Dog shedding is a natural process in which dogs shed their dead hairs to make way for new ones and have a lighter or thicker coat when temperatures change.
It is one of the issues that all of us who share our life with a dog have to face, dealing with hair all over the house, on our clothes, hairballs left on our hands after petting it, etc.
If you have wondered how you can reduce your dog’s hair loss and which are the appropriate treatments, in this post, we will answer the most common doubts and give you some tips that will make this process easier.
How long does a dog shedding last?
The dog shedding lasts for about 4-6 weeks, although, on average, the dogs take about four months to develop the new coat ultimately.
Each breed has different characteristics concerning its coat; some usually shed during a specific time. Some dog breeds like Vizlas have longer cycles of shedding, which makes it seem as if they do not shed their hair at all.
While other dogs that have thick double coats can be loose throughout the year, still, several factors can shorten or lengthen this process, such as:
Different types of coats: Curly-haired breeds like the poodle barely shed and are recommended for people with allergies to dogs.
Genetics: As mentioned above, some breeds lose more hair than others due to their genetics.
Food: A balanced diet is essential for dogs to have a healthy and robust coat, which reduces hair loss. You have to experiment with different foods until you find the right ones for your dog.
What Months Do Dogs Shed The Most?
The shedding season for dogs is in spring and autumn, more specifically between March and September roughly.
Most dogs renew their coat with the arrival of the heat (spring) or the cold (autumn) to adapt it to the new climatic conditions and the amount of sunlight of each season that the dog perceives.
The shedding allows them to be cooler in summer and then lose it again in autumn, renew it, and be warmer. For this reason, most breeds shed their hair a couple of times a year.
Even so, with climate change, hair loss can occur a little earlier, later, or even last longer than usual. Likewise, the dog shedding can vary, depending on the dog and its living conditions.
What are the worst shedding dog breeds?
The shedding process is especially noticeable in some breeds with thick and dense hair, but shorthaired dogs also shed.
These breeds shed the most:
German shepherd: They shed a lot throughout the year but most noticeably in the spring and the fall.
Siberian husky: Like the German shepherd, they shed their coat twice a year, but it differs because their winter coat is much thicker.
Labrador retriever: These dogs have two types of hair: an outer layer, impervious to water, and an inner, softer layer, which acts as insulation. You have to brush them daily when they’re shedding to get the loose hair out.
Akita: They have a short coat; even so, it keeps them warm as it has a very thick double layer. They shed heavily twice a year, generally winter and summer.
Pekingese: Although they are small dogs, these dogs shed the most. They usually need to be brushed 4 to 5 times a week.
Other breeds that also shed are Pyrenean Mastiff, St.Bernard, Pug, Alaskan Malamute, Chihuahua, Beagle, Chow Chow.
Big Dogs That Don’t Shed
- Standard Poodle.
- Afghan Hound.
- Portuguese Water Dog.
- Irish Water Spaniel.
- Airedale Terrier.
Small Dogs That Don’t Shed
- Bichon Frise.
- Brussels Griffon.
- Shih Tzu
What Causes A Dog To Shed Excessively?
It is usual for your pet to shed its hair. However, there are some reasons why your dog may be shedding more hair than usual, even at non-shedding times of the year.
1-Allergies and skin problems.
Outside of seasonal hair shedding, this is usually one of the first causes of hair loss in dogs. Food allergies, plants, or medication can cause skin irritation.
Allergic reactions and itching can cause its skin to become so irritated that excessive scratching can lead to hair loss.
We must take our pet to the vet as soon as possible to determine if it has a hypersensitivity problem.
Dogs, just like people, can also suffer from stress or strain that affects your dog’s skin and hair follicles leading to excessive hair loss.
Situations such as a new home, a change in routine, a new dog in the family, fears, and phobias can cause stress in a dog, and hair shedding could confuse stress hair loss.
3- Poor Nutrition
Most dog foods have the right amount of nutrients. But for some dogs with allergies, sensitivities, or other issues, supplements might be needed. It’s good to experiment with different types of foods to get your dog’s right one.
Related blog: Dog Anxiety.
How To Minimize Dog Shedding In Natural Ways.
Although it is an ordinary process, we can take some actions to make it more comfortable during this shedding season to prevent the hair from spreading all over the house.
You can follow these tips to keep your dog’s coat healthy and robust longer and keep the house cleaner.
1-BRUSH YOUR DOG.
Whatever type of coat your dog has, brushing it daily or two to three times a week is a way to keep it clean, remove dead hair, and prevent parasites from appearing.
Besides, brushing helps to activate blood circulation, favors the growth of new hair, and will be very pleasant for your dog.
The best way to brush your dog is to do it with short and firm movements. Start in a smaller spot and then work your up to the whole body. Don’t forget the head and behind the ears. Make sure not to pet your dog with your brush but to go all the way through.
When done, you can pass the comb thru your dog’s hair to verify it is knot-free and smooth.
Correct feeding is fundamental for your dog’s coat to look beautiful, strong, and healthy.
Experts recommend a diet rich in omega-three fats, found in fish, salmon, fish oil, and omega 6, found in egg yolk, vegetable oil, coconut oil, etc.
These supplements keep the skin and coat healthy, helps calm the skin if it is inflamed, reduces dandruff, and improves the coat’s texture.
Besides, there are many omega three and omega six supplements on the market in capsules or powder form that you can include in your dog’s diet.
