How to Get Your Dog’s Shedding Under Control
Are you one of the thousand plus paw parents who keep a lint roller in the door of your car? In your desk at the office? Maybe even have another one by the door on your way out of the house? Most likely. Do you resist wearing clothes that you know will make your pup’s fur more noticeable? Thought so. If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you definitely have a furry friend who fur is all over for you.
Most likely, you’ve very aware that most dogs shed from time to time, some breeds more than others. But have you really ever thought about why that is? Is your dog shedding more than normal? What is normal shedding for my dog? Is it an issue if he or she is over shedding?
Many paw moms and dads may not even realize that their dog is excessively shedding….it may be a sign that something isn’t quite right.
Don’t get all your clothes in a bundle just yet, no need to fret! In today’s article, we’ll be talking about all things related to shedding. We’ll also touch on ways to manage the furry messes and tips you should know in regards to whether your dog’s shedding is concerning enough to pursue action.
Let’s shed some light, shall we?
Why Does Dog Shedding Happen?
For starters, why the heck do doggos shed so much!? Shedding is a perfectly healthy and normal function that dogs do 100% naturally (us humans do it too). Healthy shedding occurs for numerous reasons. For instance, your four-legged friend’s coat helps regulate their body temperature. Thus, in warmer months, the body naturally wants to stay as cool as possible so it will rid itself of more hair than usual. On the other hand, in the winter time, your pup may shed way less, due to the cold.
In addition, shedding occurs when the hair stops growing. Their body will shed the dead and old hair in order to make room for new hair growth taking place. Kinda like the cycle of life, but the cycle of hair? Sure.
With this being stated, shedding can also happen when disease occurs, old age comes on, and various other reasons that paw parents should pay close attention to, coming up shortly!
What is Normal Dog Shedding?
Well, first, shed, by definition, is to lose hair. Shedding can occur due to disease, age, or natural causes.
What your dog’s “normal” shed is varies greatly from your dog to the dog next door, so to speak. There are 3 main contributors that play large parts in just how much hair your dog sheds:
Your dog’s overall health
The breed of your dog
The current climate
It’s important for pet parents to be aware of how much their doggo typically sheds in order to ensure if and when their shedding goes over “the norm”.
Overall Health and Wellness
Your dog’s overall well-being and health can attribute greatly to the amount of hair they shed. For instance, dogs that are pregnant have been known to shed more than their typical “norm”. Also, since age affects shed amount, older dogs tend to lose more hair, more often.
The breed of your furry friend largely affects the amount of hair they usually shed. Even “non-shedding” dogs or hypoallergenic dogs will shed, to a very small degree. The only doggos that are completely shed-free are…..hairless dogs.
The following doggos are considered to either be non-shedding breeds or very low shedding breeds. Such as:
- Bichon Frise
- Chinese Crested
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Shih Tzu
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Afghan Hound
- Peruvian Inca Orchid (Hairless)
Heavy Shedding Dogs
These breeds are considered to be heavy, heavy shedders, including:
Bernese Mountain Dog
If you’re more prone to allergies or are worried about your floors constantly being covered in fur, these breeds may not be the best fit for you.
Climate and Weather
The seasons change. Thus, if you have a double-coated doggo, you know just how much the weather can affect your dog, some doggos more than others. During the fall and spring seasons, double-coated puppers shed their “undercoat”. In some breeds, such as Chow Chow and Alaskan Husky, this amount of shedding can be super, super heavy. Again, this is where it comes into “clutch” that you know your dog’s normal shedding amount. Only first by understanding what’s a typical shed for your dog, will you then be able to recognize whether or not the hair loss is becoming on the excessive side.
However, some dogs aren’t affected by seasonal or climate change at all. Especially if they are inside for most of the year. It’s crucial for pet parents to take their climate into consideration before deciding what dog breed they’d like. A Siberian Husky in Florida, for example, is going to be shedding like crazy in order to keep their body temperature regulated during those humid summer months.
What if My Dog is Shedding Excessively?
As we briefly mentioned above, most shedding is considered healthy, normal, and a natural bodily function to regulate body temperature. If the hair loss becomes excessive, it may be a sign of an underlying condition that needs addressing, sooner than later.
Excessive hair is a symptom of both food and environmental allergies. Inhalants, such as laundry detergents or shampoos, may cause dogs to experience allergic reactions. This often results in large amounts of hair loss.
In most instances, pet parents may need to do an elimination diet on their dog to figure out the pup’s sensitivities. Your veterinarian can help you navigate this!
Dogs experience anxiety and stress just like us humans do. It’s not really uncommon for dogs to experience physiological responses to stressors, such as moving or a death in the family.
High amounts of anxiety can rapidly lead to high amounts of hair loss. If the anxiety is causing your dog to shed excessively, it’s crucial that you figure out the stressor(s) and manage appropriately. An extra 5 - 10 minutes of cuddles before you walk out the door may be just what fido needs.
3. Skin Irritations
Different skin conditions and irritation ailments are the leading causes of excessive shedding.
The most commonly seen skin issues include:
- Self-induced injury from excessive licking
When it comes to skin issues and irritations that lead to shedding, it’s common for paw parents to also see these symptoms:
- Open sores
- Thinning coat
- Dry and flaky skin
- Red, inflamed skin
- Bumps, rashes, scabs
- Bald spots
- Foot licking
- Repeated face rubbing
- Excessive scratching
If you notice any of these listed symptoms continuing over the course of 7 days, make an appointment with your vet.
Hormonal imbalances can result in excessive shedding.
If you are concerned about your dog’s shedding or if you start noticing excessive licking and bald spots, call your vet. Your dog may benefit from a nutritional assessment and possible supplements that will help with balancing their hormones.
Excessive shedding can be a telltale sign of internal and external diseases. Excessive shedding can be a symptom of these diseases:
How to Manage Dog Shedding
You won’t be able to completely eliminate the healthy shedding, but there are ways you can help reduce the amount of loose fur in your home, on the couch, on your clothes, on your plants, you get it.
So here are some quick tips to get that shedding under (somewhat) control:
Get your pup on a well-balanced diet
Without proper nutrition, the excessive shedding may be the least of your worries. Your dog’s food can truly make a difference in their overall health and well-being.
Alleviate their anxiety
Want an all-natural, non-toxic option to help fido relax? Our Hemp CBD Oil for Dogs is your next best move. Formulated with organically grown phytocannabinoid-rich hemp, this CBD oil is completely THC-free, so your pup won’t get high or stoned.
Talk to your holistic vet
Talk with your vet when it comes to your dog’s needs. By giving them as much information as possible, you’re helping them put together the pieces, ensuring that your dog’s needs are being met.
Dog Shedding: Final Thoughts
All in all, we know you only want the very best for your four-legged friend.
Before heading to the hallway closet to break out the vacuum for the 7th time today, consider whether or not fido’s shedding is normal for him or her. Are the seasons changing? Have you moved recently? Do you have a double-coated breed that sheds their undercoat? Again, normal shedding is a healthy part of their life, but excessive shedding should be closely monitored.
Knowing your dog’s “normal” shed is key in recognizing if there is an underlying issue lurking around the corner. Recognizing that your dog is shedding more than their usual amount is the first step in addressing for change.