Do Shiba Inus Shed? (Explained and Helpful Guide)

Do Shiba Inus Shed

It may seem like a sucky situation, but shedding is a natural part of a dog’s life. But do Shiba Inus shed; and if they do, how much?

Shiba Inus shed a lot! They have two coats that are constantly in the race for falling off first to make room for their new and improved hairs. Their shedding happens throughout the year, and will continue on for their entire life.

It’s important to know that your current or future Shiba Inu will shed their fur coats; but what’s more important is what makes them shed, and any complications that may arise with it. Read on to learn more!

Shiba Inus Shedding

Shiba Inus shed approximately twice per year, and it tends to happen during the warmer months, due to the fact that they’ll need their coats as thick as possible during the winter.

Their shedding is caused by several different attributes such as genetics, environmental factors, health components, and even nutritional effects. Shedding is a natural part of their process, and – unfortunately for us – cannot be stopped under any circumstances.

Their process allows for the old and worn out hairs to fall off, so that the new and improved hairs can create a more protective barrier of the dog, and its skin.

 Once the shedding process is complete, it will be a while before it begins again, so be sure to take note of what happens the first time, so that you’ll be ready for the next.

When Does Shedding Start?

Shiba Inus tend to start shedding within the first three months of spring, or within the month of April or May. This is when it starts to get hot, and the Inus body can pick up on these seasonal changes.

As this process begins, you’ll start to notice that  your Shiba Inu’s undercoat is all over the place! Their hair is known to be only slightly oily, so you are sure to find their hair all over your floor, wall, and potentially even your clothing.

The shedding process for the Shiba Inu can last anywhere between two and three months, which makes this process a long one; but it usually slows down and stops towards the final weeks of fall, or within the month of September.

Why Do Shiba Inus Shed So Much?

Shedding takes place within a Shiba Inu for several main reasons. First, it’s simply a natural process for them, since they are of the canine genus. Another reason for them shed is for their health.

When a Shiba Inu blows their coat, it allows for all the weak and degenerated coat hairs to fall off, because they are of no more use, and keeping it on the dog, will end up making them sick; therefore, shedding is necessary.

Let’s also take the heat into consideration. Shiba Inus are indigenous to Japan, and are used to cool and lukewarm weather; however, whenever they get too hot, the heat can trigger their shedding mechanism in order to keep the dog’s body cool, and from overheating.

All in all, nature, health, and heat are the primary reasons for excessive shedding from Shiba Inus.

Elements that Can Affect Your Shiba Inu’s Shedding

Shedding After Estrus

Estrus is the process of recurring periods of sexual receptivity and fertility; in simpler terms, this is the process of a Shiba Inu going into heat. This part of their lives where the Shiba Inu is ready to settle down and procreate is also a major part as to why they shed.

During Estrus, the playful pup will begin to experience hormonal imbalances that will cause all types of physical effects, including shedding.

It will increase the rate at which their undercoat is blown off, and will also determine how fast it will grow back, as well as how thick the hair will grow as well. When your Inu is experiencing heat, it’s best to keep a brush around because Estrus will definitely increase the Inu’s hair production.

Age Impact

Shiba Inus are capable of shedding around the end of their first year, and around the beginning of their second year of being alive. The shedding process has little discrimination, and simply waits until the dog has enough hair to shed off of it’s body.

In the early ages, the shedding is not as significant simply because the dog doesn’t have that much hair; but within their prime years of 3 to 7 – when they are their strongest and most active – they are known to blow off so much hair, you’d think you had two of Inus!

Within their later years, you’ll notice that the amount of hair they shed isn’t much different from their younger age, but it may take a bit longer to finish the process. In the end, age is simply a number, and your Shiba Inu will shed profusely, no matter what age they are.

Environmental Impact

Yes, the environment plays a heavy role in the shedding process. Since Shiba Inus are originally mountainous dogs, they are prone to the cold, and are quite sensitive to tropical weather.

In addition, tropical environments tend to have light for a longer period of time than non-tropical areas. For that reason, the excessive light from the sun can stimulate hair growth, and thus, shedding will occur.

Circadian rhythm, or the pattern that helps us to wake up and go to sleep, also has a major impact on the shedding of Inus.

Daylight is a part of the circadian rhythm, and if your Inu is in the house most of the time, it won’t really know whether it’s day or night, so the follicles will keep shedding, which is why it may seem like the dog just won’t stop losing its hair.

Abnormal Shedding

Skin Disease

Shiba Inus are prone to viral and bacterial infections that place a significant impact on their hair and skin; and once the skin is affected, then so is the hair follicles.

Skin diseases that are picked up, or innate, within the Shiba Inu has one of two effects: either it will slow down their shedding process, or speed it up.

For example, Hypothyroidism is a disease that affects the Inu’s thyroid, which could then cause excessive hair loss from the dog’s coat. In other cases, such as a viral infection, Shiba Inus can experience many different symptoms, including excessive shedding that can leave bald spots within the coat of the dog.

