Chihuahuas pack a lot of energy and love in their pint- size bodies. They are the breed of choice for people who live in small spaces and need a smaller dog. Although they are little, Chihuahuas still shed. Even short-haired varieties can leave traces of fur on the carpet and furniture. It can be annoying to find that you get hair all over your clothes when you sit on your furniture. This can really be embarrassing when you are entertaining company. Before you decide to shave your dog bald—take heart. There are a lot of ways that you can minimize your Chihuahua’s shedding habits.
We have all heard that certain breeds of dogs do not shed. While it may be so in a dream world, the truth is that no dog is shed-proof. From the tiniest teacup poodle to the great Irish Wolfhounds, it is a dog’s nature to shed. There are a few breeds like the Chinese Crested that are hairless and have nothing to lose. If your dog has fur, he will definitely shed. Your Chihuahua is also going to be a shedder. You can still keep him in the house and do things that will keep the flying fur to a minimum. This is especially important for people who have allergies.
Why Is My Chihuahua Shedding?
Like most mammals, canine shedding is seasonal. During the cold winter months, your dog’s body is designed to grow a heavier coat for warmth. When warmer weather comes in spring and summer, they slowly shed the winter coat. Many Chihuahuas keep their coat for a little longer than other breeds. Their winter coats are not usually heavy, since the breed originated in warmer climates. When the temperature warms up, your furry friend will start shedding. If you have proper fencing, your dog can also spend more time outside and shake off some of his extra fur.
No matter if your Chihuahua has long or short fur, he is still going to shed at some point. It is just part of being a dog. While we would assume that a Chihuahua with longer fur would shed more than a shorter haired variety, the opposite is true. Short-haired Chihuahuas have an undercoat that makes their hair denser, so the dog is more vulnerable to heavy shedding. The long-haired variety lacks this undercoat, which makes him shed less. You can even feel the difference when you pet a Chihuahua of either variety. If your dog is older or is lactating, you may see more problems with shedding.
Effective Ways to Reduce and Control Shedding
One of the best ways to minimize your Chihuahua shedding is to make sure that he is well-groomed. You can read our grooming guide here. A thorough combing with a fine-toothed comb will brush away most of your pet’s loose hair. There are also special grooming brushes made for short-haired dogs. Either one will work fine. Combing should be a part of the Chihuahua’s daily cleaning routine. Instead of the fur being all over your house, it will be in a neat little pile for the garbage can.
Another deterrent to excess fur is to give your Chihuahua a bath. A nice, warm bath with a gentle scrub can wash away loose hair that the brush missed. Since Chihuahuas often suffer from dry skin conditions, bathing them too frequently can make them lose essential oils that their coats need. Most experts recommend that you bathe your dog every four to six weeks. Your vet may also recommend a lotion that is good for shedding dogs’ skin.
Since your Chihuahua’s shedding is going to be more prominent during spring and summer, then your grooming routine should be more intense during those months. Of course, there will be some minimal shedding in the winter and he will still need to be brushed. You dog will get used to the routine and will enjoy the extra pampering.
It may be a little time consuming, but you should consider vacuuming your home more often during prime shedding months. Even a good vacuuming twice a week can take care of wondering fur. If you have hardwood floors throughout your home, you can get good results with dust mops. You can also trap pet hair on furniture with a disposable duster.
If you want to keep your furniture a little less fuzzy, you should train your Chihuahua not to get on it. If he has his own little bed, he will be less likely to lounge on your sofa. If this is not working, you can try keeping him off the furniture as much as possible while he is shedding. Some pet owners put a special doggie blanket wherever their dogs lay on the furniture. If you still have a problem, using a lint roller can do wonders for removing pet hair from upholstery. There are also special attachments to vacuum cleaners made for pet hair. Find some additional tips written by Drs. Foster and Smith.
When Is It Time to Schedule an Appointment With Your Vet?
If your Chihuahua is shedding excessively, there may be an underlying medical problem. Often times, dogs that are not getting the right amounts of nutrients will start losing their hair uncontrollably. There are also certain canine disorders that will cause fur loss. You may see bald patches and your dog’s coat may be dry and lackluster. If you think your dog may be experiencing this type of shedding, then it is time to visit your veterinarian.
As much as you love your Chihuahua, you are not going to prevent him from shedding. Just because he has a problem does not mean you have to live like a human hair ball. If you deal with the loose fur that is on his coat, you will usually get to the root of the shedding problem. Consistent grooming and bathing go a long way to reduce excess fur. What fur you do not remove with grooming will be taken with the broom and vacuum cleaner. Your family and friends will be more likely sit and visit if they do not see hair all over the place. Just a few simple steps will keep you and your Chihuahua happy with a lot less hair.