Are you troubled by your dog shedding a lot of hair and leaving traces on the couches, pillows, and carpets?
Remember, dog shedding is a natural process, but the amount and frequency of hair loss may clarify whether it is an environmental factor or something serious. You can manage it by regular grooming, bathing, quality nutrition, proper supplements, treating allergies, regular vet check-ups, and maintaining a clean environment.
Read on for proven tips on managing and dealing with hair loss in dogs.
Why Do Dogs Shed?
Dogs shed their fur naturally to maintain coat volume and regulate body temperature, whereas shedding removes damaged or old hair, making way for new growth.
This process occurs year-round. However, seasonal fluctuations are noticeable.
Most dogs tend to shed more in the spring and fall when they adapt their coat to changing temperatures.
In spring, most breeds shed their thicker winter coat for lighter ones while growing a warmer winter coat in the fall.
Shedding also plays a role in removing toxins from a dog’s body, like a natural detox mechanism.
How to Manage Excessive Dog Shedding?
Here are some proven ways to manage excessive dog shedding and keep their coat healthier.
Regular grooming is one of the best ways to manage shedding in dogs, which helps remove loose fur, reducing the amount on your furniture and floors.
This practice can decrease shedding by up to 90%, keeping your home cleaner.
However, choose the brush according to your dog’s coat type.
For example, slicker brush for long-haired dogs and rubber curry brush for short-haired dogs. Also, stick to a consistent grooming schedule to get the best results.
Tips for Grooming Your Pet
- Begin grooming young pets to build their comfort and trust.
- Choose high-quality brushes and combs for your pet’s coat type.
- Regular brushing prevents matting and keeps skin healthy.
- Avoid over-bathing; use pet-specific shampoo and rinse well.
- Trim Nails Safely with appropriate tools.
- Clean ears using a vet-recommended solution and soft cloth.
- Brush teeth or provide dental chews for oral health.
- Stop if the pet shows distress during grooming.
- Examine for fleas, ticks, or parasites during grooming sessions.
Regular bathing is essential to prevent shedding in dogs. Bathing removes loose fur, dirt, and dander from their coat, reducing shedding.
Studies show that consistent bathing can decrease shedding by up to 80%.
Bathing also promotes a healthier skin and coat, reducing itchiness that leads to excessive shedding. However, avoid over-bathing, as it can strip natural oils from the skin and increase shedding.
Tips to Bathe Your Dog
- Prepare supplies like shampoo, towels, and a brush.
- Use a dog-friendly bathtub or an outdoor area.
- Remove tangles and mats by brushing before wetting your dog.
- Use lukewarm water for your dog’s comfort during the bath.
- Apply shampoo evenly on the coat.
- Use cotton balls to prevent water from entering the ears.
- Provide praise and treats for a positive bathing experience.
Things to Consider While Bathing Your Dog
- Select dog-specific shampoo based on the dog’s coat or skin needs.
- Remove all shampoo residue to prevent skin irritation.
- Shield eyes with tearless shampoo or a damp cloth.
- Stay calm and take breaks if your dog gets anxious.
- Pat dry with a clean, dry towel. You can also use a blow dryer on low settings.
A balanced diet of essential nutrients helps maintain healthy skin and a lustrous coat. When dogs receive the proper nutrition, shedding decreases significantly.
Studies show that dogs on a proper diet experience up to 50% less shedding than those with inadequate nutrition.
Ensuring your furry friend gets the proper nutrients keeps their coat shiny and reduces the inconvenience of excessive shedding, benefiting both your pet and your home environment.
Tips to Balance Nutrition in Your Dog Food
- Get dietary recommendations tailored to your dog’s age, breed, and health.
- Opt for quality dog food brands with AAFCO certification.
- Read ingredient lists and ensure meat is the primary source.
- Select whole grains or vegetables for energy and fiber.
- Include sources like fish oil for skin and coat health.
- Follow portion control according to size to prevent overfeeding.
- Always provide clean, fresh water for hydration.
