9 Reasons Why Your Shih Poo Is Shedding More + 3 Tips


While some dog’s shed more than others, all dog’s shed to some degree, even Shih poos. If your Shih poo is shedding excessively in your mind, you might start to get worried. Is this normal? Is something going on that I should be concerned about?

Shih poos shed for similar reasons that many dog’s shed. Seasonality or adjustment to the temperature of their environment. However, if they’re shedding excessively this could mean their skin is unhealthy/damaged and will require preventative actions or even medical attention.

In this post we’re going to dive deep on all the reasons why your Shih poo might be shedding. 

Our goal is to give you some clarity on the possible causes for your pups shedding. Once you have an idea as to why they might be shedding more than usual you can take the necessary actions to help your dog get back to normal.

Let’s dive right in.

9 Reasons Why Your Shih Poo Is Shedding

1) Even Hypoallergenic Dogs Still Shed Sometimes

While you might be thinking “I got a dog mixed with a poodle to avoid shedding!”… Unfortunately you’ve been misled.

The idea that hypoallergenic dogs don’t shed is a common myth. 

Anything with hair or fur is going to shed. Obviously some dogs shed way more than others, and other factors come into play that can increase how much a dog sheds (which we’ll get into later), but all animals that have hair or fur are going to shed to some degree.

Hypoallergenic dogs are still susceptible to seasonal shedding as well as increased shedding due to unhealthy skin.

Dogs typically shed the most in spring because they’re shedding their winter coat as the temperature warms up.

If your Shih poo is shedding more than you think they should be outside of spring then it could be one of the other 8 reasons we’re about to discuss.

2) Infrequent Brushing

All dogs need a brushing routine or schedule.

While some dogs need a good brushing everyday, others can get away with a brushing every few days and not have your home turn into a ball of fur.

Even for a small breed like a shih poo, if you neglect to brush them, you will start to notice more hair around your house.

Brushing not only collects dead/loose fur before it starts gathering around your home, it also strengthens their coat and spreads their natural skin oils.

Both of which help promote a healthier coat that won’t excessively shed beyond a reasonable amount.

3) Infrequent Bathing (Or Too Frequent)

A bath is a great way to collect a dog’s loose fur before it finds its way on your living room floor.

While a bath won’t collect every last dead/loose fur on their body, it will collect a good amount if their body is thoroughly massaged during the bath.

*Pro Tip: Use steel wool to cover your drain to collect all their loose hair so it doesn’t clog your shower drain.*

If you haven’t bathed your Shih poo in a while (3 months plus) they’re likely overdue for a bath and this could be contributing to the extra shedding you’re noticing.

Now, when it comes to brushing you typically don’t need to be worried about over doing it.

Unless you start brushing your dog 5 times a day, that’s a little excessive and will probably hurt their skin.

But with bathing, you absolutely can bathe a dog too often.

I don’t want you to take this reason and feel weekly baths are the solution. That isn’t the case.

Bathing a dog too often will actually do more harm than good to their skin. You’ll likely notice them itching more, hotspots or redness showing, or even more shedding.

A dog’s skin has natural oils that are super important to maintaining the health of their skin and coat.

While more frequent baths are a good idea if you only bathe them twice a year, you don’t want to go overboard and bathe them every week.

A good general rule here is once every 1-3 months.

Further Reading: 14 Dog Shampoos That Work Wonders on Dry, Itchy Skin

4) Shampoo Is Damaging Their Skin

The shampoo you’re using on your furry friend could also be the culprit for their increased shedding.

Not all shampoos are created equal and some are downright harmful to your dog’s skin and coat.

Dogs’ skin is much more sensitive than human skin. They require a shampoo that is less acidic than humans do.

So if you’ve been using your human shampoo on your Shih poo, that could be one of the reasons they’re shedding. The acidity of the shampoo is too much for their skin causing it to damage their skin and result in increased shedding.

Also, even some dog shampoos aren’t made with the best ingredients for dog’s.

A good general rule when it comes to dog shampoo, or anything you give or use on your dog for that matter, is if you can’t pronounce it, don’t use it.

Some products contain words that are so long they’re almost impossible to pronounce. And if that’s the case, it’s probably not something that should go on your dog’s skin.

A few other ingredients that should be avoided are:

  • Butylparaben
  • Isobutylparaben
  • Isopropylparaben
  • Propylparaben

Further Reading: Is Dog Shampoo Bad For Dogs? (The Truth…)

5) Nutrient Deficient

Some dogs are more sensitive to the foods they eat than others.

This means that while one dog may be able to eat less nutrient rich food their whole lives and be okay, other dogs will have adverse effects like excessive shedding.

Typically, less expensive dog food has main ingredients such as grain or corn. The more expensive food has various meats as their main ingredient and are (generally) more easily digested and absorbed.

If you do decide to switch up your dog’s food to see if it helps reduce their shedding be sure to gradually switch.

