While they can be clean freaks, your Shiba Inu is fairly easy to care for. They do not need trips to a groomer for fancy haircuts, for example. You can maintain them in the comfort of your own home instead.
But since they are less domesticated, they generally do not like grooming. This is the tricky part of caring for a Shiba Inu, even if they are low maintenance.
Do not lose hope, though. Your furry friend can comply during your grooming sessions. But now you have to figure out how to do this.
In this article, you will know how to care for a Shiba Inu and handle all its quirks.
Are Shiba Inu Low or High Maintenance?
Shiba Inu are all-around low-maintenance dogs. Not only are they highly independent and can tolerate alone time longer than other dogs. But they are also easy to maintain when it comes to their grooming needs.
You may have heard that this breed is cat-like. A reason why that is is that they value their cleanliness a lot and they spend hours grooming themselves. This is a naturally clean dog breed that does not smell much compared to other dog breeds.
Much of their grooming routine goes into their coat care. This breed has a thick, fluffy coat that makes them look like a teddy bear. But their beautiful coat does not need haircuts, you only need to brush them weekly.
Regular brushing will not only distribute the natural oils on their skin. It will also remove all the dead hair that is ready to fall off. And with their double coat, you can expect them to be moderate shedders throughout the year.
You may need to brush them more during shedding season as they need to blow out their coat. During fall and spring, they will experience heavy shedding to make way for summer and winter. During these seasons, their fur will be all over the place, but you can manage it with frequent brushing.
Other than their coat, a big part of their grooming routine includes brushing their teeth. Your Shiba Inu is prone to having dental issues that lead to dental disease. This breed has an increased risk of having an overbite because of its long and narrow nose. This is why if you are not meticulous with their oral hygiene, this can lead to periodontitis.
Like you, it is best if you clean your furry friend’s teeth every day. But if this is not possible, try to brush their teeth at least thrice a week.
The other grooming needs of a Shiba Inu are much like other dogs.
Their ears need a weekly checkup to see if they are dirty and need cleaning. Their nails need trimming once or twice a month. And bathing them should only be every 3 to 4 months to avoid drying out their skin.
Do Shiba Inu Need Grooming?
While your Shiba Inu can groom themselves, they will need your help to maintain their looks. All dog breeds will need some grooming, especially this breed with its thick fur. But grooming is not only to make them look pretty, it also has some other benefits to their well-being.
These benefits are not only for your Shiba Inu but also for you. You share a home with them and so keeping them clean will keep your house clean. To highlight the importance of grooming them, here are its benefits below.
Grooming Promotes Healthy Coat and Skin
The main thing about grooming your Shiba Inu is brushing their coat. This maintenance keeps their coat clean because you brush away debris and dirt away. If you keep a regular brushing routine, then you can lessen their bathing.
But other than that, brushing also distributes the natural oil on their skin. This is what makes their coat strong and shiny. The oil on your furry friend’s skin also does the following:
- Traps dirt
- Prevents infections from minor scrapes
- Helps in preventing skin issues
By distributing their skin oil, you allow their skin to breathe. You prevent the oil from building up in certain areas. This ensures that their pores do not get clogged as this can lead to skin irritation.
The most obvious benefit of grooming your Shiba Inu, though, is preventing mats. This is painful for your Shiba Inu to have as it tugs on their skin a lot. Hotspots, which are reddish and inflamed lesions, can occur as a result of matting.
All these are issues you can avoid with proper grooming.
Grooming Helps Prevent Joint Pain
Your Shiba Inu is on their four feet a lot, which is why grooming their nails is crucial. If their nails become too long, it can cause them a lot of pain. Overgrown nails curl on their paws, and as you can imagine, this makes walking painful.
This can cause injuries to your Shiba Inu because their nails easily get caught in something. But the sharp end of their nails can also poke their paws.
Lack of proper nail trimming can also lead to or exacerbate joint pain. Long nails change the angle of the joints in their paws. The angle changes from the paw to the spinal column, which makes the foot flat.
This pressure on the wrong foot parts can lead to a lifetime of chronic pain for your Shiba Inu. It will not only force your furry friend to change their gait. But it will also affect their behavior and their quality of life.
Grooming Helps in Preventing Parasite Infestations
Bathing your Shiba Inu is one way to prevent parasites like fleas or ticks. This will help you spot them early on so the issue does not become worse.
While bathing them helps, it may not be enough to get rid of these pesky parasites. But once you know they are there, you can take appropriate action right away with help from your vet.
Grooming Helps You Detect Abnormalities
A grooming routine with your Shiba Inu is your chance to inspect their body closely. You can do this weekly, whenever you are brushing their fluffy coat.
Look for signs of infection that may lead to other problems down the road. You should also check for lesions, rashes, inflammations, lumps, and more. Be thorough in going through their coat as they have a thick double coat that makes it easy for you to spot issues.
Grooming Brings Them Comfort
Not all dogs will enjoy the grooming process, especially your Shiba Inu. They are not the type of dog who enjoys getting handled, this is how they are. But after a good grooming session, they feel a whole lot better.
Removing dead hair from their coat removes tangles and knots that are painful. Trimming their nails removes pressure from their feet. Cleaning their ears remove debris that they may be trying to get rid of, as it bothers them.
Like how you feel fresh after a bath, your Shiba Inu will feel the same. And because this breed likes to keep clean, they will appreciate this even more.
Grooming Is Also a Bonding Session
This is a one-on-one experience with your best bud, and they love nothing more than to be with you. While this breed may be aloof, they have so much love and care for their family.
Grooming brings them comfort afterward, which can build their trust in you. This is because they see you helping in easing the pain or discomfort that they feel.
Take this as an opportunity to give your Shiba Inu extra love and attention. In time, grooming them will not be much of a daunting task anymore.
Grooming Improves Their Well-Being
As you know, grooming can improve your buddy’s physical health in a lot of ways. But it also has a positive impact on their mental health.
Without any physical hindrances, they can enjoy life to the fullest. Your Shiba Inu can do what they want without pain or discomfort. And this will make them happier dogs and improve their mental state.
Other than that, a well-groomed dog is always a joy to be with. People will not hesitate to approach and pet your Shiba Inu and give them attention. This is positive reinforcement in itself, something that your buddy thrives on.
Grooming Maintains a Clean Home
Your Shiba Inu is a moderate shedder throughout the year. But during spring and fall, their shedding goes overdrive! With this, you can expect to find fur everywhere in your home.
But a regular brushing routine will lessen the amount of fur you find around the house. This way, you catch the fur on the brush instead of letting it fall anywhere.
Not only this, but bathing or wiping your Shiba Inu also lessens the dirt they bring in your home. This breed needs to spend time outdoors too, but they can get dirty. Wiping them down before they go inside or bathing them when they get too dirty will prevent this.
Keeping your buddy clean will also keep your couch, floors, bed, and more also clean. It may not be spotless, but this makes cleanup more manageable.
Are Shiba Inu Easy to Groom?
Shiba Inu are fairly easy to groom as they take a lot of time grooming themselves. They are a clean dog breed that likes to maintain their fresh looks and smell. But your Shiba Inu still needs a regular brushing routine, though.
During shedding season is when you need to pay more attention to them though. You need to increase the frequency of their brushing as they shed a lot during spring and fall.
During the rest of the year, their shedding is manageable. But this can drive you crazy once they begin shedding heavily twice a year!
But this is one of your main considerations in taking care of a Shiba Inu. Other than that, you also need to brush their teeth at least thrice a week.
All the other grooming routines your buddy needs, such as trimming their nails, are every month. But bathing them must only be after every few months. Doing this too often will dry out their skin and this can lead to skin issues.
What Kind of Grooming Does a Shiba Inu Need?
Your Shiba Inu only needs a basic grooming routine. Keeping them looking clean and smelling great only needs the following:
- Coat brushing
- Tooth brushing
- Nail trimming
- Ear cleaning
As you can see, it does not take a lot to maintain the famous looks of a Shiba Inu. They will even help you out by spending hours each day grooming themselves. Their cleanliness is why they get compared to cats a lot, other than their aloof nature.
How Often Do You Need to Groom a Shiba Inu?
The frequency of grooming your Shiba Inu will depend on what you are grooming them for. While brushing their coat is a weekly thing, weekly bathing is not a great idea in most cases. Each body part has a cleaning schedule as being excessive can cause your buddy harm.
For example, cleaning their ears every day can lead to infections. Overcleaning their ears can irritate the ear canal. This can then cause an infection, which is what you are trying to avoid.
With this, here is a general guide on the frequency of your furry friend’s grooming needs:
- Coat Brushing: At least twice a month during the non-shedding season. You may also brush their coat every week. But during shedding season, you need to brush their coat a few times each week.
- Toothbrushing: At least twice or thrice a week. But if you can brush their teeth daily, then this is best.
- Bathing: Every 4 to 6 weeks if your Shiba Inu loves to stay outdoors a lot. But if they stay mostly indoors, then bathe them every 3 to 6 months. If your Shiba has a skin condition, your vet may ask you to bathe them more.
- Nail trimming: Once or twice a month, but make sure to check their nail length often. If you walk your Shiba Inu a lot, then once a month is enough.
- Ear cleaning: A healthy Shiba Inu should have their ears cleaned every month. But make sure to check their ears weekly and wipe debris on the outer ears. If they have an ear issue, then this may be more frequent.
As you can see, there are also a lot of factors to consider here. If your Shiba Inu has any health issues, grooming them may be more frequent. Skin allergies, for example, may need weekly baths with a medicated shampoo.
Also, your furry friend’s lifestyle plays a part in this. If they are indoor dogs, then they do not need much grooming care. They stay cleaner longer inside, especially since they are neat dogs.
But if your Shiba Inu is an active outdoorsy dog, then they get dirty much faster. Even hours of self-grooming are not enough to maintain their cleanliness.
So when coming up with a grooming calendar for your buddy, consider these. There is no cut-and-dry answer to how often you groom your Shiba Inu. But you can create the best one for them by assessing their needs.
When Should I Start Grooming My Shiba Inu?
If you want your Shiba Inu to go to a professional groomer, the best time is when they are 12 weeks of age. You can take them once they are older, but not older than 16 weeks of age. But you should already do some simple grooming for your buddy at home much younger than this.
Usually, dogs go into their new homes once they reach 8 weeks of age. Once your Shiba Inu is getting used to a new environment, begin grooming them. The best way to start is by brushing them so they get familiar with getting handled.
At around this age, you should also start with getting them used to their oral hygiene routine. Touch their muzzle first, and then move on to touching their teeth with your fingers. By doing this, it will be easier for you to brush their teeth in the future.
