A lot of people believe that Shih Tzus do not shed, unlike many other dogs. Because of this, this breed has been labeled as “hypoallergenic” and considered to be great companions for those who are allergic to canine fur.
But is this really true? Are Shih Tzus really immune from shedding? Let’s take a closer look below.
Shih Tzus DO Shed
Most dog breeds have fur, while Shih Tzus have hair. However, these are essentially the same thing; the only difference is that hair is longer and finer in texture than ordinary dog fur. In reality, Shih Tu hairs do fall off, just like how human hairs separate from the scalp when they reach the end of the growth cycle.
However, Shih Tzu owners don’t really notice that their pets are shedding. This comes from the fact that, if you allow your Shih Tzu to grow out his hair, the hairs that fall off from his skin gets caught up in his long outer coat. With this barrier in place, his hairs don’t immediately float down to the floor (or the couch, the bed, or your clothes).
Shedding becomes more noticeable hen you give your Shih Tzu a haircut. Since his outer coat is now shorter, it can’t effectively trap the hairs that fall out from his skin, which means they can freely float down and land on any surface. This makes it obvious that your Shih Tzu does indeed shed, although it’s still less noticeable compared to other dogs since Shih Tzus have finer hairs that are difficult to spot.
Helping Out Your Shih Tzu
Of course, you shouldn’t just rely on the natural “anti-shedding” protection that’s offered by your Shih Tzu’s outer coat. If you leave the hairs on the coat, they can get matted and knotted over time, and you’ll find it difficult to untangle them. Eventually, the only option you’ll have is to shave off your Shih Tzu’s beautiful hair.
Allowing hair to build up on your Shih Tzu’s outer coat can also block the air flow through his skin. The lack of proper ventilation can irritate your pet’s skin and cause him to develop rashes, dry skin, and even an unpleasant odor.
Fortunately, you can avoid these scenarios by brushing your Shih Tzu’s hair at least once a day. Doing this will take out the loose, dead hairs that fall on his outer coat and remove any knots, mats, and tangles that develop. Regular brushing will help your Shih Tzu develop better overall health and, as an added bonus, make him look cuter and more adorable.
Shih Tzus shed regularly just like other dogs, but there are some moments in their life when they shed more hair than normal. Puppies, for example, shed off their puppy coat as they transition into adulthood, and pregnant Shih Tzus that have just given birth might also lose some of their hair due to hormonal changes. Shih Tzus that live in places with four seasons can also shed their coat in spring and in autumn to prepare for warmer and colder weather, respectively.