If you’re considering adding a Chihuahua to your family, you might be wondering, “Do Chihuahuas shed a lot?”
We had the same question when we welcomed our short-haired Chihuahua, Leo, into our home.
We were a bit worried about how much he could shed and what we could do to manage it.
We realized it’s a normal process for dogs to shed hair, as it helps maintain their coats and regulate their body temperature, but certain factors can influence the shedding amount and frequency.
While Chihuahuas are not considered heavy shedders like some other breeds, they do still shed to some degree.
But don’t worry because we will delve deeper into this topic and provide practical tips to minimize shedding in your home.
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Do Chihuahuas Shed A Lot?
Chihuahuas are considered light to moderate shedders.
The amount of shedding varies between individual dogs and can be influenced by genetics, diet, the season, and overall health.
During shedding season, Chihuahuas experience an increased amount of shedding.
However, due to their small size, the amount of hair they shed is generally less compared to larger dog breeds.
When Do Chihuahuas Shed & How Often?
Chihuahuas typically have a light to moderate shedding pattern throughout the year, but they experience slightly heavier shedding during the change of seasons, specifically during spring and fall.
During these times, they shed their old coat to make way for a new one.
Chihuahuas undergo a significant shedding phase during the spring, right before summer arrives.
This shedding helps them get rid of their heavier winter coat and transition to a lighter coat that keeps them cooler in the upcoming summer months.
Similarly, in the fall, Chihuahuas shed again to prepare for the colder winter season.
This allows them to grow a thicker and warmer coat to protect them from the chilly weather.
Short Hair vs Long Hair Chihuahuas
Chihuahuas come in 2 coat types: short hair and long hair.
Despite this, the shedding patterns for these 2 types of Chihuahuas are the same even though it might seem like long-haired Chihuahuas shed more.
Short Hair Chihuahuas
These Chihuahuas are characterized by their short, smooth hair that has a glossy appearance.
One of the advantages of this coat type is its easy maintenance, as it doesn’t easily tangle or mat.
This means that grooming sessions can be less time-consuming and more straightforward compared to long hair Chihuahuas.
Long Hair Chihuahuas
These Chihuahuas have longer, silky hairs. They often have a mane-like appearance around their neck, which adds to their charming and elegant demeanor.
While they might appear to shed more than their short-haired counterparts due to the visibility of their longer hairs, they actually have the same shedding pattern.
Do Chihuahuas Have an Undercoat?
Both long hair Chihuahuas and short hair Chihuahuas can have a double coat that includes an undercoat.
The undercoat is composed of soft, dense hairs that help to insulate the dog and protect their skin from the elements.
Even if your Chihuahua has an undercoat, they can still get cold very easily and usually require clothes in the winter.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), Chihuahuas are officially recognized in 9 standard colors, with 21 more colors that aren’t considered standard.
The solid colors include:
- Black & tan
- Blue & tan
- Chocolate & tan
- Fawn & white
These colors can be classified as solid, marked, or splashed, adding to the variety and charm of this small breed.
Marked colors refer to Chihuahuas with a solid base coat color that is enhanced by markings of a contrasting color, such as black and tan or blue and tan
. Splashed colors, on the other hand, exhibit a pattern of irregular patches or spots of color on a white base coat.
The color of a Chihuahua’s coat has no influence on their shedding tendencies.
Shedding is primarily determined by the type and condition of their coat, rather than the color.
Causes of Shedding in Chihuahuas
1. Seasonal Shedding
Chihuahuas, like most dogs, experience seasonal shedding.
This typically occurs in the spring and autumn months when they shed their coats to prepare for the changing temperatures.
2. Hormonal Changes
Hormonal imbalances can trigger excessive shedding in Chihuahuas.
Hypothyroidism, a condition resulting from insufficient thyroid hormones, often contributes to increased shedding.
An unspayed female Chihuahua may experience a period that is typically associated with her heat cycle, occurring toward the end of the cycle.
If you suspect your Chihuahua has a hormone-related issue, consult your veterinarian for appropriate treatment.
3. Health Issues
Various health issues can cause shedding in Chihuahuas.
Illnesses, such as dermatitis or skin infections, may lead to hair loss.
If your Chihuahua is shedding excessively, it’s essential to consult with a vet to identify any potential health problems.
4. Poor Nutrition
Nutritional imbalances can also contribute to shedding in Chihuahuas. A diet lacking essential nutrients may lead to hair loss or poor coat quality.
