Do Chihuahuas Shed? Paww-fect Coat Facts To Know For Your Pet!

Joan Agie
Oct 20, 2023 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Nov 04, 2021
Brown chihuahua dog posing in fallen leaves.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.5 Min

Most people don't relate Chihuahuas with shedding.

This small and delicate dog breed doesn't have the furry coat of, say, a Siberian Husky nor are they considered hypoallergenic. So does that make Chihuahuas safe for most people?

Chihuahuas are a low shedding breed. So they do shed (just like other dog breeds), but not as much compared to their counterparts. These dogs come in two coats, long and short (or smooth coat). If you own a long-coat Chihuahua, it's likely to shed more than a short-coated or smooth coat Chihuahua. But both will experience greater hair loss during the shedding seasons. Shedding would also depend on its health, skin allergies, and the undercoat. Overall, a Chihuahua isn't intimidating to care for and sheds very little.

Chihuahuas are good pets for families but you need to be careful because they may snap at people if they feel threatened. Learn more interesting facts about these small dogs and what to expect as an owner. If you like this article, you can also read about do Cocker Spaniels shed and is a fish a mammal here on Kidadl.

Do short-haired Chihuahuas shed?

Chihuahuas come in two coat varieties, long and short. Many people think of them as different breeds, but they aren't. Rather they are of separate varieties. The long-coat Chihuahua is characterized by its straight or wavy fur that is prominent from the tip to the tail. On the other hand, short-hair varieties have a short fur coat and a glossy look. While both varieties are cute-looking and adorable, it is the smooth coat one that most people associate a Chihuahua with. So if you are about to adopt a Chihuahua, it's most probably going to be a short-haired one. And Chihuahuas do shed.

Contrary to what many people might believe, short-haired Chihuahuas shed more than their long-haired counterparts. You can confirm this by talking with their owners, many of whom share this on online forums. So how come dogs with fewer and shorter hair shed more than a dog with longer hair? That's because the length of the hair is not the only factor in play. One explanation for this is that the long hair stays more securely on the dog's body. This prevents the hair from falling off easily. When they shed, you'll come across hairs in small clumps. Smooth-coat Chihuahuas hair rests directly on the top of their skin. These are more likely to fall off perhaps because that is how these dogs regulate their bodies.

So, yes, Chihuahuas with shorter hair do shed. But it also depends on the season, level of physical activity, living conditions, health, and personal traits. So one Chihuahua with a smooth body may shed more than the other under the same circumstances.

Are Chihuahuas low shedding?

Parenting a Chihuahua (or any other animal for that matter) is no easy task. You need to conduct thorough research on the species and talk with previous owners before you bring it home. So what to expect from a Chihuahua in terms of shedding?

Chihuahuas aren't likely to give you a tough time since they're low to slightly moderate shedders. On a scale of 1-10, with one being the lowest shedder and 10 being the heavy shedders, Chihuahuas would rank at three or four. As you might know, no dog breed exists that doesn't lose hair. Dogs are supposed to shed their hair from time to time. It's important for their overall health and survival.

Just like other dog breeds, Chihuahuas have shedding seasons. During this time, a Chihuahua's shedding accelerates or intensifies. The primary role of a dog's coat is to regulate temperature. If it's too cold, the dog is supposed to have a thick coat with ideally an undercoat, making it a double coat dog. When the temperature is warmer, the coat should be thin with fewer hairs on the skin. So when the winter is about to start, dogs will shed their old hair and coats and replace them with new ones. This time, it will be a thicker one. The shedding season among Chihuahuas is usually during spring and fall. That's when there's a shift in temperature and daylight hours to which these dogs adapt by shedding their short or long coat.

But other than the seasonal shedding, dogs have to replace their damaged and dead hair too. So they shed and regrow new ones. This happens year-round. But fortunately, Chihuahuas are not heavy shedders. Nor are they big enough to produce a large amount of fur on the floor. So you won't have a hard time parenting them.

