As a dog parent, you are probably very familiar with shedding. Even though some breeds shed very little, others shed a great deal. Shedding is a normal function that helps dogs get rid of their old summer or winter coat. That way they can grow new, seasonally appropriate coats.
Therefore, a dog’s coat serves many purposes. One is providing insulation from both cold and warm temperatures. Furthermore, their coat helps provide protection from harmful UV rays and other elements.
The weather temperature isn’t the only factor that is responsible for a dog`s shedding. Shedding can also be in relation to a dog’s health. Different types of health conditions, anxiety, and stress can result in excess shedding. Additionally, pregnancy can cause shedding because of a loss of nutrients that support a healthy coat.
Let’s see what is there to know about dogs` coats and shedding. Also, we will look at why your dog is shedding so much fur and what can help.
Reasons why your dog might be shedding too much
As a dog owner, you know how wonderful it feels to run your hands over your dog’s cuddly, soft fur. Furthermore, petting your furry best friend can reduce stress and make you happy.
However, we are not as happy about seeing their fur everywhere in the house.
But, shedding is a healthy and normal part of your dog`s life. Therefore, it is very common.
Your dog`s shedding can lead to extra cleaning, allergic reactions among family members, or clogged vacuums. Some breeds shed a lot and some shed all year round, especially if they live indoors.
If you think that your dog is shedding fur in unusual amounts, here are the reasons why your dog is shedding.
Poor nutrition might be one of the reasons
Some dogs may have sensitivities to some ingredients that are in pet foods. They can even be allergic to a protein like chicken. Additionally, some are simply not getting enough nutrients they need to maintain healthy fur. Make sure that you give your dog high-quality food. You may even need to talk to your vet about any food allergies.
Offering quality grass-fed chews like bully sticks from Barking Buddha can help give your pup a boost of nutrition alongside their favorite toy.
Do not get food at discount stores or big sacks of cheap food because that can increase shedding and cause other health problems for your pup. Experts say that the number one reason for excessive shedding is poor diet. The food needs to have enough animal protein and minerals so your dog can maintain optimal health.
Consult with your vet and experiment with different brands before you find the one that is good for your dog. Additionally, dehydration can contribute to shedding, so make sure that your pet always has fresh, clean water.
Skin trauma and stress as the reason for excessive shedding
During times of stress, it’s not uncommon for a pup to experience hair loss. This can be caused by exposure to irritating substances or too much licking, being out in the sun without proper protection and even simple changes like trips to the vet could trigger anxiety-driven shedding.
Keeping your pup happy and stress-free should be at the top of your to-do list. If you spot some excessive shedding, always check in with a vet just to ensure it’s not caused by something more serious – but try not to worry! There are plenty of ways that you can help remove stressful situations from their daily life as much as possible.
Allergies are the reason for shedding
Dogs can develop allergic reactions to different kinds of allergens or food. Your dog`s hair loss might be in response to a medication that does not agree with him. Likewise, there are other stimulations in the environment such as pollen, aforementioned fleas, dust mites, or mold. Also, dogs can have food allergies like dairy, wheat, corn, beef, chicken, or soy.
Allergies may cause your dog to scratch and bite at their skin. Therefore, it can cause shedding. When a dog is allergic to something, vets usually treat it through different or new medications and change their immunotherapy or diet. So it is best to consult with your vet when your dog has skin irritations.
Shedding can be a result of pregnancy
Pregnancy can cause some nutrient deficiencies that your female dog needs to maintain a healthy coat. Because of the growing puppies inside her, it can benefit your mama dog to give her an extra boost with a supplement.
However, shedding can occur more than usual during this time. She might shed out of season or in the days before she gives birth upwards of a few weeks after. If your dog is pregnant, you can discuss with your vet, whether should you add some vitamins and minerals to her diet. But, don`t worry about shedding, when your dog gets her calcium level back, excessive shedding will stop.
Serious illness can cause shedding
One more reason for excessive shedding is that your dog may be suffering from a serious disease. There are several diseases that can cause your dog to start losing his hair in unhealthy amounts. Immune diseases, kidney, liver, adrenal, thyroid diseases, cancer, or Cushing`s.
If you notice that your dog is shedding excessively and it seems strange and not justified, visit a vet, so you can figure out what is going on.
Parasites or fungi can cause shedding
A furry friend can be an itch-inducing situation if ticks, fleas, or mites find themselves in your pup’s coat. If you notice chronic scratching, licking, and biting of one area accompanied by inflammation and redness – it may be time to look into further prevention strategies.
When your dog has fungi-induced ringworm, you will notice irregular or circular hair loss. Likewise, you will usually notice that around the ears, chest, stomach, or eyes. In most cases, you can fix them by using antifungal shampoos, drugs, or topical treatments.
Shedding can just be a natural function
Before worrying about your pup’s shedding, it may be helpful to do some research on their breed and typical fur habits. Shedding is a natural way for healthy dogs to eliminate extra hair from their undercoats in order to keep them looking fresh.
Many breeds with double coats shed seasonally. Often this happens once during the winter and then in the spring. That way they can regulate their body temperature. Sudden hot or cold spells might surprise pet owners. When your dog sheds it is natural and healthy if it happens all over the body and you will not see missing patches of fur.
What can help when your dog is shedding excessively
Even though there is no way to stop your dog from shedding completely, you can try these ideas to help you reduce the amount of hair flying around your house:
1. Feed your dog a healthy diet
Give your dog an appropriate diet with digestible protein and adequate fatty acids. A dog that has food allergies is prone to diet-related shedding, so make sure you read the label thoroughly before you buy food for your pet. You can also add a little flaxseed or salmon oil to your dog`s food, because they contain essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are important to their health. Lastly, always have fresh water for your dog.
2. Brush your dog`s coat every day
This is also one important step that can reduce excess shedding. Regular brushing will get rid of loose hair and stimulate oils through the living hair to make it sleeker and softer. You need a brush that removes dead hair. Furthermore, depending on your dog’s coat type, you may need a brush made for thick undercoats.
3. Control pests on your dog
Pests will make your dog scratch and can irritate their skin and increase shedding. Therefore, when you keep your dog free of ticks and fleas it will minimize shedding and discomfort. Always check the neck, rump, underside, and head and if you have trouble removing them, consult with your vet.
4. Bathe your dog regularly
Give your dog regular baths. Find the right time for a bath and use a proper ph-balanced dog shampoo. This can help with shedding because it will help you remove the hair that you couldn`t with just brushing. Use bath products that are good for your dog and that can help you easily remove loose hair. Always rinse your dog`s coat thoroughly.
The final word
Regular dog shedding is a normal part of life, but that doesn’t mean it has to be unmanageable. With the right approach – a healthy diet, proper grooming equipment, and regular brushing – you can keep your pup comfortable while keeping unwanted fur off your furniture!
It’s essential to check in with your vet if your dog is shedding more than you expect. You can also use this as an opportunity to research and discover new information about their breed – it might even help ease any worries or concerns that come along with the process.
Shedding can range from being a manageable, not-so-huge mess to a never-ending cleaning of hair from furniture or floors. However, if you try the ideas on how to manage it, it will get easier and you and your dog will begin to love it.