You should also begin a nail-trimming routine as well. Try to handle their paws a lot, because this breed does not like their feet getting touched. But this will desensitize them so they do not make a fuss during nail-trimming sessions.
You do not even have to trim their nails first. Handle their paws and then bring out the nail trimmer. Let your Shiba Inu inspect it and bring it close to their paws.
Then you can pretend to cut away some of their nails first. Once they let you do these without any reaction, then you can move on to cutting their nails.
It will also help if you introduce them to water while they are young. Have them play with a basin of water, with the help of their favorite toys. This way, bathing them will not be such a dreadful task in the future.
These steps are necessary to do, even if you do not bring them to a professional groomer yet. This will help in desensitizing them for the whole process.
As a young puppy, your Shiba Inu is much more open to new experiences, even if they are scary. Exposing them to these a lot will make the grooming process a normal part of their life. Your groomer will thank you, but it will also benefit you once they grow older and stronger.
How to Groom Shiba Inu
Grooming your Shiba Inu is a straightforward process that mainly involves brushing them. But a huge chunk of grooming them also includes brushing their teeth. You also have to bathe them and clean their ears and trim their nails.
Humans have a general idea of how to groom their dogs. But since your Shiba Inu cannot speak, you may end up hurting them during the grooming process. With this, you need to know how to do these properly to ensure your buddy’s comfort.
Below is how you can groom your Shiba Inu in detail.
Brushing Their Coat
Your buddy has a thick coat that covers their entire body. And you need to brush the whole body to distribute oils and prevent tangles. But you need to be careful with this as some areas are more sensitive.
Remember that you should only brush your furry friend’s coat if it is dry. Brushing them while they are wet can be uncomfortable and this will be harder for you to do. So do this before or after a bath.
The first thing to consider is the brush you use. The tiniest bit of pain that your Shiba Inu feels from a brush will turn them into a drama queen. A slicker brush is a great all-around brush, but you may also consider others such as:
- Deshedding brush
- Bristle brush
- Pin brush
- Undercoat rake
You can even use a combination of these. Use one that your Shiba Inu has no problems with to make the process efficient and productive.
Now brush your Shiba Inu with a slicker brush first, in the direction of their hair growth. Going against this can be uncomfortable for them and they may ask you to stop. Do some long strokes on their body, passing different areas several times.
Now you can use a deshedding tool or a rake to remove dead hair from their undercoat. Then you can finish off with a bristle brush to remove any hair that you missed!
Do not forget to brush their chest, belly, and butt fur as well. These areas are often forgotten, but they also need some brushing too.
Brushing Their Teeth
Make sure to use an enzymatic toothpaste made for dogs. Do not use human toothpaste as this is dangerous for your Shiba Inu. You can use a dog toothbrush or a child-sized toothbrush to clean their teeth.
First, you need to allow your Shiba Inu to taste their toothpaste. Place a bit on the tips of your fingers and have them smell and lick it. If they enjoy it, you can move on to using the toothbrush.
Do the same process and remember to praise your buddy whenever they interact with the brush.
If they are comfortable, push the sides of their mouth upwards to reveal their teeth. Now you can brush their teeth in a straight line, making sure you get the back teeth as well.
But if your buddy is uncomfortable, you can use your fingers to brush their teeth. Place a bit of toothpaste on your fingertips and scrub the surface of your buddy’s teeth with it.
Remember to keep toothbrushing sessions short, a minute or so is fine. You should end on a positive note as well and give them lots of praise after.
The quality and the type of dog shampoo you choose matter a lot. Make sure to get a high-quality, natural, and gentle shampoo for your Shiba Inu. Oatmeal shampoo is a great choice if you need to bathe your Shiba Inu more often.
You should only use lukewarm water to bathe your buddy. Hot water may burn your buddy, and this can make the process negative for them. Cold water is also not the most comfortable, and they may not enjoy their bath.
Begin by soaking your Shiba Inu with lukewarm water. Then you can either dilute the shampoo in water then run it on their body. Or you can directly apply the shampoo to their body.
Now give your Shiba Inu a gentle massage as you work the shampoo into their skin. Make sure to concentrate on their legs, stomach, and genital areas. These tend to be the dirtiest part of their body.
You can use a damp cloth to clean their coat if your Shiba Inu is muddy. A bath brush is also great to have to penetrate their plush coat. This also feels good for your Shiba Inu, which is a big bonus!
After rinsing them, you can use a conditioner on your Shiba Inu. This is not necessary, but it is great for further coat care.
Rinse again and then make sure that they are dry before letting them go about their day. Otherwise, they may form mats as a result.
No matter what nail trimmer you use, make sure it is appropriate for your buddy’s size. This gives you the best control of the tool so you can avoid damaging their nail.
Hold your furry friend’s paws and push their fur back if you have trouble seeing their nails. Make sure you know where the quick is. If you see that you are close to the quick, stop cutting.
You have to clean your buddy’s outer and inner ear, and each of these has a different approach.
To clean their outer ear, take a damp cotton ball and then wipe the debris you see. You can use clean water or an ear-cleaning solution to dampen the cotton. You can also use a damp cloth to clean their ears too.
Make sure not to go deep into the ear canal, and only clean what you can see. You should also avoid using a Q-tip as you may poke their eardrums.
To clean their inner ear, press the flap of their ear against their head. Then drop some ear-cleaning solution in their ear until it reaches the opening of the ears. Hold them still as your Shiba Inu may not like this sensation.
Then hold the base of your furry friend’s ears and massage it for a few seconds. After that, release your Shiba Inu and they will shake their ears, but let them do so. This will loosen any ear wax and debris in their ears.
If you see dirt on their outer ears after a good head shaking, then wipe those away with a cotton ball. Do the same steps for their other ear and your Shiba Inu is good to go.
How Do You Groom Shiba Inu Ears?
To groom your furry friend’s ears, you need to clean them with an ear-cleaning solution and a cotton ball. These tools are necessary so you can clean both their inner and outer ears.
Cleaning their outer ears is simple and you can do this more often, whenever you see dirt on their ears. Take a cotton ball and apply some ear-cleaning solution to it to make it damp. You can also use clean, lukewarm water for this.
Then hold the flap of your buddy’s ears to expose more of their outer ears. Wipe any ear wax or debris that you see, but never go further down their ear canal. Do this for both ears until their ears are spotless!
Cleaning their inner ear is a bit more tricky because your Shiba Inu may complain about it.
For this, make sure you approach your Shiba Inu from the back. By doing this, if they back away during the process, they are going to press against you.
Now take their ear flap and hold it flat against their head. Apply some ear-cleaning solution to their ear until it reaches the top of the ear opening. Then grab the base of their ear and massage it in circular motions for a few seconds.
Massaging their ear will loosen the debris in their ear canal. After this, let go of their ear and have your Shiba Inu shake their head. This will further dislodge the debris in their ear and this will cause some of them to go out of the ears.
You may see some debris on their outer ears after this. So take a cotton ball and wipe away any dirt remaining on your buddy’s ear opening.
Make sure to be picky about the ear-cleaning solution you choose for your Shiba Inu. Ones that contain aloe vera are best because it helps in controlling ear odor. Do not use products that have irritants, instead, go for this natural option.
Sometimes, the hair inside your furry friend’s ears can grow too much too. Such fluffy ears can make cleaning their ears hard and it can even make them dirtier. So if necessary, you can pluck or trim some of their ear hairs too as part of the grooming process.
Do Shiba Inu Need Professional Grooming?
Shiba Inu may be a low-maintenance breed, but they do need to see a professional groomer from time to time. They may not need it every few weeks, but you can take them to an expert every few months or so. This will especially help you during shedding season.
The amount of hair they will shed during spring and autumn can drive any Shiba Inu owner crazy! You may manage this by brushing their coat daily, but this may not be enough. Their fur keeps on falling off, which means more cleaning up to do for you.
But if your Shiba Inu sees a professional groomer from time to time, you can keep their shedding in check. During shedding season, a professional groomer has the tools to help them blow out their coat. This includes a high-velocity dryer that gets rid of the dead hair ready to fall off.
So once your furry friend comes home, you will see an improvement in the amount of fur that they shed. Maintaining their coat will be easier for you with daily brushing.
But this is not the only benefit of taking them to a groomer. A professional groomer has a trained eye to spot anything unusual on your buddy’s skin right away. You may have missed that lump on their back, but your groomer is more likely to catch it.
This way, they can inform you right away if there is anything wrong with your Shiba Inu. You can then go to the vet as soon as you can before their condition becomes worse.
Other than that, taking them to the groomer is also convenient for you. You do not have to beg your Shiba Inu to let you trim their nails. An expert will know how to handle this, even if your buddy is a big drama queen.
A professional groomer is well-equipped to make the grooming process comfortable for them. They know how to handle dogs of various temperaments. And they know the best grooming techniques for each dog breed.
How Much Does It Cost to Groom a Shiba Inu?
An estimated cost of having your Shiba Inu professionally groomed is around $100 to $300 a year. But this cost will depend on your location and the services you avail. With a regular grooming routine, you may only need standard grooming that costs less.
How Do You Groom a Shiba Inu at Home?
Grooming your Shiba Inu at home involves coat, nail, ear, and dental care. But to be able to groom them, you need these basic tools first:
- A variety of brushes
- Gentle dog shampoo
- Dog conditioner
- Enzymatic toothpaste
- Nail trimmer or grinder
- Ear-cleaning solutions
- Cotton balls
- Blow dryer
Make sure to have these ready before grooming your furry friend. Now that you have these, here is how you can maintain the good looks of your Shiba Inu.
Grooming your buddy’s coat involves brushing them and bathing them. The former must be more frequent, about every week. While the latter is every few months, depending on your pooch’s needs.
To brush their coat, a slicker brush is a popular choice. It does the job of getting rid of the loose fur sitting on your furry friend’s coat. But you may want to use other brushes for a more thorough grooming.
First, use a brush that will take off dead hair from their topcoat. You can use a slicker brush or a pin brush for this. Do several passes on your furry friend’s body, especially on their tummy and private areas.
When you brush their coat, make sure to go in the direction of their hair growth. Your Shiba Inu may complain if you go against it.
Now you can move on to their undercoat. For this, you can use a deshedding brush or an undercoat rake. A furminator is also a popular choice for many as it removes dead hair from the undercoat.
Once done, you can brush their coat for finishing touches. You can use a bristle brush to catch any remaining hair that you may have missed. This also adds shine to their plush coat, a good way to end their brushing session.
Bathing them is another way to maintain a healthy coat and skin. Make sure you use a natural and gentle dog shampoo. This will clean their coat without irritating their sensitive skin.
Frequent bathing can dry out your furry friend’s skin. So if you do, you may want to use a dog conditioner. This will not only detangle their coat and remove any loose hair, but it will bring back moisture to their skin and make their coat shiny.
