Do Chihuahuas Shed?

Written by: BARK

February 21, 2023

Chihuahuas pack a lot of history into a tiny package. Interesting Chihuahua fact: they’re one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, originating in pre-Columbian era Mexico. 

Today, chihuahuas are beloved pets all over the world. They’re prized for their devotion and small stature, which make them an ideal dog breed for those who live in apartments or work from home. 

That small size comes with another benefit: a small dog means less fur—and less shedding. But do Chihuahuas shed? Less shedding and no shedding are different, after all.

Chihuahuas are not big shedders, but you’re completely off the hook—the amount of loose hair and pet dander you’ll be dealing with depends on the dog’s coat-type and how frequently they’re groomed. 

The Two Kinds of Chihuahuas

Although they are both the same dog breed, chihuahuas come in smooth-coated and long-haired varieties:

  • Smooth-Coated – Smooth-coated Chihuahuas have short hair, coarser fur, generally with only one smooth coat.1 This means they’ll likely shed less often, but they’ll also be more likely to need a sweater on cold days.
  • Long-Haired – The long haired Chihuahua variety is fluffier and softer but requires more maintenance to clear tangles and loose hair from their coats.2 These dogs typically sport a double coat: a downy undercoat and a protective long coat1.

Both long coat Chihuahua and short haired Chihuahua varieties generally keep themselves clean of dirt, but potential dog owners  should keep in mind how much grooming and dog shedding they’re willing to keep up with.

How to Reduce Your Chihuahua’s Shedding

Do Chihuahuas shed? Yes! If you’d prefer to keep your blankets and furniture from looking like Cousin Itt, regular upkeep of your Chihuahua’s coat can help to reduce shedding. 

Here are a few tips to keep the furry laundry to a minimum.

#1 Brush Your Chihuahua Regularly

Brushing your dog removes the dead, loose hair from its coat before it ends up on your couch cushions.2 How often you brush them will depend on whether they have long hair or a short, smooth coat. Fortunately, all Chihuahuas are pint-sized, making even the longest coats much easier to care for.

Not all brushes are created equal. Different shapes, styles, and sizes are suited for different types of dogs. For Chihuahuas, you’ll definitely want the smallest brush option, but other factors will depend on your particular dog.

Here’s a quick rundown of a few brush types to use on your pint-sized pup:3

  • Slicker Brushes – These brushes have wire pins as bristles and are designed to penetrate longer, curlier, or more wiry coats. Use an especially gentle touch with this brush.
  • Bristle Brushes – These have synthetic or natural bristles, similar to the boar’s hair brushes sometimes used by humans. These are good for short-haired dogs and as a finishing brush for long coats.
  • Undercoat Rakes – These rake-like metal combs are for digging deep into your dog’s coat. They can work for any coat variety, but match the rake length to your dog’s coat. The AKC recommends these, as well as steel combs, for removing difficult mats.
  • Rubber Brushes – This category also includes brush gloves. These are best suited for removing dirt from shorter coats before using another brush to finish.

Brushing Smooth Coat Chihuahuas

As these short-haired pups have way less fur than their long-haired counterparts, they will likely need significantly less brushing. At most, you’ll probably only need to brush them once a week.4

Using a bristle brush or brush glove, first brush against the grain of their coat to shake loose that dead hair. Then brush in the direction of the hair to collect the loose strands. Repeating this process a few times will help condition their coat by distributing their natural oils2.

Brushing Long-Hair Chihuahuas

The brushing process for these furry babies is the same, but you’ll need a different toolset. 

Be sure that the brush you’re using can reach down to the undercoat. The AKC recommends using a slicker brush for long-haired dogs2

Brush against the grain first, and then with the grain, repeating the process until you’ve collected all the loose fur.

Long-haired Chihuahuas should be brushed at least once a week to ensure they are tangle-free and to reduce dog shedding2. Keep an eye on your dog’s coat, and if you see any tangles or clumps beginning to form, start grooming them more often2.

If you do find a mat, use a special tool like a steel comb to carefully pick it apart before it gets any worse and causes your pet discomfort2.

#2 Bathe Your Chihuahua

Bathing your pet can also help keep shedding to a minimum. Brush them first to avoid covering your hands in soapy wet dog hair5. Your choice of doggy shampoo can also make a difference— just like humans, dogs don’t all have the same hair types and needs5.