However, there are instances where Chihuahuas can experience excessive shedding. Under stress, these dogs can undergo hair loss and accumulate a large amount of fur. Since they're small in size, the dog can face several stressful events including being bullied by larger dogs. If so, it may experience a sudden hair loss but will return to normalcy soon. A skin infection also influences how much a dog sheds. Parasitic infestation of fleas and mites can cause the hairs to fall off easily. Under severe cases, you'd be able to spot bald patches around the dog's body. Just to make sure there is not a skin infection, check for inflammation or sore areas. To get things under control, visit the vet at the earliest. The vet will check your pet and prescribe the required medicines.

Pet dog Chihuahua sitting on wooden fence.

How to stop my Chihuahua from shedding?

Almost 10% of the US population is allergic to dogs. Therefore, they prefer hypoallergenic dogs that'd cause no harm. Unfortunately, Chihuahuas aren't listed as hypoallergenic. This means they can trouble those people who are allergic to it. One of the easiest ways to deal with it is to control the Chihuahua shedding. While it's impossible to reduce the shedding to zero, there are certain ways to tackle the problem.

The first thing you can do is take good care of your Chihuahua. As mentioned earlier, they can undergo stress and experience excessive hair loss. So you need to create an environment where they're likely to experience minimal stress. Chihuahuas do well with other, larger pets, but they need training. Moreover, you should always supervise these animals to ensure there's no conflict among them. Also, prohibit items that may scare these little dogs and consequently affect their health.

The second thing to try is regular grooming. Chihuahuas aren't a high-maintenance breed, so it's going to be fun. Grooming doesn't reduce the shedding cycle, per se, but makes things more manageable. As you run a bristle brush down its skin, it will help spread the coat oil that the dog's body produces. The oil will keep the hair healthy and prevent breakage. This, in turn, means less shedding. Regular brushing will also keep the hair dirt-free and your Chihuahua tidy. You should be brushing a short-hair Chihuahua at least once a week, while a long coat one will need at least twice a week. During the shedding season, it's recommended to brush every other day to accumulate much hair and fur.

Shampoo baths can also reduce excessive hair loss in Chihuahuas. Dog shampoos, as recommended by your vet, can nourish the skin and hair of your dog. Not only the surface, but it will also nourish a Chihuahua's undercoat. A smooth coat Chihuahua will need at least one shampoo bath every 8-12 weeks. A long-haired one will need shampoo treatment once every four to eight weeks.

If you notice excessive shedding, then you should consult the vet and get de-shedding products for your Chihuahua. A bristle brush is one such product that removes dead hair from the Chihuahua's skin easily.

A balanced diet is also important when it comes to reducing shedding in your Chihuahua. They will shed less if fed high-quality kibble. For the coat and the fur, offer food rich in omega fatty acids like fish oil, salmon, and flaxseed. Supplements can reduce vitamin deficiency and hence reduce excessive or untimely Chihuahua shedding.

Lastly, you need to understand that a Chihuahua sheds all year round. That's something you can't avoid. The old hairs need to die out with new hair replacing them. You shouldn't stop this natural process. Regular brushing and vacuum cleaning are all that are required to take care of that.

Do Chihuahuas shed in the winter?

Chihuahua shedding occurs seasonally depending on the season. When there's a change in temperature, a Chihuahua will respond to it by shedding its coat and regrowing a new fur. As already mentioned, these creatures shed during the spring and fall season. During the season change from spring to summer, the dog will start to shed its thick fur and undercoat. You may start to notice a higher amount of hairs on the floor in late April or May. This is to prepare for the summer months which are going to be hotter. With thick fur, the Chihuahua's body will be unable to regulate the temperature. The same thing happens during the months of October and November when the season shifts from fall to winter. But can Chihuahua shedding occur during the winter months, in December, January, and February?

Typical shedding will occur through the winter. As already mentioned, a Chihuahua sheds all year so expect minimal shedding. A dog with a double coat will experience more shedding than one with a single coat. A Chihuahua's coat matters when it comes to loss of fur. But it's unlikely that the Chihuahua will experience intense sheds during the winter months. Towards the end of the winter, which is the month of February, your dog may begin to shed its thick undercoat and fur for the spring and summer seasons. But unless it is suffering from any allergies or infections, the chances are slim. Regular brushing and a proper diet should help your pet friend get through the rough winter.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Do Chihuahuas shed? Paww-fect hair coat facts to know for your pet, then why not take a look at Bird wing shapes: Amaze-wing facts on wing types that kids will love or long-haired Chihuahua facts?

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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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