BreedsShih TzusWhy Is My Shih Tzu's Hair Turning Brown? Coat Discoloration Causes

Why Is My Shih Tzu’s Hair Turning Brown? Coat Discoloration Causes

Shih Tzus’ hair may turn brown due to factors such as excessive licking, tearing, or staining from food. Regular grooming and careful monitoring of your pup’s diet can help minimize these issues.

Have you noticed your beloved Shih Tzu’s fur starting to change color? Is it turning from its usual silky black or white to an unexpected brown hue? This sudden discoloration can be both surprising and concerning.

But don’t worry just yet! There are a few common causes of this type of fur transformation. From excessive licking to staining from food, the culprits behind this change in hair color may not be as serious as they appear.

In this article, we will discuss the reasons why and how to prevent your Shih Tzu’s hair from turning brown.

Excessive Licking

If you’ve noticed your pup’s fur shifting to a darker shade, it could be because they’re licking themselves more than normal. Excessive licking can cause the fur of Shih Tzus to turn brown due to a combination of genetics and environmental factors.

Genetically, some Shih Tzus are predisposed to having darker hair colors such as brown or black. Environmental factors such as diet, stress levels and climate can also contribute to this change in color. For example, if a dog is fed a diet high in iron and other minerals, their coat may darken over time due to mineral deposits that build up in the fur follicles.

Additionally, dogs that experience high levels of stress may release hormones that affect their coat coloration. Finally, extreme temperatures can also lead to changes in pigment production which could result in darker shades of hair color.

The excessive licking itself can also cause the skin underneath the fur to become irritated or inflamed leading to discoloration of the hair above it. This type of discoloration tends to be patchy and uneven with lighter areas around the eyes or muzzle being most affected by this process.

So while genetics may play some role in why your pup’s hair has turned brown from excessive licking, environmental factors are likely playing an even bigger role. To prevent further discoloration caused by excessive licking it is important for owners take steps like reducing stress levels through regular exercise and providing plenty of enrichment activities for their pet.

Additionally, providing dietary supplements as needed may help reduce any excess mineral buildup on their coat that could darken its natural hue over time. As always, consulting with a veterinarian about any concerns related to your Shih Tzu’s hair color is recommended before attempting any home remedies or making drastic changes in their lifestyle habits.


Tearing can be a cause for your pup’s coat to take on a different hue. In particular, skin irritation due to tears in the fur and underlying skin can affect your Shih Tzu’s coat health. Tears are typically caused by excessive scratching or rubbing of the skin, leading to redness, inflammation, and eventually hair follicle damage. Over time, this damage will result in thinning of the fur or bald patches, as well as discoloration that may appear brownish depending on the extent of the tear.

The most common causes of tearing are allergies, parasites such as fleas and ticks, fungal infections such as ringworm and yeast infections, and environmental stressors such as humidity or exposure to chemicals.

Allergies are often triggered by foods but can also be caused by pollen or other airborne allergens. Parasites need to be addressed immediately because they feed off blood from pets which can cause significant discomfort and distress if left untreated. Fungal infections will require veterinary attention in order to prescribe medications that target specific types of fungi while environmental stressors should be minimized whenever possible through proper grooming practices.

If you suspect that your Shih Tzu has experienced tearing due to any of these reasons it is important to seek medical attention right away so that treatment options can be discussed with your veterinarian in order to help ensure optimal coat health for your pup.

Treating any underlying conditions promptly is essential in order minimize long-term damage which may include discoloration of their fur or bald patches from hair loss resulting from extensive tearing over time. It is important to keep an eye out for signs of tearing when caring for your Shih Tzu so that you can address any issues quickly before more serious consequences occur.

Moving forward it is important practice regular grooming techniques and monitor changes in their coat color so that you can catch any potential problems early on before they become more serious down the line.

Staining from Food

Excessive licking and food staining can cause your pup’s coat to take on an unexpected hue. Staining from food is one of the common causes of a shih tzus hair turning brown. Food staining usually occurs when the pet ingests something that has a strong color such as tomato sauce or gravy, which then transfers onto its fur.

Some of the most common measures to prevent this type of discoloration include making dietary changes to reduce the amount of colorful foods in their diet, regularly checking for any new stains on their coat, and controlling the environment where they are eating by ensuring there is nothing nearby that can stain their fur.

In order to ensure that your pup’s coat remains healthy and colorful, it is important to monitor their diet and environment closely. If you suspect that your shih tzu is experiencing staining from food, it may be beneficial to consult with your veterinarian or professional groomer for advice on how you can prevent further discoloration.

With proper care and attention, you can help keep your pup looking vibrant and beautiful! By understanding the potential causes of fur discoloration, owners can better identify preventive measures that will keep their pet’s coat looking its best.

Causes of Fur Discoloration

Discovering the cause of your pup’s fur discoloration can help you keep their coat healthy and vibrant, so it’s important to investigate further if you notice any changes in color.

