Shedding and Chihuahuas – a weird combination of words, isn’t it? I thought the same until my smooth-coat Chihuahua made me reconsider the line of thought.

So, do Chihuahuas shed? Yes, like any other dog, Chihuahuas also shed hair. Throughout the year, Chihuahuas shed minimally as compared to other dog species. The shedding increases with the change of coat during spring and summer. Health issues also cause excessive hair shedding.

Perhaps, there’s more to learn about your Chi’s shedding secret. Things that will help you develop a deeper bond with your tiny furry pal and give it a happy and healthier life. Then, let’s dive into details!

How often do Chihuahuas shed? 

Being primarily classified into two types; the Chihuahuas either have long-coat or smooth-coat. While a majority believes that long-coat Chihuahuas tend to shed more, it is often untrue. The answer to the question “how often do Chihuahuas shed?” does not lie in whether they are long-coat or smooth-coat but rather in the layers of the coat.

Concisely, the frequency of Chihuahua’s shedding depends on:

  • Single-coat
  • Double-coat

Single-coat refers to the topmost layer of thick guard hair whereas double-coat Chihuahuas also have an additional undercoat of thin hair. Chihuahuas with a double-coat shed lesser than single-coat Chihuahuas.

Usually, a long-coat Chihuahua has a double-coat, which is why it tends to shed less. 

Another misconception that persists between our fellow pet-loving community is that Chihuahuas’ hair shedding depends on its breed type. There are 4-commonly owned Chihuahua breeds namely;

  • Apple head
  • Deer head
  • Fawn head
  • Teacup

However, remember that regardless of the breed type, a Chihuahua’s hair shedding depends on its coat layer. An apple head Chihuahua with a single-coat might shed more frequently than a double-coat Chihuahua.

Possessing an active and perky nature, the Chihuahuas form amazing furry little friends. To better take care of your fur pet, it is important that you understand its life stages. Shedding cycle is a frequently experienced stage of the Chihuahuas, which may seem a nuisance if one does not fully understand it and take preventative measures.

The Chihuahua hair shedding cycle involves 3-stages:

  • Anagen
  • Catagen
  • Telogen

In the initial growth stage (Anagen), papilla contributes to hair growth by supplying nutrient-rich blood. Next, in the transitional stage ( Catagen), the hair matures and separates from the papilla. Described as a resting phase, in Telogen, the hair falls out after waiting for some time. 

While shedding hair might bother you or even the Chihuahua itself, it has several health-related benefits!

Seasons            Single-coat       Double-coat
Spring to Summer           Excessive        Moderate
Autumn to Winter           Moderate        Minimal

Why and when do Chihuahuas shed?

Chihuahua’s shed all year long, but with varying intensities. 

What triggers the falls out and growth of fur is the variation in sunlight. The dramatic difference between sunlight hours during the change of seasons triggers fluxes in a dog’s pineal gland. Thus, causing the coat to shed heavily. 

Biologically, this is known as the circadian rhythm, which refers to the physical, mental, and behavioral changes demonstrated by an animal when there’s a change in light in its environment. 

The shedding intensifies as the summer transitions into spring and remains moderate throughout the length of these seasons. The prolonging of daytime during these seasons awakens the biological clock of your tiny canine pals and stimulates the shedding process. The thinning of coat prepares them to deal with the rising temperatures.

 And unless, your area experiences extremely hot temperatures, you might not need to take special summer care of your Chihuahua as the shedding mainly slows down the process of heat absorption and keeps the Chihuahua cool.

Following the Spring Equinox, as the Northern Hemisphere of the Earth tilts away from the sun, the days become shorter. 

Reduced daylight hours recommence the heavy shedding cycle in Chihuahuas of all breeds. They get rid of their lighter summer coat and develop a thick, warmer winter coat. It keeps your loyal and peppy pals, warm and cozy, in the fall and winter months. 

So technically, the Chihuahuas give a hard time to their owners regarding shedding only when the seasons change. Their fur molts to naturally help the little buddy adapt and adjust to the microclimatic changes. 

Is excessive shedding alarming? 

Having your Chihuahua’s hair scattered about the house, on your clothes, sofas and even car seats, is pretty much normal. However, such regular loss of hair never brings about a visible change in your dog’s body. 