So first, rinse your furry friend’s body with lukewarm water. Then massage the gentle shampoo onto their skin, making sure you focus on dirty spots. Rinse, then apply their dog conditioner, wait a few minutes, and then rinse again.
After that, your Shiba Inu should be completely dry. Towel drying them may not be enough, especially with their thick coat. So you will need to use a hair dryer for this.
You may want to invest in a high-velocity dryer to speed up the process. This dryer will also help in further removing loose hair from your buddy’s coat.
A responsible dog owner should know that their pooch needs to use dog toothpaste. Not human toothpaste as it can upset their stomach. Some human toothpaste also contains xylitol, a toxic substance for dogs.
If your Shiba Inu is not used to having their teeth brushed, you can use your fingers to start. Place a small amount of toothpaste on your fingertips and have them smell and lick it. If they show interest, you can brush their teeth with your fingers.
Make sure to brush their back teeth as well, as this is where dental disease often starts. Brushing their teeth does not have to take long, you can do this for a minute.
Once your Shiba Inu gets used to this, you can move over to using a toothbrush. This can be a children’s toothbrush or one made for dogs. Do the same process to maintain their pearly whites.
For their ear care, you only need two items. One is a cotton ball and another is a natural ear-cleaning solution. One that contains aloe vera will help in controlling their ear odor.
Have your Shiba Inu sit in front of you with their back facing you. This way, it will be better to control them. If they do try to escape, they are likely to back towards you, pressing against you.
Pin their ear flaps to their head with your hand. Put a few drops of the solution in their ears until the level reaches their ear opening. Now rub the base of their ears for a few moments and then let go.
Once you let go, your Shiba Inu will shake its head. Let them do this as this will loosen any debris in their ear canal. Afterward, wipe their ear opening with a cotton ball to get rid of the loosened debris.
You have three options to choose from for maintaining your furry friend’s nails. There are two types of nail trimmers, one is a guillotine and another is scissors. You can also use a nail grinder if you feel better using one.
For nail clippers, choose one that you are most comfortable working with. The important thing is that you choose one that is appropriate for your buddy’s size.
If a dog’s nails are light-colored, then it is easy to see the quick. This part of their nails is what you should avoid cutting into. It contains the blood vessels and nerves of your buddy’s nails.
But if your Shiba Inu’s nails are dark, locating the quick will be tricky. So here is how you can cut their nails without going through the quick.
Hold your buddy’s paws, but be careful not to hurt them. Then position the clippers on their nails vertically, not side to side. Now trim a small length of their nails bit by bit.
Take the time to check their nails after every cut. If it appears whitish, then you can still go on, so keep cutting. When you are near the quick, the center of the nail will look black.
If you cut right before the quick, the center of the nail will look pink. Once you see this, stop cutting and move on to the next nail.
How Do You Groom a Shiba Inu With Clippers?
You should not use clippers on a double-coated dog such as a Shiba Inu. This will damage their undercoat and their coat may never be the same after. With this, you should only use a clipper on their coat for medical reasons, such as surgery.
If you do this, their coat will grow uneven. Some portions of their coat will grow slower, while others grow faster. And in this breed, you can easily see the damage to their coat.
Sometimes, their coat may even not grow back. Although this is rare, it may still happen to your Shiba Inu. Given that their looks are one of their main assets, do not take a chance at this.
You may want to run a clipper through their coat during summertime to help them cool down. While you mean well, your buddy does not need this. Their coat will adjust to the warmer season on their own.
So the best way to help your Shiba Inu with this is to brush their coat regularly. This will remove the dead hair from their coat to increase ventilation from their skin. If they have mats or tangles, removing these will also allow air to reach their skin under all that fur.
The cold is not a big issue for this breed but the heat is. So during summer, it is best to keep your buddy indoors in a well-ventilated room. Have a fan face them, or turn on the air conditioning. This is more than enough to help them get through a hot day.
You can still use a clipper on your buddy but only in certain areas. You can use it on their paw pads to cut off excess paw hair. You may also want to use it in their sanitary areas to keep them clean.
Why Does My Shiba Inu Stink?
If your Shiba Inu smells bad, it can be due to infections, a bad diet, bad hygiene, and more. This is a breed that spends hours grooming themselves, so they should not stink. So this is an issue that you need to fix, but you first have to figure out the root cause.
So if your Shiba Inu smells stinky, here are the possible reasons.
This breed has sensitive skin and is prone to allergies. In dogs, this manifests as a skin issue that causes skin inflammation, flakiness, and more.
When an allergic reaction happens, their skin overproduces oil. Their natural oil has a smell, to begin with, but it should not bother you. In the case of allergies, the excess oil on their skin produces a musty smell.
Your Shiba Inu can be allergic to environmental or food allergens. The latter can also upset their stomach, causing diarrhea. But it will also affect your buddy’s skin.
If left untreated, this can lead to skin infections, making the problem worse.
Bacterial or Yeast Infections
Have you checked your furry friend’s skin? If it is flaky, moist, and has a strong odor, then it may be due to an infection. Your Shiba Inu may have one of these, but it is possible to have both.
You may differentiate the two infections based on smell. Yeast infections make your pooch smell like corn chips. While bacterial infections make them smell like dirty socks. You can also check the symptoms that your Shiba Inu has.
Other than a musty odor, yeast infections cause thickened skin. Their skin will appear red, and scaly, and they may have hyperpigmentation. You will notice your Shiba Inu itching a lot as well.
Bacterial infections may cause pus-filled lesions on your furry friend’s skin. Their fur will appear patchy with some peeling and crusty or moist skin. As you can imagine, your Shiba Inu will be in pain as well.
Is the foul odor you smell from your Shiba Inu coming from their ears? If so, they have an ear infection and it is likely due to yeast. This is why yeast infections can also cause chronic ear infections.
If your Shiba Inu has this, they will try to rub or scratch their ears more. You will notice that they shake their heads a lot too.
Ear infections can cause discharge from your buddy’s ears and scabbing. Their ears will appear red and inflamed as well.
One way to know if your Shiba Inu has dental issues is if they have bad breath. So take the time to smell their mouths if that is where the foul odor comes from.
This can be a sign of dental diseases, such as periodontitis. A lack of proper oral hygiene can cause this, due to plaque and tartar buildup. Not brushing their teeth can also leave bits of food in their mouth for bacteria to eat.
Your Shiba Inu may also have a rotten tooth, which your vet will need to remove. Or, your buddy may have eaten some strong and foul-smelling food recently.
Anal Sac Issues
This is a common cause of a foul smell coming from dogs. If your Shiba Inu smells fishy, then this may be the cause. You should first know your buddy’s anatomy to understand how this becomes an issue.
All dogs have scent sacs located in their bottom area that they use for marking. This is why you will notice that dogs smell each others’ behinds the first time they meet. This sac carries the unique smell that your Shiba Inu has.
If their anal sacs are not an issue, you should not smell anything. But if it has a problem, it will have a foul secretion that will bother you.
The smell can be so strong that you will notice it as soon as your Shiba Inu comes near you. But your furry friend may spread this smell all over their body too. And you will not like this.
If they have anal sac issues, they will groom their genital area more to soothe the pain. Unfortunately, the smell will transfer to their tongue, making their breath smell bad. Then as your buddy grooms the rest of their body, the smell goes everywhere!
You can tell if your Shiba Inu has this issue if they drag their butt on the floor. The only way you can help your furry friend with this is to take them to the vet.
Dogs have habits that humans do not understand and some are even questionable. This includes rolling in poop or dead animals. Your Shiba Inu may even go through garbage because they let their curiosity get the best of them.
Of course, the bad odor from these will transfer onto your pooch’s fur. Think of it as their way of putting on perfume on themselves. While they like it, your Shiba Inu will smell quite horrendous to you.
How Do I Stop My Shiba Inu From Smelling?
Inspecting your furry friend’s coat weekly will help you see if they are dirty and need cleaning. You can then take action right away to prevent your Shiba Inu from smelling bad. While this is crucial, this is only the first step in stopping your Shiba Inu from smelling bad.
With this, below is a list of things you can do to keep your Shiba Inu smelling nice.
Brush Their Coat Regularly
If you frequently brush your furry friend, then this can help with odor control. Your Shiba Inu may also not need to bathe a lot because brushing is enough!
One of the benefits of brushing your buddy’s coat is that it distributes the oils on their skin. This prevents their pores from getting clogged, which can lead to irritation and a foul odor. Also, this will keep them moisturized so their skin will not produce too much oil, making them smell bad.
Other than that, brushing their coat will also get rid of any dirt or debris accumulated in their coat. Your Shiba Inu will get dirt on their coat throughout the day as they do their activities. And some of the debris your Shiba Inu may pick up can smell funky.
But by brushing them, you remove all these nasty stuff from their fur before it they stack up and smell worse.
Bathe Them Every 6 Months
This neat breed only needs a few baths each year as they do well in cleaning themselves. But you should never let your buddy go 6 months or more without a bath. By this time, they will already have a strong smell due to their dirty fur and skin.
But keep in mind that some dogs will need more frequent baths. So you have to adjust their bathing schedule to their needs.
If your Shiba Inu spends a lot of time outdoors, then you should bathe them more. You can bathe them every few months or whenever they get dirty.
Bathing them too much will dry out their skin though, making them smelly. So you can always use some dog wipes to clean your Shiba Inu after playing outdoors.
Also, if your Shiba Inu has a skin condition, then you may need to bathe them weekly. Your vet will recommend a medicated shampoo that will help improve their skin issue.
Brush Their Teeth Weekly
You need to brush your furry friend’s teeth at least thrice a week. If you can do this daily, then that is even better.
Dogs get the same benefits of toothbrushing as humans do. Your Shiba Inu may need even more oral care since they use their mouth a lot.
They use their teeth to pick up items, chew, and eat. Your curious pooch may also put some dirty items in its mouth. All of these can contribute to dental issues down the road that causes bad breath.
Remember to only use enzymatic toothpaste for dogs. Do not use human toothpaste as it may contain xylitol. This substance is toxic to your furry friend.
Clean Their Ears
If your Shiba Inu spends most of their time indoors, then you should clean their ears once a month. But if they spend more time outdoors, then you should clean their ears twice a month.
A healthy Shiba Inu will only need monthly ear cleaning. But if your furry friend has an ear infection, you may need to do a weekly ear cleaning.
Even with this, you should spend time each week checking their ears. If you see anything dirty on their outer ear, you can go ahead and do some cleaning. Use a cotton ball or a soft cloth and dampen it with water and then wipe their ears.
Clean Their Bed and Blankets
The dirt that your Shiba Inu carries on their fur will transfer onto their bed. They may not even care that their bed is smelly and dirty already.