Dietary changes and environmental factors are common causes of fur discoloration in Shih Tzus. Dietary changes can include a switch from one food to another, or an imbalance in nutrients that causes coat discoloration.

Environmental factors can include exposure to sun, pollutants, or excessive licking that may be caused by stress or boredom. In addition to dietary and environmental factors, genetics play a role in how much pigment is present in a Shih Tzu’s hair follicles.

Many dogs who have less melanin tend to have lighter coats as they age, while those with more melanin will develop darker coats over time. Additionally, aging can also affect the vibrancy of a dog’s coat regardless of genetics due to the gradual fading of pigments within the hair follicle.

Puppyhood is also an important factor when it comes to fur discoloration. Often times puppies are born with lighter colored coats than their adult counterparts due to lower levels of pigment production at this stage compared to adulthood; thus as they mature their coats may darken slightly or drastically depending on their genetics and environment.

It’s important for pet owners to understand all potential sources that could be contributing towards coat discoloration so proper steps can be taken towards preventing brown fur from developing over time. To do this, you should consistently monitor your pup’s diet and environment for any changes that could lead them down a path towards duller colors within their coat.

Steps to Prevent Brown Fur

Proper grooming is an essential step in preventing brown fur in Shih Tzus. This includes regularly brushing the coat, trimming any tangles or mats, and checking for fleas and ticks.

Regular vet visits are also important to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be causing your Shih Tzu’s hair to turn brown.

Proper Grooming

To keep your pup’s locks looking their best, regular grooming is key – don’t let it slip through the cracks! Proper nutrition and regular brushing are essential for maintaining healthy fur in Shih Tzus.

To ensure healthy fur, make sure that your pup is getting a balanced diet with all of the necessary vitamins and minerals. Also, brush your pup’s coat at least once or twice per week to remove any dirt or debris that may have built up over time. This will help to prevent matting and tangles which can contribute to dullness and discoloration of fur.

Additionally, be sure to use a shampoo specifically designed for dogs as human shampoo can strip away natural oils from their coat leading to dryness or potential irritation. Lastly, trimming nails regularly helps reduce damage caused by scratching which can lead to discoloration of the fur.

By following these steps you will be able to maintain a beautiful and healthy coat on your Shih Tzu and avoid any unwanted browning due to improper care.

Regular vet visits are also important in order to rule out any underlying medical conditions that could be causing discoloration of hair such as mange or bacterial skin infections.

Regular Vet Visits

Proper grooming is essential for keeping your Shih Tzu’s coat in good condition, but regular vet visits are also important.

Dietary changes and coat care should be discussed with your veterinarian to ensure that any underlying medical issues are addressed. Your vet can also provide advice on how to maintain a healthy coat.

Regular vet visits will allow your vet to check for skin conditions, parasites, or other ailments that could lead to the discoloration of your dog’s hair. Additionally, they can make sure that any existing health issues don’t become exacerbated by dietary changes or inadequate grooming practices.

With these considerations in mind, it is important to take your pet for regular checkups at least once a year. Doing so can help keep their coat looking its best and prevent potential health problems from developing into something more serious.

From there, treatments for existing brown fur can be explored further if necessary.

Treatments for Existing Brown Fur

You can address the existing brown fur with treatments such as brushing, conditioning, and topical solutions. Brushing your Shih Tzu’s hair regularly will help to distribute oils throughout their coat, keeping it healthy and maintained.

Additionally, you can use a mild conditioner on their fur to add moisture and prevent breakage. If the staining is persistent, there are also topical solutions available that you can apply onto your dog’s skin or fur to help lighten any discoloration caused by excessive licking or tears.

In some cases, age-related changes in a Shih Tzu’s hair color may be due to the natural aging process. If this is the case, dietary adjustments may be necessary to promote healthier coat growth. Adding fatty acids such as omega 6s and 3s into your pet’s diet can help reduce shedding and provide more nourishment for their fur follicles.

Supplements rich in biotin are also beneficial for promoting healthy coat growth in dogs of all ages. Finally, if none of these treatments seem effective after a few weeks of application then it would be best to consult with your veterinarian.

Your vet may examine the cause of the discoloration further and recommend additional treatments or medications that could help protect against further damage or staining of your Shih Tzu’s fur. In severe cases where discoloration persists despite treatment attempts, surgery may become an option for removing affected areas of fur.

In order to ensure that your Shih Tzu’s coat remains healthy and vibrant looking over time it is important that you monitor any changes closely and take action when necessary with proper treatments recommended by professionals like veterinarians specialized in canine care.


You’ve done your research and found out why your shih tzu’s fur is turning brown. Excessive licking, tearing, and staining from food are all potential causes of discoloration.

You can take steps to prevent this from happening by making sure your pet has plenty of playtime and regular grooming sessions. If the fur is already brown, you may need to look into treatments like specific shampoos or ointments that can help restore their original color.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure it’s something that’ll keep your pup safe and healthy for years to come!

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