Do Chihuahuas shed? Believe it or not, I have actually been asked this question before. Unfortunately the answer is yes, Chihuahuas shed like any other dog. A better question might be. How can such a small dog shed so much? You may have been thinking that because of a Chihuahuas small size that they shed less than other breeds of dogs. Put those thoughts to rest, because the Chihuahua, like all dog breeds shed their hair. For a small dog Chihuahuas are a medium shedder, but unfortunately most Chihuahuas shed all year long regardless of winter or summer, although it will be less during the cool seasons.
How much a dog sheds depends heavily upon each individual dog. The general belief is that a long-haired Chihuahua will shed more than a short-haired Chihuahua as they have more hair than the short-haired, but this is not the case. Most Long-haired Chihuahuas actually shed less than the short-haired because the short-hairs have an undercoat while the long-hairs do not. I have a short haired Chihuahua that sheds at least twice as much as my long haired. Do not let the fact that Chihuahuas shed discourage from getting one. They are wonderful dogs, and although they shed like normal dogs, they are about 1/10th the size of say, a Labrador and so the amount of hair you have to deal with will be 1/10th less.
Of course you are more likely to hold a Chihuahua in your lap than you would a Labrador, so a Chihuahuas shedding is more likely to make a mess of your clothes. Fear not! The steps will help minimize your Chihuahuas shedding so that you can hold them in your lap and not have to worry about your clothes getting covered in Chihuahua hair.
The bad news is that you can never completely stop your Chihuahua from shedding. Luckily there are many things you can do to reduce the amount of hair that your dog sheds.
The first step, which is the easiest and arguably the most effective is to brush your dog regularly. The most obvious reason to brush your dog is that it gets rid of all of the loose hairs on your dogs coat that would otherwise get all over your house or on you. Another reason is that brushing your Chihuahua regularly stimulates the skin, and increases the production of naturally occurring oils which promotes a healthier coat. The healthier your dogs coat, the less likely that it will be for your Chihuahua to lose unnecessary hair. There are many different brushes to choose from, see our grooming page for more information.
Bathing your Chihuahua is another step that should be used in addition to brushing regularly. Bathing your dog regularly will remove any of the hairs that brushing missed, and will free up the hairs that are stuck in the undercoat. Bathing also promotes a healthy coat which is useful in reducing shedding. In addition to bathing you can use medicated shampoos designed to reduce shedding: FURminator, Perfect Coat Shed Control, SynergyLabs Shed-X.
Proper nutrition can greatly improve your dogs coat. Poor nutrition can lead to a Chihuahua having an unhealthy coat, which can lead to excessive and unnecessary shedding. A dog's coat is often a reflection of their diet. Feed your Chihuahua a high-quality dog food to ensure that they are getting all of the nutrients they need for a healthy coat.
Adding supplements to your Chihuahuas diet to ensure that they are getting all of the required nutrients can be helpful in the alleviation of shedding. Some supplements are specifically formulated to target shedding and some work very well. I personally recommend* Linatone Shed Relief Food Supplement for Dogs has a very high number of positive reviews on amazon.com (32 5 star ratings). I am always skeptical about products like this, so I purchased a bottle to try out on my own Chihuahuas and it works great. Vitacoat is another similar supplement that is formulated with essential nutrients and fatty acids.
Medical conditions or allergies can also cause your Chihuahua to lose excessive hair. If you suspect that your Chihuahua is shedding more than what is considered normal, or if your Chihuahua has bald spots. You should take them to your local veterinarian and have them checked out for possible conditions.