Still, check with your vet to add supplements to your dog’s diet. He or she might even advise you to change the entire diet to a more beneficial one.
And keep clean and fresh water always within reach; your dog must stay hydrated. Dehydration can cause dry skin, excessive hair loss, and other diseases.
3-BATHE YOUR DOG REGULARLY.
Bathing your dog more often during the shedding process speeds up hair removal and makes it easier to untangle. It is advisable to wash it after brushing it to make the process easier.
However, be careful; excess bathing during this time can be counterproductive.
Dog Shedding Tools.
Dog Shampoo For Shedding.
There are shampoos for dogs that help strengthen their coat and leave it looking its best.
To choose the best one, you must pay attention to its composition, which has a neutral PH, Omega 3, and Omega 6. These components strengthen its coat, prevent hair loss, and favor its growth.
Be careful with the products you use to bathe it. There are shampoos used by people that are too acidic for dogs. Use a specific shampoo with a PH that adapts to your dog’s type of coat.
My go-to shampoo is Arava Natural Aromatherapy Dog Shampoo. I personally use it on my Shihtzu.
It’s perfect for treating skin problems and irritations. The Arava formula is pet-friendly. It cleanses deep inside your dog’s undercoat to enrich the follicles, making the fur beautiful and shiny.
The nice odor of essential oils makes it the perfect shampoo for stinky dogs.
100% natural, chemical-free, and skin-safe. Also, FDA certified and vet approved.
Dog Shedding Brush
There are different brushes that you can use for this task. It depends on the type of coat your dog has, short, medium, or long:
- For dogs with very long hair: the best thing is a needle brush or rake. You brush the dog first with a natural bristle brush and then with a rake brush.
- For dogs with long or medium hair, the best brushes are the ones with many lines of very-fine and short metallic bristles.
- For shorthaired dogs, the most recommended is the natural or synthetic bristle brush.
1-Pet Neat Grooming Brush
This, by far, is the best dog grooming tool. It removes 95% of dead hair and tangles from your dog.
Gently stroke their hair, directing the stainless steel teeth of the sturdy blade towards the coat!
The strong, ergonomic handle guarantees precision without falling off or breaking.
Good for short, medium, or long dog hair.
100% Lifetime Money Back Guarantee, how can you go wrong with that!
- Easy to use.
- Easy to clean.
- The bristles are not deep enough for long-haired double-coated dogs.
- It might not be suitable for dogs with sensitive skin.
2-Furminator Grooming Rake
This is the brush you need for dogs with thick fur and/or a dense double coat.
This all-purpose brush separates and untangles fur while its rounded, stainless steel teeth, made from antimicrobial plastic to reduce the spread of germs, also work to remove loose fur and top-coat hair from your dog.
The ergonomic nonslip handle makes it easy to use and fits perfectly in your hand.
- Smooth teeth
- Get the knots out
- Easy to hold
- Too wide to get into tight spaces like between the front legs
Pet Hair Vacuum Cleaner
The best way to get rid of hair from pillows, cushions, rugs, blankets and any other corners of the house is by using a pet hair vacuum cleaner.
Even though your dog is not fond of this household appliance, but it is a necessary item to have. It is as crucial as a chew toy or dog food bowl.
Dog Grooming Brush Vacuum
You can also use this method on your dog with a vacuum brush, which directly affects the animal’s skin. Soft, easy to use, and safe. Consequently, you can use it on animals with long or short coats.
With a vacuum brush, your dog will feel a massage while removing its dead hair, leaving a clean and shining coat finally.
- They are comfortable to use and easy to store.
- Cover more space in less time.
- Ideal if you have several pets.
- Perfect for allergy sufferers.
- Some models are loud.
- The small vacuum cleaners have a reduced deposit.
- Large vacuum cleaners can be cumbersome.
Pet Grooming Gloves.
These gloves work like a pet hairbrush. Their “teeth” are shorter than regular brushes, plus they have a soft silicone tip, which won’t hurt your dog.
They are designed to stroke and massage your dog while efficiently removing dead hair and thoroughly cleaning your pet’s skin.
This is one of the most popular tools that work effectively for the shedding season. Also, they are beneficial for some dogs who may be uncomfortable or anxious about grooming.
- Easy to clean.
- You can use it on wet or dry coats.
- Dogs generally like it.
- You must make sure you find the ideal size for your hand.
- Make sure you buy a flexible model.
Shed Defender Bodysuit
A shed defender bodysuit is an elastic mesh suit designed to cover the dog’s entire body, including its paws. This suit has the purpose of containing the hair shed inside the case.
Also, it helps to contain hair loss and reduce anxiety by applying gentle pressure. It makes the dog feel more calm and secure.
They also protect from the cold, protect their skin in case of any illness, and work as an alternative to prevent the dog from biting and scratching irritated areas.
- The fabric is elastic and breathable.
- Protect against ticks, fleas, or mosquitoes.
- Prevent the dog from licking or biting in sensitive areas.
- You must find the right size not to hurt your dog.
- Dogs must be watched while wearing this suit to avoid any accident such as strangulation or choking.
- Not recommended for hot days.
The dog shedding season is a natural and necessary process for dogs, which brings them protection and other benefits.
Although it can be a complicated time, it is important to have patience and take the necessary measures to make this process easier for everyone.
And let’s be honest, for people who love dogs, the decoration of a home would not be complete without some hairs scattered around.
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