Shedding in dogs is the process where they naturally lose damaged or lose and old fur.
The process of shedding can vary from one dog to the other and from one breed to the other depending on their genes and how healthy they are. Seasons of the year can also affect the frequency and amount of shedding in dogs.
Dealing with dogs that shed heavily can be frustrating and is it crucial that you get some insight on how you can control it and potentially make sure that it is at its lowest.
In this guide, we are going to cover why this happens and give you several tips that can help you deal with the shedding.
So, let us dive into it.
- Why do dogs shed?
- Factors that influence shedding
- Controlling Shedding in dogs.
- 6 dog shedding remedies
Why do dogs shed?
Just like we humans, canines grow hair through and through and the hair also reaches the end of its growth cycle and breaks off from the dog’s skin.
Dogs shed to get rid of any damaged or loose hair that may be on their coats. It allows the dog to gradually develop a new coat and helps the dog to regulate his temperature.
During summer for example, your pooch will likely lose most of his coat, making it thinner and allowing it to reduce the generation of heat.
How healthy your canine is will also affect his rate of shedding.
It is important to contact your veterinarian if the rate of shedding seems unusual for your dog.
Each dog breed sheds different and in different amounts. While some breed may shed throughout the year(moderately or lightly) others will shed seasonally.
It all comes down to the type of coat that the dog has.
For example, a breed with a double coat is more likely to shed throughout the year and more than a dog breed that has a single coat.
Factors that influence shedding
Shedding can also result from an underlying medical problem.
Some of the conditions are congenital problems, for example follicular dysplasia or endocrine-related such as hypothyroidism which may cause an increase in dog shedding.
Allergies that affect the skin are also a possible cause for an increase in shedding in dogs.
Below are some sign that may indicate whether your dog has an underlying issue;
- The dog may be licking himself/herself, especially on the face and paws more than usual
- Skin irritations
- Excess face rubbing or itching
- Thinning of the coat
- Bald spots
- Dull hair
You should speak to a vet if you think your dog is shedding unusually and if you suspect that he may have an underlying health issue.
Seasons will influence the amount of shedding in your dog.
If you are a dog owner, you are most likely going to experience increased shedding during fall and spring.
In the fall, the shedding will increase as the dog prepares for the colder winter weather by inducing changes in the dog’s coat.
Meanwhile, in preparation for the warmer summer weather, the coat will get lighter in spring as a way to allow the free flow of air in the coat for temperature regulation. In the process. shedding will increase in the dog.
What you feed to your dog will affect the texture of the coat and health of the skin.
If a dog has healthy skin it will have follicles that support lustrous and long-lived hair.
On the other hand, unhealthy skin will have poor skin oils and sticky hair follicles. The hair will be lackluster, brittle, and will easily break off.
When a dog is pregnant or if she is lactating most of the calcium and minerals that make her have a healthy coat will be depleted.
In the process, the pooch will shed excessively.
Giving her a balanced diet and supplements can help reduce post-partum shedding.
However, the supplements should only be recommended by your vet, because giving the dog wrong supplements may in turn make her health worse and increase shedding.
Do not offer supplements unless you discuss the products with your veterinarian.
Controlling Shedding in dogs.
Shedding is a natural and necessary process and there is no way to completely stop it.
You should throw the option of completely shaving your dog to stop shedding out of the window. This is because it interferes with the dog’s self-warming and cooling mechanism and it will not make shedding stop happening.
In other cases, the hair may fail to regrow or even regrow abnormally if it does.
6 dog shedding remedies
While dog shedding is a completely normal thing, it can get out of control quickly.
That why using these dog shedding remedies will be of great help to you. If you’ve noticed your dog shedding a bit more than usual, then it’s probably the weather, hormones, or any of the other factors that could affect shedding.
1. Invest in good quality food
Feeding your dog on a high-quality diet can reduce shedding greatly which will be shown by the health of the coat and skin in general.
Most of the low-quality dog foods are filled with fillers which makes digestion difficult for the dog.
On the other hand, high-quality foods that are primarily meat-based make the dog healthier and it will directly affect the dog’s coats.
For a healthy coat, a dog’s diet should have enough omega 3-fatty acids which are contained in fish oils, flaxseed oils, and olive oil.
Generally, these oils help to improve the texture and health os dog coats.
The diet should have the right ration is bother omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to this it should also provide the dog with essential minerals and vitamins that are crucial for healthy skin.
These fatty acids can also be found in healthy fish such as tuna and salmon.
You can also incorporate these into your dog’s diet for a more natural source of fatty acids.