So if you do notice, a patch or two missing, brittle or uneven fur, make a run for the Vet, because that’s certainly not normal!

Excessive shedding is a sign of an underlying problem. It’s a clear-cut indicator of the following potential health risks and diseases.

Hypothyroidism 

Hypothyroidism in Chihuahua’s refers to the condition when the thyroid gland is unable to produce sufficient thyroid hormone. Consequently, it increases the hair loss, particularly around the trunk and back of the rear legs. Other symptoms of this condition include lethargy, anemia, weight gain, and high blood cholesterol. 

Although this disease isn’t life-threatening, it is important to treat it through oral drugs to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle of your dearest Chi.

Mange

A common condition amongst dogs, Mange is caused by mites. It involves excessive hair loss and hardening of the skin. If mange is left untreated, it can cause severe damage to your Chihuahua’s health. 

Bacterial and Fungal Infections

Ringworm is a contagious fungal infection that results in circular patches of hair loss on your pet. Accompanied by inflammation and hardening of the skin, fungal infections are pretty painful. Bacterial infections may also become a source of excessive hair shedding.

 If you observe a similar situation, then contact the vet as soon as possible. Such infections may persist for long, often leading to more infections.

Food Allergies

Sometimes, an ingredient or two might not suit your little pet’s immune system. Considering the ingredient as a foreign invader, the immune system reacts against it, causing excessive hair loss. You must discuss your pet’s food plan with a vet as well as study the ancestors’ history. It is better to prevent such situations by eliminating possible allergy-causing food.

Fleas

Fleas bites in Chihuahuas stimulate allergic reactions, which results in inflammation and bald patches on the coat. Often, the inflammation causes Chihuahuas to excessively scratch their  coat, which sheds hair. 

Care and Control 

Remember, shaving is not an option to control excessive hair shedding! Instead, an effective method is to regularly and vigilantly groom your Chihuahua. An occasional bath also enhances the method’s effectiveness. 

Chihuahuas are generally fun and easy to maintain. When it comes to grooming, however, results may vary depending on whether your Chihuahua is a short-haired type or a long-haired type. All you need to know is basic dog grooming techniques, and you’re good to go. 

These techniques include bathing, trimming, and maintaining a healthy diet plan. You also require some handy tools before you begin, they are:

  • Soft-Bristle Brush
  • Mild shampoo formulated for dogs
  • Trimmer
  • Soft towel cloth

Now that we have assembled our tools, we will proceed on the first step, and that is brushing hair. Brushing keeps the coat shiny and removes excess hair, a regular brushing routine will help keep the dog’s coat healthy and the dog happy! 

A short-haired Chihuahua may require brushing several times in a month, whereas a long-haired requires brushing twice or thrice a week. Make sure to look out for any tangles in a long-haired Chihuahua as they tend to form easily. 

Brushing keeps the coat shiny and removes excess hair, a regular brushing routine will help keep the dog’s coat healthy and the dog happy!

Some additional cleaning to do while drying your Chihuahua:

  • Wipe the inner ears
  • Wipe the area around the eye with the help of cue-tip  

Controlling your Chi’s hair shedding through diet plan is another easy yet efficient way. A little drizzle of olive oil over the pet’s meal will give a boost of Omega-3 fatty acids. Thus, developing a healthier and gleaming coat.

 You can even give nutritional supplements as an alternative. These supplements contain Omega-3, Omega-6, and various vitamins. However, avoid giving too much of anything as drastically increased amounts of additional supplements stimulate health issues. 

Related Questions 

Q. What is the average cost of Chihuahuas? The average cost range of a Chihuahua is between $500- $1500. The price of a Chihuahua greatly depends on various factors like breed and gender. 

Q.  How long do Chihuahuas live?  The care level significantly influences the lifespan of a pet. The average lifespan of a Chihuahua is between 15 to 20 years. A Chihuahua vigilantly looked after is likely to live for up to 25 years. 

Q. Do Chihuahuas have a friendly temperament with other pets? While a Chihuahua might love to cuddle and play with kids, it may not demonstrate a similar behavior with other pets, especially dogs.