Being underweight due to nutritional deficiencies or other reasons can lead to excess shedding and an overall decline in coat quality.
Providing high-quality dog food that meets your Chihuahua’s nutritional needs is crucial to maintaining a healthy coat. We feed our Chihuahua freeze-dried raw food.
Stress is another factor that can contribute to excessive shedding in Chihuahuas.
Changes in their environment or daily routine, as well as separation anxiety when left alone for too long, can cause stress that may result in hair loss.
To minimize shedding due to stress, ensure your Chihuahua has a consistent, comfortable routine and provide them with a calming environment.
6. Allergies and Infections
Allergies, skin infections, and other irritants can lead to shedding in Chihuahuas.
Allergies can cause itching and inflammation, leading to excessive scratching and hair loss.
Skin infections, such as bacterial or fungal infections, can also result in shedding.
7. Fleas, Mites, and Parasites
Chihuahuas may shed due to the presence of fleas, mites, or other parasites.
When infested with fleas, Chihuahuas may experience intense itching, leading to scratching and biting at the affected areas.
This excessive scratching can result in hair loss and increased shedding.
Similarly, mites and parasites can cause skin inflammation and itching, which can lead to hair loss as well.
Why Is My Chihuahua Shedding Like Crazy?
If your Chihuahua is shedding like crazy and it seems like they are losing an excessive amount of hair, there could be several reasons behind it.
It may be due to factors such as poor nutrition, allergies, hormonal imbalances, stress, or underlying health issues.
It’s essential to ensure that your Chihuahua is on a balanced and nutritious diet, that you check for any food or environmental allergies, and consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health conditions or skin infections.
23 Tips for Managing Shedding
1. Regular Brushing
Regular brushing is an effective way to minimize shedding in Chihuahuas and keep their coat in good condition.
By incorporating brushing into your grooming routine, you remove loose hair and dander, preventing it from ending up all over your home.
For short-haired Chihuahuas, brushing once a week is usually sufficient to keep their coat looking its best.
Long-haired Chihuahuas require more frequent brushing, ideally 2-3 times a week. This is because their longer hair is more prone to tangles and matting.
A slicker brush should only be used on long hair Chihuahuas with an undercoat or else it could irritate their skin.
Exercise caution when using FURminator brushes as it does cut the fur and should not be used on dogs with single coats.
There have been many dog owners saying it ruined their dog’s coat, created bald spots and abrasions, and pulled fur from the top coat instead of the undercoat.
2. Bathe Regularly
Bathing your dog at least every 4-6 weeks can help reduce excessive shedding.
Regular bathing not only helps to remove loose hair and dead skin cells, but it also promotes a healthier coat overall.
Be sure to thoroughly rinse off all the shampoo to avoid any residue that could irritate their skin.
However, it’s important not to overdo it with frequent baths, as it can strip away the natural oils that keep their skin and coat moisturized.
Finding the right balance and frequency of baths will help keep your Chihuahua clean and minimize shedding.
3. De-Shedding Shampoo
De-shedding shampoos can be a useful tool in managing shedding for Chihuahuas.
These shampoos are specifically designed to help reduce excessive shedding by loosening and removing dead hair from the coat.
When bathing your Chihuahua, choose a high-quality de-shedding shampoo that is suitable for their skin and coat type.
These shampoos typically contain ingredients that help to strengthen the hair follicles and reduce shedding.
We use TropiClean Deshedding Dog Shampoo on our Chihuahua during shedding season.
It is formulated with natural ingredients and reduces shedding by nourishing the skin and promoting a healthy coat.
4. Use Conditioner (don’t skip!)
Conditioner moisturizes the skin and coat, reducing dryness and irritation that can contribute to excessive shedding.
After shampooing your dog, apply a generous amount of conditioner and massage it into their fur, focusing on areas prone to shedding.
As you are massaging, you will notice some loose fur coming out. This is normal and indicates that the conditioner is working to loosen the dead and shedding hair.
Now that the fur is loosened, use a comb to gently remove the loose hair.
The conditioner’s slippery texture helps the comb glide through the fur, making it easier to collect the shedded hair.
By doing this in the bathtub, you contain the fur and minimize the mess. This conditioning and combing routine not only helps reduce shedding but also leaves your dog’s coat healthier and more manageable.
