If you plan on getting a pet, the shedding part may seem unattractive to you. Thus, you may start finding dogs that don’t shed, or if they do, it’ll only be little. Maybe that’s when a Shih Tzu came to mind. Many people think Shih Tzus shed only a little. In fact, some people think they don’t shed at all. Since it can be a bit confusing, here’s something to enlighten you.
So, do Shih Tzus shed? Shih Tzus do shed, just like all other dogs. However, their shedding is different from many other breeds. You probably already know that Shih Tzus have hair instead of fur as their coat. Due to this difference, they don’t shed that much. Still, it doesn’t mean they don’t shed at all.
This article would cover everything you need to know about the shedding of Shih Tzus. Thus, if you plan on getting this breed as a pet, it’s important to orient yourself with its shedding first.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
- 1 Do Shih Tzus shed a lot?
- 2 How can I stop my Shih Tzu from shedding?
- 3 Why are Shih Tzus shedding?
- 4 When do Shih Tzus shed the most?
- 5 What to do if your Shih Tzu is shedding excessively?
- 6 Are Shih Tzus hypoallergenic?
- 7 What to do if I am allergic to my Shih Tzu?
- 8 Summary
- 9 Resources
Do Shih Tzus shed a lot?
As I said, Shih Tzus don’t shed a lot, but it doesn’t mean they don’t shed at all.
Shih Tzus are one of the dog breeds that have hair as a coat instead of fur. Thus, instead of heavy shedding, their owners experience little shedding. Moreover, it only happens once in a while.
The reasons why Shih Tzus don’t shed much is due to that different coat. But first, let’s try to understand the difference between hair and fur as a coat.
Fur and hair don’t differ that much. However, it’s the primary reason why Shih Tzus shed less than other dogs with fur coats.
First, hair can grow longer than fur. In fact, it can even reach the floor if you don’t cut it. On the other hand, a fur coat would only grow up to 2-3 inches max.
For this reason, a fur coat tends to fall and change more. A hair coat is likely to grow longer than to lose.
Hair strands are a bit thinner than fur. Moreover, a fur coat seems a bit more compressed, making it more prone to shedding.
While a hair coat is less likely to fall, it doesn’t mean it’s easier to maintain. Since it grows longer, it can be hard to keep it looking good without constant maintenance.
Due to the hair coat, Shih Tzus are less likely to shed. However, it doesn’t mean they don’t shed at all.
For this reason, you should keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a non-shedding dog.
If Shih Tzus shed a lot, they would only change their puppy coats into adult coats.
However, such a scene only happens once in a Shih Tzus lifetime, and it’s shedding way too much.
How can I stop my Shih Tzu from shedding?
Shedding is a part of a dog’s nature and cycle. Thus, you can’t stop it from happening. However, there are things you can do to lessen the shedding of your Shih Tzu.
Constant brushing of the coat
Giving your Shih Tzu a regular coat brushing session removes loose and dead hairs from its coat. If you do it as frequently as possible, it will result in a healthy and shiny one less likely to shed.
It is a good idea to brush a Shih Tzu depending on the length of its coat. If your pet has a short coat, it would be best to do some brushing on it at least once every three days.
If it has a moderate length, do it at least once every other day. However, if your pet has a floor-length coat, daily brushing is crucial.
Bathe your pet regularly.
Baths will help lessen the shedding of Shih Tzus as well. By doing so, it removes loose hairs that are about to fall already.
Thus, instead of all loose hairs falling simultaneously, bathing would lessen such by removing them.
In general, regular baths and brush sessions helps lessen shedding. It removes loose hairs from the coat and keeps it free-flowing. Lastly, it also maintains good skin health by removing dead hairs.
Why are Shih Tzus shedding?
Like all other dogs, Shih Tzus shed their coats to allow new hair to replace the old ones. In simple terms, shedding is a way for a dog’s body to replace its hair with a new one.
When it comes to Shih Tzus, shedding happens lightly. When they do shed, it’s only a small amount of hair strands.
However, they shed a lot during their early age, and we call puppy shedding.
Puppy shedding happens to a Shih Tzu as it turns from being a puppy to an adult dog.
Thus, you may expect your Shih Tzu to shed a lot once it starts reaching early adulthood.
But when do Shih Tzus shed most?
When do Shih Tzus shed the most?
As I said earlier, Shih Tzus only shed the most once in their lifetime, and it only happens when they turn into adults.
In a Shih Tzus timeline, they start turning to adults during their 9 to 12 months of age. As they turn a year old, they become adults, and they have already finished growing.
For this reason, you can expect your pet to shed a lot from its 9th month until it turns a year old.
Still, do keep in mind that once it happens, it doesn’t mean they would stop shedding anymore.
After that significant shedding, they would still shed at least once a year. However, this shedding wouldn’t be as substantial as the puppy shedding.
What to do if your Shih Tzu is shedding excessively?
If your Shih Tzu is shedding excessively, the best way to deal with it is to remove all those loose and dead hairs in your pet’s coat. You can do such by bathing and brushing your pet.
As I said earlier, shedding is when the old and dead hair gets replaced by new ones.
Thus, if your Shih Tzu sheds excessively, it means it has a lot of dead and loose hairs in its body that need to get removed.
