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Boston Terriers are a small dog breed originally from Boston, Massachusetts, in the U.S, hence the name. Like most terries, they are friendly, energetic, lively, smart, and are known to be one of the most polite and well-behaved dogs.
Their bright personality makes them wonderful companions for all families. But one thing that most people often overlook when bringing a new canine into their home is the animal’s shedding levels. Some breeds are low shedders, others are moderate, while others are heavy shedders, but the fact is they all shed. Let’s find out what category the Boston Terrier falls under.
Do Boston Terriers shed? Yes, they do. Luckily, their short, smooth, and single coats shed very little throughout the year. As a result, they are relatively easy to groom and maintain. This makes them more allergy-friendly, though they can still trigger an allergic reaction. That being said, you can expect a bit more shedding during certain times of the year.
No matter what breed you decide to bring home, you must be ready to deal with dog hair. I understand that it can be extremely frustrating sometimes, but that is a small price to pay for such delightful companions. While it’s true that Boston Terriers don’t shed much, they still require regular grooming to keep their coats clean and healthy.
This article covers the shedding habits of this breed, how many hairs you can expect to see around the house, why do Boston Terriers shed, and some of the best ways to manage the shedding to a minimum. Without much delay, let’s get started:
How Much Do Boston Terriers Shed?
This is a low-shedding breed. While not as low as the Havanese, they are not far either and don’t shed as much as the Pug or French Bulldog.
Many other terriers shed a lot, so why do Boston Terries shed much less? First off, they are single-coated, meaning they have just one layer of thin fur. It only makes sense that they will shed less than the doubled-coated dogs with two layers of fur.
Secondly, Boston Terriers are small dogs with a small surface area. Even though they shed throughout the year, they produce less fur compared to their medium or large-sized counterparts. Since their fur is short and not very fluffy or thick, it’s not as noticeable as large hairs.
Being indoor dogs, Boston Terriers are shielded from extreme temperatures. Their natural body regulation isn’t thrown off balance to trigger much shedding.
You’re never going to find clumps of dog fur on your couch or floors with a Boston Terrier. That being said, there are certain times of the year when they shed a significant amount. This includes spring and fall when they shed to grow new fur that will keep them cool or warm, depending on the season.
Why Do Boston Terriers Shed?
You may not realize it, but your dog’s hair undergoes cycles. The first phase is the anagen, where it initially starts growing. The second stage is catagen, where the hair grows to the standard length for that particular breed. And the last is telogen, where hair isn’t growing anymore, and eventually, the old hairs detach entirely and fall out.
Understanding these cycles helps you realize that your Boston Terrier’s shedding is a natural process that occurs to get rid of old hairs and grow new and healthy ones. Another reason your pup is shedding is they are getting rid of their soft, fuzzy fur. At around five months, puppies lose their coat to grow stronger adult fur. Therefore, expect Boston Terrier puppies to shed more than their adult counterparts.
Your terrier could also be shedding due to an underlying cause (more on this later). So, if you believe the shedding isn’t normal, visit the vest as soon as possible for a diagnosis and treatment.
Shedding Seasons and Frequency
You can expect the Boston Terrier to shed lightly throughout the year. But there are certain times of the year they will shed more in preparation for seasonal changes. This includes during the transition from summer to winter when they grow a heavy coat to keep them warm, and from winter to summer. They shed the heavy coat to grow a lighter one to help keep them cool.
Aside from the time of year, the stage of life can also contribute to how much Boston Terriers shed. Puppies don’t shed until they lose their fragile puppy hairs. They will shed a significant amount during the transition from puppy to adult coat, but this will go back to normal once they become adults. Shedding can also increase as the doggy gets older. Like humans, senior dogs’ fur loses its strength, and this cause it to fall out more frequently than normal.
For the most part, shedding is a natural process and no cause for concern. But excessive shedding can mean an internal problem with your Boston Terrier. Some of the causes of unhealthy shedding are serious, while others are not too big of a deal and can be resolved pretty fast. Common causes of excessive shedding include:
- Fleas or mites
- Improper diet
- Dry skin
- Fungal or bacterial skin infections
- Thyroid problems
- Hormonal imbalance in pregnant or bitches in heat
No matter the cause of unhealthy shedding, you’ll need to take your canine to the vet as soon as possible. You’re probably wondering, “How will I know my Boston Terrier is shedding unhealthily?” There are signs you should watch out for, including:
- Skin irritation
- Open sores
- Dull & dry hair
- Thinner fur
- Bald spots
- Visible amounts of fur coming off when he’s scratching
- Excessive shedding that is not caused by seasonal shedding
- Constant scratching, foot licking, and/or face rubbing
What Type of Coat Does a Boston Terrier Have?
