Dog lovers understand that some breeds shed more profusely than others, but there are only a few breeds who do not shed. Pet owners love their dogs and want to keep them close, but when a dog is shedding excessively, it can become difficult to give them the love and affection that owners and their dogs crave.
Dogs shed all year long, but it tends to increase in the summer months. Many breeds develop a winter coat, and when it sheds off in the warmer months, owners often feel overwhelmed by the work it takes to keep dog hair at bay.
Steps to control shedding
Excessive shedding makes a mess in your home, your car, and your clothes. The good news is that there are steps you can take to reduce the amount of shedding. A high-quality dog shedding supplement is the first place to start. The supplement should be designed to control shedding while helping to maintain a healthy coat.
· Feed your dog, quality dog food. Allergies or nutritional deficits can cause excessive shedding, so you may want to consider changing your dog’s food to a better brand that offers a balanced diet. Talk to your veterinarian about which brand would be best for your dog.
· Invest in a brush designed for your dog’s coat. Short-haired dogs can shed as much as long-haired dogs, but the type of brush you need is entirely different. Dogs with double coats, like German Shepherds, require a long bristled brush. Dogs need to be brushed once every 2-3 days all year long. During times of heavy shedding, they need to be brushed daily. Make sure you make brushing a pleasant activity for your dog and give a healthy treat when you are done. Associating brushing with treats, affection, and fun will make life easier for you and your dog.
· Bathe your dog, but not too frequently. Dogs have oils in their skin designed to keep their skin and coats healthy. Excessive bathing can disrupt the natural balance and increase their shedding. Choose a gentle formula shampoo and only use it when necessary to control odor.
Reasons for excessive shedding
Shedding is a natural thing for dogs. Humans shed, as well. Shedding is a way to get rid of old hair to allow for the growth of new and healthier hair. Some dogs develop a winter coat, and shedding is a way for their bodies to prepare for the warmer months of spring and summer. However, if your dog is shedding more than usual, there could be a medical reason. Unhealthy shedding occurs when a dog has:
· An autoimmune disease—some diseases directly impact a dog’s coat.
· Fleas or other parasites—excessive scratching can lead to damage to the skin as well as increased shedding. If a dog is shedding more than usual and seems to be scratching, sift through their coats for fleas or other parasites. The best place to check is usually on the belly, where the hair is not as thick and around the ears. Appropriately treating the parasites can help reduce excessive shedding and make your furry friend much more comfortable.
· Allergies—Some breeds are more prone to allergies than others, but allergies can afflict any dog. Allergies can cause excessive itchiness, red, inflamed skin, and hives. If your dog develops symptoms of allergies, take careful inventory of anything that has changed in the dog’s life recently. If you have changed food, or just bought your dog a new bed, remove those culprits to see if the allergic reaction fades. If you are unable to locate what is causing the allergic reaction, or if your dog seems lethargic or miserable, see your veterinarian. Signs of an allergic reaction include:
1. Red, moist, or scabbed skin that is itchy.
2. Excessive scratching
3. Watering eyes, or crust around the eyes
5. Licking their fur until it is gone in places
6. Diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms
7. Chewing or licking their paws
· Medications—some medications prescribed by your veterinarian can cause excessive shedding. Talk to your vet about the shedding, and asks if there is a substitute medication safe for your dog to try.
· Sunburn—for short-haired dogs, especially those with thinner coats, it is possible for them to be sunburned. Like in humans, skin damaged by the sun tends to peel, and this can result in increased shedding. Limit your pet’s exposure to direct sunlight. When they are outdoors, make sure there is shade available and limit play to the mornings or late afternoons.
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