5. Use a Blow Dryer
Using a blow dryer on your Chihuahua can help to loosen and remove loose fur, which can contribute to reducing shedding.
When using a blow dryer, set it to a low or cool setting to avoid overheating your dog’s skin and causing any discomfort.
It’s best to use blow drying as part of a grooming routine and not as a sole method to control shedding because overdoing it can dry out your dog’s skin and coat.
6. High-Quality Dog Food
A well-balanced and nutritious diet will provide the essential nutrients needed for optimal coat health, which in turn can help minimize shedding.
Feeding your dog high-quality dog food containing omega-3 fatty acids will improve skin and coat health. A better diet will lead to less shedding and healthier fur.
Omega-3 fatty acids are known to nourish the skin, reduce inflammation, and promote a shiny and healthy coat.
Look for dog food formulas that specifically mention omega-3 fatty acids as an ingredient or consider adding a fish oil supplement to your Chihuahua’s diet.
7. Supplements and Omega-3
Adding supplements to your Chihuahua’s diet, such as omega-3 fatty acids or supplements for their coat, can be beneficial in reducing shedding.
Omega-3 fatty acids are known to promote healthy skin and coat, reducing dryness and irritation that can contribute to excessive shedding.
You can find omega-3 fatty acid supplements specifically formulated for dogs, or you can incorporate foods rich in omega-3s into their diet, such as fish or flaxseed oil.
However, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any supplements to ensure they are appropriate for your Chihuahua’s specific needs.
We give our Chihuahua this Nordic Naturals Omega-3 supplement which comes in a small enough bottle that it won’t expire before you use it up. It does come in bigger bottles if you have multiple dogs.
8. Use a Good Vacuum
Investing in a high-quality vacuum cleaner, like this Bissell Allergen Lift-Off Pet Vacuum, is essential for effectively cleaning up Chihuahua fur.
Look for vacuums specifically designed to handle pet hair and have features like a HEPA filter to trap allergens.
If you’re tired of constantly dealing with dog fur on your floors, a robot vacuum can be a game-changer.
These automated devices are designed to navigate and clean your home, picking up pet hair and other debris along the way.
With their convenient scheduling features, you can set the robot vacuum to clean while you’re away, ensuring that your floors stay fur-free without any extra effort on your part.
9. Washable Couch Cover
Washable couch covers are a practical solution to keep your furniture clean and free from Chihuahua fur.
These covers act as a protective barrier, shielding your couch from dirt, pet hair, and other messes.
When they become dirty, simply remove the cover and toss it in the washing machine for easy cleaning.
This is what we use in our house and it’s a lifesaver and protects our couch from dirty paws and fur.
We have used this reversible sofa cover since the day we brought our Chihuahua home and it has held up very well.
10. Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Keeping your Chihuahua well-hydrated is important for maintaining a healthy coat and reducing shedding. Make sure your furry friend has access to clean, fresh water at all times.
Hydration plays a crucial role in promoting healthy skin and a lustrous coat, which can help minimize excessive shedding.
You can use this free calculator to figure out how much water your dog should be drinking per day.
Regularly check and refill your dog’s water bowl to ensure they stay hydrated throughout the day.
If they have a tendency to flip their water bowl, our blog post has several options for bowls that can’t flip over.
11. Use a Lint Roller
To keep your clothing and furniture free from Chihuahua hair, using a lint roller can be a handy tool. Simply roll it over your clothes or upholstery to pick up any stray hairs.
Lint rollers are designed with adhesive sheets that effectively remove pet hair, making it easier to maintain a clean and hair-free environment.
Keep a lint roller on hand, especially if you’re heading out and want to remove any visible fur from your clothes.
It’s a quick and convenient solution for keeping your attire and furniture looking neat and hair-free.
12. Air Purifier
An air purifier can be a valuable addition to your home to reduce allergens and dander, creating a cleaner environment.
These devices are designed to filter out airborne pollutants, including pet dander and hair, helping to improve the air quality in your living space.
We always have air purifiers running in our bedroom and living room.
This Levoit Air Purifier is equipped with a HEPA filter, it effectively captures and removes pet dander, allergens, smoke, dust, pollen, and other airborne particles.
It has powerful purification capabilities to help reduce pet hair and pet-related odors, creating a fresher and more pleasant atmosphere.
It’s particularly beneficial for households with dogs that are heavy shedders or multiple-pet households.
