Chihuahuas are one of the most adaptable and easy to manage dog breeds. Their petite size, loving rapport, and docile nature make for easy housebreaking and comfortable living. They’re the perfect apartment dog and small enough to fit into purses, which happens to be a habitat they quite enjoy.
But one thing that’s overlooked is shedding. Obviously no matter how much a dog sheds, the bigger they are the more work is involved in grooming them (although there are a slight few exceptions to this rule). Due to the Chihuahua’s size, potential owners are often unaware of the work involved with their grooming process. Or they’ll think, ‘well even if they do shed it’s not a problem because they’re so small.’
In a way that line of thought isn’t wrong, but it widely depends on the dog. In short: yes, Chihuahuas absolutely shed. Most have single coats and they’re not dense, so they don’t shed as much as other canines, but when compared to all the other dogs in the AKC’s roster, they fall in the medium-shedding category. For a toy dog, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as other toy breeds shed much more than Chihuahuas.
There’s a common misconception, however, that long coated Chihuahuas shed more than short coated.
This isn’t necessarily accurate but is only ever thought to be because the hairs of long-coated Chihuahuas are sizably longer, meaning there’s more of an obvious mess.
The reality is that all Chihuahuas shed year round, with spring being the worst season as they shed in the spring to drop their old coats and pave the way for a new, summer-coat.
Causes of Hair Loss
But shedding and hair loss are often not mutually exclusive. It’s completely normal for a Chihuahua to lose hair in the shedding process, but if your pup is consistently dropping hair (and not growing it back at the same rate) then that can be indicative of different issues entirely. Below are some conditions that could cause hair loss outside of Chihuahuas normal shedding cycle.
Hypothyroidism: a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland can’t produce enough of the thymine hormone.
Heat Cycle: this condition occurs when a female is in her heat cycle due to a flare up of estrogen, and Chihuahua’s will shed more during this period.
Allergies: from food, to certain chemicals in the environment (like shampoo products or flea medicine), your Chihuahua could be having an allergic reaction and losing hair because of it.
Infections: specific bacterial and fungal infections can often cause extreme hair loss, but this is a bit rarer.
Managing Chihuahua Shedding
Even though Chihuahuas are known to shed, they are extremely manageable and easy to groom. Your Chihuahua will definitely shed and leave his little hairs all over the couch, but his hair will certainly not cover an entire room. If you want some tips on how to mitigate shedding, read below.
This is the simplest and most effective way to deal with shedding, By brushing to remove the loose and tangled hair that’s ready to fall it can mitigate your dog’s shedding. Since Chihuahuas are tiny dogs, it takes considerably less time than any other breed. If done daily you can nearly fix the problem outright.
Bathing your Chihuahua will remove all the loose hair and muck from his coat, and then allow for the growth of a new healthier one. Make sure to use products that won’t damage his coat’s natural oils.
Use an Oil-Free De-Shedding Spray
More often than not these sprays are tailored specifically for canines, so they’re free of any harmful chemicals.
If used, the natural ingredients help strengthen the root of the hair and also moisturize it.
Use Lint Rollers and Vacuum Your House
Sometimes sweeping just isn’t enough. Have a couple lint rollers handy if you ever want to thoroughly pick up your dog’s mess, and then do a pass with the vacuum afterward.
The main point: yes, Chihuahuas shed, but in comparison to other canines, it’s nothing to worry about. However, be keen to the differences between excessive hair loss and seasonal shedding. If it’s a problem, try brushing your dog daily and working a bit more on his coat upkeep. But generally, you shouldn’t expect too much work in this department.