Why Do Chow Chows Shed So Much? (Do Chow Chows Shed Much?)
Chow Chow is a Chinese dog breed that has very distinct characteristics. The dog’s original name Songshi-Quan means “Puffy lion dog” which is an apt description of the animal.
Though the heavy coat makes the dog look adorable, it can be a real pain when you consider the amount of shedding. You can gauge the amount of shedding by the fact that Chow Chow is one of the 5 heaviest shedding dog breeds.
As an expert on non-shedding or hypoallergenic dogs – I often get asked questions by owners of the HEAVY shedders as well! You are not alone! Luckily there are strategies to reduce shed or make it… a little manageable.
Chow Chows shed regularly, that is, daily. Along with that, there is seasonal shedding, shedding due to diet, and shedding from grooming and maintenance. That is a lot of shedding.
So, if you are a Chow Chow owner who would like some tips on how to tackle this shedding problem, keep reading.
How Heavily Do Chow Chow Shed?
Pretty heavily. There is a reason why they are included in the top 5 heaviest shedding dog breeds. You can feel how thick their coat is by simply giving them a scratch.
The coat helps them keep warm during the colder season.
To complicate things further, the breed sheds its coat annually—twice each year. The shedding process will take a few weeks—the most challenging few weeks, considering the amount of cleaning you may have to do.
So, on average, a Chow Chow will shed 3 to 4 times the usual amount during shedding season.
Why Do They Shed?
Shedding is never pleasant, not only for hypoallergenic people but for others as well. There will be fur all around your home, even after vigorous cleaning, and you will find yourself pulling hairs from places you can’t even imagine.
If you are a Chow Chow parent, you will want to reduce the shedding. However, to do that, you first need to understand the reason behind such heavy shedding.
Here are some:
The Hair On Their Coat Needs Replacing
The coat hair reaches a maximum length, after which it stops growing. These old hairs will need to be replaced with new, healthier hair.
Also, long hair gets easily tangled, matted, and damaged, further increasing shedding. So, even if the dog is not groomed regularly, it will directly influence the amount of shedding.
Chow Chows shed twice a year—once in December when it starts developing a winter coat and then, in spring, to shed the winter coat.
This helps protect the dog from the harsh cold weather. The process takes place at roughly the same time, so you can keep tabs and be prepared.
Males, whether neutered or not, shed once a year. A spayed female sheds only once a year, while an unaltered female sheds twice yearly. So, if you are not planning on having pups, it is better to get your dog spayed.
Shedding Due To Daylight Or Sunlight
Chow Chow sheds in response to daylight or higher temperature. This helps the dog get rid of its winter coat in spring. Exposure to sunlight also affects the overall health and well-being of the dog.
So, getting out in the open is not just a necessity for meeting the daily exercise needs; it is also a must if you want your dog to have sound physical and mental health.
How To Prepare For Your Dog’s Shedding?
There is no way of dealing with a dog’s shedding; however, you can get yourself prepared. Being prepared will ensure that your house is not covered in Chow Chow hair.
You need to keep note of the time your dogs start shedding; it is periodic shedding, so the dog will shed at the same time every year. Start grooming your dog daily. This will help you get into the shedding season routine and will also help you notice any change in the coat shedding.
If you detect any loose fur, you know your dog has started shedding.
Once you have realized that your dog has started shedding, you can increase the amount of grooming. Regular brushing will remove most of the loose hair and minimize the mess.
Remember, even after extensive grooming, there will still be fur around the house, but it will be greatly reduced.
So to sum it up, prepare for your dog’s shedding by:
- Regular grooming
- Regular bathing
- Getting a fur-friendly vacuum cleaner
Can Chow Chow Shedding Be Minimized?
Your Chow Chow is going to shed, and no matter how many precautionary steps you take, you cannot minimize shedding.
However, you can reduce the amount of hair in your house by taking certain steps.
First off, brush your dog properly; it will help you get to all the loose hair that is tangled in the coat and help loosen dead hair from the roots.
While brushing, remember to use a metal comb, a slicker brush, and a pin brush. Start with a pin brush and brush down to the skin. Now, with a slicker brush, thoroughly brush the dog’s legs.
Use a metal comb to remove the loose hair and prevent it from getting stuck in the coat.
Never brush a dry coat; it may damage the dog’s skin. Damp the coat with a spray bottle before brushing.
Keep the following guidelines in mind when tending to your dog’s grooming needs:
Don’t Compromise On Brushing
Thoroughly brush your dog from head to toe without missing any spots. A minimum of 15 to 20 minutes of brushing is required daily. Get the brushes mentioned above to save time and efficiently remove all the loose hair.
Give The Dog A Bath Massage
Gently massage your dog while bathing. The soothing motions will help loosen dead hair that will easily come out when you brush your dog later.
However, bathing is recommended only once a month. If you want to do it more often, use a gentle soap or no soap at all. This will not harm the dog’s skin or strip away the natural oils.