13. Coconut Oil
Applying coconut oil to your Chihuahua’s coat can provide numerous benefits, including moisturizing the skin and reducing shedding.
Coconut oil is known for its nourishing properties, as it contains healthy fats that help maintain the skin’s natural moisture balance.
By gently massaging coconut oil onto your Chihuahua’s coat, you can help alleviate dryness and promote a healthier, shinier coat.
Coconut oil’s moisturizing effect can help reduce excessive shedding by keeping the skin and hair follicles hydrated.
It’s important to note that coconut oil should be used in moderation and not applied excessively or else your dog’s fur could get too greasy.
14. Check for Fleas and Parasites
Regularly checking your Chihuahua for fleas and parasites is crucial in preventing increased shedding.
These pesky critters can cause irritation and lead to excessive hair loss.
Make it a habit to carefully inspect your dog’s fur, especially around the neck, back, and belly, where fleas and ticks often hide.
If you notice any signs of infestation, such as itching, redness, or the presence of fleas or ticks, consult your veterinarian for appropriate prevention and treatment options.
By staying vigilant and addressing flea and parasite issues promptly, you can help minimize shedding and keep your furry friend healthy and comfortable.
15. Manage Allergies
Managing allergies in your Chihuahua is crucial in reducing excessive shedding.
Allergies can cause skin irritation, inflammation, and itching, which can lead to increased hair loss.
If you suspect that your dog has allergies, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
They can perform allergy testing to identify specific triggers and recommend appropriate measures to manage the allergies.
16. Minimize Stress
Stress can contribute to excessive shedding in dogs, including Chihuahuas.
Just like humans, dogs can experience stress from various factors such as changes in their environment, loud noises, separation anxiety, or unfamiliar situations.
To help minimize shedding related to stress, it’s important to create a calm and comfortable environment for your Chihuahua.
Provide a designated safe space for them, offer plenty of mental and physical stimulation through play and exercise, establish a regular routine, and ensure they receive proper socialization.
17. Car Cover or Car Seat
Using a washable car seat cover is a practical solution to protect your car seats from being covered in fur, especially if you have multiple dogs.
These covers are designed to provide a barrier between your dog and the seat, preventing hair from sticking to the fabric.
When it gets dirty, you simply remove the cover and wash it, ensuring a clean and fur-free car seat.
This not only helps maintain the cleanliness of your vehicle but also saves you time and effort so you’re not constantly cleaning or vacuuming the seats.
If you only have one Chihuahua or a very tiny Chihuahua, a booster car seat may be a preferable option.
This type of seat allows your dog to see out the window while keeping the fur contained within the seat itself. When the cover gets dirty, you can easily remove and wash it.
18. Regular Vet Check-ups
Regular veterinary check-ups will help maintain your Chihuahua’s overall health and can also help address any potential underlying issues that may be causing excessive shedding.
Your vet will be able to examine your dog, assess their coat and skin condition, and identify any potential health concerns that could contribute to the shedding problem.
They can provide appropriate treatments, recommend dietary adjustments, or prescribe supplements to promote a healthy coat and minimize shedding.
19. Consider Professional Grooming
Consider scheduling regular grooming sessions with a professional groomer for your Chihuahua.
Professional groomers have the knowledge and expertise to handle your dog’s grooming needs, including shedding control.
They can provide specialized treatments and techniques to effectively remove excess hair, prevent matting, and keep your Chihuahua’s coat in optimal condition.
It can be especially beneficial if you find grooming at home overwhelming or if you have a busy schedule that makes it challenging to dedicate time for regular grooming.
20. Use a Drain Protector
To prevent fur from clogging your drains during bath time, consider using a drain protector.
These are designed to catch loose hair and prevent it from going down the drain.
Simply place the drain protector over the drain opening before bathing your Chihuahua, and it will effectively trap all your dog’s fur.
This helps keep your drains clear and prevents potential plumbing issues.
After bathing, simply remove the drain protector, clean out the collected fur, and dispose of it properly.
The Furesh Insider Dog Bath Tub and Wash Station is an ideal solution for bathing your Chihuahua.
What makes this product impressive is its ability to trap fur in the filter during the bathing process.
This ensures that all hair is contained and prevents it from clogging drains or spreading around the bathing area.
21. Don’t Shave Your Dog
Shaving your Chihuahua will not provide a long-term solution for excessive shedding.
Dogs rely on their fur to regulate their body temperature and protect their skin from the sun and other environmental factors.
