When I first encountered Shiba Inu as a dog breed, I didn’t think of it as the shedding type. It was a dog that had a very recognizable shape with a coat that always looked coarse and straight, and I thought it was nothing like those fully dogs you encounter during walks and dog shows.
Of course, I was wrong. Over time, it became a different story when I got my own. That’s because they do indeed shed and a lot, too. It has been a challenge when I’ve tried keeping the floors spotless or at least keep the coats off of my clothes.
Nature of a Shiba Inus’ Coat
A basal breed with very distinct characteristics and features; this has been one of the first ones from which the rest of the dog breeds were derived from. Shiba Inus, however, originally came from Japan, so their bodies are more used to varying extreme temperatures.
With that, they have a coat that is thick enough to keep them warm during the harsh winters, and a shedding mechanism to keep them cool during the summers.
Time for Shedding
Whenever I share about the struggles of having a shedding dog, people wonder aloud about how much Shiba Inus shed, if at all. I guess it’s because, at a distance, Shiba Inus don’t look like they have a lush coat, but that’s only because the outer layer is coarse and has thicker strands, making it look for precise and firm while hiding the softer inner layers of coat.
Shiba Inus are categorized as a dog breed with a double coat, so indeed, there is so much coat that the eye doesn’t see.
When I first noticed by dog shedding, I dismissed it as a reaction to the change of season, and for a while, I believe that was the case. That was until he began shedding profusely, and I started to worry if there was something wrong with his diet and health or if there were any nutrient deficiencies.
However, the vet referred that occurrence as “blowing their coat” and proceeded to assure me that this is actually how much a Shiba Inu sheds.
Aside from their natural ways of adapting to the changes in temperature, Shiba Inus are expected to shed their coat all year round mildly. Then again, there were a couple of times this year, particularly during Spring and Fall, when I was incredibly worried that my dog was going to go bald with the amount of coat everywhere.
It looked like a ball of the coat had been dropped onto my living room, and my vacuum cleaner didn’t enjoy the bulk it was cleaning – neither did I.
Coat Maintenance and Upkeep
All that cleaning was the main struggle, so I had to consult professionals and fellow Shiba Inu owners what they did to keep everything in line and coat-free.
Vets usually offered advice to make sure your dog gets adequate nutrition in their meals, as well as supplement their diets with vitamins that can help improve the quality of their coat.
I followed this advice by feeding my dog the right amount of proteins, and indeed the coat shedding reduced to a certain degree.
The Initiative of Dog Parents
Another practical advice I was given that I considered a staple was to have my dog groomed, especially before Spring and Fall. That way, I can keep the shedding at a minimum and spend less time vacuuming the upholsteries.
I had also made it a point to invest in a high-quality and reliable vacuum that can get the job done without getting the coats stuck to the filter and block the pipings.
Doing these regularly will not only ensure that your spaces stay clean, but will as well reduce the chances of you or any members of your household from having their allergies triggered,
A few other things I did at home was to make sure I wasn’t using any coat washing products that could encourage the shedding even more, and I would regularly brush their coat and dispose of the loose hairs in bulk.
Also, daily brushing can discourage dander and skin allergies, and I do it to remove dirt and loose hairs that caused my dog to scratch all the time. I use slicker brushes for this, and they seem capable of doing the trick on the day today.
That being said, caring for any dog is a huge responsibility, especially if your dog spends most of their time indoors.
My Shiba Inu spends an almost equal amount of time being indoors and outdoors, and it meant I always have to look after its path. As a dog parent, this is part of my responsibility, and I have learned to embrace it. With that, I hope that this answers your question and has been of help to you.
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While taking Shiba Inus on a walk, you will turn many heads and get many compliments.