Does Your Dog Shed Everywhere?
29 April, 2014
As dog owners, we love our furry friends and all their fun traits and companionship. But, let’s be honest…it sometimes gets annoying when all you see is their dog hair everywhere)! Of course, it can be cleaned up and it’s part of being a dog owner (as is always have lint brushes handy!). However, what if your dog is shedding so much that you think it is beyond the normal hair loss?
Why do dogs shed their hair?
Dogs naturally lose old or damaged hair by shedding. Although shedding is a normal process for dogs, the amount and frequency of hair that is shed often depends upon their health and breed type. It can also depend on the season. Many of our dogs will develop thick coats in the winter that are then shed in the spring. Dogs who are always kept indoors, however, are prone to smaller fluctuations in coat thickness and tend to shed fairly evenly all year.
Normal shedding can be minimized by consistent grooming
While you cannot stop a healthy dog from normal shedding, you can reduce the amount of hair in your home by brushing your dog regularly. Your veterinarian or groomer should be able to recommend a specific type of brush or comb that will work best for your dog’s hair type. If you are vigilant about keeping up with the brushing of your dog’s hair, it will help reduce the shedding.
What makes a dog shed excessively?
What seems like excessive shedding can be normal for some dogs, but it can also be the result of stress, poor nutrition or a medical problem. Your veterinarian can best determine if your dog’s hair loss is part of the normal shedding process or is a symptom of an underlying medical condition. It can also be stress related: Have you recently moved? Has there been any change in your environment? A new addition to the family?
Excess shedding can be improved by a good, healthy diet
Excessive shedding can sometimes be improved through proper nutrition. Quality pet-food that includes the right amount of nutrients so that supplements are not needed. However, dogs with allergies and/or sensitivities still might need to experiment with different brands and formulations to discover which pet food works best for them. As always, consult your veterinarian for advice on what foods will best suit your dog for shedding.
Below are some other reasons why your dog may be shedding excessively:
Parasites (fleas, lice or mites), fungal or bacterial infections, inhalant or food-related allergies; Kidney, liver, thyroid or adrenal disease; certain medications that might cause an allergic reaction; self-induced trauma due to licking; sunburn or contact with irritating or caustic substances.
If you notice any of the below conditions or if your dog’s initial skin problem persists for more than a week, consult with your veterinarian for treatment:
Skin irritation, including redness, bumps, rashes or scabs; open sores of any kind; bald spots or thinning of coat; dull, dry hair that pulls out easily; scratching and/or constant foot licking or face rubbing.
Only you know what’s normal shedding for your pup
While shedding in itself is a normal process, only you as the dog owner will know if it is problematic. There are many remedies on the market that can help with shedding. As always, your vet can tell you what is the best solution for your pup’s excess shedding. If an illness is ruled out, there might be a behavioral issue such as stress or a change in your pup’s environment that is causing the shedding.