Living With a Papillon: How Much Do They Really Shed?

Papillon Shedding

As we all know, shedding is a normal process in a dog’s life to get rid of old and dead hairs. This process ensures the life cycle of hair. Unless you have a dog that is hairless, you would have to deal with shedding.

The amount of shedding depends on many different factors, such as the dog’s breed, climate, health, and dog’s diet. And the breed determines the coat type of the dog, which plays an important role in the amount of shedding.

Papillons shed from light to average. Their shedding is mostly on the lighter side but can be more in some dogs. The amount of shedding in Papillons depends on various factors like climate, diet, and health. So, it is possible that one Papillon shedding is average while another Papillon sheds very lightly. It all depends on the individual. 

Papillon is a single-coated dog breed. Unlike the dogs that have a double coat, Papillon is bound to shed less. Papillon will shed twice a year moderately and lightly all around the year. Some owners might not even notice the shedding outside of the season. 

Shedding in Papillon Puppies

Papillon puppies are born with a baby coat. This coat is suitable when they are small but needs to be changed before they grow up. At the age of 7 to 8 months, a Papillon puppy will start to shed his baby coat. You might notice some moderate shedding in this period. 

Once the baby coat is gone, the adult coat will start to appear. Be patient as this is not a quick process. At around 15 months of age, Papillons will shed again to get the final look of the adult coat.

Please remember that the time of shedding can be different for every dog. Some dogs might shed their baby coat earlier than expected, and some might not shed till 12 months of age. 

Understand the Hair Growth Cycle

To understand shedding in dogs, you must understand the life cycle of the hairs. This life cycle happens in every dog breed, including Papillon. The process of losing dead hair is called shedding.

This shedding could be because of several reasons, including changes in season and hair coming to their end of life. 

Mostly the shedding process is normal, and you don’t have to worry about it at all. Dogs that spend time outside and inside of the house have a better understanding of the season and temperature.

This is the reason they shed heavily in spring and fall because of the change in temperature. In this way, they prepare themselves for the upcoming season.

Nowadays, people have pet dogs that are limited to the inside of the house and rarely go out. These dogs lose the understanding of season and may shed all the year moderately.

Unless you see some hair loss and abnormal shedding in your dog, everything is fine. If you see patches of hair missing from the skin, then this could be because of a medical condition, and a visit to the vet is a must in this situation.

Single-Coated Dogs

Papillon is a single-coated dog. Double-coated dogs are prone to shedding, and there is a big difference in shedding if you own a Papillon. A single-coated dog does not have the undercoat that plays a big part in shedding.

Dogs with one coat only like Papillon have guard hair instead of an undercoat. Papillon has a long cycle of hair life, which leads to fewer shedding.

Single-coated dogs might need to wear a jacket in harsh weather and winters because they do not have an undercoat to protect them. On the plus side, they are much easier to deal with because of less shedding. 

Can You Shave Your Papillon?

The good news is that Papillon can be shaved from time to time. But it should not be cut completely. The best thing you can do is clip your Papillon hair. Cutting very short or shaving all the way might have some negative impact on your dog.

Here are some side effects of shaving a dog completely:

  • A dog coat helps him to regulate his body temperature. In winter, the coat helps to stay warm and in summer, it keeps the dog fresh. Shaving the coat completely will disturb this whole natural way of maintaining the body temperature.
  • A dog’s skin is more exposed to insects after shaving. Papillon is more likely to get attacked by ticks and mites when shaved. 
  • In high temperatures or hot summers, your Papillon is more likely to get sunburned. 

Always remember that the dog coat is there for a reason. Try not to interfere with the natural process. Some people think that shaving a dog might reduce shedding.

While it might true to some extent, the side effects have some horrible results. Shaving your Papillon completely is plain torture and nothing else.

Is Papillon Hypoallergenic?

A hypoallergenic dog is a myth. In fact, every dog that sheds even a minimum amount is not considered hypoallergenic. Papillon shedding amount is low, but that doesn’t make them hypoallergenic.

There might be less chance for Papillon to spread allergens, but that does not mean that there will be no allergies to deal with.

Allergies are caused by dander. A person could be allergic to even a dog’s saliva, so even a hairless dog can create for you an allergic reaction.

Shedding and hypoallergenic dogs have one connection. The less hair is there in the shedding process, the less chance there is for allergens to move around. 

How to Prevent a Mess of Hairs?

While there is no way to eliminate shedding in your Papillon, there are some simple methods that can make your life fur-free. Grooming is the first thing you should do to deal with shedding.

Like any other dog, Papillon needs grooming, and keeping their coat healthy and beautiful might solve the shedding problem for you.

Grooming of Papillon

Do you want to deal with the mess of Papillon hair? Then put grooming your dog into your daily schedule. Grooming is a process that includes a few things like brushing your dog, washing your dog, and clipping the hairs of your dog.

It all depends on the dog breed and sometimes within the same breed. Brushing, washing, and clipping should be done according to a dog’s requirements. 

