Alongside their striking good looks and bold personality, the Shiba Inu comes with an impressive coat that, you guessed it, sheds!
Before you invest in a dozen lint rollers, let’s understand this shedding phenomenon a little better.
The truth is that with the right approach, managing your Shiba Inu’s shedding doesn’t have to be either hard, nor time consuming!
All you need to know about Shiba Inu shedding will be covered below. Let’s get started!
Why Do Shiba Inus Shed?
Shedding is a normal part of life for many dog breeds, including the Shiba Inu.
This process helps them remove old and damaged hair to make room for new, healthy growth. It’s like how we humans lose a few hairs in the shower or on our hairbrush – just on a larger scale!
Shiba Inus have a double coat, which is a soft, dense undercoat surrounded by a rougher outer coat. This type of coat helps them adapt to varying weather conditions.
How Bad is Shiba Inu Shedding?
The simple answer is that Shiba Inus shed A LOT.
They are definitely considered one of the heavier shedding breeds we know of.
However, let’s clarify the difference between coat blowing and regular shedding below.
Coat blowing vs regular shedding
When we talk about Shiba Inus shedding, you might hear the term “coat blowing.” This phrase refers to the times of year when Shiba Inus shed their undercoats – and trust us, it’s a significant event. Imagine a mini fur tornado in your living room, and you’re not far off.
Typically, Shiba Inus blow their coats twice a year – once in the spring and once in the fall. During these periods, expect a higher volume of shedding that may last a few weeks.
Regular shedding on the other hand will occur all year round and is more stable and consistent. The amount your Shiba will shed on a regular basis is affected by their genetics, climate where they live, diet, and general health.
So when do Shiba Inus shed?
So to summarize, it pretty much comes down to this:
Coat blowing: Typically twice per year
Regular shedding: All year
Additionally, female Shiba Inus tend to shed more after each heat cycle.
The Best 6 Tips to Reduce and Manage Shiba Inu Shedding
Dealing with Shiba Inu shedding may seem daunting, but with the right approach, it’s more than manageable. Here are the six best tips that I’ve learned after grooming heavy shedding breeds for over a decade.
1. Use the Correct Brushes ✅
There are so many brushes on the market it’s hard to know which brushes to try, and this is where many owners make a few crucial mistakes.
➡️ After grooming double coated breeds like huskies and shibas for more years than I can even remember, I can safely say the best TWO brushes used together are:
I use these brushes together as part of one routine, and it works phenomenally.
The undercoat rake focuses on the undercoat and removes the dead hair, while the slicker brush works to finish off the topcoat and remove the remaining stragglers. It leaves the coat free from dead hair and super smooth.
These two brushes together get amazing results resulting in less hair on your floors in a matter of days.
So it’s best to avoid all the fancy de-shedding tools and save a few bucks at the same time, as these are often the most expensive brushes too!
2. Brush Daily ✅
Aim for 5-10 minutes of brushing each day. Daily brushing is better than longer, less frequent sessions.
It helps to distribute natural oils, keeps the coat healthy, and, of course, reduces shedding.
Start with the undercoat rake for several minutes, starting nearer the head and working your way down, then after finish off with the slicker brush for the remaining 3-5 minutes.
➡️ Little and often is the secret KEY to managing shedding.
I know its east to forget to brush or let daily life get in the way of doing this, but if owners can consistently brush their Shiba every day just for 10 minutes it will improve the dead hair situation dramatically.
Those that forget to brush and then try to make up for it once per week will always be on the back foot.
3. Avoid Over Bathing ✅
While it’s tempting to bathe your Shiba Inu frequently to reduce shedding, it can actually dry out the coat, making it brittle and prone to even more shedding.
➡️ Try to stick to a bath every 3-4 months or when necessary due to dirt or odors. For a more information, check out our detailed guide on bathing your Shiba.
In addition to bathing frequency it’s crucial to use the correct shampoo (which would be a natural ingredient pet shampoo). This will also avoid stripping those essential oils and keep her coat moisturized and strong.
4. Ensure Diet Has Sufficient Omega 3s ✅
A healthy diet is a key factor in maintaining your Shiba Inu’s coat and managing shedding. Omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, play a crucial role in your pet’s skin and coat health. They can help reduce inflammation, support skin barrier function, and provide the necessary nourishment for healthy hair follicles.