These infections are strong, but with proper grooming and cleaning of your dog’s hair and overall health, these skin diseases won’t be much of a concern for you.


Malnutrition is a serious cause for shedding within the Shiba Inu dog breed. Why? Because dogs need protein-rich food, including meat, in order for them to grow big and strong, and the Shiba Inu is no different.

When there is lack of protein, and other vital vitamins and minerals, the follicles of the Inu’s hair begin to weaken. As this weakness progresses, the hairs of the dog will fall off, multiples at a time, and the shedding will last for a long while.

Malnutrition can cause shedding in Shiba Inus, but fortunately for you and the Inu, it can be reversed by implementing a healthy diet that’s meant for a dog, and maintaining said diet until no more hair is randomly shedding off of your Inu.

Too Hot

Yes, if the weather and temperature is too hot for your Shiba Inu, this too will make it shed in abnormal amounts.

You see, the sun has light and energy; this same light and energy enters your Shiba Inu coat of hair first; and this accumulated amount of light and energy creates heat.This heat then acts as a catalyst that advertently stimulates hair growth.

Since Inus are used to cool weather – like that of the mountainous regions of Japan – its body will be forced to get rid or all of the excess fur that’s necessary to regulate the Inu’s internal body temperature.

Tropical and subtropical temperatures – between 74 and 80 degrees – can be a bit concerning for any Shiba Inu, so during the summer and fall months, you can expect a lot of shedding from these bold dogs.

Their Food Is Too Salty

Salty food seems to be the culprit for a lot of underlying medical conditions, including that which causes abnormal shedding in a Shiba Inu. Salty food has the capacity to cause unusual amounts of shedding due to its dehydration process.

When your Shiba Inu eats too much salt, it will become very thirsty, very soon. If this thirst continues, your Inu may experience side effects like high blood pressure, shaking, diarrhea, depression, and dehydration, which is the most important side effect.

This is because when the body has no water in it, hair follicles have no moisture to absorb, therefore, becoming brittle and falling off of the body. This is the case when it comes to Shiba Inus, so be sure to keep yours hydrated, and keep it away from salty foods.

Not Dry After A Bath

How can cleaning your dog make it shed?

It mainly comes down to whether or not your dog is dry enough. Bathing your Shiba Inu could be fun, or a real hassle, however, it’s necessary about once per week. But always be sure to completely dry the dog down, or else shedding could occur.

How? It comes down to the strength of the hair and hair follicles. If your Inu is wet, or still damp after a bath, that will keep the hair straight and soft; which is a set up for failure. Because the next step after washing your Inu is to brush it.

However, if the hair is damp and soft, then that thick strong brush that you will use will have a great time stealthily pulling out those limp hairs with little-to-no problem at all.

Tips For Shedding Season

Correct Bathing

Bathing your Shiba Inu is not a hard job, and only becomes a challenge when it doesn’t want to cooperate with getting clean.

Proper bathing for your Inu should first and foremost only occur at most once per week; this will keep the shedding down to a minimum. In addition, always make sure that your Inu is completely dry before your attempt to brush it.

Keeping it dry will also reduce the amount of loose hairs that fly out of its undercoat. Also be sure to use shampoo and conditioner that is safe for the Inu’s skin and fur, to eradicate any potential for excess shedding.


Diet is highly important to controlling the amount of shedding that your Shiba Inu may go through.

You want to make sure that your Inu is receiving an animal protein-rich diet with a decent amount of acidity for proper digestion; this is when items such as meat come into play.

Vitamins and minerals from fruit, like bananas and pineapples, are also great sources of nutrients to keep their inner and outer coats shiny and healthy, with little potential for unnecessary shedding.

When delivering these meals, be sure to create a healthy blend of protein and minerals for your Inu.

Get More Sun

I know your thinking that too much sun would make them shed more; no, too much heat will make them shed. However, in cool temperatures, definitely take your Inu for a walk!

The energy and light is still necessary for the fur and overall health, but because the temperature isn’t extremely hot, getting your Shiba Inu some sun will conversely strengthen it hair follicles, thus, making the hair more attached to the skin of the dog, and reducing the length of time that sheds.

Grooming for Shiba Inus

Shiba Inus shed a lot; and because of this reason, it’s best to groom your Shiba Inu often. You can start with bathing your Inu.

Next, brushing your Shiba Inu is a must in order to keep shedding down to a minimum; and this can be done about once per week.

Now when the shedding season comes around, grooming should happen more often; brushing your Inu about twice per week will do a good job at keeping excess shedding at bay.

How Often Should I Bathe My Shiba Inu During Shedding Season?

During shedding season, when the top of Spring comes around, or when Fall is beginning to end, it’s optimal to bathe your Shiba Inu approximately once to twice per week.

This amount of bathing will ensure that struggles of old hair from the Inu is taken out directly, without clogging up its skin or fur coat, and will also keep your Inu’s skin healthy for the next coat that will grow in.

Bathing should be done with the correct type of shampoo and conditioner, and should be done with care and practicality so that your Shiba Inu can keep and grow its illustrious fur.

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