Dog shedding is the process of a dog naturally losing dead and damaged hair from its fur. Most furry pet animals like dogs and cats shed their fur regularly. This lost fur is then replaced by new, healthy fur. All the loose hair you may find on the sofa, bed, your clothes, shoes and other parts of your home is due to dog shedding. Shedding is a natural phenomenon, and there is no way by which pet parents can completely stop dog fur shedding.
The main reason why dogs shed their fur regularly is simply so that they can replace old and dead hair. Many dog breeds also grow and shed fur based on the time of the year. They do this in order to protect their bodies from cold and hot temperatures, depending on which time of the year it is. Dog shedding also depends on the breed, coat, and health of the dog.
Many long-haired breeds such as St. Bernard, Alaskan malamute, Siberian husky, Alsatian, Golden Retrievers and Cocker Spaniel are perceived to shed more than short-haired breeds. However, it is simply a matter of visibility that causes long-haired breeds to earn such notoriety for shedding their fur.
Puppies also shed their coat gradually to grow an adult coat of fur.
Year-round and seasonal shedding
Dogs either shed their fur year-round, or seasonally based on the time of the year. Year-round shedding is when dogs shed their fur continuously instead of doing it based on the time of the year. When a dog sheds its fur year-round, they do it in small amounts and regularly which may not seem out of the ordinary for pet parents. Dogs that live outdoors and stray dogs tend to shed their fur seasonally in order to cope with the changing temperature and weather. During the hot summer months, dogs shed their thicker winter coats and vice versa.
Which dog breeds are more prone to shedding?
All dog breeds shed their fur naturally, though it is true that some breeds shed much more than others. If you are planning on bringing a dog home and wish to know which breeds might increase the workload for you and your vacuum cleaner, here is a helpful compilation for you.
Alaskan Malamutes, Beagle German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Corgis, Siberian Huskies, Collies, Pomeranians, St. Bernard, Samoyed and Shiba Inu are some of the dog breeds that shed a lot more than others. On the other hand, Poodles, Terriers, Schnauzers, Dachshunds and Greyhounds are some breeds that are known to shed less.
Causes of dog shedding
There are many natural and health-related causes of dog shedding that can either be completely normal or require medical attention.
1. Natural shedding
Natural shedding is the process of dogs shedding their dead fur regularly to replace it with a new coat of fur. It is healthy, and the process is akin to what we as humans go through with our hair.
2. Poor diet
When the nutritional needs of dogs are not met through their food, it can lead to the dog shedding too much fur. Good quality dog food that meets all the nutritional needs of your dog is a must in order to help them maintain their healthy and shiny coat.
3. Illness and allergies
Chronic illnesses like cancer in dogs often result in excessive shedding of fur. A dog shedding too much fur in response to an allergic reaction is also not uncommon. Dogs can have an allergic reaction to an irritant in their surroundings, an ingredient in their dog food or some kind of medication or shampoo.
4. Shedding during pregnancy
During pregnancy, a dog requires much more nutritious food in order to maintain a healthy coat of fur. It is important to offer nutritionally rich food and take proper care of the needs of a pregnant dog to avoid excessive shedding of fur.
Tips to control excessive shedding in dogs
Here are a few tips to help you control excessive shedding in your pooch and keep your furniture fur-free.
In order to curb excessive shedding in dogs, brushing and grooming them regularly is very important. Using the right kind of tools for these activities is equally important. A thick, wide-toothed comb, soft bristled brush and a quality de-shedding tool can be used, together or in succession depending on your dog’s needs.
Follow a healthy diet for good skin and coat
Make sure to give your pet high-quality dog food with ingredients that support immunity, skin and coat health, and strong bones and teeth. A healthy diet also helps cut down on excessive dog shedding. Pedigree offers a range of dry and wet dog food with a special formulation that contains vegetable oils and nutrients such as Linoleic Acid (Omega 6) and Zinc. It benefits your dog by keeping their skin and coat healthy, shiny, and lustrous.
Bathe with the right shampoo
Bathing helps get rid of any dirt, bacteria and other contaminants on your dog’s body. It also helps wash away the dead hair and keeps your dog’s fur healthy and shiny. Not to mention that staying clean and germ-free ensures your dog does not dislodge more fur by scratching and licking themselves too much. Ask your veterinarian for the right shampoo for your dog if they have special needs, and prepare a bathing schedule.
Keep pets stress and anxiety free
When your dog is stressed and anxious, it can result in them shedding excessively. Stress and anxiety can be triggered by a wide variety of situations such as a trip to the veterinarian, scolding, punishment or a sudden change of their surroundings, lifestyle, and habits. Taking measures to reduce stress and keeping your dog happy and cheerful may be beneficial in more ways than one. It can definitely ensure that your dog does not shed too much.