But no matter how you clean your Shiba Inu, they will still smell if their bed stinks. So make sure you clean their bed every 1 to 2 weeks, or whenever you notice that it smells foul already.
Have Them See a Vet
Sometimes, your Shiba Inu smells and you do not know why they do. If you cannot pinpoint this and nothing you do makes it go away, then take them to the vet. They will be able to identify this, especially if their foul odor is due to an underlying medical issue.
Taking your Shiba Inu to the vet for regular checkups will also help with this. Your vet will be able to examine your buddy’s health and detect issues early. A healthy Shiba Inu should not smell bad, or if they do smell, it should only be mild.
How Do You Clean a Shiba Inu?
One of the main ways you can clean your Shiba Inu is by brushing their coat regularly. This removes dirt and debris from their coat, along with dead hair that is ready to fall off. Bathing them is great for a thorough cleaning but too much may dry out the skin.
This is why it is crucial to assess your furry friend’s grooming needs. A Shiba Inu who likes spending their time indoors can get away with bathing every few months. Only frequent brushing is necessary as this is enough to keep them clean.
But if your Shiba Inu spends a lot of time outdoors getting dirty, then they need baths every 4 to 6 weeks. To prevent their skin from drying out, choose a gentle and natural shampoo.
If your buddy needs baths every few weeks, then consider using an oatmeal shampoo. This is gentle enough not to dry out their skin.
Keep in mind that dry skin will not only lead to irritation, but it will also make your furry friend smell bad. If their skin is too dry, it will compensate by overproducing oil. Too much oil is what can make your Shiba Inu smell bad, even if they do not have skin issues.
You should also consider using a conditioner to bring back moisture to their fur and coat. A big bonus of this is that it helps with detangling and making their coat smooth and shiny.
But what if your Shiba Inu is too dirty for brushing but too clean for a bath? In this case, you can use dog wipes and go through their body, concentrating on filthy areas. Or, you can also use a damp soft cloth for this.
A great way to keep your buddy and home clean is to wipe their paws after a play session outdoors. Their feet carry and pick up a lot of dirt and debris as they have fun outside. So make sure to add this to your daily routine in keeping your buddy looking their best.
Other than your pooch’s coat, you should also take the time to clean their teeth and ears.
Brushing their teeth daily is the best to prevent dental diseases from occurring. But if you cannot do this daily, then do this at least thrice a week.
And for their ear care, you should clean their ears with an ear-cleaning solution once a month. If your furry friend is an outdoorsy dog, then you can do this twice a month. Inspect their outer ear weekly and wipe off any debris with a cotton ball if you see some.
Do Shiba Inu Like Baths?
Shiba Inu is not a big fan of baths, especially if you did not desensitize them as a puppy. For many, it is a stressful experience to bathe their Shiba as they will protest by screaming. But it is important to stay calm, and understanding your buddy better will help you do this.
Your Shiba Inu is a primitive breed, and they have been around for much longer than modern breeds. With this, they kept much of their wild instincts. Because they are less domesticated, your Shiba Inu is not used to getting groomed.
This is why your furry friend is not a fan of cuddles or touch. They also do not like it when you clip their nails, brush them, or wipe their ears. And they especially dislike baths, because this breed was not made for water.
But like other dogs, you can desensitize your Shiba Inu so they will learn to like or tolerate baths. The key here is to start introducing them to water and baths young. You can start at around 6 to 14 weeks of age as this is a critical period in their development.
Young puppies are more open to new experiences than an adult. And during this age, they will learn that certain scary things, such as baths, are not to be afraid of. This will teach your Shiba Inu that baths are only a normal part of their life and they will accept it.
If you do not go through this with them, then their fear of baths will last throughout their lifespan. So if your adult Shiba Inu hates baths, it may be due to a lack of training in their younger years.
It is still possible to train an adult Shiba Inu for baths. But this process is trickier and will take more time. You will also have to endure their Shiba scream throughout the whole ordeal.
Why Do Some Shiba Inu Hate Baths?
Shiba Inu hate baths, to begin with, because they are a less domesticated breed. Compared to other breeds, they are not used to water and grooming. And bathing them combines both, which makes baths scary.
Desensitizing your pooch to baths while they are young will avoid this issue. You should expose them to baths while they are a puppy so they learn that it does not have to be a fearful experience.
But what if your Shiba Inu hates baths even when you have trained them as a puppy? Then you will have to look at the possible reasons listed below.
Your Shiba Inu Hates the Noise
Your furry friend has a much more sensitive hearing than yours. So the sound of running water, especially near their face, is scary for them.
With this, avoid using a shower head when bathing your Shiba Inu. Instead, fill up a bucket with lukewarm water and use that for their bath. Use a plastic cup to rinse your Shiba Inu and this will reduce the sound of water splashing around.
Your Shiba Inu Hates Not Being in Control
Keep in mind that your Shiba Inu is an independent thinker, they like to do what they want and when they want to. You may want them to do something, but they would rather do their own thing. With this, you can tell that they like being in control of their activities.
But placing them in a bathtub will make them go mad because they lose control of the situation. You restrict their movement, prevent them from going out, and more. The control goes to you and they hate this.
Your Shiba Inu Has Some Trauma
It is possible that something bad happened when you bathed your Shiba Inu before. They may have slipped in the tub, got water up their nose, or bathed in hot water. These made them form a negative association with bath time.
As a result, your Shiba Inu will recall these experiences whenever you bathe them. With this, you need to make an effort in forming positive associations again.
Your Shiba Inu Hates the Tub Floor
The bathtub floor is slippery and does not have enough friction for your Shiba Inu to stand up well. This makes your furry friend feel uneasy whenever they go in the tub. They will always have this fear of slipping and getting hurt.
To combat this, make sure to place a slip-resistant mat in your bathtub before bathing your buddy. This will make them feel more stable and comfortable.
Your Shiba Inu Does Not Like the Shampoo
The shampoo you got for your furry friend may smell nice to you. But this is not the case for your Shiba Inu as it may be too strong for them.
Their sensitive noses will find the scent overpowering. And your Shiba Inu will hate that they keep smelling it on their fur.
Your Shiba Inu Finds Baths Stressful
Well, it is stressful, to begin with, because you have to force them into taking a bath. But your Shiba Inu may also find it stressful due to a more subtle reason.
They can tell if you are feeling agitated before and during their baths. Since they are great at picking up your emotions, your Shiba Inu may mirror how you feel.
With this, make sure you are in a great mood before taking your buddy to the bathroom. And during the whole bathing session, try to stay calm as well. You do not want your Shiba Inu to mirror your stress.
How Often Should I Wash a Shiba Inu?
There is no exact answer to this as every Shiba Inu has different needs. This will depend on their lifestyle and their health condition. Some Shiba Inu will need a weekly bath, while others can go for a bath every 6 months.
With this, you should assess your furry friend’s bathing needs with your vet. But here is a general guide to help you out.
An active Shiba Inu who spends a lot of time outdoors can bathe every 1 to 2 months. While an indoor Shiba Inu can bathe every 3 to 6 months. If your Shiba Inu has a skin issue, then they may need a bath every week or so.
Of course, you should bathe your buddy whenever they are filthy. But since Shiba Inu are a clean breed, they do a better job of cleaning themselves. This is why most Shiba Inu owners only bathe their furry friends a few times a year, or when needed.
Keep in mind that no matter how often you bathe your Shiba Inu, you should always use gentle shampoo. Invest in a high-quality one, especially if they get frequent baths. This will prevent their skin from drying out and this can lead to several other skin issues.
Can I Bathe My Shiba Inu Once a Week?
Unless your Shiba Inu has a medical condition, there is no need to bathe them weekly. If they live an active lifestyle and get dirty quickly, then you can bathe them every week. But stretching it out to every two weeks may be better.
Many Shiba Inu owners do not bathe their furry friends too often. This is because their pooch does not smell bad, and this does not warrant a trip to the bathroom.
But there is another reason why dog owners, in general, do not bathe their dogs every week. And this is because there are dangers that come with overbathing your Shiba Inu.
Bathing your Shiba Inu too often can strip off the natural oils on their skin, making it dry. If it is too dry, your buddy will itch and have damaged skin. It can also lead to skin infections and make them smell bad.
This was a big issue in the past when dog shampoos were strong and irritating. They used to contain cheap ingredients that are too harsh on your buddy’s skin.
Nowadays, dog shampoos are gentle. They now contain ingredients that are nourishing for your furry friend’s sensitive skin.
With this advancement, it is now safer to bathe your Shiba Inu every few weeks. Especially if you use a conditioner to bring back moisture to their skin. Still, you should not overdo it, like bathing them a few times a week or even every day.
Can I Bathe My Shiba Inu Once a Week If They Suffer From Allergies?
A weekly bath for a Shiba Inu who suffers from allergies is not excessive, and they may even need it. Overbathing your furry friend can cause issues. But in this case, weekly baths can help their skin conditions.
Of course, if your Shiba Inu has skin allergies, they need a medicated shampoo. You should take them to the vet so that they can recommend one for your Shiba Inu.
This medicated shampoo only works when it is in contact with your furry friend’s skin. This is why the shampoo needs to stay on its skin for a while for it to work.
Bathing them weekly will relieve the itching and pain that they have. It will also speed up the healing and recovery process from infections. This is why a Shiba Inu with skin allergies should bathe every week.
Can I Bathe My Shiba Inu?
Bathing your Shiba Inu is a necessary part of their grooming routine that you should do. As you know, this will help in making them squeaky clean and smell fresh. But this is not the only benefit of bathing your furry friend.
Other than removing debris from their coat, it also gets rid of allergens and chemicals. These are dangerous substances to have on your furry friend’s coat. They may lick these while they groom and can cause them harm.
Bathing also kills parasites that can infest your buddy’s coat, such as fleas and ticks. It gets rid of bacterial and yeast infections too, which always bring discomfort.
With a gentle shampoo, you can remove excess oil from your pooch’s skin. This will prevent their pores from getting clogged, which can lead to irritated skin.
Another benefit is that it helps with shedding off loose fur. Especially since they have a double coat. Frequent, but not excessive baths, can then improve your buddy’s ventilation.
Bathing your Shiba Inu also gives you time to inspect their skin. You can look out for anything unusual, such as lumps. This way, you can catch them early on before their condition becomes worse.
How to Bathe a Shiba Inu
Like other dogs, bathing your Shiba Inu involves rinsing and lathering them. But it is not as simple as that, given that they generally do not like baths. There are a few small steps you need to do to make them feel at ease.
The main thing here is to clean your furry friend’s fur. But to make it a positive experience for them, you make their comfort a priority. With this, below is a step-by-step process on how you can bathe your lovable Shiba Inu.
