Updated: Jan 27
Shedding is natural loss in a cycle where new hair replaces old. Shedding should not be confused with hair loss, bald spots, hot spots, and other health issues. Shedding can be a bothersome reality for dog owners. Many people considering dog adoption will make the decision based upon the presence or absence of shedding and the time required to care for the dog's coat. Some breeds are notorious shedders, like the German Shepherd. Others shed very little, like the poodle.
Dogs shed for several reasons:
Seasonal shedding. The amount of daylight as well as temperature affect shedding. Indoor dogs, because of steady, year-round temperature and access to light, usually shed more frequently and regularly with less seasonal shedding.
Stress and anxiety can cause excessive shedding. My Shepherd, Athena, is a bad stress shedder. Dogs who encounter a very stressful situation (such as going to visit the vet) or are nervous by nature will sometimes exhibit excessive shedding.
Poor nutrition. Healthy dogs do not shed as much as unhealthy dogs. Dogs require quality absorbable proteins and fats to produce a good coat. Dogs on low-quality foods will usually shed more than a comparable dog fed a high-quality food. Sometimes merely switching to a higher quality food will produce a noticeable reduction in shedding. I recommend Victor dog food. We also supplement our dogs with NuVet Plus and NuJoint Plus.
Worms, parasites, and high fevers can all damage the coat. Allergies (whether flea dermatitis, food allergies, or environmental allergies like grass or dust) will cause dogs to shed, or appear to shed due to scratching. Flea/tick prevention help to thwart infestations that lead to skin or coat allergies.
Especially those with low level thyroid issues also known as hypothyroidism.
Pregnancy and lactation. Low levels of calcium and minerals cause shedding in mothers and mothers-to-be. This shedding can be substantial and even alarming. Additional vitamins, minerals, and calcium are required to prevent and/or cure the problem.
All dogs shed, except for the hairless breeds of course. However, some terriers, the poodle, and poodle mixes tend to shed so little that it is unnoticed. The same goes for the Puli, Greyhound, and the Portuguese Water Dog.
Long haired dogs get a bad rep about shedding. The truth is, it's not that they shed more; it's just their long hair is more noticeable. The opposite is also true
. Short haired dogs shed just as much as long haired dogs; it's just that the short hairs are less noticeable. Darker coat colors tend to show up more than lighter colors.
Grooming can help reduce shedding. Coat that are frequently brushed tend to stimulate follicle health, which in turn helps the body hang on to the hair longer. Ask your groomer about a Furminator treatment. You will not be disappointed! Some coats that are left un-groomed will mat instead of shed. Know your breed to determine how much maintenance your dog's coat needs!
Here is a list of my favorite grooming products/services
King Komb deshedding tool. This works wonders on my Shepherds! https://kingkanine.com
TropiClean shampoos. They smell amazing and its a natural shampoo. We also use Espee products. https://www.chewy.com
Kong Zoom Groom. Perfect for short haired dogs and I use this on my short haired Shepherds as well. https://www.chewy.com
Undercoat rake, needed for long haired dogs. www.amazon.com
Safari Nail Clippers. www.chewy.com
Furminator treatment done at the grooming salon. I recommend K9 Dzines by Terina in Bloomfield, IN.