TAGS: shedding | development

Why Your Dog is Shedding its Fur

05 Dec, 2022

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Have you ever run your hand through your dog's fur and come out with a wad of hair? Or gave your pup a cuddle, and all of a sudden, your shirt is now covered in loose hair, probably never to come off? Well, you are not alone. All this loose dog hair you find around your house is because of a process called "shedding." Millions of dog owners share this same, sometimes frustrating issue. It is important and worthwhile to remember that this is a normal function of your dog's body and is usually a sign of good health. However, there are a few instances where shedding may signify a more underlying issue in your dog's health, so it is vital to know these signs. Let's take a look at some reasons dogs shed and some signs you should look out for.

Dog in the fall

Shedding As A Natural Process

The majority of shedding will take place as the seasons change. If your dog typically sheds its fur only twice per year, you can rest assured that this is natural, and there's a very good evolutionary reason for it. As summer turns into fall, dogs will prepare for the colder temperatures by growing a thicker undercoat. This thicker coat pushes out the thinner hair, and as a result, you may need to take out the vacuum a little more often during this time. As the winter dies down and spring is in the air, your dog will do a spring cleaning of its own and get rid of that thick undercoat, as the insulation is no longer needed during the warmer months. 

Some dogs will shed their undercoat year-round. The most common reason for this is that your dog is getting rid of old or damaged hair that is no longer needed. 

Some well-known dog breeds which are notorious shedders include German Shepherds, Alaskan Huskies, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers. On the flip side, some well-known breeds which won't have you fearing the change of seasons include Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, Boxers, and Poodles.

Stress-Induced Shedding

Just as excessive anxiety in humans can cause health problems, the same is true for our four-legged friends. If you notice that your dog is shedding more than usual, typically with excessive panting, these are signs that your dog may be under a lot of stress. Stress will appear in different dogs depending on a range of factors, including their upbringing, their breed, and how often they exercise. For example, if your dog has had bad experiences at the vet, you may notice more shedding if your pup associates a car ride or a walk in a particular direction with the vet. Rescued dogs or dogs who have suffered through abandonment may also be much more prone to stress due to their upbringing. 

Very often, female dogs will shed their hair due to stress if they are pregnant or if they just gave birth to a litter of puppies. This is typically not a cause for concern. Still, if you think the shedding is excessive, you should talk to a professional who can help with your concerns.

sad dog with cone

Other Concerning Reasons For Shedding

If your dog is shedding and you don't believe it is from a natural and healthy reason or stress-induced, there may be a more serious underlying issue that has to be treated. 

Here are some common reasons for unnatural shedding:

  • A skin infection that needs medical treatment
  • An allergic reaction
  • Malnourishment or a diet that isn't best suited for your dog's needs. 
  • Your dog may have parasites such as fleas or ticks inhabiting its fur and causing inflammation and hair loss. 
  • A more severe illness that needs immediate medical advice.

While it is important to recognize the signs of unnatural shedding, knowing what to do in these situations is just as important. We always recommend talking to your trusted vet and ensuring your pup gets the proper care and attention it needs and deserves.

Brushing a dog

As the seasons change and your dog is shedding all over the house, your clothes, your car, and you, it's always great to have some techniques to get rid of ALL THAT HAIR. Many dog owners will opt for a vacuum cleaner, a lint roller, or one of the dozens of products designed to remove dog hair. 

We'd love to hear from you on the best techniques you have to remove dog hair! Send them to [email protected], and we'll share some of our favorite ones!


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