Dogs are among the mammals that shed hair to help regulate their body temperatures. Some canines shed more than others due to factors such as breeding, anatomy, and physiology. Before you go to your next veterinarian appointment, here are some answers to common questions about shedding to give you a head start.
What You Should Know About Dog Shedding
When do canines usually shed their hair?
Dogs typically shed during spring and into summer when they no longer need their winter coats. Certain breeds with double coats such as huskies, collies, chows, and shelties also shed in the fall to remove dead hair and create space for new follicles. A double coat refers to stiff undercoats with longer hair on top. Other breeds shed year-round, such as beagles, labradors, and shepherds. Dogs who stay all year indoors typically shed less because their bodies aren’t reacting to temperature fluctuations.
Can owners reduce or stop the process?
It is not possible to stop a dog from shedding; however, you can minimize the amount of hair on your furniture, clothes, and flooring by brushing your pet regularly. It removes excess hair, so it doesn’t build up and start floating around your home in clumps. Regular brushing also stimulates the underlying skin to keep it healthy.
Other ways to reduce shedding include feeding your dog food full of skin-healthy nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Provide moisture-rich wet food as well as plenty of fresh water since dehydration contributes to shedding. Veterinarians also recommend shampoos that promote skin health.
What factors contribute to excessive hair loss?
Environmental factors such as fleas and pollen/grass allergies can make dogs shed because they are constantly scratching and licking their skin. Hot spots and hair loss may occur when your dog has a flea infestation or allergy. Using harsh shampoos and failing to rinse your dog thoroughly after bathing also contributes to shedding because it damages skin and hair health. A poor diet lacking skin-friendly nutrients affects your dog’s skin and hair also.
When should you take your dog to a vet?
If your dog seems to continually shed without stopping, take the animal to your veterinarian to determine if there’s a deeper health issue. Dogs shed more when they have a food or environmental allergy, a bacterial or fungal infection, or illness such as an immune, kidney, liver, adrenal, or thyroid disease. Reactions to medications can also cause shedding, as can stress. Other causes include pregnancy and lactation. Once your veterinarian identifies the reason for your dog’s hair loss, you can create a treatment course together that keeps your dog’s skin and hair beautifully-healthy.
Don’t let excessive shedding worsen—contact us at Wards Animal Hospital to restore your dog’s health. Our Loveland, OH, animal hospital provides furry friends throughout Cincinnati with the care they need, including flea treatments. Call (513) 683-2883 today to make an appointment. Get the latest discounts and promotional news on Facebook.