How to deal with dog shedding
A soft and lustrous coat is something all pet owners want their dogs to have, as it is a great indication that your dog is happy and healthy. Shedding is a necessary part of achieving this goal and is a natural process for all dogs, despite differing greatly between breeds and individual dogs. Nevertheless, the mess caused by shedding can be a frustrating element of pet ownership.
In this post, James Wellbeloved delves into dog shedding, exploring why it is important and providing owners with tips on how to deal with stray fur.
WHY DOES DOG SHEDDING HAPPEN?
Similarly to human hairs falling out to let new strands to grow, shedding occurs to allow the replenishment of your dog’s coat.
As coats differ between breeds and individual dogs, so will the level of shedding. Dog breeds with longer or silkier coats are likely to shed their fur more frequently, whilst dogs possessing shorter coats may shed less. There can be great variation of shedding within breeds too, as the health, diet and grooming of individual dogs will have an impact.
Dog shedding can also vary over time. While some breeds of dog will shed continuously throughout the year, others may not. Seasons affect some breeds’ shedding pattern and it is common for some dogs to shed less during the winter, when they want their coat to keep them warm, and to shed lots in the hotter summer months.
MANAGING DOG SHEDDING WITH BRUSHING
Dog shedding is an issue we all know will arise when choosing to become a pet owner, but this doesn’t make it any less frustrating. Fur being left all over your floor and furniture is something most people would want to avoid. Luckily, there are some measures you can take to manage this messy aspect of dog ownership.
Brushing your dog regularly is a great way of reducing shedding. Brushing allows you to remove any loose fur from your dog’s coat in a controlled way, rather than it falling out around the house. It is vital that you groom your dog using a brush that is designed for their coat. Dogs with longer fur will need a very different brush to dogs with shorter hair and it is crucial you recognise this difference for safety and effectiveness.
MANAGING DOG SHEDDING WITH BATHING
Brushing is the most effective way to manage dog shedding, but it should exist as part of an overall care regime.
Bathing is also a vital part of caring for your dog’s coat. While brushing is usually enough to keep your dog’s coat clean, there will be occasions when bathing is necessary. This washing has the added advantage of helping to control shedding by removing loose hair.
Nevertheless, bathing your dog can be distressing for them and so you should not rely on it as your primary means of managing shedding. You must also use a shampoo designed for dogs and not for any other animal, and never human shampoo.
WHEN SHOULD YOU SEE A VET ABOUT SHEDDING?
As dog shedding can vary greatly between breeds and individuals, it can be difficult to determine when their shedding is excessive. If your dog is shedding considerably more than normal for the time of year, it can be indicative of a deeper health or dietary issue.
Possible problems include:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Kidney, liver, thyroid or adrenal disease
- Immune disease
- Side-effects of medication
If you are worried that your dog is shedding excessively, it is important to not jump to conclusions or attempt to diagnose your dog yourself. You should seek expert guidance from a vet immediately. They will be able to diagnose and treat any issues, as well as provide information on possible changes you could make to your dog’s lifestyle and diet to reduce shedding.