Some foods can also trigger allergic reactions and you should make sure that you are aware of them if there are any.
Add Molasses To Your Dog’s Diet;
Molasses are supplements that can greatly reduce shedding in any dog.
They are tasty and even dogs that are picky eater love them.
The recommended amount is 1 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of the dog’s weight per day.
However, the dosage can differ depending on the supplement and you should not give it to your canine unless your vet has recommended it.
Giving your dog too much-unprescribed vitamins can affect their health for the worse.
2. Make sure that your dog is well-hydrated
Dry skin can cause a pooch to shed excessively and hydration should always be taken into consideration to reduce shedding in dogs.
You can easily achieve this by making sure that your canine always has enough clean water.
Moisture-rich foods and treat also provide dogs with proper hydration
Low amounts of moisture-rich human snacks can also be given, provided that you don’t feed your dog too much.
3. Brush Your Dog’s Coat
Brushing your dog’s coat help to keep it healthier.
Whether your pooch sheds lightly or heavily, you must frequently brush the coat.
Brushing removes any loose or excessive fur that may be on the coat while at the same time distributing natural oils that are found in the coat. This helps to keep the coat properly moisturized and healthy.
Remove loose hair regularly and moisturizing the coat, helps to reduce shedding in the long run.
However, depending on what type of coat your dog had you will be required to use different types of brushes.
Dogs with short coats;
For these dogs, you will be required to invest in a high-quality bristle brush, a glove with palm bristles, or even a hound mitt.
You should make sure that you are brushing the coat in the opposite direction of the hair growth which helps to pull out the dead fur. Then brush the coat in the direction of the hair growth to remove the dead hair.
Do this several times to remove most of the dead hair if not all and to make sure that the coat oils are evenly distributed.
If your pooch had a medium-sized coat, you will need a slicker brush and repeat the process above.
A slicker brush will help cover the coat better though the curls and their coat.
For longer coats(double coated dogs);
For this, you will need a brush that can reach the undercoat and a good recommendation is a slicker brush.
You should grab any dead hair that may be in the undercoat and remove it. Do this repeatedly until you start pulling out lesser hair with the slicker brush.
During the heavy shedding seasons, you should use a de-shedding tool such as a coat rake.
Every tool will work differently from the other but the process of removing the dead hair is the same. Using the tool of your choice, pull it along the coat in the direction of hair growth then pull it up and in the opposite direction.
Make sure that you are not pressing too hard on the coat, especially if the tool has blades.
If you happen to come across a mat or a tangle uses a mat splitter or a steel comb to remove them.
Some mats may be too hard and you may need to cut them.
In between winter and spring and between fall and winter, the dog’s coat will need to be groomed thoroughly.
4. Don’t Forget Baths
Bathing your dog occasionally can be another great way to reduce the amount of shedding. A bath once a month should be sufficient to ensure the dog’s skin and coat is healthy.
This will remove as much dead hair as possible.
You should also make sure that you thoroughly dry the coat thereafter with a dry towel and a blow dryer.
If you do not have a blow dryer use several dry towels.
However, other than this you should only bath your dog when it is necessary. Overbathing him could strip the coat of essential oils causing the skin to dry out, in turn, cause an increase in shedding.
5. Invest in stress reduction
Dogs can get stressed and suffer from anxiety, especially if you are not there to provide them with mental support.
Excessive shedding in dogs can be a reaction to a stressful environment or anxiety.
Stress can be caused by several things;
- Loss of a family member
- Household conflict
- Leaving the dog alone for extended periods
Being there for the dog, taking for walks, playing, having a predictable routine, and allowing him to mingle with other dogs in the park can help to reduce the stress.
Buying the dog some chew toys can also be therapeutic for them.
And if you only have one dog, you can try getting a friendly second dog to help him go through any changes and emotional stress that he may be having.
6. Treat Causes Of Itchy Skin
In case of any flea infestation or allergy, you should make sure that they are well treated.
These can cause the dog to constantly scratch himself making the hair loss and increased shedding.
Do not hesitate to get treatment for any suspected allergies and flea infestation.
My final thoughts
You should not get worried if your dog starts shedding and if you are not used to it.
This is a necessary and natural process that plays a part in making sure that your dog stays healthy.
However, using some of the tips that we have given you above, excessive shedding can be reduced greatly.
In some cases, an underlying health issue may be causing your dog to excessively shedding, and if you suspect this is the case, you should make sure that you consult a veterinarian.
If you have any questions or feedback regarding this topic, you can share them with us in the comment section below.
There you go, WOOF!