Firstly you will have to understand the coat of your dog if you want to de-shed him as Papillon has a single coat. You will need tools that are specially made for single-coated dogs to groom Papillons.

Using grooming products that are designed for double-coated dogs might damage the skin of your Papillon. Using the right tools on your Papillon is the fundamental thing in the grooming process; otherwise, you might be hurting your dog and wasting time.

Papillon doesn’t have a shedding season, and their shedding remains the same for 365 days. Brushing your Papillon one or two times a week might get the job done.

Brushing helps you to pick up the hair from the dog’s skin that is about to land on your floor or your furniture. Grooming is a process that keeps you one step ahead of the shedding.

There are more benefits to brushing your Papillon. For example, brushing will help the body oils to reach all parts of the skin.

Like all dog breeds, Papillon needs their body oil to keep their coat healthy, and it helps them in reducing the amount of losing hair.

Bathing Your Papillon

Bathing is another process to reduce shedding and to deal with hair loss that is about to make a landing. Using a good quality shampoo and conditioner will not help your dog’s fur but will also help in reducing the shedding. The more healthy hair your Papillon has, the less chance there is for them to shed.

When bathing Papillon, always use shampoo and conditioner that are specifically designed for dogs. You might be able to catch some cheap products online or in pet stores.

This might save you some money, but you will be compromising your dog’s health. This is the last thing you want to do. Oatmeal shampoo is known to keep Papillon hair healthy and reduce the itchiness in the skin.

Diet & Health

Besides climate and life cycle of hair. A dog’s health is one of the biggest reasons for hair falling. A good quality dog food filled with vitamins and nutrients will ensure the health of your dog.

On the plus side, this healthy diet will keep the shedding level to a minimum level. A food that contains fat is known to play a significant role in a dog’s shedding. Fatty acids such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acid can reduce excessive shedding in Papillon.

Always make a note of your Papillon diet. If your dog is allergic to any food, then the track of intake might be able to find out the cause of the allergy. Contact the vet at your earliest if you are in doubt. Allergies in Papillon can be lethal.

Try to check your Papillon skin and hair for any ticks and fleas. These parasites are one of the biggest causes of excessive shedding in all dog breeds. Once attacked by a parasite, your Papillon will start to scratch the affected places which may lead to hair loss.

Supplements to Reduce Shedding

There are two opinions about supplements. Some believe that supplements should be given to dogs to fulfill the requirements of vitamins and nutrients, and some do not find this method useful.

One thing is for sure that supplements play a huge role in reducing excessive shedding in dogs, including Papillon. 

Adding fish oil and fats will definitely reduce shedding in dogs as these supplements nourish the hair of your dog. Omega 3 and Omega 6 are known to be useful when a dog is experiencing some heavy shedding. Omega fatty acids can also be used for the same purpose. 

One thing is to remember that your vet is the best person to talk to when it comes to giving supplements to your dog. Your vet might be able to tell you what supplement should be given and in what quantity.

Every dog’s demands are different, and it is necessary to know what exactly your dog needs.

Spending time with your Papillon in grooming will not only take care of his hair and shedding, but it will also increase the bond between you and your Papillon. With a little effort, you will get the reward in the shape of less hair to deal with on your furniture, clothes, and carpet.

Hair Loss in Papillon

If you own a dog that belongs to any breed, then it is necessary for you to tell the difference between shedding and hair loss. Hair loss and shedding are two different things and should be dealt with in different ways.

Unfortunately, Papillon can have hair loss because of a few medical conditions. Some of the medical conditions are as follows:

Follicular Dysplasia

Follicular Dysplasia is caused by the growth of weak hair. Degeneration of the follicular cells within the skin is the fundamental reason for the weak hairs. This medical condition typically affects the area that has black hair on Papillons.

Papillon is one of the dog breeds that are prone to follicular dysplasia that eventually results in the loss of hair.


Hypothyroidism is one of the most common medical conditions that can affect almost all dog breeds, including Papillon. This medical condition is known for hair loss in nearly 50 dog breeds.

This condition starts when the immune system incorrectly targets the hormone cells of the glands and destroys them. 

Hypothyroidism will result in weight gain and hair loss in many dogs. On the plus side, replacement hormone therapy is beneficial and it does not cost a significant amount.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a lapdog that sheds lightly and you do not want to spend most of your time on dog grooming, then Papillon is your best choice.

Papillon will not disappoint as a pet dog once you start to look after its coat and with minimum brushing and grooming, you will have a perfect dog as a lifelong companion.

1 comment

Rani August 28, 2022 - 2:11 am

Thank you. Found your thoughts and advice very helpful. I have a Papillion of 11 months. She is very confident with my Chihuahua of 4 years and my friend’s German Shepherd cross but she is nervous around other dogs and people. Those people she knows can touch her but strangers she won’t. She also is shy with other dogs. She is not aggressive but hides behind me. Any advice with what to do is very welcome.


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