Dog Fur…. Arrrrr! I hear you say. As dog owners, shedding is something that we all have to deal with on a regular basis. Some dogs shed fur very little, while others naturally shed quite a lot and knowing what is normal for your dog can really help you when it comes to their health. While shedding is a natural occurrence, excessive shedding can be the sign of poor health or stress in your dog and can also be caused by a few different things.
Shedding in dogs is generally influenced by their breed and the type of fur they have. For instance, it can be determined by their coat characteristics, how much sunlight they get daily, the temperature, their health and allergies, nutrition, their overall cleanliness and hormones.
Dog breeds with less hair, meaning they have no undercoat, or curly hair like a Poodle, generally shed less than dogs with double coats or straight hair – such as the Siberian Husky. When it comes to health however, a healthy dog will never shed as much as an unhealthy dog; for instance, if your dog has worms, they will shed more often due to the parasite robbing them of their nutrition and will therefore need to be wormed to reverse the effects. We will speak a little more on nutrition later!
While it’s important to remember that not all dogs experience seasonal shedding, it’s good to keep in mind that those that do will shed more during a certain season than others, so you may not have reason to necessarily worry. Some dogs blow their coat once or twice a year, usually when the weather becomes warmer because there is no longer a need for their thick winter coat. If your dog sheds by season, here are some tips to keep the excessive fur down to a minimum:
- Regular brushing to remove dead and excessive hair
- Bathing – about once a month with an hypoallergenic shampoo/conditioner – to maintain a healthy coat and healthy skin
- Control fleas/ticks by treating your dog with a monthly treatment
- Investigate any allergies by looking into their diet first and getting some help on this
- Use the right brush, as each type of fur requires a different brush designed for their coat
- Regular check-ups to ensure they are healthy
In addition to this, routine grooming will help to prevent shedding because it removes dead hair and stimulates the skin to nourish the follicles, where dirty skin will allow the hair to become matted, and allowing bacteria to grow and infect the hair follicles.
Did you know that more often than not, a lack of good nutrition is the main reason dogs shed too much fur? Nutrition is important to how much a dog sheds. A great diet is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy, shiny coat so your dog doesn’t shed excessively. Their diet also helps to influence the texture of their coat and maintain the health of their skin.
Healthy skin will not be flaky or dry and it will have healthy follicles that will support long-lived, shiny hair, while unhealthy skin will allow the dog fur to break or fall out easily.
For this reason, it is best to choose a food that is made with the best ingredients to reduce allergic reactions or any intolerance to the filler ingredients in most supermarket store-brand dog foods. Your dog’s food should provide all necessary nutritional requirements like:
- Natural proteins
- Fatty acids and
- Fruits and/or vegetables
to ensure a healthy, balanced diet to maintain healthy fur and skin among other things!
If you seem to think that your dog is shedding too much fur or has dry or flaky skin, just remember that help is never too far away.
Advice and information provided in this article is intended to assist in keeping your dog happy and healthy. Please always seek professional advice for any specific concerns.