What is Dog shedding | Reason for Excessive Hair Loss & How to Control it?
Many dog owners are concerned that their dog is shedding or losing hair (coat) excessively in a particular season, there may be many possible reasons for this.
You should never ignore these things because frequent and too much hair loss may be the symptom of some health issues also.
Shedding depends upon many factors like- Season, breed of the dog, and health condition.
Here we will know about Dog shedding in detail, factors, its reasons, and some home remedies or tricks to control excessive hair loss.
What is Dog shedding?
Shedding is the loosening of hairs or fur of the dog’s coat. Almost all dog breeds sheds, some of them sheds high and some low.
Much of the dog breeds only shed heavily during a particular season called Shedding season. The shedding season for the majority of dog breeds is spring and fall season.
Some of the dog breeds shed all year round moderately.
Why do dogs shed their hair?
Usually, dogs shed their hair to keep their body temperature low and to remove the excess dead & old hair from their body during the season change.
Factors on which amount of Shedding in Dog depends
Shedding of the dog depends upon many factors-
- Diet & Nutrition: Diet plays a major role in determining the health of the dog. The Diet of the dog should be nutritious enough to maintain its daily nutritional requirement. If the dog is not getting enough nutrition is his diet it may result in the weakening of roots of the hair. For example deficiency of omega-3fatty acids and zinc can cause high shedding.
- Breed: Shedding of the dog depends highly upon its breed. Dog breed with long-haired and heavy coat will shed more in comparison to short-haired dog breeds. For example, A German Shepherd will shed more in comparison to a Doberman.
- Season: Every dog shed more in a particular season, during their shedding season. The majority of dog breeds shed more in the Spring season.
- Health condition: There are some health issues in which a dog sheds more. For example in a few fungal infections and liver diseases, the dog sheds higher than normal.
- Age: Age also determines the amount of shedding. Old dogs shed higher than adult ones because as the dog grows older his hair also gets weaker and thinner.
- Lifestyle: The lifestyle and living conditions of the dog also determines the level of shedding. A dog who spends more time indoors will shed less in comparison to the dog spends more time playing outside.
Reasons for abnormal and excessive shedding in Dogs
- High shedding also occurs in some Health Issues including Fungal or bacterial infection, Hypothyroidism, Liver diseases, Parasites, Cancer, Sunburn, and adrenal problems.
- Hormonal changes
- Immune diseases so you should always monitor the eating habits and appetite of your dog
- Food infection
- Parasites (mites, fleas, and lice)
- Scratching, biting and licking of the skin by the dog himself due to Itching
- During Pregnancy
- Sudden change in a dog’s surroundings or lifestyle
- Side effects of some medicines
- Frequent Bathing
- Change in Diet
How to control Dog shedding?
You must understand that shedding is the natural process that occurs in all dogs, it can’t be stopped or prevented completely however you can control or reduce it.
Here are some proven ways to control or reduce shedding in dogs-
Bathing your dog regularly
Giving regular baths to your dog can help in controlling shedding as it helps in washing away the extra dead hairs from the coat of your dog.
It also helps in removing fleas and also reduces the chances of bacterial & fungal infections.
Make sure the dog shampoo which you use for your dog suits his skin and coat. Ask your Vet for choosing the one.
Be sure you don’t bathe your dog too frequently. You can bathe your dog about once or twice every couple of months or whenever you feel your dog’s coat is becoming filthy.
Feeding your dog proper Nutritious diet
A diet plays an important role in determining the quality and strength of your dog’s hair. Make sure your dog is getting all the necessary vitamin and minerals which are necessary for gaining hair strength.
You can add Eggs, salmon, and tuna in the list if your dog sheds excessively.
Also avoid feeding your dog too much vitamin supplements, as it may affect your dog’s digestion and may lead to side effects.
Add omega-3 fatty acids in your dog’s diet. You can give your dog Cod liver oil capsules, it improves the texture and reduces shedding.
By daily brushing, you can control the shedding. Brushing helps in removing extra dead and weak hair from the dog’s coat and make him feel light.
Make sure you choose a brush according to the coat of your dog. For example, an Undercoat rake is good for dogs with dense coats and the Slicker brush is good for short-haired dog breeds.
Types of Brush for dogs: Slicker Brush, Bristle Brush, Undercoat rake, Rubber curry brush, Pin Brush, and Double-side brushes.
Keep your dog Hydrated
Provide plenty of clean and freshwater to your dog, sometimes heavy shedding is also caused by Dehydration.
You can also use Deshedding tools or Deshedders like Furminator on your Dog’s coat. Deshedders help in removing weak and dead fur from the coat of your dog. On some dogs, Deshedders can work better than brushes. In my opinion, Deshedders are important for Dog breeds with dense coats.
Make sure your dog is healthy
Take your dog for a monthly health checkup to make sure that your dog is healthy. Heavy shedding can also be a symptom of some health issues or diseases also. A Vet can identify whether the abnormal hair loss of your dog is an early sign of some health problems or not.
Which Dog breeds shed the most?
Long-haired dog breeds with a double-layered dense coat are known for shedding too much, but it doesn’t mean that all short-haired dog breeds shed least. Here are some of the dog breeds which are known for Excessive or Heavy shedding (heavy shedders).-
- Saint Bernard
- Afghan Hound
- Welsh Corgi
- Chow Chow
- Airedale terrier
- Great Pyrenese
- Golden Retriever
- Bernese Mountain dog
- Alaskan Malamute
- German shepherd
- Labrador retriever
Which Dog breeds shed the least?
Here are some of the dog breeds which are known for low Shedding-
- Shih Tzu
- Cane Corso
- Maltese Terrier
- Tibetan Terrier
- Portuguese water dog
- Bichon fries
- Yorkshire Terrier
How to identify the shedding is not normal?
Whenever you observe the following changes in your dog then it’s the time to concern a Vet.
- Bald Spots and Rashes
- Decreased Appetite
- Redness, Bumps and Flaky skin
- Increased Itching
- Too many Parasites
- Hair turning grey
- Peeling of skin
- Constant licking skin
- Inflamed skin
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