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dog shedding

Dog Shedding: How to Control It When It’s Out of Control

Do you have a dog shedding their coat right now? Dogs are truly man’s best friend, but when they start shedding their coats, it can cause a little bit more work for us than usual. You probably find dog hair everywhere… On your clothes, on the floor, in your food. But there are several things you can do to help prevent the shedding from getting out of control.

What causes dog shedding?

There are a number of reasons why your dog is shedding its coat. Sometimes it can be a sign of an allergy (whether to a food, medication, or an environmental factor). Other times it may be due to the weather and climate. 

Usually, you’ll notice big changes in your dog’s coat in the spring and fall.  Your dog sheds its coat heading into the summer in preparation for the heat. In the fall, your dog is usually shedding again, but this time to make way for its winter coat.

Do some dogs shed more than others?

You may have been told that there are dog breeds that don’t shed at all. This simply isn’t true. Every dog breed can shed its coat, but some breeds are definitely more prone to shedding than others.

If you own a long-haired dog breed, chances are that they have a double coat. Some examples of breeds with long hair and/or double coats are:

  • Siberian Huskies
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Collies
  • Corgis
  • Pomeranians

If you own one of these or a similar breed, it’s important to brush your dog as a part of your regular pet care routine.

What kind of brush do I use on my dog to help with shedding?

  • If your dog has a downy undercoat, it’s best to use a slicker brush. These can reach underneath your pet’s outer coat to remove dead hair that would normally fall off and make its way onto everything you own.
  • If the shedding has gotten out of control, you can switch to a more advanced shedding tool or coat rake. If the tool you choose uses any kind of sharp edge, be careful that you don’t rake it harshly against your dog’s skin.

There are several tools that can help keep your dog’s shedding under control. If your pet is regularly groomed most of the dead or loose hair will come off during the process. A high-quality deshedding tool can do wonders too. Just make sure you purchase the right kind for your dog’s particular coat!

How do I prevent my dog from shedding?

As we’ve already mentioned, adding regular grooming and brushing to your pet care routine can work wonders to decrease the amount your dog sheds throughout the year. But there are a few other things you can do too!

Healthy Diet

If your dog is allergic to something in their food, it could cause excessive shedding. Speaking to your veterinarian about your dog’s optimal nutrition can work wonders in their overall health (including the amount of hair they lose). 

Your dog’s nutrition goes beyond just their food. If you notice that your dog deals with excessive shedding, they may benefit from nutritional supplements. Ask your PetWellClinic veterinarian the next time you bring your dog for a visit about your pet’s nutritional needs!

Keep your dog hydrated

If your dog is drinking enough water it will prevent risk of dehydration, which can contribute to excessive shedding. You should make sure they have enough water all of the time, but they may need more during the warmer months, especially if they spend any time outside.

A regular grooming routine can reduce the amount of hair your dog sheds

Regular grooming routine

Keep your pet clean! A regular grooming routine doesn’t mean you have to take your pet to a professional groomer and pay for a doggy style blowout. Grooming encompasses regular baths at home, brushing your dog regularly, and keeping their nails trimmed.

How do I know the difference between normal and excessive shedding?

If your dog doesn’t follow the normal seasonal shedding patterns, it’s a good idea to get them examined by a veterinarian. A PetWellClinic veterinarian can tell from a basic physical exam if there may be an underlying cause for your dog’s excessive shedding. 

Underlying issues that cause excessive shedding can include:

  • Parasites (e.g. fleas, ticks, mites)
  • Bacterial or fungal infections
  • Allergies
  • Thyroid or adrenal issues
  • Anxiety or stress
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Skin disorders

The hair loss associated with these and similar underlying issues will look different than the normal hair loss your dog experiences with shedding. Their hair may fall out only in certain areas, look patchy and thin, or they could even be tearing it out themselves.

The only way to diagnose any of these issues is by seeing your veterinarian immediately when you notice concerning behavior associated with hair loss. PetWellClinic offers professional blood tests and labs that can tell us a lot about your pet’s overall health, and help diagnose any underlying issues.

Investing in your dog’s health makes everyone happy!

Investing in your dog’s overall health makes everyone happy

Making your dog’s health a priority truly does make life as a pet parent happier and easier. Monitoring your dog’s shedding patterns and seeing a veterinarian immediately when you notice anything strange can help catch serious issues before they become too big of a problem.

Preventative veterinary care allows you to be informed about your dog’s overall health at all times. The result? Getting to enjoy a long and happy life with your best friend that has four paws, and less piles of dog hair floating around your house.

Dog shedding is a normal part of being a pet owner, but you can keep it under control by monitoring your pet’s overall health with PetWellClinic’s preventative veterinary care. It’s also important to include grooming in your regular pet care routine, and keep your dog hydrated during the warmer months.

PetWellClinic is dedicated to being here for pet owners. Our hours of operation extend into the evenings and weekends, and our clinic environment is built with your pet’s comfort in mind. Talk to your PetWellClinic veterinarian if you notice your pet is suffering from excessive shedding. Bring them by your local PetWellClinic for their next physical exam today!

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