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Hair, hair, a lot of hair! If you own a dog, you have probably experienced excessive shedding in dogs. There is hair everywhere in the house, on your clothes, and sometimes even in your food! Dog’s shedding can be a real pain …
We all have moments when we get tired of seeing hair from our pets everywhere. It seems as if the shedding period is never over!
Despite the excessive shedding, they are part of our families, and we must provide them with everything they need to have a long and happy life!
In this article, you will find out why shedding in dogs occurs, what the factors that favor shedding in dogs are, how excessive shedding in dogs can be prevented, and more.
What Is Shedding In Dogs?
Many dog owners complain that their pet loses a lot of hair, but in most cases, shedding is a natural phenomenon.
Shedding in dogs is a normal process that usually happens twice a year, in spring and autumn, and it can be influenced by several factors, as you will read below.
Through this process, dogs renew their coat.
In spring, they get rid of the winter coat, and in autumn, they get ready for the cold season.
During these periods, the temperature varies, and the length of the day changes. The brain orders the hair follicles to intensify their activity.
The renewing process has three phases:
- Growth phase
- Transition phase
- Stagnation phase
These phases can be influenced by several factors, such as:
- Hormonal disorders
- Amount of light and temperature
I know it is cheaper to give your dog a low quality diet, but for your fluff to be healthy, you should feed it balanced and quality diets. They will provide all the essential nutrients your pet needs.
An inadequate diet – poor in nutrients or a diet unsuitable for the age and size of your dog – can lead to shedding in dogs and other medical problems.
The dog’s fur will gradually lose its shine and begin to fall constantly in large quantities.
If shedding in dogs is due to a deficiency in fatty acids, then their diet can be supplemented with food supplements that contain omega fatty acids, such as this Zesty Paws, Salmon Bites for Dogs, Skin & Coat.
Shedding in dogs can also result from frequent bathing with shampoos unsuitable for your four-legged friend. In addition to excessive shedding, it can also irritate the animal’s skin.
To prevent shedding in dogs due to improper use of products when bathing it, talk to your veterinarian or look for a shampoo suited for your dog’s hair type.
For dogs with curly hair, we recommend TropiClean PerfectFur Curly & Wavy Coat Shampoo for Dogs.
If you don’t know your dog’s hair type, you can try Shed-X Shed Control Shampoo for Dogs, it works for all hair types.
This category includes skin allergies, parasites, infections, and other medical conditions that can lead to shedding in dogs.
Allergies can occur due to an improper diet or after contact with various substances. Skin allergies are manifested by:
- Redness of the skin
- Excessive shedding
- Excessive grooming
Flea and tick infestations and sarcoptic mange can cause shedding in dogs. Also, some dogs are sensitive to flea saliva, which can cause flea allergy dermatitis (FAD).
Besides shedding, parasites can cause alopecia, itchiness, redness, and excessive grooming.
To prevent such situations, you should use antiparasitic substances on your dog regularly. There are all kinds of products, from spot-on pipettes, antiparasitic collars, powders, to pills.
Skin that has lost its integrity or been kept moist for too long can develop bacterial infections that lead to shedding. Dogs that lose their hair due to skin infections may also have areas on their body that are full of scratches, open wounds, and unpleasant odor.
If you notice any modifications on your dog’s skin, go with it to the vet for diagnosis and treatment.
Some medical conditions, such as thyroid dysfunctions, can lead to shedding in dogs. Usually, these dysfunctions lead to hair loss (alopecia) in certain areas of the body, unevenly.
In pregnant or lactating females, shedding may be a result of estrogen imbalances.
If you notice that your dog is shedding more than usual, pay a visit to the vet for a diagnosis.
Amount of light and temperature
Constant exposure to temperature changes (indoor-outdoor) and artificial light can lead to shedding in dogs. The dog no longer feels that spring or autumn has come, when shedding is normal.
If your dog experience excessive shedding throughout the year, go with it to the vet’s office.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Starts Shedding?
If your dog suddenly started to lose more hair than usual, make sure is not seasonal shedding. Furthermore, in the case of generalized hair loss, determine if your dog’s diet contains too much sugar or salt.
Also, if new circumstances have recently emerged that could cause additional stress, shedding in dogs may occur. In that case, a calming dog bed may be a good solution.
If you are unable to determine the reason for your dog’s shedding, it is recommended that you take your pet to a veterinarian for diagnosis.
How To Prevent Shedding In Dogs?
To some extent, your dog will probably always shed.
The methods you can reduce shedding in dogs are multiple and include:
– Proper diet
– Regular medical check-ups to prevent or detect certain diseases in time
– Baths with shampoos suitable for your dog
– Dry bristles
– Prevention of fleas and ticks
By ensuring your dog’s proper skin health and a lack of microorganisms at this level, you will help it prevent losing hair.
Skin that retains too much moisture has an increased risk of developing bacterial or fungal dermatitis. This is a real problem for Nordic breeds, which have a very thick, protective coat.
As they get older, dogs may have other nutritional needs and you will need to change their diet and add supplements.
Brushing is also important for a dog’s health, as it prevents skin problems, including shedding.
It is necessary because it ensures proper shedding, gathers dead hair, removes impurities from the dog’s fur, and stimulates blood circulation.
Brushing is done from head to tail in the direction of hair growth. Care should be taken in areas where the hair is easily tangled, such as the ears, face, limbs, abdomen, and tail.
For long-haired breeds, grooming is performed once a day. During the period when the dog sheds more, brushing can be done several times a day to facilitate the removal of dead hair.
Breeds with medium hair are groomed once every 2-3 days, while those with short hair, at least once a week.
Depending on the length and texture of your dog’s hair, different brushing products can be used, such as:
- For short and smooth fur – brushing gloves, brushes with short teeth, soft teeth; brushes with hair made of natural or synthetic fiber. A suitable product for them is Pet Neat Pet Grooming Brush.
- For short and curly hair – brushes with strong, short teeth, such as Maxpower Planet Pet Grooming Brush – Double Sided Shedding and Dematting Undercoat Rake
- For medium fur – flexible wire brushes, such as Hartz Groomer’s Best Deshedding Slicker Dog Brush
- For long fur:
- brushes with sparse, rough, long teeth, such as GoPets Dematting Comb
- combs with long teeth or with several rows of teeth of variable length, such as Detangling Pet Comb with Long & Short Stainless Steel Teeth.
The range of products for the maintenance of a dog’s fur is countless. If you can’t find the right product for your dog’s hair type, always ask a groomer or veterinarian.
Summing up – Shedding in Dogs
Shedding is a periodic process of renewing a dog’s fur, which occurs especially during the transition periods from one season to another.
Because the dog’s body does not perceive the change of seasons in your apartment, most dogs shed constantly throughout the year.
If your dog sheds excessively, start brushing it often to remove dead hair and allow the skin to breathe. Change your dog’s diet if that is the cause, and supplement your dog with fish oil.
It is preferable to groom your dog as often as you can, instead of gathering the fallen hair all over the house.
You should also use shampoos and care products designed for your dog’s hair type, or skin condition if it has one.
Flea and tick prevention should be done regularly. In addition to itching, redness, and hair loss, these parasites can also transmit deadly diseases.
Contact your veterinarian for any changes you notice in your dog.