Dog Shedding is a normal process for dogs. It is a natural process through which the dead or damaged hair of dogs shed seasonally or the whole year-round. It involves the protection mechanisms against cold and warmth in the respective season.
However, the amount of hair shedding or how frequently your dog sheds, depends upon several factors.
Basic Factors behind Dog Shedding:
Here are some of the basic factors responsible for dog shedding:
Whole Year dog shedding
Some dogs shed during the year-round and you can see clumps of hair of your dog on the sofa, carpet and upholstery. The dogs that shed whole year-round usually show normal shedding rather than excessive and uncontrolled dog shedding.
Season wise dog shedding
Some dogs shed seasonally. The peak seasons for dog shedding are spring and fall. Some dogs shed most during the spring while others shed in spring as well as in fall. The seasonal dog shedding is mainly due to the type of undercoat a dog possesses.
Different dog breeds
Different dog breeds influence the rate and pattern of dog shedding a lot. Some breeds have a single coat; such dogs usually do not shed a lot while other types involve double coats, an upper coat and an undercoat, which is responsible for more shedding than usual, For example, Akita, Huskies, Australian Shepherd tend to shed a lot.
Similarly, the dogs with short coats shed less like Beagles and Pugs whereas that of having long coats like Pomeranians and Pembroke Welsh Corgis shed more.
For choosing dogs as your pet, consider their breed as well. The people having some sort of dog allergies will tend to be at risk of getting them. Moreover, your financial status may also depend on rearing a dog because it may require your time and money on grooming your dog as well as for its regular examination.
Seasonal dog shedding is mainly due to temperature changes. In summer, the dogs shed and upgrade to a thin coat to combat temperature challenges while in winter, the dogs convert to a thick undercoat to protect themselves from extreme coldness.
With older age, the dog sheds more because of the weakening of the hair roots and thinning of the hair. Old dogs also do not play much so they lose their natural fur more frequently than normal.
Another inevitable factor on which the shedding of a dog depends is the genetics of that particular breed. A gene has been identified known as MC5R-gene that determines the pattern of dog shedding. So, genetics is a major contributor to the degree of dog shedding.
Causes of Excessive Dog Shedding:
It is important to differentiate between normal dog shedding and excessive dog shedding and it can only be possible if you figure out the root cause of excessive shedding that your dog is experiencing.
Here are 6 most common causes of dog shedding:
Not only humans but other species can also suffer from stress and stress-related disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The risk factors for stress to a dog may include any emotional disturbance, violence in-home or the death of someone close to the pet. It may have haphazard effects on your dog which stimulate its shedding to the most.
You can conduct stress-releasing therapy for your dog. In 2016, 90% of the pet owners in France agreed that pet therapy is essential.
Malnutrition is another contributing factor in excessive dog shedding. If the diet of your dog is lacking vitamins and fats, it may affect the overall health of your dog subjecting it to excessive shedding.
For providing your dog with good nutrition, you must feed them with useful and best supplements for dog shedding like Omega 3 fatty acid.
According to the stats, almost 41% of the dog owners purchased High-quality food items for their dogs.
3. Underlying medical and metabolic issues
Certain underlying medical conditions such as pregnancy and lactation can cause excessive shedding. Furthermore, adrenal disorders and hypothyroidism play a great role in excessive dog shedding including Cushing’s disease. The list does not end here; Cancer and immune disorders are also key factors for excessive dog shedding. Some medications such as corticosteroids, if used for longer periods can cause excessive dog shedding.
4. Microbial infections
Microorganisms such as parasites (Mites), several fungi (ringworm fungi) and bacteria make the dogs vulnerable to shedding. They cause infections such as Salmonella infection and Yeast Dermatitis which lead to uncontrolled dog shedding.
The dogs (especially the therapy dogs) that consume poultry are at high risk of getting diseased by Salmonella and eventually to excessive shedding.
Your dog can be at risk of any food allergy or even a single ingredient you use in the food. Some dogs are allergic to certain medications while others are allergic to new soaps and shampoos etc. Environmental factors also can also cause particular allergies to dogs.
Several skin allergies like (Fungal Dermatitis) due to fungal infections and pests bite can also be considered here. All these factors are determinants of allergies and eventually excessive dog shedding.
Some dogs, however, are more prone to allergies while some are hypo allergic. Being hypo allergic does not mean that the dog will not shed, instead, it will shed less than the former ones.
6. Hormonal Fluctuations
Slight fluctuations in the endocrine hormones such as testosterone, estrogen and adrenal hormones form away towards disturbed metabolism and excessive dog shedding.
Imbalances in the thyroid hormones can result in hypothyroidism which is a metabolic disorder and a common cause of more than usual shedding in dogs.
Tips To Reduce Dog Shedding:
You cannot stop your dog to shed but you can do some remedies that can reduce excessive shedding.
Following are few tips to control excessive dog shedding:
Diet rich in nutrients such as Vitamins, healthy fats, fish oil etc. helps the dog to remain healthy and shed a reasonable amount of hair.
Supplements like Omega-3 fatty acids, Probiotics and Glucosamine can also be added to obtain better results.
Brushing your dog on regular basis is the most important remedy that you can do easily to prevent your dog from unwanted shedding. Regular brushing pulls out the damaged hair from the coat and prevents the presence of clumps of hair on the dog.
Moreover, the skin produces some healthy oils that can be distributed throughout the coat evenly by brushing. These natural organic oils are super helpful for regulating the follicular strength of your dog’s hair and control excessive shedding.
Types of brushes that prevent excessive dog shedding
- Wire-pin brush
This type of brush is useful for dogs having long hair length and curly, woolly hair coats.
2. Slicker brush
A Slicker Brush has short and fine wires that help to remove tangles and mats.
3. Bristle Brush
Bristle Brushes are used for dealing with coarse and stiff hair. These brushes are beneficial for every coat type.
You can massage your dog, with shorter hair, to remove the dead hair by rubber curry combs.
Use of shedding tools
You should use some shedding tools to prevent and control excessive dog shedding.
A tool like Furminator is helpful for de-shedding because it reaches out to the undercoat most safely and removes the dead hair without any damage to the skin.
Vacuuming your dog often can also prove beneficial in this regard.
De-shedding products like relevant shampoos, conditioners, grooming gloves etc. can improve the hygiene of your dog.
Some oils like coconut oil are also used to control dog shedding.
Increasing water intake
Dehydrated skin is a major cause of excessive dog shedding. You should keep an eye on your dog that how much water he is drinking. Is it enough to combat the shedding issue?
Increasing the water intake can make an obvious difference in the pattern and frequency of dog shedding.
Bath your dog regularly so that there would be no shedding due to the poor hygiene of your dog. Try anti-shedding shampoos and products while bathing the dog.
When to Consult the Veterinarian?
Shedding is a normal process for dogs and it can be managed using some beneficial remedies at home but if your dog is facing uncontrolled shedding, certain dangerous skin allergies, spots, redness and bumps on the skin, then it is time to consult the Vet before it’s too late.
Discuss the right diet for your dog with the Veterinarian and ask him to provide you with the methods to prevent your dog from unwanted hair shedding.
Dog Shedding and Home Hygiene:
A lot of questions like ‘’how to manage the sanitation of house during the dog shedding season?’’ pop up in the minds of people who own a dog.
- Get the lint rollers, sponges, vacuum and mop always ready in the shedding season of your dog.
- Use a 3 step approach for carpets and do sanitations as much as you can.
Dog shedding is a normal process but it can be messy if not controlled. For this purpose, you should know the basic factors that are culprits behind excessive dog shedding. Different tips and measures are provided above if your dog is shedding hair excessively.