The Shiba Inu is a dog breed that sheds just like any other furry friend with double coats. Their rough undercoat needs to be replaced throughout the year, so they get dirty in-between visits from their groomers!
If you suffer from pet allergies, the Shiba Inu is not recommended as they tend to leave a lot of hairs with dander around.
The Shiba Inu is an iconic dog that has seen its fair share of love on social media in the past two decades. Its unique human-like reactions or the simplicity of its face and body similar to foxes aids in its popularity. One of the most important features of the Shiba Inu is its stuffed-toy-like fur, which, as you can see, has its upsides and downsides.
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Do Shiba Inu Shed?
The upsides are that this dog’s fur is very soft. The major downside is that Shiba Inu sheds quite often and a lot. More so than other dog breeds on average.
Shedding In Dogs
Before delving into the Shiba Inus shedding habits, let’s talk a little bit about shedding and how it works for most dogs. This can help you reflect on whether your Shiba Inu is shedding properly or not.
Process Of Shedding
Every dog sheds, and it is a natural process, much like how humans and other animals shed hair and skin particles. They shed all year round and often in different degrees based on season and weather.
Usually, a dog will shed when their hair in the undercoat is old, unnecessary, or is somehow damaged. This process eliminates the need for the dog to have a mess of new hair around its body and to heat it for no reason.
Most breeds of dogs are adapted to the seasonal changes, and their coats are shed based on when Spring arrives or when Winter falls. The coat thickens and multiplies to keep the body warmer in the colder season, While it sheds off when Spring comes. This cycle continues to the end of its life.
Signs in Shedding
A dog’s shedding can give you a telltale sign of its health. For example, if your dog sheds evenly throughout its body, then you can assume it is healthy. But if your dog sheds in patches or specific areas in an untimely manner, then it might have some sort of ailment.
Shedding excessively can also mean that your dog can’t get enough nutrients that it needs in the meals given to it. This is the second biggest cause of shedding, aside from the first reason being that dogs naturally shed. There is also the matter of the food quality, and scientists did indeed notice a different amount of shedding happening based on the diet given and how cheaper the meals were. Although cheaper does not mean it will be bad most times.
Allergies can also cause dogs to shed as well as pregnancies, infections (fungal or bacterial). In addition, skin trauma or skin diseases and illnesses can be severe.
Shiba Inu shedding
Now that we have found how and why shedding happens let’s talk about how this relates to the Shiba Inu and its shedding process.
How Much Does This Dog Shed Annually?
Shiba Inu is a Japanese dog, and this has a lot of relation to how it sheds as there are four seasons in Japan. Haru(spring), Natsu(summer), Aki(winter) and Fuyu(Fall/Autumn) represent the seasons.
In Spring, the hair size is about 2.3 to 2.5 inches, and before Winter and in Winter, it grows an extra cm long and grows thicker to 3.5 cm to protect it from the excess cold.
Since the season cycles every three months, the Shiba Inu has its shedding periods around that time as well.
Shiba Inu has a double coat, and it sheds quite a bit, in particular, twice a year. This process is lengthy, and it requires 2 to 3 weeks to completely replace the dead or old coat in the undercoat.
Shedding In Seasons
You can expect this process to start from the beginning of Spring in March or around the last weeks of February to May. This will be the most intense shedding of the Inu all year long as the heat and humidity increase.
The undercoat will shed the thicker and harsher fur for softer and thinner fur. The whole process can continue to April or further depend on the gender, size, health, and age of the Shiba Inu.
Having a thinner and smaller undercoat means the Shiba Inu can sweat and release the excess body heat to cool its body down during the hot summer waves especially.
This dog will shed intensely around autumn as well, which can start in November. The temperature falls over time and the air dries up from any moisture it has. This can cause the Inu to start shedding and needing longer and thicker hair to compensate for the lost body heat and moisture of the skin.
The Inu will also do this process in a few weeks, but on a more regular basis until Winter in December. At this time, the Inu will have the least amount of shedding of all year long as the coat will dry up, yet there is a need for that excessive coat to stay on to insulate for the extreme cold as japan is known to have snowfalls around that time of the year. This cycle will eventually repeat all over again.
Why Do Shiba Inu Shed So Much?
This is the main reason why a normal and healthy Shiba Inu sheds so much. It’s a dog that has adapted to the changes of the seasons very effectively, and an experienced owner of this dog knows better than to try and stop this process.
If the Shiba Inu is shedding unnaturally, contact a vet immediately to make sure the dog is not in any danger.
How To Get Over The Excessive Shedding
There is no definitive way to stop the shedding; just by giving the dog thorough brushing can help out a lot and help avoid any unnecessary steps in cleaning up later on.
Grooming Shiba Inu
Grooming a Shiba Inu is not hard and doesn’t need any other special attention in this field.
The basics of Grooming this dog to stop/ get around its shedding is very simple.
Shiba Inu is also a very clean dog on its own, and you don’t need to shower it with dog shampoo every month like some other dogs. This dog can lick itself clean most times and does it almost daily. Also, bathing the Shiba Inu with shampoo can often ruin its skin and make it dry, which will increase the shedding of its fur.
Just brushing its coat methodically three days a week is the best option for you if you want to avoid a mess in your couch and carpets. Their upper coat is very strong, short, and quite textured. Brushing this dog is easy because the hairs don’t get knot, matt, or tangle most of the time.
Although the double coat can be a challenge at times to brush because, more often than not, the dead hairs won’t come off easily. The best tools for this job are a pin brush/comb and a trimmer for their coat that needs to be used every month at regular intervals.
Brushes, for the most part, remove the dead hair of the overcoat without too much hassle. Combs have a better chance of cleaning up the undercoat, fine comb teeth are recommended to make the job much smoother.
A blower or a vacuum can help remove whatever dead hair residue is left on the coat. This makes the job much easier than going over the dog’s coat twice with brushes and combs.
Be very careful not to scare the dog with sudden blasts and reign it in when doing so. There is a small risk of drying up the eyes with the blowers and hurting their hearing if the machine is loud enough.
Is The Shiba Inu Hypoallergenic?
Talking about shedding can bring the topic of hypoallergenic dogs. And in reality, there are no such things as dogs that don’t cause allergies. Most dogs do, and the Shiba Inu is one of them.
It can cause allergies more so than most. This is because the allergic reaction we have is often not from the fur itself but from dried-up saliva, other bodily fluids, or dandruff that the dog might have on its fur.
This is especially so for the self-cleaning Shiba Inu that licks its body clean, similar to a cat. So if you have any sort of allergies to the fur of dogs, then the Shiba Inu is a dog to avoid.
The Shiba Inu sheds in high capacity, but not out of our control. So if you want one, it’s recommended to get it if you have the patience to brush it multiple times weekly.