Step 1: Pick the Best Schedule for You
Yes, this all starts with you. Remember that our Shiba Inu can sense any negative energy from you. They can mirror this if you proceed with bathing them on a bad day.
So make sure you are calm and in a good headspace before deciding to clean them.
You should also pick a day where you can allot at least 45 minutes for their bathing session. Things may not go as planned and you may need to give your Shiba Inu time to stay calm. So you should always give your bathing time an allowance.
Step 2: Prepare Your Bathing Tools
You should always have these prepared before a bath and within your reach. Otherwise, you will have to get up and leave your Shiba Inu unattended in the tub.
Here are the tools that you need to have in the bathroom with you:
- Plastic cup
- Nonslip mat
- Coat scrubber (optional)
You may also want to have your furry friend’s favorite treats with you during bath time. This will help in keeping them in the bathtub and make the experience positive.
Step 3: Take Your Shiba Inu Out for a Short Walk
Tiring your Shiba Inu a bit may help them accept bath time more. But this short walk can also make them feel hot. And because of this, they may tolerate water better as it cools them down.
Step 4: Brush Their Coat
It is easier to brush your furry friend’s coat while it is dry. Doing this before a bath will help in removing tangles and mats that they have. These can be hard to deal with while their coat is soaking wet.
Other than that, your Shiba Inu will also shed off fur during the bathing process. This is to lessen the amount of fur that will go down your bathtub.
Also, removing excess hair will allow the shampoo to reach your buddy’s skin easily. If they are using a medicated shampoo, this is a must to help with their skin condition.
Step 5: Soak Their Coat
With your plastic cup, scoop some lukewarm water from the bucket you prepared. This is better than using the showerhead as it is not as noisy, so it will lessen your buddy’s fears.
Start with your furry friend’s back first and then go to their belly and tail. Make sure to rinse their head and legs, too, but do this last. They generally do not like these body parts getting handled.
Take your time with this as your Shiba Inu’s coat is thick. You should let the water penetrate all their fluff so that it reaches their skin.
Make sure to protect their eyes and nose, not letting water get in them. This can be uncomfortable for them. And worse, your Shiba Inu may get traumatized.
Step 6: Lather Them Up With Shampoo
Once you have soaked their entire body, take your shampoo and begin massaging it into their body. Start with their back again and shampoo their head and legs last. Make sure to protect their eyes from the shampoo, as this will sting and cause fear.
Do not rush this step and take your time giving your Shiba Inu a good massage. Make sure the shampoo reaches their skin and that you loosen any dirt on their coat. If one area is particularly dirty, focus on that.
You can use a coat scrubber for a more thorough massaging. A human scalp massager will work well too.
Make sure you talk to your Shiba Inu throughout the whole process. Give them praise and treats too to make them feel more at ease.
Step 7: Rinse and Condition Their Coat
Now it is time to remove and get rid of all the suds on your buddy’s coat. Make sure you do not leave any residue as this can make their skin itchy. Remember to cover their eyes when you are rinsing their head.
You may not need to condition your Shiba Inu all the time. This will depend on their needs. But if you need to, here is how you can apply it to their coat.
Place some conditioner on the palm of your hands and rub it. Apply this to their coat in the direction of their hair growth. You do not need to scrub it in their coat, spreading it all over will do.
Leave the conditioner on their coat for two to three minutes and then rinse. Like shampoo, you also need to rinse all the conditioner out. If you miss a spot, your Shiba Inu will itch like crazy.
Step 8: Dry Their Coat
After rinsing, gently squeeze your furry friend’s body to get rid of excess water. Now you can move on to towel drying them. You may need two towels if they are still soaking wet after using one.
The important thing here is that your Shiba Inu is completely dry. Leaving them damp will cause mats to form. This will also make them have that “wet dog” smell that you will want to avoid.
Unfortunately, their coat may not dry fast because of how thick it is. So you may need to use a blow dryer. But if you do, make sure it is in a cool setting. If it is too hot, it may hurt your Shiba Inu.
Step 9: Brush Their Coat Again
Once your Shiba Inu is dry, try to brush their coat again. This will further get rid of any shedding hair, to make the most out of the grooming session. Do several passes on their body until you do not see any hair coming off anymore.
Step 10: End on a Positive Note
Remember to reward your Shiba Inu for behaving throughout the bathing process! This will help them form a positive association with bathing even more. Think of this as your way of thanking them for tolerating your handling.
How to Give a Shiba Inu a Dry Bath
To give your Shiba Inu a dry bath, you will need a waterless shampoo or a dry shampoo. But doggy wet wipes are also a great option for you to dry.
Sometimes, your buddy gets too dirty for brushing but not enough for a bath. This is why figuring out how to give them a proper dry bath is a must for every dog owner. Your method for doing this will depend on the product you use, though.
So here are the products you can use for a dry bath and how you should use them.
The usage may vary depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. So make sure you read the label first. But here is a general way of using one —
First, apply a small amount of dry shampoo. Do not use an excessive amount, less is more with dry shampoos.
Then rub the dry shampoo all over their body. Let it stay on their coat for a couple of minutes for it to work.
Now grab a dry towel and remove any excess shampoo on their fur. Then brush your furry friend’s coat to remove debris and loose hair.
Before you use the product, make sure to shake it well. If you have a spray one, then spritz it all over your buddy’s coat. If you have a foam version, then apply some on your hands and wipe it on your furry friend’s body.
Let it stay for a minute or two and then wipe their coat. Brush through their coat too as a finishing touch.
Why Does My Shiba Inu Ears Stink?
There are several reasons why your furry friend’s ears smell bad. It can be due to moisture, dirty ears, infections, and more. This can be worrying as your Shiba Inu can also present other worrying symptoms other than a foul odor.
Some causes have a simple solution that you can treat at home. While others will need veterinary care to solve their issue.
It is best if you take your Shiba Inu to the vet so that your vet can determine the problem. But it may help if you already have an idea of what this is.
To help you narrow everything down, below is a list of the possible causes.
Take a look at your furry friend’s ears and see if they are dirty. The foul odor coming from their ears may be due to excessive earwax.
Earwax, on its own, should not smell strong. But too much of it can increase the number of odor-causing bacteria in your furry friend’s ears. This is because it can be their source of food and they can multiply.
Make sure you are up to date with your buddy’s ear cleaning schedule. They will need their ears cleaned about once or twice a month.
Have you gone swimming with your Shiba Inu recently? If so, there may be water trapped in their ears. This moisture can attract bacteria, causing a foul odor.
Sometimes, this excess moisture can even cause a bacterial infection. This makes the smell from their ears even stronger.
With this, make sure to always wipe your buddy’s ears after swimming.
There is a chance that a foreign object got dislodged in your buddy’s ear. This can be a piece of grass after they have rolled around on the ground. Any foreign object can cause a minor infection in your pooch’s ear canal, causing stinky ears.
If the object is not too far inside their ear canal, you can remove it at home. But you have to be careful not to poke their inner ear. You can also flush their ear so that the object floats to the ear opening.
If the object is too deep in their ear canal, it is best to have your vet remove it instead. Do not take any chances removing it as you may cause injuries to their ear canal. This can make their ear issue worse.
Sometimes, your Shiba Inu may have a small injury in their ear that causes a foul odor. This can be an ulcer that you have not noticed. Or they may have injured themselves by scratching their ear too hard.
Some injuries may heal on their own. But it is best to take your Shiba Inu to the vet to check its severity.
Inflammation can lead to an excess production of earwax that will attract bacteria. These microorganisms are what make your furry friend’s ears smell funky. The inflammation can be due to allergies, mite infestations, and more.
With ear inflammations, cleaning your buddy’s ears at home is not enough. You need to talk to your vet and nip the issue in the bud, addressing the inflammation first. The treatment plan for your Shiba Inu will depend on the root cause.
This is a common cause of stinky ears in dogs of all breeds. Yeast infections occur when there is an overproduction of Candida in their body. It can occur on your furry friend’s skin, but this can also cause chronic ear infections.
You can tell if your Shiba Inu has this by the smell. It can smell sweet, and musty, or some may even describe it as smelling like corn chips.
This can get worse if left untreated. So you need to take your Shiba Inu to the vet to treat this. Your Shiba Inu may need prescriptions in the form of ear drops or ear cleaners. But if their condition is severe, your buddy may need oral medication.
Of all the issues listed here, bacterial infections have the worst symptoms. Not only is it uncomfortable for your buddy but it also puts them in a lot of pain. Usually, the smell is so strong that you can smell it from afar.
This is because their ears will have discharge such as pus or bloody fluid. Bacterial infections can also cause swelling, itching, and redness. You cannot treat this issue at home as well, your buddy needs to see a vet.
Treatment will also depend on the severity of their case. Your Shiba Inu may get antibacterial ear drops. Or your vet may prescribe them oral antibiotics. In severe cases of swelling, your buddy may need oral steroids to ease the swelling and pain.
How Often Should You Clean Shiba Inu Ears?
A healthy Shiba Inu should have its ears cleaned once or twice a month. Once a month if they are indoor dogs, and twice a month if they spend a lot of time outdoors. But in some cases, your Shiba Inu may need more frequent ear cleaning.
If they have ear issues such as an infection, your vet may ask you to clean their ears regularly. This is crucial to improve their condition and bring them back to normal.
But even if your Shiba Inu has no issues, make sure to check their ears every week. This will help you spot if their ears are getting dirty or if there is a foreign object in their ear. In this case, you may wipe their outer ear with a damp cotton ball.
Remember not to overdo their ear cleaning. Overcleaning can irritate their ears and cause inflammation. This can lead to a buildup of earwax and bacteria, causing ear issues for your buddy.
What Can I Use to Clean My Shiba Inu’s Ears?
To clean your buddy’s ears, you will only need a cotton ball and an ear-cleaning solution. But do not go for just any ear-cleaning solution you can find. You want to pick the best one for your Shiba Inu as some on the market can be harmful to them.
You only want the best for your lovable Shiba Inu. And part of giving them the best care includes the quality of the grooming supplies you get for them.
To know how to pick the appropriate ear-cleaning solution for them, here is what you should look for.
A Vet-Approved Ear-Cleaning Solution
There are homemade solutions you can find to clean your furry friend’s ears. But not all are safe, and some may even irritate your buddy’s sensitive ears.
It is best to go for one that you can buy in pet stores as they are safer. But not all these have the same quality. Some are better than the rest.
So make sure to ask your vet for recommendations. This will help ensure that you are not aggravating your Shiba Inu’s delicate ears.
A Liquid Ear Cleaner
There are ear cleaners on the market in the form of wipes. But this will not allow thorough cleaning of your furry friend’s ears. Their ears are long and narrow and you cannot get too deep as you may injure their ear.
