Shiba Inus are small to medium-sized mountain dogs that were first bred in Japan for hunting. They make excellent companions and guard dogs due to their alertness and keen senses. But do Shiba Inus shed? In this post, you’ll learn how much a Shiba Inu sheds, how to groom them, and how you can reduce the shedding.
How Much Do Shiba Inus Shed?
The truth is, this dog breed sheds a lot. They tend to shed uniformly throughout the year, though they shed the blow coat (undercoat) twice every year, intensifying the shedding for about three to four weeks. However, grooming them isn’t difficult, so all they require is regular brushing.
The Shedding Process
Shiba Inus are high shredders, and the hairs they shed are spread fairly uniformly throughout the year, though the shedding typically increases a bit during fall and spring. This process is known as “blowing coat” as what the Shiba Inus do is push out their old undercoat (made of soft, thick fur) to allow a new undercoat to serve them in subsequent months.
Shedding is perfectly normal in Shiba Inus and other double-coated dog breeds; hence, you can’t stop it. Other dog breeds with undercoats include German Shepherd, Russian Terrier, Alaskan Malamute, and Mountain Dog.
What Does Grooming Shiba Inus Look Like?
Although Shiba Inus are high shedders, grooming them isn’t difficult. They don’t need any special grooming different from most dog breeds to maintain their coat. This is mainly due to their top coat’s rugged nature, which is made of straight, tough, fairly short (about an inch) guard hairs that protect their skin against snow and rain.
Their coat isn’t susceptible to matts, tangles, or knots and can be left as it is. This breed is also fastidious as they can clean themselves, just like cats and a few other dog breeds do. So, aside from their high shedding, Shiba Inus are a low-maintenance breed that suits even families with kids.
However, you might want to amplify the brushing to help reduce the shedding. And due to the dog’s thick double coat, removing the dead hairs via brushing requires extra work than in most other dogs. Hence, brushing a Shiba Inu three to five times each week isn’t compulsory, but it’s indeed one of the best methods of keeping the shedding under control.
Prepare Your Shiba Before Grooming
Before giving your dog that full-blown spa, get him accustomed to the different procedures slowly. It’s better done in younger dogs.
Ensure your Shiba Inu is used to getting touched on all parts of his body, especially the feet. Although most of them don’t really care for this, with patience and time, they will adapt.
Allow your dog to examine the various brushes and tools you’re going to use. He should adapt to sounds of Dremel tool, nail clippers, or dryer — whatsoever makes noise.
Keep the early sessions sweet and short. Brace yourself for screaming and whining because that’s exactly what they do. You should also have a positive attitude, reassure your dog constantly, and reward him after the process.
The Grooming Process
You can begin by removing the dead hairs from your pet’s topcoat using a slicker brush. Then follow up by using a shedding comb that can reach down to its undercoat, to eliminate the thick, loose fur.
This practice can result in a huge difference in your Shiba Inu, especially if you’re doing it for the first time during their shedding season. Besides, you can also use a blower to blow the dead hairs away as you brush. A reverse vacuum or hair blower should do the job.
Are Shiba Inus Hypoallergenic?
Shiba Inus are not hypoallergenic. There’s so much controversy on what this really means. Technically, no breed is hypoallergenic as every dog is prone to allergy outbursts.
However, some dog breeds are less hypoallergenic than others, which implies that they are more likely to flare up allergic reactions than other breeds. The quantity of hair they shed goes a long way to determine this.
It’s not the hair that causes people to sneeze, but rather the dander (dead skin) and dried saliva on the pet that gets into the air by getting attached to loose hairs. Hence, high shedding dog breeds are typically less hypoallergenic due to their less floating hair, which implies minimal allergens, even though dander and saliva are the sources.
How to Reduce Excessive Shedding
The most effective way to control high shedding is by brushing regularly. You can make a significant difference by simply brushing your Shiba Inu with a de-shedder or slicker brush a few times every week. Brushing doesn’t only remove loose fur; it can also enhance the oil distribution on its coat uniformly over her skin, preventing excessive shedding.
There are some other things you can consider apart from brushing. For instance, if you notice that the Shiba is losing too much hair and not due to its blowing coat, it may have irritated, dry skin. Dry skin can result from several factors, including over bathing, fleas, or a less ideal diet.
Generally, you only need to bathe your Shiba Inu every few months since its coat doesn’t have a bad smell — they self-clean regularly. Over bathing your Shiba Inu can potentially cause dry skin. And while bathing them, ensure to use a high-quality dog shampoo that doesn’t contain too many chemicals.
When it comes to your Shiba Inu having fleas or getting a less balanced diet, you might want to consult your veterinarian to discuss how to treat and prevent a future reoccurrence. But generally, what you can do is buy well-reviewed, top-quality dog food with numerous minerals and vitamins, as it can help keep excessive shedding under control.
You can also try out some effective and safe home remedies, such as adding coconut oil (one teaspoonful) to your Shiba Inu’s food at night, which helps moisturize its skin.
Although Shiba Inus shed, it’s not as terrible as some people think. They blow their coat twice each year. And the best way to enjoy a hair-free environment is to remove your Shiba Inu’s old furs before they fall off.