Why is my Shih Tzu shedding hair? Aren’t Shih Tzu hypoallergenic?
There’s a lot of confusion around Shih Tzu shedding and whether or not they do in fact shed. So I thought I’d dedicate an article to answering the often asked question, “Do Shih Tzu shed?”
The Shih Tzu coat
First, we need to take a closer look at the Shih Tzu coat.
Do Shih Tzu have hair or fur?
The Shih Tzu coat is usually considered to be hair and not fur. In practice, that’s just a semantic difference. After all, what is hair and what is fur?
The only real difference people seem to claim is that fur doesn’t grow as long as hair. And we normally consider humans to have hair and other animals to have fur.
But because the Shih Tzu has a long coat, we tend to think of it as hair and so I’ll refer to it as hair in this article.
Shih Tzu are also double-coated dogs which impacts on why we tend to think of them as not shedding, as we’ll see.
Shih Tzu shedding
Do Shih Tzu shed their hair?
Well, in truth there’s no such thing as a dog that doesn’t shed at all. All dogs shed to some extent, even the so-called hypoallergenic dogs.
That said, Shih Tzu are considered to be one of the low shedding, hypoallergenic dog breeds.
But they do lose some hair daily. And because the Shih Tzu hair is long, and also due to its texture and the fact that they’re double-coated dogs, most of it doesn’t fall onto the floor.
Instead, it gets caught in the coat.
And the hairs that do get on the floor and furniture are very fine so they’re hard to see.
These are the main reasons why many owners don’t realize shedding is taking place. They don’t realize that the hairs that come out when they groom their dog have actually already been shed. And the hairs that do escape the coat and fall on the floor are easily missed.
Because the majority of the hairs remain on the coat, they can become tangled and end up matting and knotting if left alone. This is why you need to brush and comb your Shih Tzu daily.
Shih Tzu puppies have a completely different coat from the adults. It’s much softer and lighter, and isn’t as easy to grow out.
At some point, a Shih Tzu puppy will shed it’s puppy coat and grow it’s adult coat. This is a period of very heavy shedding.
It can last for between one to three months, and the age at which it starts can also vary. Some puppies will start shedding when they’re only about three months old, while others won’t start until they’re nine months old.
Is there such as thing as a Shih Tzu shedding season?
Shedding also takes place as Shih Tzu shed their heavy winter coat in spring. This will take place over a period of a few weeks.
And then during fall, they’ll shed some of this lighter summer coat and replace the hairs with thicker ones ready for the winter.
This particular Shih Tzu shedding does depend on where you live and the climate there. It also depends on how much your dog is outside too. In some cases no shedding will take place, especially if your dog spends most of its time inside.
Shedding due to pregnancy
One other time you may see Shih Tzu shedding is after a dog has produced a litter. They can in fact shed a fair amount at this time. The coat will soon grow back though.
Although they are considered to be non-shedding dogs, in reality Shih Tzu shedding does happen. They lose some hair every day, and will also shed seasonally too.
Is the Shih Tzu double coated?
Yes, the Shih Tzu is double coated. Shih Tzu have a double coat that consists of a longer topcoat and a shorter undercoat.
Do Shih Tzu shed a lot?
Like all dogs, Shih Tzu do shed but they shed very little and it often isn’t noticeable.
Are Shih Tzu hypoallergenic?
Yes, due to their minimal shedding, Shih Tzu are considered to be hyopallergenic dogs.
Why is my Shih Tzu shedding hair?
All dogs shed to some extent, some more than others. Shih Tzu shedding may be more noticeable when they shed their heavy winter coat in spring and when they shed their lighter summer coat for their winter one.
A female Shih Tzu may also shed noticeably after producing a litter.
Finally, Shih Tzu puppies shed when they grow their adult coat.
Do Shih Tzu puppies shed?
Yes, Shih Tzu puppies will shed their softer puppy coat for their adult coat.
When do Shih Tzu shed their puppy coat?
Shih Tzu puppy shedding will begin when the puppy is between 3 – 9 months old and can take 1 – 3 months.
Why is my Shih Tzu shedding hair on his tail?
This could be due to food, flea or other allergies. Hormonal diseases can also cause hair loss on the tail. You should get your dog examined by a vet to determine the cause and prescribe treatment if needed.
How to stop a Shih Tzu from shedding?
Shedding can’t be completely prevented but regular brushing and bathing can reduce it.
Why does my 4 month old Shih Tzu puppy shed?
Your puppy is probably shedding their puppy coat for their adult coat.