Why is my shih tzu shedding hair

Why is my shih tzu shedding hair

Why is my Shih Tzu shedding hair? This is a common question among Shih Tzu owners who believe in one of the biggest myths of all time that Shih Tzu do not shed hair. In this article, we are going to demystify this topic about Shih Tzu shedding and explains the reasons why he/she is shedding and remedies.

Do Shih Tzus shed?

The answer is yes. Shih Tzu do shed off their hair even though they are considered to be light shedders. We cannot compare Shih Tzu with other breeds like pugs and bulldogs because they shed more.

Shih Tzu is considered a good dog breed for people who are allergic to fur because their coat is made up of hair. Just like people, Shih Tzu dogs do shed little of their hair.

The reason why you may not notice that Shih Tzu is shedding hair is that they have long hair and they are double-coated. This means that some of the hair instead of falling off it is trapped in the coat.

The fact that most of the hair that has fallen off remains on the Shih Tzu coat; it makes the hair to become tangled forming mats and knots. These mats and knots can only be detangled using brush, comb and bathing  shampoo.

Shih Tzu hair growth stages

Like human beings and other dog breeds with hair, Shih Tzu hair undergoes three life growth stages, i.e. anagen, catagen and telogen phases.

  • Anagen is the growth stage of hair. Normally 85% to 90% of the hair grows at one time. If you are doing correct grooming and feeding your Shih Tzu well, then it will be healthy meaning that, the hair will not break during this stage.
  • Telogen is the phase where the hair does not grow in length. The hair remains at the same length. Hair follicles firmly hold it preventing it from falling.
  • Catagen is the last stage of Shih Tzu’s hair growth. It is the falling stage. You may be wondering how falling happens. Normally what happens is that the hair follicle shrinks cutting off the supply of blood on the hair shaft. Due to a lack of blood supply, the hair shaft detaches itself and falls out.

The three stages that Shih Tzu hair undergo helps in keeping their coat healthy and shiny looking. If they cannot shed their hair to renew it, they can really look bad especially for the old ones.

Instances in which Shih Tzu shed their hair

There are different development stages that Shih Tzu shed off their hair. It is very important to understand all these instances or situations in order to avoid asking the question of why does my Chihuahua shitzu sheds too much.

Shih Tzu shedding puppy coat

Shih Tzu puppies have very different body coats when they are born compared with that of adult ones. The hair they have is normally very soft, light and it does not easily grow out. As the puppy develops, at one time it will shed off the puppy coat so that it can grow adult coat.

This stage of puppy is characterized by heavy shedding that makes most owners to even get worried about what happens. In most puppies, this heavy shedding stage lasts between two to three months while others can be short-lasting for only one month. However, there are some Shih Tzu puppies but on rare occurrences, they only shed when they are 9 months old. Therefore, if you have a puppy Shih Tzu there is no need of getting worried when you realize she/he is having more shedding because it is normal.

Pregnancy shedding

In every dog breed, during pregnancy period and after they give a litter there are many changes that occur in the body. One of the changes that greatly affect shedding is hormonal changes. After giving birth, Shih Tzu can have increased shedding. The hair will regrow again and if it does not there could be health problems that may require you to consult a veterinary officer.

Seasonal shedding

During different times of the year, e.g. transitioning from one season to another like winter to summer or spring, you may notice an increase in Shih Tzu shedding. You may get worried and start to ask why is my Shih Tzu shedding hair. Normally, seasonal shedding has also something to do with Shih Tzu’s health, how they groomed and feed.

When we have a winter season, the cold and dry air in our surroundings can lead to dry skin. If the state of the skin is not good, it can lead to weak hair making the coat to shed hair more than it does.

During summer, exposure to the sun can lead to friction on the Shih Tzu coat causing the hair to become weak and then it will break.

Tips to reduce Shih Tzu shedding

Even though Shih Tzu shedding is normal, there are ways in which we can reduce the amount of hair that they shed and get in our clothes, couches, etc.

  1. Regular brushing

Regular Shih Tzu coat brushing can help in reducing shedding. Brushing should be done on a regular basis like after three days for Shih Tzu that have short coats. For Shih Tzu with long coats, brushing can be done everyday whole 2 days for the ones with average coats.

When brushing Shih Tzu you will require using a combination of different grooming tools. For example, if your Shih Tzu coat has mats and knots you will need a comb that can check and remove tangles easily. You may require to purchase 2 Sided Undercoat DE matting Rake  or  Detangling Pet Comb.

When brushing Shih Tzu puppies you can use a more gentle brush like Li’l Pals Stainless Steel double-sided comb.  In case you have shaved your Shih Tzu coat, a more bristle brush can be used to remove the fallen hair on the dog coat.

  1. Bathing

Bathing your Shih Tzu often can help in reducing shedding. For example during  Shih tzu hair growth stage called catagen also referred to as the shedding phase, the hair does not fall in one day. It takes around 1 to 2 weeks to shed the whole hair.

During this stage, the hair is loose waiting to fall. Giving your Shih Tzu bath can help in releasing all the loose hair in the coat.


 It is my hope this article has helped you to understand the reasons why Shih Tzu sheds hair. You will now no longer ask why is my why is my Shih Tzu shedding hair.

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