Use A Dog-Friendly Dryer
A dryer will blow out a few extra hairs that may be stuck. Blow-drying will force this hair out and make it easily removable when you brush your dog’s coat next.
Check Your Dog For Any Underlying Health Issue
The reason behind excessive shedding may often be an improper diet or an underlying health condition. Get your dog’s health checked by an experienced vet to negate the possibility.
Some health conditions that may be causing your dog to lose hair include:
- Immune disease
Can Diet Impact Shedding?
Improper and unhealthy diet results in a weakened immune system, skin issues, biotin deficiency, and much more.
When your dog experiences biotin deficiency, for instance, the hair becomes brittle and falls off. Your dog may shed more hair than normal. A well-balanced diet will provide your dog with all the nutrition, vitamins, and minerals necessary for normal function, growth, and development.
Some key components to keep in mind are:
- High-quality food: Provide your dog with a high-quality diet. It has to be rich in proteins, vitamins, and daily supplements.
- Fatty Acids: Fatty acids provide your dog’s hair with the necessary minerals, which replenish the essential oils required to keep the hair and skin healthy. Healthier hair is less likely to shed.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E supplements are a great way to help your dog get healthy skin. You can give it to your dog orally or sprinkle it on your dog’s food.
When Should You Be Worried About Your Dog’s Shedding?
Usually, shedding is not a matter of concern; however, if you feel that your dog is shedding beyond normal, it is a matter of concern.
To determine if it’s something more serious, look for these signs:
Fur coming out in lumps is no big deal, especially in the shedding period. However, if the shedding leads to bald patches on the skin, it is a matter of concern.
This fur loss can be owing to stress, improper diet, or a general health issue. Consulting your vet will help you get to the root cause so you can take appropriate measures.
Fur Feeling Greasy Or Oily
The natural secretion of oils on the skin keeps the skin and coat healthy. However, the greasing significantly reduces during the shedding period. So, if you still notice greasy hair while your dog is shedding, it indicates something else.
Visit your vet and find out if it is your dog’s shampoo or something in its diet that is causing it.
Sensitive Skin Or Sores
If you see your dog writhing in pain due to sensitive skin, you need to see your vet immediately. Neither shedding nor shampoo will lead to skin sensitivity issues, so it has to be something more serious.
It could be due to an allergic reaction or a skin infection. No matter what it is, seek medical care right away.
Tackle Abnormal Shedding
If you observe your Chow Chow shedding abnormally, you can take certain steps to tackle the problem before consulting your vet.
Up Your Dog’s Nutrition
If your dog’s diet is to blame for its excessive shedding, it will return to normal with a nutritious diet. Give it a couple of days and if there is still no reduction in shedding, consult your vet.
Like humans, dogs get stressed too. This may be because they are not getting the required attention, or it can directly reflect their owner’s mental health. Dogs are very sensitive to their owner’s emotions.
Any change or conflict you may be going through will directly affect your pet.
If you suspect this may be the cause, try giving the dog a routine that is as normal as possible. Walk your dog at the same time, play with it regularly, dote on it with all your love, and more.
Ensure Consistent Brushing
Your dog’s excessive shedding could also simply be an outcome of improper brushing. Often, due to daily life hassles, pet parents often are in a rush, and brushing in a hurry, leaving behind loose fur. If you suspect your dog is shedding excessively, try this tip before consulting your vet.
Cleaning Up Shed Fur
This part of owning a dog is the most inconvenient but necessary, especially when you have a high shedding dog like Chow Chow.
Even with so many preventive measures, your house will still be covered in dog fur, especially during the shedding period. Cleaning up is time-consuming and tiresome; by the time you finish cleaning, more fur is ready to be swept off.
While it is impossible to stop the shedding, you can be prepared to clean up the mess. Prepare yourself mentally and equip yourself with cleaning supplies and tools that will come in handy. Stay on top of things and keep your house neat by cleaning regularly.
Some tips to help clean up:
- Have your vacuum cleaner handy: This is the easiest way to get rid of hair. Opt for a hair-friendly cleaner specially designed to capture animal hair. It will make your work much easier.
- Lint roller: Get the hair off your clothes and furniture with a lint roller.
- Squeegee or lilly brush: Use these tools to remove hair stuck stubbornly on upholstery and other places effectively.
- Cover the furniture: Rather than doing the rigorous work of cleaning after your Chow Chow, cover the furniture instead. Use thin blankets or other cloth that are easy to clean. Place them over your sofa, chairs, and so on. Cleaning blankets is a much easier task than cleaning the furniture.
Owning a dog is a lovely experience. Because you do not just have a pet, you have a companion, a friend, a protector, and so much more. It is undeniably one of the most satisfying experiences.
However, some little things put a dent in your happiness, like shedding.
It is undeniably the most inconvenient part of owning a dog, especially if your dog is a heavy shedder. However, the only thing you can do about it is prepare, both mentally and physically. The right mindset and tools will get you through even the worst days.