For example:

Day 1: 85% old food 15% new food

Day 2: 75% old food 25% new food

Day 3: 60% old food 40% new food

Day 4: 50% old food 50% new food

Day 5: 40% old food 60% new food

Day 6: 20% old food 80% new food

Day 7: 100% new food

It’s important to note that a better diet will reduce shedding, but there’s no diet that will stop shedding completely.

6) Skin Allergies

If your dog has allergies that are flaring up it can cause inflammation to their skin and increased itchiness. This of course will also translate into additional scratching and increased shedding as well.

If the skin underneath their coat is unwell, their coat will be unhealthy as well. 

If you’re unsure what might be causing their allergic reaction it’s best to take them to the vet so you can get to the bottom of it as a team.

Trying things like holistic dog food or hypoallergenic dog treats could be the simple solution to their irritating allergies.

7) They’re Feeling Stressed

Dogs are capable of feeling stressed out and anxious similarly to how humans experience it.

You’ve probably heard a dad somewhere say, “I used to have hair before I had you kids!”.

Moments of extreme stress or prolonged periods of stress can cause your Shih poo to shed excessively.

Things like big changes in their environment such as moving to a new home, getting a new owner, a loved one recently passing, loud unfamiliar noises, or physical abuse are a few ways dog’s can feel stress.

If you can think of any big changes that have occurred in your pups life recently they could be the cause for their increase in shedding.

8) Skin Parasites

Fleas, ticks, and mites have all been known to cause a great deal of discomfort for dogs.

When these little buggers start living on a dog they bite at their skin which causes itching as well as damaging the skin.

Excessive scratching can alone cause a dog to shed more if it’s done aggressively enough or often enough. And damaged skin won’t be strong enough to hold on to fur which will cause additional shedding.

Flea and ticks are quite common and because of this are relatively easy to get rid of with vet treatment.

Mites are a little trickier but can absolutely be taken care of with the right treatment.

9) Hormonal Imbalance, Infection or Diseases

These are the most severe reasons why your dog could be shedding more than usual. If you suspect that any of these reasons are the culprit for their shedding it’s important to take your Shih poo to the vet.

The two most common hormonal imbalances that are found in dogs are called Cushing syndrome and hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is caused by a dog’s thyroid not working properly.

Cushing syndrome is when dog’s have too much cortisol in their system.

If you don’t feel like any of the other reasons might be why your Shih poo is shedding more than usual, take them to the vet for a blood test.

This blood test will be able to show if they’re experiencing a hormonal imbalance which is causing them to shed more than normal.

If there’s any discoloration on your dog’s skin it could be because of an infection or disease.

If you notice that in addition to increased shedding that your dog’s mood is off, they’re lethargic or not as hungry as they usually are they should be taken to the vet to have them looked at.

3 Tips To Stop a Shih Poos Excessive Shedding

Here are 3 tips to help your Shih poo from excessively shedding.

1) Supplement Fatty Acids

Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids are two known ingredients that contribute to healthy skin and hair/fur.

Many dog foods and treats contain plenty of Omega 6 Fatty Acids that you wouldn’t need to additionally supplement. 

But Omega 3’s aren’t as abundant in their food and treats which is where supplementing would be beneficial.

Pure salmon oil is commonly used by many dog owners to help supplement Omega 3 Fatty Acid. But, if you want to go a step further you can give them krill or anchovies which are lower on the food chain. Thus containing less mercury than fish higher in the food chain.

2) Create a Brushing Routine

A solid brushing routine will do wonders for your dog’s skin and coat.

Even if it’s during a time of year when they aren’t shedding excessively, maintaining a good brushing schedule will help keep their skin strong and healthy.

You might also want to brush them outside to keep the least amount of loose inside your home.

3) Change To a More Healthy Food

Changing their dog food from a source of mostly grain or corn to something more holistic will do your only good.

A healthier body will be far less prone to excessive shedding.

Without proper nutrition, a dog’s coat will be much more likely to be dry, brittle and shedding.

Bonus Tip

If it’s super warm where you live, reduce their sun exposure.

Just like when you stay out in the sun for too long a dog’s skin will dry out too. And when their skin dries out, so does their coat. Which in turn will cause them to shed more than they usually do.

Other posts you might find interesting:

8 Reasons Shih Poos Make Great Apartment Dogs + Tips

8 Ways To Tell If Your Dog Knows They’ve Hurt You

Citations:

Is Your Pet’s Excessive Shedding a Sign of Illness?

Excessive Dog Shedding: When You Should Worry

How to Prevent Dog Shedding Through Diet

How to Stop or Minimize Excessive Dog Shedding

Tired of Excessive Shedding? Try Adding This One Ingredient To Your Dog’s Diet

Baldness and Hormone-Related Skin Disorders in Dogs

Dog Shampoo Can Be More Hazardous Than You Think

Alec Littlejohn

Founder and Reviewer at Pawscessories. He is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! He grew up in a family of vets and to this day he helps out around the family clinic and shares his learnings on Pawscessories. Learn more about Alec's story here

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