Is your dog’s shedding driving you crazy?
There could be a few different reasons if your four-legged friend is suddenly shedding more than usual. It can be a sudden change to diet, ailment, or natural cycle that comes twice a year.
There are many different things that influence a dog’s shedding, including temperature and light. Health, too, has an impact. Stress, worry, and numerous health problems can induce shedding. Pregnancy may cause shedding due to a lack of calcium and other minerals that keep the coat healthy.
Let’s dig deep:
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Why Do Dogs Shed?
Let’s start by addressing the fundamental aspects of a dog’s coat. The coat has several uses, including keeping the dog warm in winter and cool in summer. It protects from the sunshine as well.
A dog’s coat contains three hair types:
Outer coat hairs are long and rough, whereas inner coat hairs are soft. Whiskers are tactile hair on a dog’s face that helps them to detect things in their surroundings.
Dogs shed to make room for new and healthy hair to grow in. Well, it’s a natural thing to remove damaged hairs.
Dogs will shed seasonally or all year. Dogs who live as strays typically shed seasonally in the spring and fall. These dogs will lose their outer coat to allow for a lighter inner coat for the summer in the spring. In the fall, shedding is necessary to develop a thicker and warmer undercoat for coming times.
Indoor dogs generally shed all year since the artificial heat and light inside a home don’t provide the seasonal “signals” that allow them to regulate when they shed.
Identify Abnormal Shedding
What if the weather is nice, and your dog is shedding more than usual for its breed? If that’s the case, here are some symptoms to look out for that might indicate a medical issue:
- Skin irritation (redness, bumps, rashes, and scabs)
- Bald spots
- Severely thinning coat
- Open sores
- Excessive itching or face rubbing
- Higher than average licking
If you detect any of the following signs in your dog, especially if they continue for more than a week, it’s time for a trip to the doctor to rule out any medical problems.
Addressing Shedding in response to poor nutrition
Many people believe that a dog’s shedding is strictly related to diet, and for the most part, this is true. However, dogs who are not well-nourished are more likely to shed excessively. Their coat will be thinner and less healthy, making them more prone to shedding.
There are a few things you can do to ensure your dog is getting the best nutrition possible:
- Feed a balanced diet that is appropriate for their age and breed.
- Provide fresh drinking water at all times.
- Ensure they are groomed regularly to remove dead hair.
If you’re not sure what type of diet is best for your pup, consult with your veterinarian. They will be able to recommend a diet tailored specifically to your dog’s needs.
How to Slow the Shedding Process
Besides feeding your dog a healthy diet, there are other ways to help slow the shedding process:
Bathe your dog regularly using a shampoo that is designed for dogs. This will help remove dead hair and keep their coat healthy and shiny.
Brush your dog’s coat at least once a day with a brush that is suited for their hair type. This will help remove dead hair and distribute the natural oils evenly across the coat, keeping it healthy and shiny.
Keep your dog’s living environment clean. Remove any dirt, debris, or leaves that may have accumulated, as these can cause skin irritation.
Use a humidifier in the winter months to help keep their coat from drying out.
If you take these steps to help keep your dog’s coat healthy and shiny, the shedding process will be slowed down, and they will look and feel better overall!
Consider Frequent Bathing and De-shedding Treatments
If you live in a high-shedding area, or your dog just seems to shed excessively no matter what you do, you may want to consider bathing them and de-shedding them regularly. This can help remove the majority of the dead hair before it has a chance to fall out and keep its coat looking and feeling healthy and shiny.
Talk to your veterinarian about scheduling regular bathing and de-shedding treatments for your dog. They will be able to recommend a groomer who can provide these services in your area.
Ensure Consistent Brushings to Keep Your House Clean
While there are several things you can do to help reduce your dog’s shedding, the best way to keep your house clean is to ensure that they are brushed regularly. It will remove the majority of the dead hair before it has a chance to fall out and become embedded in your carpet or furniture.
Make sure that you brush your dog at least once a day, using a brush suited for their hair type. If you live in a high-shedding area, you may need to brush them more often.
Keeping your dog’s coat healthy and shiny with regular brushing will help reduce the amount of hair all over your house!
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Finally, Be Careful While Choosing a Breed
The best way to avoid excessive shedding in your dog is to choose the breed before bringing them home carefully. Unfortunately, not all breeds shed equally, and some are known for being much lower shedders than others.
If you’re unsure which breed would be best for your lifestyle and needs, consult with a professional breeder or veterinarian. They will be able to help you find a breed that is low-shedding and fits your lifestyle.