When welcoming a furry friend into your home, you can expect their fluff to end up everywhere. On your clothes, your couch, and even your bedding. This is why shedding is one of the criteria dog owners consider when choosing a dog.
In the case of Shiba Inu, they are not the best dogs if you want a fur-free home. But if you know how to manage it and if you are ready to deal with it, then this should not be an issue.
There are various ways you can limit your buddy’s shedding. But it all starts with understanding how your furry friend’s body works. So in this article, you will know the nitty-gritty details of Shiba Inu shedding.
Do Shiba Inu Have Fur or Hair?
Shiba Inu sport a fur coat that is short to medium in length. While fur and hair are both made out of keratin, there are key differences between the two. If you want a better understanding of this, below is how you can differentiate the two.
Hair is longer in length than fur and it can either be curly, straight, or wavy. Usually, this also grows in a single layer so it is easier to feel a dog’s skin if they have hair. Hair feels finer and smoother to the touch as well.
Meanwhile, fur is shorter and coarser to the touch. Dogs who have fur will also appear fluffier because they have more hair follicles. This hair density is why it is harder for you to feel a dog’s skin if they have fur.
Dogs who have a fur coat usually have a double coat as well.
One layer is shorter and this is their undercoat. This helps them regulate their body temperature well.
The other longer layer is their topcoat, which has their guard hairs. This coat is waterproof and protects dogs from water, dirt, and more. It can also be an added layer of insulation for them.
Growth Cycle Difference
Hair goes through the hair growth cycle much slower than fur. This is why dogs who have hair shed significantly less than those who have fur.
Breeds who have a hair coat are then considered hypoallergenic dogs. But keep in mind that no dog is a hundred percent hypoallergenic.
Meanwhile, fur goes through the hair growth cycle fast. Dogs with fur coats change their coats twice a year to adjust to the season. They have their winter coat to keep them warm and their summer coat to keep them cool.
This is why furry breeds shed a lot during specific seasons. Thus, they are not recommended for people who suffer from allergies.
What Kind of Fur Do Shiba Inu Have?
Shiba Inu have thick fur coats that make them look like teddy bears. They have a double coat with a stiff, straight outer coat and a soft, dense undercoat.
How Long Will My Shiba Inu Fur Grow?
Since Shiba Inu have a short to medium coat, their fur will only be 1 to 1.25 inches (25 to 32 cm) long. Some Shiba Inu do not conform to the breed standards and grow fur that is 3 inches (76 cm) long.
What Type of Coat Does a Shiba Inu Have?
Your Shiba Inu has a plush coat made out of two layers, the topcoat, and the undercoat. Their fluffy coat makes them look like a fox or even have a teddy bear–like appearance.
Do Shiba Inu Have a Double Coat?
This breed sports a double coat which is their natural protection from many things. While both have different functions, they work together to keep your Shiba comfortable.
Your furry friend’s topcoat protects them from water, dirt, and other foreign items. This is why it is also called their guard hairs.
Much of your Shiba Inu’s daily activities make them come in contact with various items. They may run into a bush, roll around in the grass, dig in the ground, and more. Naturally, their coat will trap a lot of dirt.
But the good thing is that the topcoat prevents dirt and debris from reaching their skin. This keeps their skin clean, which is great because it will be harder to clean than their fur. You can clean your Shiba Inu’s coat by brushing them or even bathing them when needed.
Some of the foreign objects that your buddy may pick up can even be an allergen. The grass is a common allergen in dogs that may trigger an allergic attack in your Shiba Inu. Their guard hairs can prevent pieces of grass from touching your furry friend’s skin.
Other than that, the topcoat also protects your Shiba Inu from water. All your buddy needs to do when they get wet is to shake their body!
The topcoat also serves as your buddy’s protection from the sun. It does not let the sun reach your pooch’s skin to cause sunburns and even skin cancer. This is why you should never shave their fur unless there is a medical reason to.
Meanwhile, your furry friend’s undercoat is their main form of insulation. Your Shiba Inu grows a thick coat to keep them warm during the winter. While it sheds out the thicker coat to keep them cool during summer.
This is another reason not to shave your Shiba Inu. By doing so, you are making it hard for them to regulate their body temperature. As a result, this can affect your Shiba Inu’s health.
Do Shiba Inu Have an Undercoat?
Since Shiba Inu have a double coat, they also have an undercoat. This is the inner layer of their coat that acts as their natural insulation. Their undercoat allows them to regulate their body temperature without much external help.
As you may know, double-coated dog breeds undergo heavy shedding twice a year. If you are wondering where all that fur came from, it is from your furry friend’s undercoat!
This is because your Shiba Inu needs to change their coat depending on the season. If it is winter, they need a thicker coat for warmth. If it is summer, they need a thinner coat to help them cool down.
But to change their coat, they need to shed off the coat that they had in the previous season. And this is where things can get messy in your home.