Essential Nutrients and Its Sources
- Carbohydrates: Brown rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Millet, Peas, Sweet potatoes.
- Protein: Beef, Chicken, Duck, Turkey, Lamb, Fish, Venison.
- Fats: Purified Algal oil, Flaxseed oil, Fish oil, Corn oil, Soybean oil.
- Vitamin: Carrot, Spinach, Liver, Pumpkin, Sweet potatoes, Turnip greens.
- Minerals: Tofu, Green beans, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Meat, Eggs.
- Water: Clean drinking water and wet dog foods.
Supplements help prevent shedding in dogs by providing vital nutrients.
Regularly using supplements like zinc and omega-3 ensures your dog’s coat remains glossy and healthy. The correct dose of omega-3 supplement for dogs is 50-75 mg and 120 mg Zinc per day.
However, consult your vet before adding nutritional supplements to your dog’s diet.
Top Supplements Your Dog Needs
- Omega-3: Salmon, Mackerel, Sardines, Flaxseeds, Algal oil.
- Biotin: Eggs, Liver, Brewer’s Yeast, Fortified foods with Biotin.
- Zinc: Red meat, Chicken, Turkey, Eggs, Whole Grains.
- Vitamin A and E: Liver, carrots, Sweet potatoes, Spinach.
- Probiotics: Yogurt, kefir, probiotic supplements.
- Coconut Oil: Virgin coconut oil, Topical application.
- Collagen: Bone broth, natural collagen supplements.
- Lecithin: Sunflower lecithin, Soy lecithin.
Benefits of Supplements to Your Dog’s Health
- Reduces shedding and maintains a healthy, shiny coat.
- Strengthens nails and hair follicles.
- Essential for skin health, it helps prevent coat problems.
- Antioxidant-rich supplements support skin health and reduce dryness.
- It supports digestion and indirectly influences coat health.
- Reduces shedding and improves coat condition with small amounts.
- Supports skin and coat health available in various forms.
- Promotes skin health and coat shine.
Managing allergies is crucial to prevent shedding in dogs. Allergies, including food and environmental triggers, can cause excessive shedding.
Also, consult your vet to identify the allergen and discuss proper treatment options.
Why Treating Allergy is Necessary
- To make your pet’s life comfortable.
- To prevent skin wounds from scratching and biting.
- Treating allergies decreases skin inflammation.
- To decrease the risk of skin infections.
- To maintain a shiny, healthy coat.
Tips to Protect Dogs from Allergies
- Reduce indoor allergens with regular cleaning and vacuuming.
- Use allergy-friendly bedding for your dog’s comfort.
- Opt for limited-ingredient diets to minimize food allergies.
- Feed hypoallergenic dog food.
- Install HEPA filters to purify the air.
- Consult your vet for allergy medication or shots.
- Watch for signs like itching, sneezing, or coughing.
- Keep your dog flea-free to prevent worsening allergies.
Regular Vet Check-Ups
Regular vet visits can help to identify the root cause of excessive shedding. It helps detect underlying health issues that contribute to excessive shedding.
Routine check-ups ensure prompt diagnosis and treatment, reducing shedding significantly.
Proper Vet Check Up for Pet
- Physical Examination: It may include health issues like bacterial infections, ringworm, kidney, or liver disease.
- Nutritional Assessment: Discuss your pet’s diet to ensure it meets their dietary needs for a healthy coat.
- Allergy Evaluation: The vet may recommend testing or dietary changes to identify and manage allergens if allergies are suspected.
- Parasite Control: Ensure your pet is free from fleas, ticks, and other parasites that can lead to skin irritation and increased shedding.
- Thyroid Function: Thyroid problems can affect coat quality, and the vet may recommend testing if necessary.
- Medication Review: Discuss any medications your pet takes, as some can impact the coat condition.
- Grooming Advice: The vet can guide grooming practices, including brushing techniques and suitable shampoos.
- Hydration and Diet: Proper hydration and a balanced diet are essential for coat health. Adjusting the diet plan according to your dog’s breed and size will be best.