Instead, use a liquid ear-cleaning solution. You only have to drop some in their ear canal to loosen any wax or debris. After that, you can massage the base of the ear to dislodge any gunk.
Your Shiba Inu can even help you with this process by shaking their ear! This will push the wax from their ear canal out so you can wipe it off their outer ears.
Read the Ingredients List
Some ear-cleaning solutions on the market have ingredients that may be harmful. Be sure to check the label and stay away from tea tree oil. Many dogs have an adverse reaction to this ingredient.
Checking the label will also help you in choosing the right solution for your buddy’s needs. Some active ingredients will let you know what the solution does.
For example, lactic acid and salicylic acid are antimicrobial ingredients. They will work in preventing infections due to bacteria and yeast. Ketoconazole is an antifungal ingredient, while hydrocortisone eases itchiness.
Is It Common for Shiba Inu to Have Bad Breath?
Shiba Inu is not known for having smelly breath. Their mouth should smell like something, but they must not be pungent. But bad breath is a common issue in canines that your Shiba Inu is not immune to.
A stinky breath is a sign of a dental issue in dogs. This is due to a lack of oral hygiene, which can lead to a buildup of plaque and tartar on their teeth. This buildup can then lead to gingivitis and eventually, periodontitis.
Sometimes, the cause is not as serious as you may think. It can be due to what your Shiba Inu ate as well. They may have had a smelly meal or eaten foul items such as poop or garbage.
It all starts with how you take care of your furry friend’s teeth. Like you, they need their teeth brushed daily, if not, thrice a week. This will get rid of any gunk, bacteria, and more from their mouth.
Why Does My Shiba Inu Have Smelly Breath?
Just like humans, your Shiba Inu can have bad breath due to a lack of oral hygiene. Brushing their teeth gets rid of food particles, bacteria, and more from their teeth. If you do not do this, then these can make their mouths smelly.
But this is not the only reason why your Shiba Inu may have bad breath. There are several other reasons for this, some are even quite serious. So you have to look into the possible causes below.
Plaque and Tartar Buildup
If you do not brush your buddy’s teeth, plaque will start to form. Soon after, tartar will follow. Both of these can contribute to the strong doggy breath that your Shiba Inu has.
With this, check your buddy’s mouth to see the condition of their teeth. You can tell if they have plaque and tartar buildup if their teeth are yellowing. Sometimes, the color will appear brownish.
You need to take your Shiba Inu to the vet in this care for professional cleaning.
If left untreated, plaque and tartar buildup can lead to dental disease. The buildup can reach your furry friend’s gums, causing gingivitis.
This dental disease will make the gums red and swollen. Along with bad breath, your Shiba Inu will also experience pain. This is an issue if they try to eat, as every bite they take is painful.
Gingivitis can then lead to periodontal disease. This can make the condition worse, along with a much fouler breath. In severe cases, periodontal disease can make your buddy’s teeth fall off.
So make sure to take action right away if you notice anything unusual with their teeth. It is a good practice to have their teeth cleaned by a professional at least once a year.
Munching on Nonfood Items
Strong-smelling items tend to attract dogs, even if they smell bad. Your Shiba Inu may walk around with your dirty socks or even garbage in their mouth. Anything that goes in their mouth will affect how it smells.
This is a big issue if your Shiba Inu has the nasty habit of eating poop. Not only is it smelly, but it also affects your furry friend’s digestive health. This can make them sick or it can also lead to health issues in the future.
So make sure to always keep an eye on what your Shiba Inu puts in their mouth. Sometimes, they will even get toxic substances in their mouth. If this happens, rush them to the vet right away as this is a medical emergency.
Anal Gland Issues
If your furry friend has problems with its anal gland, then it will secrete a fishy smell. This can be painful, and your Shiba Inu will lick their bottoms to ease the pain somehow. The fish-like odor can then transfer to their mouths.
The smell is enough for you to reject some sloppy kisses from your Shiba Inu. But knowing where it comes from is even more unnerving.
This is not an issue that you can solve at home. You need to see a vet for them to drain your buddy’s anal gland. This is a simple process that will not take much of your time.
Oral or Gut Microbiome Imbalance
So your Shiba Inu has healthy pearly whites with a regular brushing routine. But their breath still smells bad, so what is the issue? This may have something to do with the microbiome in their gut or their mouth.
This can be due to poor nutrition, as it changes the pH levels in your furry friend’s mouth. This can encourage the buildup of plaque and tartar, which, as you know, can cause bad breath.
But the general idea is that there is an imbalance when there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria. These will overpower the good bacteria in their gut and mouth. And these bad bacteria are what cause bad breath in dogs.
Underlying Medical Condition
Sometimes, the cause of your furry friend’s bad breath is even deeper. Certain medical issues affect how their breath smells and even how their gums look. Here are some that you should look into:
- Diabetes: Their breath will smell sweet, due to the breakdown of fat and formation of ketones.
- Kidney Disease: Their breath will smell like urine, due to a buildup of urea.
- Liver Disease: This also makes their breath smell bad. It can also cause a yellowish tinge in their gums. Your buddy may also have a loss of appetite and vomit.
Other than these, gastrointestinal issues and esophagitis can also cause bad breath. It can also be due to inflammation of the nasal passage, sinusitis, or rhinitis.
How Can I Help My Shiba Inu With Bad Breath?
Regularly brushing your Shiba Inu’s teeth is a great start to helping them with their bad breath. It is also the simplest and most effective way to prevent it from occurring. But this may not solve the issue if their condition is worse.
The first thing you need to do is to take your Shiba Inu to the vet. Some causes of their smelly breath will need professional help.
If your Shiba Inu has plaque and tartar buildup or dental disease, only your vet can help. Or if their bad breath is due to a medical condition, they will need medical treatment.
But if your Shiba Inu does not have these, then you can improve your buddy’s dental hygiene at home. While you are at the vet, have their teeth professionally cleaned to get rid of plaque and tartar. Once you come home, there are several ways to improve your Shiba Inu’s smelly breath.
You should now take their oral hygiene seriously. Try to brush your furry friend’s teeth every day, but if you cannot, do this at least thrice a week.
Other than that, you should also provide your Shiba Inu with something to chew on. Chew toys will scrape the surface of their teeth, which helps in preventing plaque and tartar. Dental chews are an even better option as this is their function.
You should also see to it that your Shiba Inu sees a vet dentist at least once a year. This way, you can ensure that their pearly whites are in their best condition.
Do You Need to Brush Shiba Inu Teeth?
Brushing your Shiba Inu’s teeth is a must, and you should follow a strict schedule for it. This is a simple yet effective way to prevent bad breath and dental problems. And in severe cases of dental disease, it may even cost the life of your furry friend.
All dogs are susceptible to dental disease. But your Shiba Inu is more prone to it because they have a high likelihood of misaligned teeth. They also have a high chance of having an overbite. These are due to their long, narrow nose.
Your Shiba Inu has to fit all 42 teeth in their mouth, and they are all crammed in there. This makes it easier for food particles and debris to get lodged in tight spaces of their mouth.
It can be hard to get to those spots when cleaning your furry friend’s teeth. But leaving them in there will attract bacteria, plaque, and tartar. This is a recipe for disaster, and if left untreated, it can turn into something serious.
This is why along with brushing your buddy’s teeth, you should also have them see a veterinary dentist. A professional cleaning will remove the dirt and buildup in their teeth.
The dental disease will develop over time, but you may not even notice it. Once you do, it may be too late. This is because the damage of severe dental disease is irreversible.
Some of the damage includes recessed gums and lost teeth. And even scarier, though, is that your buddy can succumb to dental diseases.
How Often Should Shiba Inu Get Their Teeth Cleaned?
You should clean your Shiba Inu’s teeth at home daily or at least thrice a week. This, along with dental chews, will prevent any dental issues down the road. But you should also have their teeth professionally cleaned once a year.
This may be a lot of work to some, but it is part of your responsibility in caring for your Shiba Inu. Dental disease can lead to several other health issues, like heart problems. It can also cause the death of your beloved Shiba Inu.
Their oral hygiene should be one of your top priorities. Something as simple as brushing their teeth is already a big step in keeping them healthy.
How Do I Brush My Shiba Inu’s Teeth?
Brushing your Shiba Inu’s teeth is not as simple as shoving the toothbrush in their mouth. There are steps you need to take to make this a positive and comfortable experience for them. Otherwise, they will hate getting their teeth brushed, making it hard to clean their teeth.
To make your buddy feel at ease, here is a step-by-step process on how you can brush their teeth.
Step 1: Pick the Best Time and Place to Brush Their Teeth
You should do this while you and your Shiba Inu are calm. It may be best if they feel a little tired after a nice walk outside.
Where you brush their teeth also matters. Choose a nice, quiet place where only you and your Shiba Inu are present. Do not go to a busy room with people walking by, this will only make your buddy fearful.
Step 2: Introduce the Toothpaste
First, rub your furry friend’s fluffy cheeks while giving them a treat. This is part of making the process a positive one for them. It will also help your pup get used to the toothbrush if this is still one of your first few tries.
Then place a bit of toothpaste on your finger and have them inspect it. Let your Shiba Inu sniff and lick it on your finger. Then have them examine the toothpaste on the toothbrush.
Whenever you bring the toothbrush near their mouth, give them a treat. This way, they will associate the toothpaste with something good, such as treats.
Step 3: Get Into Position
The important thing here is that you and your Shiba Inu are comfortable. Do not stand above them or pin them down. This makes them feel threatened.
You can kneel or sit in front of them instead. Doing this from their side also works.
You can brush their teeth from the back, so when they retreat, they back into you. But this position does not give you great visibility of their teeth.
Step 4: Ease Them In With Your Fingers
You should not skip this step especially if your Shiba Inu is not used to getting their teeth brushed yet. First, lift the top lip in place and touch their teeth and gums. Do the same as you pull the bottom lip down.
If your furry friend does not like the toothbrush yet, you can brush their teeth with your fingers. Put some toothpaste on your fingertips and then rub their gums and teeth.
Step 5: Use the Toothbrush
If your Shiba Inu had a positive reaction to the steps above, you can use a toothbrush. Lift their upper lip and pull down their lower lip again. Remember to brush in small, circular motions.
Begin with their front teeth first, then the sides, and then move onto their back teeth. Try focusing on their canines and back teeth, as this is where plaque is likely to accumulate. Brush each area for about 30 seconds.
Talk to your Shiba Inu throughout the whole process to make them feel at ease. Tell them what you are doing, and do not skimp on verbal praise! Rub their jowls as you praise them as a reminder that they are doing great.