To make their shedding more manageable, you need to brush your buddy’s coat more often. You may need to do a thorough brush of their coat a few times a week. A slicker brush may not be enough, so invest in an undercoat rake or de-shedding tool.
Bathing your buddy more will also loosen the dead fur on their coat. But you need to prepare yourself to clean up the bathtub afterward!
If this is too much work for you, you may also want to take them to a professional groomer. They have tools that will help your Shiba Inu blow out their coat fast.
When Do Shiba Inu Get Their Full Coat?
At around 3 to 6 months of age, your Shiba Inu will begin to shed off their puppy coat to make way for its adult coat. But their adult coat will take time to grow out. It usually happens at around 9 months of age to a year old.
The puppy coat shedding period is your Shiba Inu’s awkward puppy stage. This is because their coat will not look pretty, it can look patchy and unappealing. But hang in there, this is a normal process that will only last for around 2 to 4 weeks.
And once your Shiba Inu puppy’s adult coat grows out, they can handle winters better. Their puppy coat was not enough to keep them warm as it was too thin. But their adult coat will sport a thicker and denser coat to withstand the cold, harsh winter.
Are Shiba Inu Bad for Allergies?
Shiba Inu is not the best dog for those who suffer from allergies. This is because they are moderate shedders throughout the year. And they shed heavily twice a year, during spring and fall.
Their shedding can go out of hand, spreading a lot of dander in the air and around your home. Their fur is not what causes allergies, it is the dander from their skin. Dander is a small piece of skin that your Shiba Inu naturally sheds too.
But how does your furry friend’s shedding have anything to do with this? Your Shiba Inu’s fallen-off fur is what distributes the dander everywhere. They spread it around by lying down on surfaces and they may even spray it in the air whenever they shake their body.
Although no dogs are a hundred percent hypoallergenic, some dogs are better. Low shedding to no shedding at all is only one of the criteria of being a hypoallergenic dog.
Dogs who do not have a double coat are better for allergy sufferers. This is because single-coated dogs do not have an undercoat to shed; they will not spread their dander everywhere.
There are ways to lessen your furry friend’s dander from going everywhere, though.
One way is following a regular coat-brushing schedule. This will get rid of the loose hair in your buddy’s coat. It will also dislodge some dander from their skin in the process.
But make sure that you wear a mask when you groom your Shiba Inu. Or you can have another family member who is not allergic to dogs brush their coat for you.
Other than that, you should also vacuum your home often, especially in areas where your Shiba Inu goes a lot. If they like to nap on the couch, give it a thorough vacuum. You should also clean their bedding as well to get rid of dander and fur.
This is why you should not let your Shiba Inu sleep with you on the bed too. Their dander can accumulate on your sheets and even make its way down to your mattress.
Taking your Shiba Inu to a professional groomer frequently will also help. These experts are thorough in cleaning your buddy’s skin and coat. They also have the proper tools to remove excess fur and dander from your furry friend’s body.
Now there is also one option that you can try, but this is not for everyone. Try to make your Shiba Inu wear clothes at home. This will help in preventing fur and dander from spreading everywhere.
Instead of falling off, the shirt will catch the fur and dander. Your Shiba Inu may not like this, though. So it is best not to force them into this.
How Bad Do Shiba Inu Shed?
During the non-shedding season, your Shiba Inu’s shedding is manageable. But this is only possible if you brush their coat at least once every two weeks. But during spring or fall, they will shed heavily, which is bad news for many people.
The heavy shedding is your buddy’s way of blowing their coat off. This is because they need to switch their coat to a more appropriate one, depending on the season.
So if winter is coming, your Shiba Inu will need to change their coat to a thicker one. If it will be summer soon, your Shiba Inu will have to change their coat to a thinner one. Both of these processes are not possible if your furry friend does not shed odd their old coat.
But do not worry, their intense shedding will not last long. Your Shiba Inu will only need around 3 weeks for them to blow their coat off.
During this period, you should help them get rid of their excess fur. You can do this by brushing their undercoat with the right brush. You can use either an undercoat rake or a de-shedding tool.
Your usual slicker brush or pin brush will not be enough for this. They are not enough to penetrate and catch your furry friend’s excess hair.
Do Shiba Inu Puppies Shed a Lot?
Your Shiba Inu puppy will shed, but not as much as an adult Shiba. Usually, an adult sheds more fur because they are bigger in size than a puppy. But your Shiba Inu pup will shed badly at one point, though.
They will experience heavy shedding once they are about 3 to 6 months of age. This is when your Shiba Inu puppy sheds off their puppy coat to make way for its adult coat. Every puppy will go through this process that only lasts for 2 to 4 weeks.
Like seasonal shedding, this is a necessary part of changing their coat. Your Shiba Inu puppy should get rid of their old coat to grow into its adult one. So if you notice that their shedding is excessive lately, they are getting ready for their big boy fur!
