It can be hard to pass up petting an adorable and fluffy Chow Chow. Between their thick fur coats and unbelievably soft topcoat, this dog is filled with fur. For those considering adding a Chow Chow to their family home, it is essential to consider just how much this dog sheds and what that could potentially mean for your home and others living in your home.
The Chow Chow is an extremely heavy shedder that will shed year-round. The shedding will be extremely heavy twice per year as the dog blows its coat during the changing seasons. The thick double coat needs regular brushing and grooming to keep your dog healthy.
Keeping your dog on a healthy diet with high protein and fatty acids can help reduce shedding, making your dog’s skin and fur healthy. Further, routine grooming and bathing can help pull out loose or dead hair before it has a chance to collect in your home.
If you own a Chow Chow, expect to brush your dog at least once per day as a minimum requirement to reduce shedding and prevent painful matting.
What Kind Of Fur Do Chow Chows Have?
The Chow Chow has extremely thick and dense fur. This dog originated in China, but many believe the dog came from the Arctic circle, where a thick fur coat was necessary to keep the dog warm and protected through all weather conditions. Compared to the other Arctic and cold weather dogs, the Chow Chow has a much denser and more significant coat.
This dog breed has a thick double coat, meaning their fur consists of a top coat and an undercoat. The topcoat is made of longer hairs, which are called guard hairs. These hairs help protect the dog against weather conditions and the cold. The undercoat is soft and wooly and intended to keep the dog insulated and warm. The double coat is what helps give the Chow Chow its trademark fluffy look.
Why Do Dogs Shed?
Shedding is completely natural for all animals and people included. Shedding helps to keep your dog’s fur healthy and clean. When a dog sheds, old hairs that are dry or damaged are pushed out of the skin. The lost hair is then replaced with new, healthy hair.
Along with the shed hair, your dog will also lose some skin cells, called dander. The skin cells are always shed away to make room for young, healthy, new skin cells. Shedding is a necessary and completely normal part of life to keep your dog’s skin and fur healthy.
How Much Do Chow Chows Shed?
The Chow Chow is an extremely high shedder. This fact is mainly due to the thick double coat that was built to keep this dog warm. Expect to have a significant amount of shed fur and dander through your home. If you suffer from pet allergies, the Chow Chow is not a good choice for your family.
Twice per year, expect a significant shed when the dog will replace its entire coat. Known as “blowing its coat,” the heavy shedding season usually lasts about two weeks.
Expect a heavy shedding period when the seasons change, generally as winter becomes spring and as summer moves into fall. You may need to brush your Chow Chow multiple times a day to remove dead fur and reduce matting and tangles during this period.
How Do You Groom a Chow Chow?
If you add a Chow Chow to your family, be prepared for some extensive grooming routines. The Chow is a prolific shedder, and regular grooming is necessary to keep this dog looking great and feeling healthy.
You will need to brush the coat at least once per day. Many Chow owners recommended brushing the dog multiple times per day to help pull the dead and loose fur from the skin.
Further, your Chow will require regular bathing. Because their fur is so thick, natural oils from the skin can become trapped within the coat. At a minimum, you’ll want to bathe your dog about once every three months.
Regular bathing will not only help keep your dog’s skin clean, but it can help pull loose fur and debris out of the Chow’s coat. Regular grooming and bathing can reduce shedding, eliminate matting, and help keep your dog happier.
Can Diet Impact Shedding?
Some dogs, like the Chow Chow, will certainly shed more than others due to the thick double-coat. However, your dog’s diet will significantly impact just how much it sheds.
Having a well-balanced diet with high-quality dog food is essential to keep your dog’s shedding to a minimum and give it the vitamins and minerals it needs to be healthy. Some great ways to control shedding with diet include:
- High-Quality Food – You want to feed your high-quality dog food that is rich in fatty acids and protein. At a minimum, expect to pay about $4 per pound of dog food.
- Fatty Acid – You can supplement your dog’s food with fatty acids. These minerals will help replenish the natural oils in your dog’s fur. When your dog has healthier hair, it is less likely to shed.
- Vitamin E – Giving your dog Vitamin E is a great way to help keep your pet’s skin healthy. This vitamin can be given orally in pill form or simply sprinkled on your pet’s food. Vitamin E keeps your dog’s skin healthy, which can slow down the shedding process.
What Dogs Don’t Shed?
Unfortunately, a dog that is a heavy shedder can cause a slew of problems for pet owners. Neat freaks and those who suffer from pet allergies should not consider a Chow Chow as a suitable pet.
However, plenty of dogs often called hypoallergenic dogs, shed only a minimal amount. All dogs will shed and produce dander, but some of the following dogs keep shedding and dander to an absolute minimum.
- Poodle – The Poodle is a wonderful option for people and only sheds a minimal amount. This dog breed comes in several sizes ranging from a Toy Poodle that weighs no more than 10 pounds to a Standard Poodle that can top 100 pounds. Because this dog breed rarely sheds, it is often mixed with other dogs to create a hybrid, potentially hypoallergenic option.
- Schnauzer – Like the Poodle, the Schnauzer has various sizes ranging from a Miniature Schnauzer to a Giant Schnauzer. This dog only sheds a minimal amount, making grooming easy. The dog is intelligent and active and can make a wonderful family pet.
- Italian Greyhound – This dog breed looks similar to its larger cousin, the Standard Greyhound. The Italian Greyhound has extremely short fur, which rarely sheds. Grooming requirements are minimal, and most owners only have to “dust” their dogs instead of intensive brushing.
- Maltese – If you are looking for a small dog to add to your family, the Maltese is the perfect option. This dog is loving, intelligent, and rarely sheds its pure white coat.
- Lhasa Apso – Another option for a small dog is the Lhasa Apso. Although this dog has long fur, the hair is more closely related to human hair than dog fur. This little dog is loving and incredibly intelligent.
- Afghan Hound – The Afghan Hound can turn heads with its stunning long fur. Grooming is not for the faint of heart, though, and extensive brushing and bathing are required to keep this dog looking great and feeling healthy. Although the fur is long, the Afghan Hound rarely sheds, making it a hypoallergenic option for allergy sufferers.
What can cause unusual Chow Chow shedding?
While the Chow Chow will shed a significant amount as part of its natural behavior, unusual circumstances could make this dog shed more heavily than usual. Unfortunately, stress and anxiety can cause additional fur loss. Stress is often caused by changing living conditions or a bored and unexercised dog.
Further, a poor diet can cause the fur to fall out at a much faster rate than usual. Your Chow should be fed high-quality dog food rich in fatty acids and protein. Lastly, Chows can be prone to skin conditions and skin allergies that can dry the skin and cause accelerated hair loss. Meeting with your veterinarian should help diagnose significant fur loss and help treat and remedy the situation.
Can Chow Chows live outside?
Most dogs are happier to live inside with their human family, but the Chow is a rare breed that can be perfectly well suited to living outdoors. Their thick, double-coat makes them comfortable in cold weather. The coarse topcoat protects them from the elements, while the downy under-coat keeps this dog warm.
If anything, keeping your dog outside can help the shedding process stay natural and normal. Because the dog experiences natural light and all four seasons, its fur will likely follow the natural routine shedding. Dogs kept indoors can sometimes shed at unusual times because artificial lighting and constant temperatures can disrupt the natural shedding process.