Dog shedding is a natural process in dogs, only the amount of hair and the density will depend on the type of breed and the health of the breed. Generally, the dog loses its old or damaged hair by the process of shedding. This is a good thing according to their health, but it becomes a stress for the owners. Whether you have a short-haired breed or a long hair breed it is a compulsion that the dog will shed. However, being a dog owner, you cannot stop the shedding completely, but can prevent your dog from excessive shedding. Shedding is something that you will have to deal with.
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When Do Dogs Shed?
Now the question arises when your dog is going to shed its hair. Well, that depends on the type of breed, some breeds shed heavily while others have a constant quantity of shedding. Dog shedding also depends on various other factors which include their diet, grooming and especially their hair growth cycle. For this, we have to first understand their pattern of hair growth.
The pattern of their hair growth depends on the type of hairs different breeds have. The primary hairs of a dog also known as guard hairs are long and harsh that are part of their outer coat that protect their skin. Secondary hairs are also called as undercoat hair, which is soft and fluffy that keeps the dogs warm during the winter season. Some dog breeds have a double layer of coat they have both outer and undercoats, whereas some breeds have only a single layer of undercoat.
The hair growth of a dog undergoes from four different stages, they are-
Anagenphase- The phase where the hair starts to grow. Catagenphase- The phase where the hair stops growing once they reached a definite length. Telogenphase- The phase where the hair is resting, they neither grow nor shed. Exogenphase- the phase where the hair falls out.
Now that we have understood the phases of a dog’s hair growth, we can conclude about the shedding of their hairs. Though one cannot assure the exact time for the dog’s shedding. As shedding at the end depends on the type of breed, nutrition, age, and living environment.
More About Dog Shedding:
The dogs living outside the house are part of nature, so they generally start shedding their winter coats between March and June. Then again the summer coats start to blow off between September and November.
While the dogs living in the house as pets, get exposure to artificial heat during winters and air conditioning during summers. So the natural cycle of their shedding gets disturbed that ultimately results in more shedding.
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Do All Dogs Shed?
There is no such thing about a completely non-shedding dog, it’s just about that some dogs shed less. Shedding is a natural process in dogs, and no one cannot stop it, being an owner, you just have to understand how to deal with it. Many people think that a short-haired breed will shed less, but that is not true short hair dogs shed the most.
Following is the list of dogs that sheds the most–
- Saint Bernard
- Golden retriever
- Siberian husky
- The Great Pyrenees
- Alaskan husky
- Alaskan malamute
- German shepherd
- Labrador retriever
And mentioned below is the list of dogs that sheds less–
- Airedale terrier
- Boston terrier
- Bichon fries
- Cairn terrier
- Chinese crested
- Yorkshire terrier
Excessive Shedding in Dogs (Why is My Dog Shedding So Much):
If your dog is shedding excessively than it might be a cause for concern that requires attention and care. In normal shedding, most of the breeds will shed year-round while other breeds will blow off their coats seasonally. In normal shedding, the dog will lose its undercoat hair, which can be visible on the sofa, clothes and around your house. On the other hand, seasonal shedding takes place in some breeds and they shed in spring and the fall.
Now, excessive hair loss in dogs can happen due to various reasons such as-
- Hormonal imbalance
- Imbalanced diet
- Using the wrong shampoo
- Changes in the house environment
How to Reduce Dog Shedding
(Prevent Dog Shedding):
Earlier we discussed that shedding in a dog includes various factors in which weather and season play an important role. But when we talk about how much a dog sheds that depends on the overall health of a breed. A dog who is shedding more than normal may have health issues. Although we cannot stop shedding completely we can reduce it. Dog shedding can be prevented through nutrition and grooming. These factors can also be used as home remedies to stop dog shedding.
You can reduce your dog shedding through nutrition, and this process includes the following ways-
- The best way to prevent your dog from excessive shedding is to feed him with a balanced diet that consists of all the essential nutrients. Food item such as corn and grains proves to be bad for dogs as these items are difficult to digest. A rich meat-based food gives all the essential nutrients to a dog and it is also easy to digest it. Some breeds may have food allergies or sensitivities and they are prone to diet-related shedding. You have to prepare different food items for them which will suit them by consulting your vet. Avoid adding any kind of vitamin supplements because sometimes excess vitamin can cause severe health injury to your dog.
- Add some olive oil or flaxseed oil into your dog’s food as these oils contain omega 3 fatty acids that help to reduce dandruff, calm inflamed skin and improves the overall health of the coat. You can also use supplements of omega 3 after consulting your vet. Feeding the dog with salmon, tuna or other fishes rich in fatty acids helps to prevent the shedding in your dog. Never feed your dog with fish bones as it can form a choking hazard for them.
- You can also feed your dog with some human food occasionally. Sliced apples (without seeds), bananas and cucumbers prove to be moisture-rich food for the dog and keeps hydrated. These fruits also contain all the necessary nutrients that keep the dog’s coat shiny. Although some food items could be dangerous for a dog’s health such as grapes, avocado, onions, chocolate, etc.
- Dry skin often leads to shedding of the coats, and the reason behind dry skin is dehydration. Always give your dog fresh and clean water as dehydration not only causes shedding but also illness. You can also add wet food items into your dog’s diet as wet food contains up to 78 percent of moisture and is a good way to make your dog stay hydrated.
Grooming also proves to be essential to stop dog shedding, and it consists of the following-
- Grooming plays a vital role in keeping your dog’s coat healthy by removing excess and loose fur. Brush your dog daily to avoid excessive shedding, depending on the type of the breed you can use bristle, slicker or rake brush. A bristle brush can be used for short-haired breeds, a slicker brush is best suited for medium-sized breeds or the dogs with curly hair. Rake brush is helpful for breeds with long hair and thick undercoats.
- De-shedding tools are useful for those dogs who are heavy shedders. You can use de-shedding tools before spring when the dog’s winter coat begins to fall and again in the fall when the coats begin to grow. The de-shedding tools will depend on the type of dog’s coat or hair. For shorter coat dogs, a rubber curry comb will be helpful and the dogs with long or thick coat will require an undercoat de-shedding rake.
- Provide your dog with a regular bath, as it will encourage loose hair to fall off in the tub only. However sometimes over bathing can cause dry skin which allows to fur to shed. After a bath blow-drying is helpful for those dogs who have long coats.
- You will also have to prevent your dog from fleas and mites. If the dog has flea he will scratch constantly which causes hair fall.
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