You can ensure your Shiba Inu is getting enough Omega-3s by providing a balanced, high-quality dog food. Many brands incorporate these fatty acids into their recipes, but it’s always a good idea to read the label and confirm.
Food sources rich in Omega-3s include fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines. If your pet’s food does not contain these ingredients, or if you want to supplement their diet, you might consider adding a fish oil supplement specifically designed for dogs.
Keeping Omega 3s high will also help promote a beautiful fluffy coat for your Shiba.
5. Never Shave the Coat Back ✅
Shaving your Shiba Inu’s coat might seem like an easy solution to control shedding, but it’s actually a practice that can lead to numerous problems and doesn’t truly help with shedding!
A Shiba Inu’s double coat serves essential functions. The undercoat provides insulation against both cold and hot weather, while the topcoat protects against the sun’s harmful rays and helps prevent skin damage. Shaving can disrupt these natural protective mechanisms and may result in your pet suffering from temperature extremes or sunburn.
Furthermore, shaving can permanently damage the texture and growth pattern of your Shiba Inu’s coat. In some cases, the undercoat begins to grow faster than the topcoat after shaving, leading to a patchy appearance and an unbalanced coat that’s less efficient at doing its job.
➡️ Regarding shedding, while shaving may seem to reduce the amount of hair your pet sheds, it’s a bit of an illusion. Your Shiba Inu will still shed hair, but these hairs will be shorter and might be less noticeable around your home. However, the overall volume of hair shed doesn’t change.
6. Keep Your Shiba Hydrated to Reduce Shedding ✅
Hydration plays a key role in your Shiba Inu’s overall health, including their skin and coat quality.
➡️ A well-hydrated dog is less likely to have dry, flaky skin, which can lead to excessive shedding.
Always ensure your Shiba Inu has access to fresh, clean water. On average, dogs should consume about an ounce of water per pound of body weight daily, although this can vary based on their age, activity level, and weather conditions.
To encourage regular drinking, you might want to consider getting a pet water fountain that provides a continuous flow of water, making it more enticing. Occasionally adding a splash of low-sodium chicken broth to the water can also increase its appeal.
Including hydrating foods in your Shiba Inu’s diet can further boost their water intake. Foods like cucumbers and watermelon (without seeds and rind) are high in water content. However, always consult your vet before introducing new foods into your pet’s diet.
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Brushing Your Shiba During a Coat Blow
The tips don’t really change whether your Shiba is just undergoing regular shedding or a full on coat blow.
➡️ Brushing every day for just 10 minutes or so will still be sufficient, especially if this has already been done for the previous several months before. You Shiba’s coat will already respond well to this.
➡️ A good bathing can help loosen up more hair during a coat blow, but remember to only provide one bath and don’t over do it.
➡️ Ensure your Shiba is receiving plenty of exercise and running extensively during a coat blow, this will loosen up further dead hair ready for brushing out.
FYI: Shibas typically blow their coat for around 3 weeks at a time.
When Do Shiba Inu Puppies Start Shedding?
You may be wondering when your Shiba Inu pup will start to shed. Puppies initially have a softer, fluffier coat known as the puppy coat. This will eventually be replaced by their adult coat as they grow.
➡️ Shiba Inu puppies generally start shedding their puppy coat and transitioning to their adult coat around four to six months of age. This process may vary a bit based on factors like diet, overall health, and environmental conditions.
You might notice a change in the texture of your puppy’s fur during this time. The fluffy puppy coat will slowly be replaced with the rougher, more substantial adult coat. Some Shiba Inu puppies may even have a slightly patchy appearance during this transitional period. But don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal and part of their development into adulthood!
In conclusion, while the Shiba Inu’s double coat means a certain level of shedding, it’s manageable with the right approach. Regular brushing, a healthy diet, and minimal bathing will help keep your Shiba’s coat in great condition and minimize shedding. Remember, your Shiba’s fluffy coat is part of their charm!
Thanks for learning with us today about Shiba Inu shedding! We hope this guide has equipped you with the knowledge to keep your furry friend’s coat looking its best. If you ever have concerns about your Shiba Inu’s shedding or overall health, don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted vet. Happy grooming!
DisclaimerThe advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice in any context. Before making any decisions that may affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. For the FULL disclaimer Visit Here
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