If your pet has thicker fur, make sure your shampoo can penetrate to the bottom layer5. You could also ask your veterinarian for recommendations, especially if the pup has sensitive skin, suffers from hair loss, or has other concerns. As a baseline, the AKC recommends choosing something:5

  • All-natural
  • NOT made for humans
  • Without dyes 
  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free

There are also specially formulated anti-shed shampoos you could try out. 

While you shouldn’t expect any miracles, regular bathing with the right shampoo just might save your white couch from matching your chihuahua.

#3 Be Aware of Chihuahua Shedding Health Concerns

If your pet seems to be shedding an inordinate amount even after regular grooming, like an “Oh my god, how do you still have fur left?” amount, it might be worth a visit to the vet. Excessive hair loss  is sometimes a sign of underlying Chihuahua health issues, such as4

  • Parasites
  • Bacterial or fungal infections
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Allergies to medication, food, or other substances

It can also be a sign of poor nutrition4. Check out our Itty-Bitty Chicky food mix, which is specially formulated for small dogs like your chihuahua.

While shedding is typically normal and safe, skin problems are not. As you groom your dog, look for signs of irritation like rashes, bumps, sores, or bald patches4. Take note of any odd grooming behaviors your dog adopts, such as constant licking, scratching, or rubbing.4

If you notice any of these conditions or behaviors, it’s time for a vet visit.

How to Clean up Pet Hair

Even after taking preventive measures, you’ll most likely still see some shedding. Even your little chihuahua has thousands of loose hairs at any given time, and some of them are going to end up in your carpet.

Here’s some tips for cleaning up pet hair, so the only fuzzy thing in your house is your pet.

#1 Vacuuming

Regularly run a vacuum over your pet’s favorite spots. You can even attach a nozzle to your vacuum that is specialized for hair removal.6 The more frequently you vacuum, the less hair you’ll have to deal with each time. 

You might also consider using an anti-static spray on some more high traffic areas, making them less likely to collect fur6.

#2 Washing Machines & Dryers

Anything that can be washed in the washing machine will be much easier to keep fur-free. Check pet bedding labels before purchase to make sure they can be chucked in the wash for easy cleanup. 

You can also throw items in the dryer on a cool setting to remove hair that’s gotten embedded in fabric6. After using either machine to clean pet hair, wipe out the drum and change the filter to avoid buildup6.

#3 Other Tools to Have in Your Pet Hair Arsenal

For quick spot cleaning, the following tools can come in handy:

  • Rubber Gloves – Rubber gloves, especially when slightly damp, can act like a hair magnet. Brush your gloved hand over the fabric to collect loose fur with static6.
  • Lint Roller – Ideal for keeping in your purse or dresser drawer for on-the-go or last-minute cleanup.
  • Spray Bottle – Because pet hair clumps together when it’s wet, it can be easier to clean once it’s been sprayed with a little water. Clean up the damp fur with a broom, squeegee, duster, or anything else you have on hand that suits the surface you want to clean.7pet hair, wipe out the drum and change the filter to avoid buil

Canine Care Made Simple with BARK

We know you love your dogs, even when they’ve reupholstered your couch cushions with hair. We also know no two dogs are the same. That’s why we offer customized boxes and tailor-made products, so every Rover, Fido, and Spot can be happy and healthy.

Our food mixes are nutritionist-crafted and delivered right to your door, so your pup’s health is only a few clicks away. Like what we do? Sign up for one of our monthly boxes and open up a doggy treasure trove that just might be better than catching your own tail. 

From our online library of dog-centric articles going back almost a decade to our subscription boxes that come to you, the BARK family of canine care can meet you wherever you are. So sit back (after circling at least three times, of course) and let BARK take the lead.


  1. AKC. Official Standard of the Chihuahua.
  2. AKC. Dog Shedding: What to Expect and How to Manage It.
  3. AKC. Types of Dog Brushes for Shedding: How to Choose.
  4. ASPCA. Dog Grooming Tips.
  5. AKC. Dog Shampoos: How to Find the Right One for Your Dog.
  6. Good Housekeeping. How to Remove Pet Hair.
  7. HGTV. 4 Clever Ways to Clean Up Pet Hair Around the House.
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Written by: BARK

February 21, 2023


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.