If you are a lover of dogs, who breeds different dogs, you would have noticed that the rate at which they shed differs. The truth is shedding is normal in all dogs, as it helps them to get rid of their old coat and grow new ones. However, no dog is completely hypoallergenic, but their shedding rate differs.
There are various reasons why dog sheds, including instinct, poor nutrition, reactions to fungi, response to allergies, response to illnesses, response to pregnancy and lactation, response to skin trauma, response to stress, and skin health conditions.
One important thing to know is that there is no normal amount of shedding; various factors influence and affect the amount of hair shedding. Some dogs are naturally heavy shedders, while some shed a little.
Why Does My Dog Shed So Much?
Shedding is normal and healthy for your dogs. However, when you begin to find hair in every corner of the house, you can get frustrated. You do not need to get frustrated; instead, you need to look for a way to help manage the situation. There are some reasons why your dog is shedding so much. Understanding these reasons would help you know to care for your dog well.
Dogs Shed Naturally
This is a major reason why your dog is shedding. All dogs naturally shed, but at different rates. For a dog shedding so much, it could be a characteristic of its breed. Dog breeds such as German Shepherds, American Eskimo, Chow Chow, Labrador Retriever are examples of dogs that shed more.
So, if you own one of these breeds, it is normal for it to shed so much. During winter, most dog breeds grow thicker coats, and in spring, they shed the hair to regulate their body temperature. As a dog owner, you must know that a sudden change in the weather at any time of the year can either cause your dog to grow thick coats or shed lots of hair.
Shedding helps dogs to get rid of damaged or hair that is no longer needed on their undercoat. To ensure your dog is shedding naturally, it occurs uniformly all over the dog’s body without creating patches. However, if there are missing patches around, the shedding is likely due to something else.
The Dog Has Allergies
Dogs have many allergies, ranging from food, environment, and even medications. Coming in contact with these allergies could cause some reactions, such as shedding. Some foods are harmful to dogs and could cause them to shed. Also, your dog coming in contact with some environmental allergies such as dust mites or pollen could make it shed.
If you notice your dog sheds more whenever it takes a certain medication or a particular food, it is likely allergic to such. Some allergies could cause your dog to scratch, lick and even bite certain parts of their bodies. So, you would need to speak to a vet for professional advice on the type of food and medications to give to your dog.
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Aside from a dog being allergic to certain foods, poor nutrition could also cause a dog to shed more. Dogs need to feed on good food with the right ingredients to maintain a healthy coat. Nutritional deficiencies could lead to an increased shedding in your dog. So, ensure your dog feeds on high-quality dog foods.
A mistake you must avoid as a pet owner is to feed your dog cheap pet food. Most cheap pet foods meet the minimum quality requirements to keep a pet healthy, but they lack enough animal minerals and protein to maintain optimal health. You should make it a habit to always consult with your vet before introducing a new meal to your dog’s diet.
If you are not sure of the type of food and ingredients to include in your dog’s food, you can meet with your veterinary doctor for recommendations. Also, ensure your dog is always hydrated. Dehydration can also cause your dog to shed.
Reaction To Fungi Or Parasites
Parasites or fungi such as mites, ticks, and fleas on your dogs’ skin could result in hair loss on certain parts of your dog’s body. To be sure the hair loss or shedding is due to a parasite or fungi, watch out for things like inflammation or redness of such areas of the dogs’ skin where the hair loss occurs.
Also, if the dog has fungi-induced ringworm, you will spot irregular or circular distributed hair loss. Hair loss caused by parasites occurs around the stomach, ears, eyes, and chest. Bathing your dog regularly with some shampoos could help fight bacteria and fungi. However, if your dogs’ coat does not improve, you can meet your vet for other forms of treatment.
The Dog Has An Illness
Certain diseases such as cancer, liver, kidney, and immune diseases could lead to a dog shedding more. When any of these illnesses is attacking a dog, they often come with various symptoms, of which your dog losing a large amount of coat could be. Unhealthy dogs shed more hair than healthy dogs; you should remember this.
Pregnancy And Lactation
This is another reason dogs shed, especially female dogs. During pregnancy and lactation, the minerals, calcium, and energy stored in the dog deplete, so various dog breeds shed heavily when their puppies are born and nursed. You need to ensure the nursing dog gets balanced supplements and nutrition to keep it healthy and prevent shedding. Before using any supplement or vitamins for your pregnant or nursing dog, consult a vet first.
The state of a dog’s skin also influences the frequency of its shedding. A dog with dirty and matted hair is a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive; these infect the hair follicles and cause hair loss. You need to ensure your dog is properly groomed regularly to prevent shedding. Grooming gets rid of dead hair while stimulating the skin to be healthy, and the follicles nourished.
What Triggers Dog Shedding?
It is normal and healthy for dogs to shed, as we mentioned earlier. Most times, it occurs naturally without any form of trigger. Also, some dogs are naturally heavy shedders; they will always shed even without any trigger. Although, some other things could cause a dog to shed, including allergies such as food, medication, and environment.
Also, some medical illnesses such as cancer, kidney, and liver diseases could cause a dog to shed. Parasites, fungi, and hormonal issues also cause a dog to shed. Lack of proper nutrition could also trigger a dog to shed. Environment and weather cause dogs to shed too. There are certain seasons that dogs often shed more.
Learn More: Why Does My Dog Scratch the Carpet? How To Help
What Months Do Dogs Shed The Most?
Different dog breeds shed in different amounts and at different times; some shed all year round, while others shed seasonally. Dogs that shed seasonally, like Alaskan Malamutes, Collies, and Samoyeds (dogs with a double coat), shed during spring and fall.
They lose their light summer coats during fall, and they lose their thick winter coats in spring. Dogs that shed all year long grow new hair every month, so they have to lose the old hair for the new ones to grow. Examples are Poodles, and their hair grows constantly. They are pretty much live evergreen trees that always grow new leaves.
You need to know many things if you want to own a pet, especially dogs and cats. Although these pets look like they have a simple life, there are various complexities that you need to know about. As a dog owner, you should have a friend you can call up, the veterinary doctor.
Related post: Why Does My Dog Look Sad? Everything You Need To Know
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.