- Behavioral and Environmental Factors: Discuss changes in behavior or environment that may contribute to stress or shedding.
- Follow-up Plan: Based on the assessment, the vet will create a follow-up plan, including dietary changes, medication, or further testing.
Maintain a Clean Environment
A clean living space reduces allergens like dust mites and pollen, which can trigger shedding. Maintaining a room’s humidity at 35 to 50% can repel mite allergens.
Cleanliness also prevents skin infections and keeps your dog’s coat healthy.
Moreover, a tidy environment discourages excessive scratching, which can lead to more shedding.
Tips to Reduce Dog Hair Inside Home
- Keep pet wipes handy for quick touch-ups.
- Use lint rollers to remove hair from clothes.
- Wash your dog’s bedding and your own regularly.
- Opt for hard flooring like wood and tiles instead of carpets.
- Use baby gates outside the dog zone.
- Use rubber brooms and gloves while cleaning.
- Wipe your pet’s paws from time to time.
Stress triggers excessive shedding in dogs. Stressful stimuli release epinephrine that releases hair and stops the natural growth cycle.
Chronic stress can also result in skin problems, exacerbating shedding issues. Reducing stress through a calm environment and regular exercise helps maintain a healthy coat.
Ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction to help reduce stress levels.
Reasons for Stress in Dog
- Loud noises like thunderstorms, fireworks, construction noise.
- Dogs may become stressed when left alone for extended periods.
- Moving to a new home or traveling to unfamiliar places.
- Sudden changes in their daily schedule or environment can cause stress.
- Dogs may become stressed when faced with unfamiliar animals, people, or objects they perceive as threats.
- Losing a family member or a fellow pet can cause grief and stress in dogs.
- Past traumatic experiences, such as abuse or neglect, can cause separation anxiety.
- As dogs age, they may experience cognitive dysfunction syndrome (similar to dementia in humans), leading to anxiety and confusion.
How to Reduce Stress in Dogs
- Regular Physical activities like walking and playtime.
- Provide mental stimulation through puzzle toys and interactive scent games.
- Provide a quiet resting space.
- Socialize your dog to reduce fear-based stress.
- Use positive reinforcement training methods to reduce anxiety triggers.
- Consider using anxiety-reducing products like ThunderShirts during stressful events.
- Consult your vet about using CBD or natural supplements to manage stress, especially for situational anxiety.
Consider the Breed
Several dog breeds are known for heavy shedding due to their double coats or specific hair types. For example, heavy-shedding breeds like Huskies and Malamutes can shed up to 90% of their fur.
If you are sensitive to dog hair and allergies, consider choosing a low-shedding or hypoallergenic breed.
Top Shedding Breeds
- German Shepherd
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
- Siberian Husky
- Alaskan Malamute
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Chow Chow
- Border Collie
Least Shedding Breeds
- Bichon Frise
- Shih Tzu
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Chinese Crested
- Kerry Blue Terrier
Professional groomers play a pivotal role in reducing shedding in dogs. Through regular grooming sessions, they remove loose fur, dirt, and debris from the coat.
Additionally, professional groomers can identify underlying skin issues that may contribute to excessive shedding and recommend appropriate treatments.
Their expertise ensures that a dog’s coat remains healthier, resulting in a substantial reduction in shedding.
Things to Consider While Hiring a Professional
- Verify certifications and breed-specific expertise.
- Seek recommendations and check online reviews.
- Consider cleanliness and safety standards.
- Communicate about your dog’s needs and your preferences.
- Confirm offered services and suitability for your dog.
- Check grooming tools and product quality.
- Ask for gentle and compassionate handling techniques.
- Verify liability insurance coverage.
- Consider a trial grooming session.
Remember that shedding is a natural process for dogs and is not entirely preventable.
However, by following these tips and adapting your grooming routine to your dog’s specific needs, you can minimize the impact of shedding on your home and keep your dog’s coat healthy.
Contact Urban Pet Supply, the best pet hospital in Urbandale, for shedding treatment and prevention if your dog is shedding too much.