Shedding in the Chihuahua breed
A guide to the why's and when's and how to decrease your Chihuahua's shedding
It seems lately that I have gotten more questions than usual about the occurance of shedding in this breed I love. I have gotten inquiries as to how often they shed, the occurance and what suggestions I have for those who may have a problem with excessive shedding in their dog.
First off, let me state that Chihuahuas do shed. I have NEVER had problems with any Chihuahua I owned shedding excessively. In fact, my Chi's rarely shed. Let me tell you my experiences.
Rufus is our primary stud. He is a wonderful longcoated boy. I have had Rufus since he was a pup and got him directly from a wonderful and reputable breeder. Rufus developed what I refer to as dandruff mostly in the area of his hips on his back. This was not bad, but little flakes. Rufus did not at the time appear to shed and had a nice coat. Rufus was switched to a different food and this problem has subsided. Rufus, quite honestly, never really seems to shed. They say that long coats will shed twice a year but short coats shed mildly all year. This may or may not be true, it really is not my experience. With Rufus, we groom him about every 6 weeks, he likes a bath, but enjoys the groomer also so we switch it up for him. I don't bathe a lot as it reduces the oils that are essential to healthy skin and coat. I only bathe like every month or so and when neccesary due to dirt or exposure. I will say that Rufus has a very thick double coat and it has greatly improved since he has matured on this diet.
Ginger (retired and placed with her forever family) came to us as a young adult and is a brindle smooth coat. When Ginger moved here, she had a brittle coat. She is more of a rough coat I was told and it was obvious that she had blown her coat. Also, Ginger was a heavy shedder leaving hair all around. Ginger was put on the food we feed here and within 3 months, her coat difference was SHOCKING. She now has a beautiful silky coat and we don't really see her shed either. Her coat is no longer rough and sits smoothly on her back. Just like Rufus, she is bathed no more than once a month unless something warrants it and we DO condition her coat as we do with all our Chi's.
Satinka is a black merle smooth coat. Satinka came to us as a young adult and when we picked her up she was LOADED with loose hair and shedded throughout the car and house for days. We had her groomed, combed her out and doted on her. Her food was gradually changed to our choice of food and all this time later, Satinka rarely gives us any hair in the comb when we comb her. She is happier and so are we!
MooMoo came to us as a young adult also and had a sparce and brittle coat. I can only think that this is what people mean when they incorrectly identify a Chihuahua as a rough coat. Very shortly after going on our food, MooMoo has gotten a beautiful coat with slight undercoating and has lovely and soft hair. The only part that is still a little rough is on her spine. However, that gets softer each day and I am sure that will continue.
**An interesting note is that we kept back two puppies here off of a previous litter (Mason and Dairy) and they were born to a Mom and Dad who ate a high quality food designed to assist in coat health and have beautiful coats and none of the problems we have seen in so many adults. They now have their adult longcoats which grew in surprisingly fast. They both have large, thick coats. This is the difference that raising your Chihuahua on the proper food demonstrates.
Now I am NOT saying that you only get this result from the food we feed or that it works the same for everyone. However, I felt it was important to address my own experiences with some of our dogs.
Chihuahuas do shed, but the bottom line with me is two fold. The biggest thing is I think what you put INTO your dog influences more than just how much they weigh. I feed food that is extremely healthy and works to promote skin and coat specifically. It does make a difference. Our Chihuahuas and their puppies have shiny coats, wonderful texture and are low shed. I attribute a great portion of this to what we feed our dogs. Additionally, I am against overbathing your Chihuahua. I do believe that bathing monthly or every 6 weeks is sufficent most of the time for dogs that live inside. Yes, sometimes it rains and there is mud and every dog will goof off and play, that is what they do, and of course, then you clean them up. But good diet and bathing, to us, is the key to a healthy low shed coat.
**Midwest Chihuahuas proudly uses and recommends Canidae dog foods. All our puppies go home on Canidae Grain Free Salmon which has small pieces and is 40% protein. It is very good for the overall health and shedding health of your Chihuahua. Our Chihuahuas and puppies ONLY eat Canidae foods.
Please contact us if you would like to know more!