The first thing you would notice when analyzing the appearance of a Shih Tzu is its long coat. While there are trimmed Shih Tzus who have short hair, many of the owners stick to the original long coat look on their Shih Tzu.
After all, they really are majestic because of their super long coat that covers the entire tiny dog, that is Shih Tzu.
Having all of this in mind, it is totally logical to question how much will Shih Tzu shed. There has been a lot of false information about this particular dog breed and its shedding process. Therefore, let’s begin with some accurate facts about Shih Tzus and their shedding.
Shih Tzus have double coats, meaning where most dog breeds only have an outer or only an inner type of a coat, Shih Tzus have both. This is very important for this dog breed since they are so tiny.
Having a double coat will mostly be helpful in low temperatures.
Another fact about Shih Tzus is that they have hair instead of fur. This fact is a game-changer when it comes to shedding. Having hair instead of fur is a huge convenience for the owners who will have to maintain it.
Can shedding be prevented?
The answer is, yes, it can, to some extent, with proper maintenance.
1. The choice of shampoo & conditioner
Finding the best shampoo or conditioner for your dog can be tricky. There are a lot of things you should pay attention to when choosing. This is important because the wrong choice can make your Shih Tzus skin dry and itchy, and this will lead to excessive shedding.
The right choice of these products will make your beloved Shih Tzus hair healthy and shiny. Not only that, but the right conditioner should nurture the dog’s hair and keep it well moisturized. Having moisturized and healthy hair will prevent many illnesses that bring with them the wrath of shedding.
Bath time for dogs is not the same thing as bath time for humans. This is mainly because dogs should not be bathed every day. Shih Tzus should be bathed once every second or third week. This is the time when you will be using shampoo and conditioner, every other time you bathe your Shih Tzu, you shouldn’t use these products.
No matter the quality of the shampoo or conditioner, excessive usage of both can lead to allergy development or other skin and hair issues.
Luckily, we researched for you, so you can check out our article about the best shampoos for Shih Tzus and the list of the things you should pay attention to.
2. Hair brushing
Similar to the previous point, finding the right kind of brush is also vital.
There are many different brushes you can choose from, but not every choice will be the right one. You should choose a brush that will not pull or tear your Shih Tzus hair. Pulling hair will damage the hair follicle.
When it comes to long-haired Shih Tzus, brushing should be done every or every other day. This way, you will be the one who controls when and where the hair falls.
Having the double coat, the hair that falls off will often stay in the coat. This also happens due to hair density. This is a huge benefit. Your Shih Tzu will not be leaving too much hair behind.
When you daily brush your beloved dog’s hair, you clean it from the previously shedded hair, but you also untangle the tangles.
To learn more about brushes and how to brush Shih Tzu’s hair, check our Shih Tzu grooming section here.
3. Good food & supplements
Proper nutrition of your Shih Tzu will greatly benefit the appearance of its hair.
If you feed your Shih Tzu the right kind of food, you can somewhat prevent the shedding. Certain foods and supplements keep Shih Tzu’s hair well nurtured. Here are a few of those:
- Omega 3 fatty acids – food rich with these fatty acids will make your Shih Tzus coat shiny and silky but above all healthy. Omega 3 fatty acids are mainly found in fish oil and flaxseed.
- Vitamin A – this vitamin keeps the hair follicles healthy. Regular intake of vitamin A can prevent hair loss.
- Copper – copper will also make your Shih Tzus hair shiny and healthy and will aid in the prevention of hair loss.
Tangles are little knot-type forms that are made of hair. Everybody experienced tangles at some point in their life. But have you experienced tangles on your dog? Tangled hair can be such a nightmare.
You need to untangle the tangle without pulling the hair. Untangling usually hurts so be careful when doing this.
Tangles are often too messy and will eventually fall out. This counts as shedding. But! This shedding can be prevented!
The key to tangle prevention is the regular usage of the conditioner and also brushing Shih Tzu’s hair.
Excessive shedding and hair loss?
Both excessive shedding and hair loss is something you should be alarmed about.
Since Shih Tzus have hair instead of fur, their shedding is somewhat different than the usual shedding.
Shih Tzu’s shedding is often compared to the fallout of the human hair. Some women leave behind them a lot of hair, while others don’t. The same goes for Shih Tzus. This means that even though Shih Tzus have long hair, their shedding is minimal to what you would suppose.
Every singular hair has its life cycle and at some point, it will have to fall out of the coat.
When abnormal shedding happens, you should know that something is wrong. If your Shih Tzu has patches that lack the hair or they suddenly shed too much, you should immediately contact your Veterinarian. These are common symptoms to many illnesses, but if you spot these changes on time, you can make the whole situation better for your dog’s health.
Hormones and shedding?
Hormones often do affect the shedding process. For example, if your Shih Tzu is carrying little puppies, this condition will definitely affect its coat. It is a well-known fact that Shih Tzus shed a lot more after they give birth to the little ones. This is solely due to hormones.
Another situation where we can blame hormones for shedding is the season change. Mix the huge temperature differences and hormones and there you go! Your Shih Tzu might shed a bit more if it is exposed to extremely hot or cold weather. These temperatures will dry their skin and follicles and therefore Shih Tzu will shed more.
Even though Shih Tzus have long hair, they will not shed as much as it seems. This is due to the fact that Shih Tzus have hair instead of fur. Every hair has its life cycle and at the end of it, the hair falls out. This is what shedding actually is. In the place of this old and shedding hair, new young hair will grow. This is a circular process that keeps on going through the whole life of a Shih Tzu.
Shedding can be prevented and controlled to some extent if we take good care of our beloved Shih Tzus skin and coat. This can be accomplished through quality feeding, bathing, and brushing your Shih Tzu.
Any variation of the usual and normal shedding should be considered as something that is not good. In any situation where your Shih Tzu is losing hair or shedding more than it normally does, please contact the Vet’s office for help and further tests.
Have you ever had some issues with the shedding of your Shih Tzu?
We would like to hear from you, so don’t be shy and leave us a comment!