotions trigger low or excessive secretions of hormones vital for healthy coats. 

Moreover, Shih Tzus are bred to be human companions hence don’t flourish in stress-filled environments.

Factors that may cause Fido to be stressed include relocating to a new home, loneliness, or lack of mental stimulation.

Illnesses

Shih Tzus shedding in clumps isn’t normal, meaning something serious could be causing it.

Below are some health conditions that lead to hair loss in these canines. 

  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer
  • Bacterial infections 
  • Liver issues 
  • Adrenal problems 

How to minimize shedding in Shih Tzus 

Although you don’t bump into Fido’s hair in your home, the dead hairs in their coats could lead to tangles and mats, which can be challenging to comb.

Mats also cause skin infections making your pooch uncomfortable.

That said, below are ways of reducing Shih Tzus’ shedding. 

  • Brushing – Brushing your pooch will keep their skin clean and free of dead hairs. Use a good brush that doesn’t harm Fido’s skin and coat. Brushing Shih Tzus once every three days is advisable to avoid tangles. 
  • Bathing – Bathing reduces Shih Tzus’ shedding and makes it easy to brush out dead hairs off your pup’s coat. Use a dog-friendly shampoo when bathing your pup to avoid drying out their skin, thus increasing shedding. 
  • Providing drinking water – Dry skin increases Fido’s shedding. Therefore, ensure your pooch always has access to fresh drinking water. 

Is my Shih Tzu hypoallergenic? 

Shih Tzus are hypoallergenic, meaning they don’t affect people with dog allergies.

This is because they are minimum shedders and hence hardly spread dander which contains proteins or allergens that cause allergy flare ups. 

However, if your pooch has skin issues and produces a lot of dander, they may spread it when they shake.  

Why is my Shih Tzu puppy shedding? 

Shih Tzu puppy hairs are finer, shorter, and thinner than their older counterparts.

This puppy coat develops into the adult coat when the pup is about nine to twelve months.

It’s during this period that Shih Tzus experience the most shedding.

Frequently asked questions(FAQs) 

Why does my pregnant Shih Tzu shed so much? 

Pregnant Shih Tzus tend to shed a lot because of hormonal changes during this period.

The severity of this shedding varies in different dogs.

That said, Fido’s coat will grow back if no other factors are involved. 

Does my Shih Tzu bark?

These canines bark a lot.

They bark at everything; people passing by, pets, and even the wind.

This is because they are natural watchdogs, and thus you should train them out of this habit. 

Conclusion 

Shih Tzus are low shedders, thus perfect pets for people with dog allergies.

However, they require regular brushing and bathing to avoid mats and tangles, as their hairs are prone to these when left unattended.

Feed your pooch a balanced diet and keep them hydrated and happy to maintain a healthy coat that sheds less. 

Megan Turner
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