As you brush their gum line, you may notice some bleeding. Slight bleeding is not something to worry about. But if the bleeding is heavy and does not stop, there is something wrong. It is either you brush their teeth too hard or they may have gum disease. If you suspect the latter, take them to the vet and ask for advice.
Step 5: Shower Them With Rewards
Now it is time to thank your Shiba Inu for tolerating having their teeth brushed! This will let them know that brushing their teeth is a good thing. By always rewarding them after, you are encouraging their good behavior.
This is a big step as getting their teeth brushed is not natural for your Shiba Inu. Especially since they are a less domesticated breed. So make sure to shower them with praise and give them lots of treats!
When Should I Cut My Shiba Inu’s Nails?
A good way to tell that your Shiba Inu needs nail trimming is when they make a clicking sound as they walk on the floor. This is a sign that your furry friend’s nails are too long, thus causing them discomfort or pain. But other signs can also tell you this, such as:
- Their nails getting snagged
- Their nails curling over the paw
- Skidding on the floor
- Changed gait or limping
- Licking their paws more
The last two are due to the discomfort that long nails bring. Each time they take a step, their nails touch the floor. And this puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on their floor.
This is why they will begin to limp as a way to move around while lessening the pain. They will also lick their paws a lot more as an attempt to soothe the pain.
Skidding on the floor is also a good sign that your Shiba Inu needs a nail trim. The long nails touching the floor decrease their stability. So when they run around on hard surfaces, they tend to slide around.
Regular nail trimming is part of caring for your Shiba Inu and ensuring their comfort. Neglecting this will not only cause the issues mentioned above but it may also cause broken or split nails, bringing more pain to your poor Shiba Inu.
Sometimes, the split can go too far up your buddy’s nails. The higher up it is, the more pain your Shiba Inu is going to be in. This is because the damage is near the nerve endings of the nail.
How Often Do Shiba Inu Need Nails Clipped?
As a general guide, you should cut your Shiba Inu’s nails once or twice every month. But it is best for you to assess and determine your furry friend’s needs. The frequency will depend on their lifestyle, so you should look into that.
To get a good idea of how often you need to cut their nails, ask yourself the following:
- How often do I walk my Shiba Inu outside?
- What surface does my Shiba Inu walk on?
If your Shiba Inu walks often on hard surfaces like pavements, then they may need fewer trims. This is because walking on a hard surface often naturally grinds their nails.
But if you do not walk your Shiba Inu often, then their nails will grow out faster, thus needing more trims. Even walking them often on soft surfaces, such as grass, will not grind their nails. Dirt surfaces or grass are not abrasive enough to wear down your buddy’s nails.
So to figure out the best frequency for their nail trims, you need to consider their lifestyle. It is also good practice to check their nails every week so you can determine if they need some nail care. This will help ensure that your furry friend’s nails are always at a good length.
Can You Cut Shiba Inu’s Nails?
Cutting your Shiba Inu’s nails is a crucial part of their grooming routine. They are on their legs a lot to do the activities that they enjoy and love. But neglecting their nail care will make it hard for them to live life to the fullest.
Leaving your furry friend’s nails uncut will only bring them discomfort and pain. So while they love taking walks with you, they cannot relish the moment anymore. Each step they take, they will feel pain and this will make the experience horrible for them.
Other than that, not cutting their nails will make the quick longer. This is a part of their nail that carries delicate blood vessels and nerves. And it grows along with your pooch’s nails.
If the quick grows too long, you will have trouble cutting their nails in the future. This is a structure that you should avoid as cutting through it is very painful for your Shiba Inu. Since it contains blood vessels, this will also make their nails bleed.
With this, you cannot cut your buddy’s nails too short if their nails are long. You will need to cut their nails bit by bit for a short period to avoid the quick. By doing so, the quick will recede and become shorter again.
While this will always happen, do not be too lenient. Your Shiba Inu will be in discomfort while you are waiting for the quick to recede. This affects their quality of life more than you can imagine and it will make them unhappy.
How Do I Cut My Shiba Inu’s Nails?
There are several steps you need to take to cut your Shiba Inu’s nails. It is not as simple as cutting a human nail, as you need to be mindful of the quick. So below is a step-by-step guide that you can follow for this.
Step 1: Prepare Your Tools
Your first need to decide what nail trimmer you are going to use. Both a guillotine and a scissor-type trimmer are fine. The important thing here is that you use what you are most comfortable with.
Now, have these items ready and place them at arm’s reach:
- Nail trimmers
- Flashlight (if their nails are dark)
- Styptic powder
The flashlight will help you locate the quick if your furry friend’s nails are dark. If their nails are light, you can easily see the quick so you will not need this.
The styptic powder is not necessary at all times. But you may cut through the quick, causing your buddy’s nails to bleed. This powder will help in stopping the bleeding fast.
Step 2: Maintain a Calm Environment
Both you and your Shiba Inu should be calm before and during the process. If you are not confident or stressed, your pooch will know. They may mirror your negative emotions and this will make the process hard.
So you should only attempt to cut their nails if you are in a good mood. Try to calm your Shiba Inu down, too, by playing with them for a bit.
Then choose a quiet and calm location for your nail-trimming session. Make sure there are no other people to bother your furry friend, especially children.
Step 3: Look for the Quick
Now hold your Shiba Inu’s paws firmly, but be careful not to hurt them. It is time to look for the quick as this will determine how far you can trim their nails.
If their nails are light, you can see the quick right away. Look for the reddish part of their nail as that is the quick. You can cut their nails right below that.
But if your buddy has dark nails, you can use a flashlight. The quick will appear darker under the light. Take note of this and cut below the quick.
But if you still cannot find the quick, do not worry. You only have to cut their nails bit by bit. You will know how to do this in the following step.
Step 4: Cut Their Nails
Before you do, you should know how to angle your nail trimmer. Make sure you cut their nails at a 45-degree angle. This will ensure that you cut parallel to the bottom.
Doing this will help you avoid cutting through the quick.
Now make sure your Shiba Inu is in a relaxed position. Talk to them throughout the process to calm them down. You can do this by telling them what you are doing.
Hold their paw and then cut small portions of their nail at a time. Remember, you can always go back and cut more. But you can never put their nail back if you cut too much!
If you are working on light nails, stop cutting below the quick. It will be easy for you to tell when to stop because you can see the reddish part of their nail.
If your buddy’s nails are dark, check their nails between each cut. Check their nails from the bottom and if you see that their nails are still whitish, you can continue. But once you see a black center in the middle of the nail, stop cutting already.
It may help to give your Shiba Inu breaks between each nail. So take this opportunity to give them a treat as a reward.
Step 4: End on a Positive Note
Never forget to reward your Shiba Inu after any grooming session. It is a big deal that they are allowing you to handle them because they generally do not like this.
Praising them and giving them a treat after will encourage them to continue this. In time, your Shiba Inu will become well-behaved during nail-trimming sessions.
Should You Trim a Shiba Inu?
You should never trim your Shiba Inu unless there is a medical reason to. This will damage their coat, affecting their good looks. But this can also be detrimental to your lovable pooch’s health.
But first, you need to know more about your furry friend’s coat. This will help in highlighting the importance of leaving their coat untrimmed.
Your Shiba Inu has a thick double coat, and this has helped their survival over centuries. It has two layers, the topcoat, and the undercoat. Both work together as your furry friend’s natural protection.
The topcoat protects your Shiba Inu from dirt, rain, and other foreign objects. This will prevent any foreign bodies from reaching your buddy’s skin. And your Shiba Inu comes in contact with a lot of things daily.
Back when they were a hunter, the topcoat protected them from the underbrush. This protected them from getting pricked by thorns that will hurt them.
But your buddy may still get hurt by thorny bushes when they go outdoors. The top coat also protects them from environmental allergens, such as grass.
Then there is your Shiba Inu’s undercoat, which is their main source of insulation. This thick undercoat protects your Shiba Inu from the cold, keeping them warm. It also sheds right in time for summer, so they can cool down on a hot day.
One of the main reasons why Shiba Inu owners trim their dogs is due to the heat. They want their Shiba to cool down during the summer since they have thick coats. But your Shiba Inu does not really need this as they shed their thick coat on their own.
Instead of a trim, what they need you to do is to brush their coat more. This will get rid of the excess fur so that air can reach their skin better.
Your Shiba Inu will need their coat during the summer too. This protects them from the sun’s harmful rays. If you trim them, they will not have enough protection from the sun.
This is because the sun’s rays reach their skin easily. Your Shiba Inu will get sunburns as a result. They may even get skin cancer in the long run.
Can You Brush a Shiba Inu?
Brushing your Shiba Inu is one of the most important parts of their grooming routine. This removes excess fur on their coat, which can improve their insulation. A regular brushing routine is a must, and this is what takes up most of their grooming needs.
This will also keep their coat clean, as you are removing dirt and debris from their coat. Leaving them in your buddy’s coat can make them smell bad, so this will keep their odor in control. Some debris, such as grass, may even cause allergies so you have to remove them.
Other than that, brushing also helps in promoting healthy fur and skin. This distributes their skin oils, which is their natural moisturizer.
This will also help in improving and maintaining their skin. Brushing prevents clogged pores, which can lead to skin irritation. This may also make your buddy smell bad, as excess skin oils have a strong odor.
Your furry friend does not need trims or haircuts, but they do need regular brushing. This, along with baths, is all that they need to maintain their beautiful looks.
How Often Should You Brush a Shiba Inu?
During the non-shedding season, you can brush your buddy’s coat once every two weeks. But if your Shiba Inu gets dirty a lot, it is best if you brush them more often. During shedding season, you need to brush your furry friend’s coat once or twice a week.
Brushing them more during spring and fall will help manage their shedding more. This is when your Shiba Inu sheds their coat in preparation for summer or winter. So you can expect fur to get everywhere.
Your usual slicker brush may not be enough to remove all their dead hair. So an undercoat rake and a deshedding tool are more appropriate.
How Do You Brush a Shiba Inu?
When brushing your Shiba Inu, you always have to go in the direction of the hair growth. If you go in the opposite direction, it can be uncomfortable for your Shiba Inu. This is what you should avoid as they may ask to end the brushing session right away.
Make sure to inspect your furry friend’s coat before you brush them. You need to know what you are dealing with so you can have the appropriate tools with you.
If you feel any mats or tangles, you will need a mat splitter with you. It will also help if you have a detangling spray to remove the knots faster.
But if your Shiba does not have these, then you can go on with your brushes. It is best to have a brush for their topcoat and their undercoat.
You can have a comb, pin, or bristle brush for their topcoat. While a slicker brush or an undercoat rake works well for their undercoat.
Now here is how you can brush your Shiba Inu’s beautiful coat:
Begin by brushing your furry friend’s undercoat first with the appropriate brush. Do several passes on each area of their body until not much fur goes onto the brush. You may want to brush their tail and legs last because they are sensitive to these areas.
