Shedding is a normal process for dogs, but excessive shedding can indicate health issues that need to be addressed — and it can also be quite unpleasant.
It’s important to note that some dogs shed more than others during the spring months, having developed thick coats for winter which they no longer need. Most dogs will shed no matter what, but it’s good to keep an eye on the situation.
Shedding is an indication of the overall health of your dog. Good diet and nutrition will prevent over shedding, and if it doesn’t there might be an underlying health issue.
Some dogs will be prone to smaller fluctuations in coat thickness, especially domesticated ones. It’s important to be able to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy shedding. If you feel as if your dog is losing too much fur, you’re probably wondering what measures you should implement to minimize or stop shedding altogether?
This is the most important aspect of healthy living, so it should be treated with due care and attention.
A high-quality diet is one of the best ways to reduce excessive shedding. Cheap dog food consists of corn and grains, which dogs can have difficulties digesting. You should instead focus on a more natural diet, especially options that list meat as the main ingredients.
The nutrients in meat-rich foods are more easily absorbed, nutrients that help control shedding and dry skin. Better nutrition will reduce shedding, though it’s important to note it won’t stop it altogether. Diet-related shedding is common among animals with food allergies or other sensitivities. Shedding can often be a sign of an imperfect diet or an underlying health issue so it’s good to keep an eye on how shedding is affected by diet switches.
Add Olive Oil / Flaxseed to Your Dog’s Food
By adding one teaspoon of oil for every 10lbs of your dog’s body weight, you’ll take steps to help your dog secure a firm coat. These oils are high in omega-3 fatty acids, so it will help to decrease dandruff, calm inflamed skin and improve the overall texture of your dog’s fur.
Using a dog shedding supplement can also a good idea, but you should always check with your vet first, who will probably recommend increasing your dog’s oil intake naturally. This can be achieved by feeding your pet with foods like salmon, tuna and other fish rich in fatty acids.
Access to Clean Water
Dehydration can cause dry skin, which in turn can lead to excessive shedding and even illness. As a pet owner, it’s important to provide your dog with adequate water, while ensuring it’s fresh and clean too. You should change your dog’s water at least once a day, and potentially more often, especially if the dog is on a diet of dry food (in which case he will also drink more water).
Another way to increase your dog’s fluid intake is by incorporating foods with a higher moisture content. Wet dog food contains 78% moisture, compared with a mere 10% for dry food.
By implementing a grooming routine you can keep shedding to a minimum. You can achieve this with the following measures:
- Brush Your Dog’s Coat Regularly
Grooming is great for removing excess fur while redistributing your dog’s skin oils to help maintain the position and overall gloss of your dog’s hair. You can experiment with different brushes until you find the right one for you, using a slicker brush, bristle or rake.
Bristle brushes work best for dogs with short hair and smooth coats, like Pugs, Greyhounds, and terriers. Slicker brushes work well when you’re dealing with medium hair, such as that found on Cocker Spaniels, St. Bernards and retrievers. Finally, Rakes work well with thick undercoats, for German Shepherds, Chow Chows, and others.
- Use Deshedding Tools
These are great for just prior to spring, the season when dog’s coats tend to fall off. They can also be applied when your dog’s winter coat starts growing in.
- Regular Baths
A regular bathing routine encourages hair to fall out in a controlled setting, rather than all over your house. However, it is important to avoid over-bathing, which can cause dry skin and irritation.
- Control Fleas and other Parasites
Dogs with flea problems tend to scratch constantly, something which leads to hair falling out. Use flea prevention methods to reduce dandruff, excessive fur shedding, and irritated skin.
Other parasites, particularly the ones they might pick up from a park, can also be quite problematic.
There is no hypoallergenic dog
Another problem with shedding is allergies. While dog allergies are not that common, it can still be a blight to some people — and the more a dog sheds, the more unpleasant the allergy can become. More and more places are starting to advertise ‘hypoallergenic dogs,’ but that’s somewhat misleading.
“I don’t believe there is truly a hypoallergenic dog,” says Dr. Laurel Fritzen, a veterinarian at Deerfield Animal Hospital. “There are breeds that shed less hair but a lot of times people are allergic to the dander, which is the skin, and all animals shed skin cells.”
These practices can improve your dog’s health, reduce shedding, and potentially eliminate the allergies — or at the very least, reduce their severity.