When Do Shiba Inu Shed?
You can expect your Shiba Inu’s heavy shedding during spring and fall. This is so they can grow a better coat to prepare for summer or winter. But they will shed throughout the year, too, but to a much lesser extent.
How Often Do Shiba Inu Shed?
Your Shiba Inu will shed moderately throughout the year. This is manageable by following a regular brushing routine. But they will begin to shed more twice a year as part of changing their coat for winter and summer.
Do Shiba Inu Get a Winter Coat?
During fall, your Shiba Inu will shed their old fur to make way for a winter coat. The hair that grows back is much thicker and this is to keep them warm during cold months. This is how your furry friend stays nice and warm during winter.
Why Is My Shiba Inu Shedding So Much?
Your Shiba Inu’s shedding may be because they are blowing their coat off. They go through this twice a year in preparation for summer and winter. But there are other reasons why your buddy’s coat is falling off a lot and some are worrying.
It can be a sign of stress, pregnancy, infections, or even an underlying medical condition. But other reasons may cause this as well.
Each cause will need a different treatment and solution. This is why it is crucial for you to know what the root of the problem is.
Below is a list of possible causes below to help you out. This will help you get a rough idea of what your furry friend has before taking them to the vet.
Shedding Off Their Puppy Coat
If your Shiba Inu is around 3 to 6 months of age, this may be the cause. Your puppy needs to blow out their puppy coat first before it can grow out its adult coat. This is a normal process that they go through, so you do not need to worry.
But keep in mind that this should only last for about 2 to 4 weeks. If the excessive shedding lasts more than that, it is time to take your pup to the vet.
Stress or Anxiety
Both of these can affect your Shiba Inu more than you can imagine. They can manifest physically, and your buddy may shed off their fur. This is like how humans have an increase in hair fall when they feel stressed.
So make sure to assess the situation your furry friend is in. Any change in routine or environment can cause this. If lessening the stress does not help, then take them to the vet.
Lack of Proper Nutrition
Does your Shiba Inu get all the nutrients that they need from their food? If so, their hair follicles should be strong. This will lessen their shedding and make their fur look its best.
If your Shiba Inu has an imbalanced diet, it can cause the opposite effect. Their hair follicles will become weak and they cannot hold on to hair well. This increases your furry friend’s hair loss.
Other than that, your Shiba Inu may be sensitive to an ingredient in their dog food. Their body will react to it in various ways, and excessive shedding may be one of them.
Any trauma to the skin can cause hair loss as well. This can be due to your Shiba Inu’s excessive licking. The unnecessary friction on their skin will lead to hair loss, causing bald patches.
But skin trauma can also be due to coming in contact with an irritant. This can be a harsh chemical that your Shiba Inu should not be touching. A harsh ingredient in their shampoo can also cause this.
Sunburns can also make your Shiba Inu’s hair fall. So make sure to limit their time under the sun and always apply sunscreen on your buddy.
If your Shiba Inu is a female, there is a chance that their shedding is a sign of pregnancy. What this tells you is that she is low on calcium and minerals that are crucial to a healthy coat. So make sure to take them to the vet to ask for advice.
Unfortunately, Shiba Inu are prone to allergies. They may have a food allergy to an ingredient in their meals. But this breed is more prone to inhalant allergies.
Inhalant allergies get triggered by allergens in the environment. This includes dust, grass, pollen, and more.
Both types of allergies will affect your buddy’s skin, making it itchy. And because they itch, they will scratch more. Excessive scratching can cause excessive hair fall.
External parasites make your furry friend’s skin itchy. And when they have an itch to scratch, they may do this excessively. As a result, your Shiba Inu will lose hair and may have bald patches.
So take the time to inspect your furry friend’s coat. Watch out for fleas, ticks, mites, and more.
Many health issues can cause your Shiba Inu to shed a lot. This includes bacterial and fungal infections. But there are other scarier causes, such as:
- Liver problems
- Kidney disease
- Thyroid or adrenal issues
- Immune disease
If you suspect your Shiba Inu has any of these, make sure to take them to the vet. You need to treat the problem in the bud to solve their shedding issue.
How Do I Stop My Shiba Inu From Shedding
Solving your Shiba Inu’s shedding issue will depend on the cause. If they are undergoing seasonal shedding, there is nothing you can do to stop it. But you can manage it in various ways.
If your Shiba Inu has a health issue, you can only stop their shedding by treating the issue itself. In the case of an infection or parasite, you need to give them the appropriate treatment. It is best to see your vet for your Shiba Inu to get the help they need.
If your buddy is shedding due to stress or anxiety, you first need to pinpoint the cause. Once you do, you need to remove the stressor from your furry friend’s environment.
If your Shiba Inu lacks proper nutrition, then you need to change their meal. To make sure that you are giving them a nutritious one, it is best to ask your vet for advice.