Bathing your pet helps you remove those loose and dead hair without creating a big mess. Moreover, it will help you quickly take those loose hairs away in one washing.
Lastly, it will keep your pet’s coat clean and its skin healthy. This way, you’ll worry less about your pet shedding on your place.
Another thing you can do is to give your pet a brushing session as it sheds. By brushing, you help your pet eliminate the hairs that need replacement.
This way, you’ll lessen the shedding time and will help the replacement process to be quicker.
As a general rule of thumb, shedding is a part of a Shih Tzu and all other dogs’ lives. Thus, it’s not something you can prevent, but you certainly can do something about it.
Are Shih Tzus hypoallergenic?
Shih Tzus are hypoallergenic, but it doesn’t mean that all people won’t be allergic to this breed.
True enough, Shih Tzus are suitable for pet owners who can’t deal with furry coats brought by other breeds. However, some people would still find Shih Tzus as a cause for their allergic reactions.
For this reason, it would be best to test yourself if you are compatible with Shih Tzus.
It’s essential to do so, especially if you plan on getting one. If you have other family members in the house, it would also be best to get your family tested. This way, you’ll see if they would show an allergic reaction to Shih Tzus.
Now, if you find out that you are allergic to your Shih Tzu, don’t worry. There are some things you can do about it.
What to do if I am allergic to my Shih Tzu?
You can do many ways to test yourself if you’re allergic to your Shih Tzu. Now, if you already think you are, here are some things you can do to deal with it.
Keep the coat short.
Since Shih Tzus are hypoallergenic, your allergic reaction likely comes from the coat.
However, it may help you to cut the coat short since it will be easier to wash away the things causing your allergy. Some of these are your pet’s dander, urine, and saliva.
By doing so, cleaning your pet will be much more efficient, and it will lessen your chances of triggering that allergy.
Bathe your pet regularly.
Bathing your Shih Tzu more often would do well not only for your pet but also for you.
In general, Shih Tzus need to take a bath once every three weeks. Thus, bathing your pet once a week would serve you well.
Be wary, though. Frequent baths can turn its skin dry. However, you can solve this through an oatmeal-based shampoo and a conditioner with a thick consistency.
Give the brushing duty to other people.
If you are allergic to your Shih Tzu, brushing your pet on your own may not be a good idea. Moreover, it would be best to have your pet’s brushing session outside. This way, you’ll prevent dog danders from staying inside the house.
Regular brushing would prevent danders and other factors that may trigger allergic reactions. Still, it’s not something you need to do yourself.
If you keep, it’s coat short, brushing at least thrice a week lessens your chances of allergies.
Wipe your pet clean.
Using grooming wipes help keep your pet clean and prevent it from being an allergy trigger.
Three things can cause allergic reactions. These are dander, urine, and saliva. Thus, removing such things immediately with wipes would lessen your allergic reactions.
Of course, nothing beats an old-fashioned bath. However, bathing isn’t something you can do all the time. If your Shih Tzu needs some immediate cleaning, a wipe will surely come in handy.
When using wipes, always give a run all over the body. Wipe up below to clean the specks of urine. It would be best if you also went for the face and neck for saliva and the rest of the body for dog danders.
Wiping is ideal, especially if your pet recently got back from playing outside.
Limit access for very allergic people.
If you or someone from your house is very allergic, it would be best to keep your Shih Tzu from entering that person’s room. It would also be best not to let the Shih Tzu access the room where that person spends most of its time.
Wash hands frequently.
The best way to prevent allergic reactions is by washing your hands. Most allergies get triggered through contact with their face. Moreover, a person may touch his face as frequently as we can imagine.
For this reason, washing hands is the best way to prevent such allergic reactions from happening.
If you are allergic to your Shih Tzu, it would be best to clean your hands or even clean your body after handling your pet.
This way, you’ll lessen your chances of suffering from your allergies caused by your pet.
Purify your air.
Cleaning your atmosphere lessens the chances of triggering allergic reactions. By using an air purifier, you can get rid of particles that can cause allergies.
It’s something ideal for people who suffer from seasonal allergies. If you get a good-quality cleaner, you can remove those dog danders, dust, and even mold spores.
In short, Shih Tzus do shed, just like all other dogs. The only thing is that this breed sheds less since they have hair instead of fur as their coat. Shih Tzus and all dogs shed because they need to replace their coats with new ones from time to time.
Coat shedding doesn’t happen much with Shih Tzus. The only instance when they shed more is when they turn into adults. However, this significant shedding only occurs once in their life. They would shed little amounts at least once in a year, and we call this gradual shedding.
For this reason, we can all agree with the fact that there’s no such thing as non-shedding dogs. If you plan to own a Shih Tzu, you may deal with less shedding. However, it doesn’t mean your pet shed at all.
As a general rule of thumb, all dogs require proper grooming, such as bathing and brushing. As long as you do so regularly, you can lessen your pet’s shedding and even avoid allergic reactions.
Image credits – Canva
 Shih Tzu – Wikipedia
 Dogs Are Shedding… Light on Human Health – NIH
 Dog allergen levels in homes with hypoallergenic compared with nonhypoallergenic dogs – NCBI