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I heard how bad Shiba Inus shed, but how bad could it be? How do you manage all of that fur? After some trial and error while raising Faith, my Shiba, I was able to come up with a system that worked for me.
Shiba Inus are a double-coated medium-sized dog that steadily sheds throughout the year. Weekly vacuuming is recommended. Shibas also shed heavily during the fall and spring months when they “blow” their undercoat to prepare for the cold winter or warm summer months.
Knowing how Shiba Inus shed throughout the year is one thing, figuring out how to manage it is another. Keep reading if you’d like to see what’s worked for me and other owners.
The Reason Shiba Inus Shed So Much
The majority of dogs shed, especially double-coated dogs. Shiba Inus are one of 77 different dual coat dogs and this type of coat regularly sheds throughout the year.
The reason for the constant shedding is how this style of coat works. A Shiba Inu’s overcoat is a stiff and coarse furry armor. That guard coat helps protect Shibas from the elements by repelling dirt and water to keep their undercoats clean. Their undercoat is soft yet dense, it’s what helps them regulate body heat.
That combo approach leads to steady shedding throughout the year and heavy shedding during the first 3 weeks of March along with the first 3 weeks of September. This heavy shedding season is referred to as “blowing” or “coat-blowing” season.
|Spring – March 1st
|Spring – September 1st
|Autumn – September 1st
|Autumn – March 1st
While Shiba Inus have two coats only one of them actually sheds. Their upper layer of armor stays put while their undercoat, which helps regulate body heat, adjusts to the upcoming season. The heavy shedding in the spring thins that plush undercoat so they don’t overheat in the summer. That process repeats again in the autumn months when they drop their summer coat for a warmer winter undercoat.
How To Manage And Minimize Shedding
A regular grooming schedule, quality brushes, and a balanced diet help minimize excessive shedding. It’s also a great idea to regularly clean your living space. All of that would look something like this:
Regular And Seasonal Grooming
Shiba Inus do best when brushed weekly, that steady brushing schedule helps remove loose fur and minimize tumbleweeds. Where things are different is in their bathing schedule. It’s best to bathe your Shiba every 3 to 6 months.
That irregular bathing schedule is due to two things, their self-care routine, and coat health. Shiba Inus, like cats, regularly groom themselves often preventing that dog smell most breeds get. Overbathing strips the natural oils out of their fur, preventing their guard coat from properly protecting them. It also reduces its effectiveness in repelling dirt and water.
During peak shedding time, coat blowing season, I recommend brushing your Shiba almost daily during that 3-week period. It helps minimize both fur and dander buildup.
Feel free to give them a bath during this time. A lot of other Shiba Inu owners sync their bathing schedule with this heavy shedding period. Similar to brushing, it helps remove loose fur and minimize dander.
Finding A Brush That Works For You
There are many different types of brushes for dogs, and each one has their uses. It’s important to find a style that works for you, causes minimal damage to your Shiba’s overcoat, and doesn’t stress your pet out by tugging on their fur.
I myself have had the best luck with Slicker brushes, my favorite being the HERTZKO Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush.
A Diet First Approach To Pet Health
A dog’s physical and coat health are heavily tied into their diet, so take an extra moment to make sure they have quality food. Malnutrition and food allergies have caused excessive shedding, bald patches, and even dry irritated skin. All of which are warning sign.
If you notice your Shiba Inu is shedding irregularly check for dry patches, call your vet, and take an allergy test if you notice any.
Adjusting Your Cleaning Routines
To manage the spread of fur throughout your home I recommend:
- Getting a good vacuum and running it at least bi-weekly. Weekly during coat-blowing season.
- Invest in a pet hair remover. They’re like reusable lint rollers specifically made to remove fur from your couch, car seats, and bedding.
- Grabbing a lint roller or two. Pet hair removers are great for furniture but aren’t great for more delicate fabrics.
- All of the above are important when you consider the fact Shiba Inus are not hypoallergenic.
Helpful Tip – Spend time getting your Shiba Inu used to being handled. That includes being picked up, brushed, bathed, and handling paws for nail trims. Shibas who aren’t used to being touched in certain ways will aggressively lash out.
Shiba Inus are a double-coated breed that needs to be brushed weekly and nearly daily during heavy shedding season. That daily brushing, along with a bath, helps prevent excess fur build-up around the house.
Going the extra mile to make sure your Shiba is eating quality food that agrees with them is a must. Poor health and food allergies can cause irregular shedding and even bald patches.
Finally, having a regular vacuuming schedule, especially during coat-blowing season, minimizes the excess fur and dander build-up. Helping reduce allergies for those allergic to this breed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Shibas Hypoallergenic?
Shiba Inus are not hypoallergenic. They shed steadily year-round, heavily during the spring and fall months, and produce dander. Brushing a Shiba outdoors weekly and regular vacuuming helps minimize the spread of fur and dander throughout your living space.
Is It OK To Shave A Shiba Inu?
Shiba Inus are double-coated dogs. They’re overcoat protects them from dirt, water, and the elements but doesn’t shed or grow back. When a Shiba Inu is shedding, that’s their undercoat “blowing”, which helps them regulate body heat. Shaving a Shiba Inu permanently removes and ruins their overcoat.
Do Shibas Ever Stop Shedding?
Shiba Inus are double-coated dogs that shed steadily throughout the year and need to be brushed weekly. They also “blow” their coats, and shed heavily, twice a year during the spring and fall. It’s best to brush a Shiba Inu daily during this heavy shedding season.