Go in the direction of their hair growth with short strokes. Make sure you pay more attention to fluffier areas of their body.
Now you can move on to your buddy’s topcoat. Do the same process to remove excess fur on their topcoat and other hair lying around their fur.
As a finishing touch, go through your Shiba Inu’s coat with a bristle brush. This will remove any remaining hair sitting on their coat. But it will also make their coat shinier and smoother as well.
What Is the Best Brush for a Shiba Inu?
There is no one magical brush that can cover all your Shiba Inu’s brushing needs. You will need a variety of brushes for their plush double coat. Thus, you should invest in high-quality brushes for their topcoat and undercoat.
You need to do a bit of trial and error in figuring out the best brush combo for your furry friend. Remember that they do not like getting handled, so they can be picky with their brushes. You need to find brushes that they tolerate, otherwise, they will not let you brush them.
With this, here are some dog brushes that you can choose from.
Brushes to Use During Shedding Season
These are special brushes that you will need to use during spring and fall. During these seasons, your buddy will blow out their coat and their shedding can go out of hand. So make sure you have either of these brushes with you:
- Deshedding tool (furminator)
- Undercoat rake
The latter is a popular option because it is simpler to use. Make sure to get one that is appropriate for your Shiba Inu’s short coat. The best one may be a curved undercoat rake with stainless steel tips.
A deshedding tool is also effective in getting rid of excess hair on your furry friend’s coat. But it is expensive and you need to know how to use it properly. You may yank out your buddy’s healthy hair or damage their skin with too much pressure.
Brushes to Use Throughout the Year
Going through your buddy’s coat with a brush is also a must even during non-shedding seasons. So make sure you have at least one of these brushes below.
- Slicker Brush: This is a popular brush that dog owners use and they work well for most breeds. A slicker brush has bent wires on the tips that get rid of dead hair. It is also a great way to remove excess hair in their undercoat.
- Pin Brush: Unlike a slicker brush, pin brushes have straight tips. They may come with rubber tips for safety or not. But it is best to opt for one with rubber tips to prevent harming your furry friend’s skin.
- Bristle Brush: These brushes are often used at the end of a good brushing session. They are great at catching loose fur that you have missed. And they also add shine to your Shiba Inu’s coat.
- Comb: Like bristle brushes, combs are a great option as a finishing brush. It works well in fluffing out your furry friend’s coat after a thorough brush. Other than that, combs are great for brushing your buddy’s face.
Do Shiba Inu Need Haircuts?
Haircuts are not a part of Shiba Inu’s grooming routine because they do not need one. Your furry friend’s coat is their natural protection from dirt, debris, and more. It is also their insulation, keeping them warm or cool when needed.
But by giving them a haircut, you are removing the protection of their skin. They also do not need a haircut because their coat only grows up to a certain length. Your Shiba Inu has a short coat that only needs some brushing, not trims.
Is It Okay to Shave a Shiba Inu?
It is never okay to shave your Shiba Inu unless it is for a medical purpose. So if your vet says that your Shiba Inu needs to get a shave, that is the only time they should get a shave. Keep in mind that your furry friend’s coat is their main source of protection.
It protects them from dirt and debris from reaching their skin. This will help keep your buddy’s skin clean.
It is also their natural insulation. Their thick coat is what keeps them warm during winter. If you shave them, then they will get cold easily and become prone to hypothermia.
Their coat is also what protects them during summer. Your Shiba Inu will shed off their thick winter coat in time for hotter months. This allows proper air circulation in their skin.
Thus, you can help your furry friend stay cool during the summer by brushing their excess hair off. This is all they need, and shaving would be unnecessary.
Shaving your Shiba Inu during summer can even harm them more than you can imagine. While you think that you are helping them cool down, you are removing their protection from the sun.
Their thick coat is what prevents the sun from reaching their skin. But shaving them will make it easy for the sun to damage your buddy’s skin.
As a result, your Shiba Inu will become prone to sunburns. They may also develop skin cancer as well without the protection of their coat.
With this, you should never attempt to shave your furry friend’s coat. Brushing their coat thoroughly is more than enough to make them comfortable.
How Long Does It Take for Shiba Inu Hair to Grow?
If your Shiba Inu got a shave, then their coat will grow out in about 3 months or up to a year. You can talk to your vet about what you can do to make their coat grow faster. Fish oil supplements may help in speeding up hair growth.
How to Care for a Shiba Inu Puppy
Caring for your Shiba Inu pup involves providing them with a proper diet, exercise, and more. Training and grooming them are also a part of this and they go hand in hand. This is because your Shiba Inu puppy needs to learn that grooming is not something to be afraid of.
But for them to learn this, you need to train them during your grooming sessions. And the only way you can train them is by using positive reinforcement. You need to make everything fun to make them feel at ease.
Trimming their nails, for example, is a daunting task. Your Shiba Inu will naturally feel scared throughout the process.
But you can make it fun by making them feel like it is a game. Whenever you cut one of their nails, make sure to give them a treat.
This will not only make it a positive experience for them. But it will also teach them that grooming is not scary. This will encourage them to be well-behaved dogs during grooming in the future.
This goes for every part of your puppy’s grooming routine, such as:
- Brushing their coat
- Brushing their teeth
- Cleaning their ears
While your Shiba Inu is young, you should be extra careful in dealing with them. How you handle them will affect their behavior as adults.
If you are harsh with your puppy, then it may grow up to be a fearful or aggressive dog. But treat them with kindness and respect, and your pup will be a friendly and well-behaved dog in the future.
How Do You Clean Shiba Inu Puppies’ Ears?
Cleaning your Shiba Inu pup’s ears involves wiping their outer ear and putting the solution in their inner ear. But you cannot expect them to comply right away if you do this. Remember that you need to ease your pup into this because this is new to them.
With this, here are the steps to cleaning your lovable pup’s ears.
Step 1: Have Your Tools Ready
Prepare some cotton balls and your ear-cleaning solution. You should also have your puppy’s favorite treats with you for rewards. Remember that at this young age, you also need to train them to accept getting handled.
Step 2: Find a Calm and Quiet Environment
Ear cleaning is already scary enough for your puppy. You do not need to add to that by cleaning their ears in a noisy and rowdy area. Make sure to clean their ears in a separate room with only the two of you.
Do not let kids or other pets go into the room, so keep the door shut. You should also make sure that the place is quiet or your Shiba Inu puppy will get startled.
Step 3: Clean Their Ears
Begin by grabbing your Shiba Inu puppy’s ear flap. Pin it to their head so you can expose their ear canal.
Place a few drops of the ear-cleaning solution in their ear. Make sure you hold your puppy well because they will try to escape. You can stop with the ear-cleaning solution when the level reaches your Shiba pup’s outer ears.
Now massage the base of your puppy’s ear to dislodge earwax and debris in their inner ear. Do this for a few seconds and then let go. Allow your puppy to shake their head to loosen the dirt in its ear further.
Then take your cotton ball and wipe your Shiba Inu pup’s outer ears if you see dirt on them.
Make sure you talk to your puppy throughout the process to calm them down. Before you proceed to the next year, shower them with praise and give them lots of treats!
This is part of teaching them that grooming is a positive thing. This will also encourage your puppy to stay behaved while you are cleaning their ears.
How Do You Bathe a Shiba Inu Puppy?
Bathing your Shiba Inu pup is pretty much the same as bathing an adult. But keep in mind that your puppy still needs to get used to this. So there are extra steps you need to take to ease them into the process.
Your puppy’s comfort is your priority here and you may feel lost figuring out how to achieve this. So below is a guide that you can follow to make this process easier for your furry friend.
Step 1: Prepare for Their Bath
Make sure that you have all the tools you need. For a puppy, the sound of the showerhead may stress them out. So take water from a bucket instead.
Other than that, you should also prepare their shampoo and conditioner. But only use this once your Shiba pup is at least 3 months old. If they are younger, you should only use a damp rag to bathe them.
Make sure you have a nonslip mat so they will not slip in your bathtub. Then prepare your towel and blow dryer too to dry their coat after the bath.
Step 2: Play With Your Puppy
This will get your Shiba Inu into a good mood before a scary bath. But it will also increase your puppy’s body temperature. This will make the water more appealing to them as it will cool them down.
This is also an opportunity for you to calm down before the bath. Your puppy will sense your fear or stress and they may mirror it. This will make them uncomfortable through the process, the opposite of what you want.
Step 3: Have Them Inspect the Bathroom
Your puppy must have the time to examine what they are dealing with. Have them sniff the tools you have prepared for them.
You may also want to give them a treat whenever they interact with the items. This will help them form a positive association with their bath tools.
Have them walk around the bathroom too. This way, they will get familiarized with the place.
Step 4: Bathe Your Pup
Take some lukewarm water from the bucket using a plastic cup. Then slowly pour it over your Shiba pup’s body, starting with their back. Make sure to talk to them during this and give them some treats.
As you work up to their head, make sure to cover their eyes and nose. Getting water in these areas may traumatize your pup.
Now if your Shiba Inu pup is less than 3 months of age, do not use shampoo on their coat yet. They do not need this now. Your goal at this young age is to desensitize them to baths. Instead, you can use a damp cloth. Run through their coat with the damp cloth, focusing on dirty areas.
But if your Shiba Inu pup is older, then you can use a gentle shampoo. Start lathering it on their back and working your way up to their head. Make sure you do not get shampoo in their eyes as it will sting.
Take the time to massage the shampoo in your buddy’s coat. Give them a good massage so they will feel good during the bath. Make sure to give them treats too whenever you can.
Step 5: Rinse Thoroughly
You should still use the bucket and plastic cup to rinse your Shiba pup’s coat. Make sure that you get rid of any traces of shampoo. If you do not, then the residue will make their skin itchy.
Step 6: Dry Their Coat
Now towel dry your Shiba Inu puppy first. You may need a couple of towels to dry their coat as best as you can. But this will not completely dry your puppy’s coat.
So you can use a small blow dryer on your pup, but only on the cool and low setting. Be gentle with this as your puppy may get scared of the sound. Give them lots of treats during this process.
Go through their coat with the blow dryer, along with the direction of their hair growth.
How Often Should You Bathe a Shiba Inu Puppy?
You should only bathe your Shiba Inu puppy every 3 to 4 months and whenever they get filthy. But if they usually get dirty, you can bathe your pup once a month. Still, you should know the risks of overbathing your furry friend.
Too many baths can dry out their skin, leading to skin issues. So if you plan to bathe them monthly, then get the gentlest dog shampoo you can find. This will not strip off the natural oils on your Shiba Inu pup’s skin.