Shiba Inus are fantastic! But if you’ve owned a Shiba for long I’m sure you’ve learned they’re also fantastic fur-shedders. Of course your Shiba seems as excited as ever to be shedding so much fur, but you might be slightly less excited by the experience. Today we’ll see how Shiba Shedding can be managed with the right tools and know-how.
How often do Shiba Inus Shed?
While the Shiba Inu is indeed a clean animal, it does shed – abundantly. In fact, the dog sheds to some degree throughout the year and blows coat (sheds a lot) twice a year. When the dog blows coat or sheds its furry and soft undercoat, be prepared, as the dog’s hairs will settle on furniture and clothing.
In fact, you may think your companion dog has gotten sick, as it will look like it has lost a good deal of weight. However, after shedding season is over, your Shiba will grow back its soft undercoat and look like that lovable teddy bear you have come to know over time.
The Shiba Inu breed is double-coated, meaning that it has a soft undercoat of hair along with a more long and rigid overcoat. Dogs with this qualification shed heavily twice a year, and for Shibas this lasts for a period of three weeks. If it isn’t properly managed, by the end of the three weeks your fur covering may make it difficult for strangers to distinguish the Shiba from the human. Thankfully, after three weeks things should be back to normal.
DIY Shiba Inu Grooming
To make sure shedding does not get too out of control, you need to brush your dog two or three times a week when it heavily sheds. This will neutralize the shedding, so it is more manageable. Also, give the dog a bath during this time for the same reason. You don’t want to bathe the dog too often, as doing so can dry out its fur and coat. Outside of shedding, the Shiba is one companion dog that is easy to groom. Therefore, DIY dog grooming is often a cinch, provided your Shiba does not put up too much of a protest.
Shiba Grooming Tools
There are several things you’ll want to keep on hand for when you encounter the Shiba shedding season:
- Shiba shampoo
- Gloves, brushes and tools
- A healthy diet, especially one supplemented by omega-3 (fish oil)
You may also want to look into getting a good vacuum that is built to handle pet fur.
How to Shower Your Shedding Shiba
Once your Shiba’s coat starts blowing away, it’s time to take action. If you nip the problem in the bud there will be much less to clean up afterward.
Begin grooming your Shiba frequently with the appropriate brushes to remove loose hair and to apply omega-3 oils with the likes of a slicker brush.
Make sure your Shiba is bathing more frequently than normal to help loosen its coat. Be aware that the shedding will become worse after bathing, so be prepared for extra cleaning, vacuuming and sweeping.
Tips for a fur-free home
Most of us would prefer our Shiba to be the one thing in the house with fur. To avoid fur ending up in every carpet, couch, nook, and cranny try to create an environment that does not facilitate fur buildup.
For example, use carpets and furniture with smooth fabric rather than hairy or thick-textured types where fur can get matted up. Keep your clothes and other items in closed closets, and keep fur cleaning tools handy.
Create Some Boundaries
The dog cleans itself like a cat and does not give off a doggy odor, so you can wipe down the fur to distribute oils in the coat and keep your companion dog clean. When the dog begins to shed, try to relegate it to certain parts of the home, so you don’t have its furs floating all over the place.
Have Your Family Be Aware
Regularly vacuum the house to reduce sneezing and sniffling.
If you are someone who is quite susceptible to allergies and have been thinking of getting a dog, you may find it difficult to endure the shedding season on your own. It would be good to come to an agreement with your family on who can help brush and take care of your Shiba, if you have a family member who is particularly allergic or sensitive.
Section Off an Area in the Home
When you first adopt a Shiba puppy, you may want to section off an area where your dog can roam, keeping the problem with shedding in mind. By the time the dog is blowing coat, you will have its inside territory marked, so the fur will collect in certain areas of the home. You might also think about placing a dog house in the yard – one that is large and can be placed in the shade, close to a patio area.
Keep Your Shiba Outside Some of the Time
Shedding does not seem quite as pronounced if your dog can stay outside part of the time. Just make sure the dog is leashed and that the yard is fenced. A Shiba has a sense of wanderlust and also likes to chase small prey. This is natural for the dog, as it has basal instincts – wild dog traits that are part of its personality.
Higher Thread Counts Are Better
To keep the fur from building up on your clothing or indoor fabrics, keep away from textured materials and knits. Dog hair can easily settle and stick to these fabrics. In fact, the thread count affects just how much Shiba hair clings to the material. While higher thread counts soften a fabric, the tightly woven nature of the material will repel dog hair and dust.
One pet-friendly, anti-shed material is micro suede, as it is non-woven, stain-resistant, and easy to clean and maintain. It also breathes like cotton and is soft and washable. It even becomes softer as you wash it. Removing shed Inu hair is therefore a breeze.
While Inu hair will not stick to leather, it will sit on the surface until you clean it. You should also condition leather to keep it from cracking and attracting hair. If you have a leather couch, vacuum it and use a damp cloth to catch any remaining hairs.
Moleskin is also Shiba-friendly. The material is a soft and durable cotton fabric, provided it is not washed too often. You can shake dog hair from moleskin covers by giving them an aggressive shake.
Microfiber is yet another material you can use when you have a shedding Shiba companion dog. The fibers are woven so tightly that it keeps pet hairs from sticking. In addition, the fibers are less prone to breakage and are mold-resistant as well.
You can also get some mileage out of denim. While some pet hairs will cling, you can wipe them away with a lint brush or a damp cloth. In fact, it is probably a good idea to keep several lint brushes at certain spots around the house to keep everything spic-and-span clean.
Another recommended fabric is linen – a material that is super absorbent and dries super-fast. The weave of the material prevents any build-up of Inu hairs.
Every Shiba Inu and Shiba owner must go through shedding season twice a year. However, you don’t have to look at shedding as a trial if you are prepared. Once you adopt a Shiba dog, you will take on a new lifestyle – one where you will have to make your home more resistant to shedding.
Therefore, shedding does not have to be a hassle. You just need to learn how to cope with the extra pet hairs. As long as you keep your companion dog inside certain areas and wear and use shed-resistant materials, you’ve got most of the situation under control. Vacuum daily. You might even think of investing in a couple robotic vacuums to take up any slack.
When it comes to stick-to-itiveness, you want to focus on those things that will keep the collection of shed hair to a minimum. That kind of “doggedness” and determination will help you cope with any type of shedding. Remember, your companion dog is also a clean animal, so its shed hair will be fairly clean too. Plus, the Shiba does not emit a doggy odor. Therefore, shedding is really the main thing in which to direct your energies with respect to regular care.
The Best Tip: A Happy, Healthy Shiba Inu
Finally, make sure your Shiba is eating a healthy diet rich in omega-3s, especially at this time. Your Shiba also must remain well-hydrated to keep her skin from becoming over-dry. There are plenty of over-the-counter supplements you can get at your local pet store to help support your happy, healthy Shiba Inu.