These dogs have short, sleek coats that are extremely fine. Their fur is so soft and their entire body is covered in smooth, snuggly softness. As if that wasn’t enough, the fur is not excessively oily or waxy, which makes them relatively easy to clean and maintain. The fur around their neck and shoulders is thicker, but it thins out over their ears and extremities. While this is the norm for most dogs, small terriers exhibit this trait more.
This breed is single-coated, meaning it has a single layer of fur. Some dogs are double-coated, meaning they have an inner and outer layer of fur to provide the animal with extra protection from elements. Needless to say, double coats will shed more than single coats since they have more hairs.
Boston Terries’ coats come in various colors, with black, white, and brindle being the most common variety. Regardless of the coat color, all Boston Terriers shed the same amount and, as such, have the same grooming needs.
How to Manage and Reduce Boston Terriers Shedding?
Cleaning up loose dog fur sucks, and I’m sure you’re wondering how you can minimize shedding to make cleanup less of a hassle. Shedding is a natural process in dogs that you cannot and should not attempt to stop, but you can manage and reduce the number of hairs on your furniture, floors, and anywhere else the dog visits.
Knowing that most people have a busy schedule, I’m only going to list three recommendations for managing shedding that don’t require much time to accomplish. This includes grooming, bathing, and providing an optimal diet.
Boston Terriers Grooming
Regular grooming is probably the simplest and easiest way to manage your Boston Terrier’s shedding. Brushing your pup allows you to capture and remove loose and dead fur before it has a chance to fall off and spread everywhere in the house. Additionally, as you brush your Boston Terrier, you will massage them and spread skin oils, which naturally promote a healthy, moisture-rich coat.
Luckily, this breed is low maintenance, so grooming them doesn’t take much time or effort. Their short, smooth fur will only need a weekly brush to stay clean and healthy. However, during seasonal shedding, you may need to increase brushing to a few times a week to keep up with the increased shedding. You can use a soft-bristled brush, a grooming mitt, or a hound glove to groom this dog.
Boston Terriers Diet
What you feed your canine goes a long way towards determining their overall health, including skin and fur. A well-balanced diet can promote strong hair follicles and skin elasticity. A healthy diet for this breed will include the following:
- High-quality protein – muscle meat, not pieces or parts
- Moderate level of animal fat
- A few fresh-cut veggies
- No grains
- No potatoes or other starches
Other important nutrients are omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids, which promote a healthy coat that only sheds when necessary. Aside from solid foods, fluids are important as well. Dehydrated skin can become dry and itchy, thus prompting shedding. So, ensure your Boston Terrier has access to lots of clean drinking water. If you’re providing commercial food, mix dry and wet kibble.
Bathing your pup loosens and removes fur that’s ready for shedding, so it doesn’t get to your clothes and furniture. But it’s important to know when to bathe. Once a month should be enough unless they roll in something muddy or smelly. Over-bathing your doggy will strip its skin of natural oils and leave it dry and flaky, which in turn encourages more shedding. Be sure to use high-quality dog shampoo and conditioner.
If your pooch is struggling to get all the necessary nutrients from the food you’re providing, you may consult your vet about supplements that can help improve skin and fur health and reduce shedding.
Are Boston Terriers Hypoallergenic?
Many people think that it’s canine hairs that trigger an allergic reaction. But the main culprit is dander (dead skin flakes), which attaches itself to the fur and is released into the environment during shedding. Since all dogs produce this allergen, only those that release a small amount are considered hypoallergenic. This is why hairless or less shedding breeds are often considered allergy-friendly. Less fur means less dander attached to it and, as such, not enough to trigger allergies.
When answering the question do Boston Terriers shed, we established that they are minimal shedders. It’s reasonable to assume that they release minimal allergens into the environment. This makes them better than heavy shedding breeds like the German Shepherd, Dalmatian, or Bernese Mountain Dogs.
But still, they are not considered hypoallergenic by the American Kennel Club. In short, there are potentially better options for allergy sufferers than the Boston Terrier.
This dog has many excellent characteristics, and you shouldn’t let their shedding discourage you from getting them. There are a couple of ways you can reduce allergens that this terrier produces.
Start by regularly brushing and bathing your pooch. This allows you to capture fur and dander before it gets a chance to spread around the house once shedding occurs. You may also need to do some thorough cleaning to remove fur and dander that’s already on your floors and furniture. A good air filter will also come in handy as it captures all the allergen in your room, so you are only breathing clean fresh air.