Do Rat Terriers Shed A Lot? FAQs Answered With Tips

Do Rat Terriers Shed A Lot? FAQs Answered With Tips

Most of us like to have low-maintenance dogs, especially ones that do not shed much. Potential dog owners ask us, “Do Rat Terriers shed a lot? Or Are Rat Terriers heavy shedders?”. So, let’s talk about Rat Terrier’s shedding today.

The shedding levels of dogs differ according to their breeds. Some dogs could be high shedders, whereas others are medium or low shedders. 

However, shedding is natural in most cases, and you cannot completely avoid it. But there are actions that you can take to control the shedding levels. In this article, we are explicitly discussing the shedding of Rat Terriers.  

So, do Rat Terriers shed a lot? Let me give you a quick answer to this question, yes, they do. Rat Terriers are small-sized dogs with smooth, straight, and short-length hair. Compared to many other dog breeds, the shedding amount of Rat Terriers are pretty low. However, that does not mean that Rat Terriers do not shed. Rat Terriers are generally considered low shedding dogs; nonetheless, their shedding levels could evolve more than usual due to temperature and weather changes.

If you raise a dog, you have to deal with shedding issues differently, no matter what breed they belong to. Although shedding is a natural occurrence, your dog could also shed it due to other reasons.

When it comes to Rat Terriers, as these dogs are typically low shedders, you might get worried if they shed a lot. This article will answer some of the related questions that have been asked by Rat Terrier owners quite often.

Do Rat Terriers shed?

First of all, as a dog parent, you should know that shedding is a natural and expected process in dogs; in fact, it is healthy for your dog.

Once your dog’s hair growth stops, their old dead hair will naturally fall out, allowing new hair to grow. As mentioned earlier, Rat Terriers do shed, but they are not the biggest shedders among dogs. 

Dogs have different coats. Their coats function for the same purpose, yet the texture, length, and density change from one breed to another. The coat of a Rat Terrier is short in its length but pretty dense.

Furthermore, their fur is smooth and straight. If you own a Rat Terrier, you might not want to work too much on maintaining their coat because they don’t shed much.

However, as any dog would do, Rat Terriers also shed their old fur creating room for new healthy hair.

As explained by veterinarians, Rat Terriers generally shed minor amounts around the year, which changes during seasonal shedding. However, considering everything, we can identify Rat Terriers as low and infrequent shedders. 

Why does your Rat Terrier shed like crazy?

Now you might have a fair understanding of how shedding happens in Rat Terriers. Rat Terriers do shed when they need to remove their damaged hair, and as explained, this process gets changed more than usual according to weather conditions.

Still, Rat Terriers do not shed like crazy; therefore, you should find out what causes heavy shedding.

If you reckon your Rat Terrier is shedding heavily, first, you should notice a few things.Observe during what period of the year they shed heavily; in other words, does it happen in a particular period or throughout the year.

Check if there are any changes in their eating and drinking patterns. Also, see if you can find rashes or visible skin on their body.

Typically Rat Terriers shed more during spring compared to other seasons. If you are a new dog parent, you might not be aware of this, so you could get worried about why does the dog shed a lot.

If a Rat Terrier sheds somewhat heavily in spring, you don’t have to get worried. But along with intense shedding, if you notice changes in their dietary patterns and skin, the reason behind it could be something else. 

Some of the reasons behind your Rat Terrier’s crazy shedding are;

  • Allergies
  • Fungi
  • Parasite reactions
  • Poor nutrients
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Skin traumas
  • Pregnancy
  • Severe illnesses like kidney or liver diseases.

Remember, what causes intense shedding in your Rat Terrier could happen due to natural causes like pregnancy or hormonal changes.

Still, it could also occur due to serious concerns, so as soon as you notice that your Rat Terrier sheds heavily, you can get some professional support to find out why. 

When do Rat Terriers shed a lot?

As already discussed in the article, Rat Terriers shed more than often during certain seasons, precisely in spring.

Seasonal shedding is a completely natural and healthy function. It prepares your Rat Terrier’s body suitable for weather conditions.

To elaborate, Rat Terriers’ hair grows pretty thick during winter and prepares their bodies for cold climates.