Shaving your Chihuahua can disrupt this natural insulation and make them more susceptible to sunburn, skin irritation, and temperature fluctuations.
Instead of shaving, focus on implementing the shedding management tips mentioned earlier.
22. Wear Clothes
Having your Chihuahua wear clothing can be useful in managing shedding indirectly.
It can help trap loose hair and prevent it from falling onto furniture or spreading around your home.
Clothing acts as a barrier, reducing the amount of hair that sticks to your clothes when you cuddle or play with your Chihuahua.
Swimming can be a beneficial activity for a Chihuahua’s excessive shedding.
The water can help to loosen and remove loose fur from their coat, reducing the amount of hair that ends up in your home.
However, it’s important to note that swimming alone will not entirely solve the shedding issue.
If your Chihuahua loves to swim, it could be an enjoyable way to keep them active and provide some relief from shedding.
Can I Shave My Chihuahua?
Shaving your Chihuahua is generally not recommended. While shaving your dog might seem like a logical solution and initially reduce the amount of fur floating around, it has many drawbacks.
When Chihuahuas shed, they usually shed their undercoat.
So shaving a Chihuahua’s entire coat can make dogs more susceptible to skin issues, sunburn, and temperature regulation problems.
Shaving can also affect the regrowth process of the fur.
The double-coat nature of Chihuahuas’ fur is there for a reason: it helps regulate their body temperature. If you shave their coats, the undercoat can grow back faster and crowd out the guard hairs.
It can also deplete their coat of its natural oils, which play a crucial role in protecting their skin.
There is also a risk of accidentally nicking your dog’s delicate skin during the shaving process.
Are Chihuahuas Hypoallergenic?
Chihuahuas are not considered hypoallergenic dogs.
While they may produce fewer allergens compared to some other breeds, they still have the potential to cause allergies in susceptible individuals.
Their minimal shedding and smaller size could potentially make them a suitable choice for those who have allergies.
However, it’s important to remember that allergies can vary from person to person, and what may cause allergies in one individual may not affect another.
If you have allergies and are considering getting a Chihuahua, it is recommended to spend time with the breed beforehand to assess your individual reaction and consult with an allergist if necessary.
We have a dedicated blog post answering this question with 15 tips to reduce allergies if you are set on adding a Chihuahua to your family.
Now you have your answer to, “do Chihuahuas shed a lot?”
These little dogs do shed, but they are light to moderate shedders. The amount of shedding depends on factors such as their, health, the season, diet, and grooming habits.
Grooming is essential for these dogs to minimize shedding and maintain their overall appearance.
We mentioned 23 ways to keep a Chihuahua’s shedding at bay, like high-quality dog food, regular bathing and brushing, and keeping your dog hydrated.
We hope this information has been helpful in determining whether a Chihuahua is the right fit for your home and lifestyle.
Many Chihuahua owners, like us, don’t mind their shedding and enjoy all the other qualities they bring to our lives.
How Can I Stop My Chihuahua From Shedding?
Shedding is a natural process for dogs, including Chihuahuas, and it cannot be stopped, only reduced. However, there are several ways to manage and reduce shedding in your Chihuahua. Regular brushing and bathing, using conditioner, checking for any allergies, and feeding high-quality dog food will help.
Does Brushing a Dog Reduce Shedding?
Yes, regular brushing can significantly reduce shedding and keeps their coat in optimal condition. Brushing your Chihuahua during bathtime when they have conditioner on is the best way to reduce shedding.
There are two types of coats in Chihuahuas: short and long. For short-coat Chihuahuas, a soft bristle brush or a slicker brush works well. For long-coat Chihuahuas, a pin brush or a slicker brush is suitable.
We recommend brushing your Chihuahuas one to three times a week. During shedding seasons, more frequent grooming might be necessary.
How Often Should I Bathe a Chihuahua?
We recommend bathing a Chihuahua every 3 to 4 weeks. This frequency is ideal to maintain their coat’s cleanliness without causing skin irritation. Of course, each Chihuahua is unique, and factors such as their activity level and coat type may require adjustments to this bathing schedule.
Make sure to brush their coat before bathing to remove any loose hair and mats and use a gentle hypoallergenic dog shampoo to prevent allergic reactions or skin irritation.
By maintaining a proper bathing schedule for our Chihuahuas, you can keep their coat healthy and clean, making them feel comfortable and happy.
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