When spring is coming, their fur that gets damaged by the cold weather of winter starts to fall more than usual.

So that they get a lighter coat to deal with warm climates, if you own a Rat Terrier, you will certainly notice heavy shedding during these particular times.

How to minimize your Rat Terrier’s excessive shedding?

Are you familiar with the term “hypoallergenic dogs?”. If not, it means dogs that do not shed. Is that even possible? Some breeds belong to that category, and their shedding amount is extremely low.

But keep in your mind that no dog is 100% hypoallergenic. Rat Terriers are considered low shedding dogs, yet they do not belong to the hypoallergenic group, so you have to expect occasional heavy shedding in them.

But if you take proper actions, you can control their excessive shedding. Below are some simple steps to avoid your Rat Terrier’s excessive shedding.

Brush your Rat Terrier according to a routine, you don’t have to brush them every day, but one to two times a week would be sufficient.

Bathing also helps minimize shedding, but do not do it too often as it is not so healthy for the dog, so clean their coat with water once a month.

After bathing them, make sure that you dry their hair without keeping it damp for a long time. To dry their fur, you can use a blow dryer (in medium heat) or a dry towel; once their coat is dry, brush it so unwanted hair will come out.

If you follow this as a routine, you can minimize their shedding to a reasonable extent. You can also give supplements under veterinary instructions to have a more robust and healthier coat.

Tips for maintaining your Rat Terrier’s coat

Rat Terriers are relatively low-maintenance dogs, and if you follow consistent actions, you can maintain their coat very easily. Here are some essential tips for you.

  • Bathe and brush

These three actions tend to be the most crucial factors when maintaining your Rat Terrier’s coat.

As mentioned, you should not bathe or brush your Rat Terrier too often as it could damage their coat.

You can wash them once a month unless there is a particular need and brush them twice or thrice per week.

When brushing, use a brush that suits their coat; a soft brush would do for a Rat Terrier. When you keep this process consistent, it aids your Rat Terrier to have a shiny and healthy coat.

  • Give them a proper diet

Did you know that a good diet could significantly impact shedding in dogs? If your Rat Terrier lacks their nutrients, it will be more likely to have a damaged and unhealthy coat.

So always try to give balanced and nutritional food to your dog. Especially, you can add omega fatty acids to your Rat Terrier’s meals.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are considered healthy for dogs’ fur also general health.

Also, avoid giving them junk food; instead, you can switch to healthy snack options, for instance, raw carrots, apples, and baked sweet potatoes.

  • Protect your Rat Terrier against parasites

Parasites such as fleas and ticks could disturb the healthy growth of your Rat Terrier’s coat.

When parasites suck blood from your Rat Terrier, it will start to itch their skin, resulting in scratches and wounds. So pay attention and protect them against parasites.

There are several tick repellents for dogs, but it is advisable to consult a vet and use the appropriate one. 

Final thoughts about Rat Terrier’s shedding

Today we answered some frequently asked questions regarding the shedding of Rat Terriers. It is true that the shedding amount of dogs significantly differs depending on their breed, yet you will never find a dog that doesn’t shed at all. Rat Terriers are generally low shedders.

As discussed, they don’t shed heavily compared to many dog breeds. However, as a natural occurrence, Rat Terriers do shed, and it increases in seasonal shedding.

Other than typical reasons, Rat Terriers could also shed for other concerns such as sicknesses, and this is why you have to take action if you notice excessive shedding in your Rat Terrier.

Dog parents find it easy to raise low-maintenance dogs, but you can’t entirely ignore their coat maintenance just because they are low-maintenance dogs. It is not complex; all you have to do is follow the correct actions at the correct times.

I hope you got some valuable insights by reading this article! Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts about your favorite dog breed.


  • George Brown

    George B. is the founder of the JRO Organization. He believes in creating a better world for domestic animals. He believes domestic animals are more vulnerable than other animals, especially dogs, since they have been used to depending on their owners for generations. So, he started JRO to share his ideas and insights while helping vulnerable dogs worldwide. George runs multiple projects on street dogs in developing countries, especially Sri Lanka.

    [email protected]

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