Image showing what came off of a Shiloh Shepherd after one brushing during shedding season
Shedding is a natural loss of hair in dogs that allows the new coat to come in. All dogs shed; some more than others. There is no such thing as a non-shedding dog, unless you have a completely hairless dog, such as the American Hairless Terrier; however shedding varies greatly from breed to breed.
The majority of breeds that are considered "very light shedders" are usually the breeds that need to be clipped, stripped and/or scissored. Because their hair falls out at a much slower rate, if they are not properly groomed they are prone to matting.
Some breeds have a seasonal shedding season in the spring, as their winter coats are lost. But if your dog is an indoor dog it may not be outside enough for its body to register the change of season, so he may shed all year round. Today dogs are bred mostly as companions and some breeds are not meant to live outdoors, so do not start leaving your dog outside all day long in hopes of stopping the shedding. Longhaired dogs may appear to shed more, but it is really just the length of their hair that gives that illusion.
What can you do to reduce shedding?
Some dogs shed a lot. What can you do to help get the hair loss under control? Grooming is the key. Keep in mind that the hair is going to fall out either way and it is best to remove it yourself and throw it in the trash then to let the hair fall out naturally all over your house. The more hair YOU remove the less you will see it all over your house. Brushing your dog once a day will greatly reduce the unwanted hair all over your clothes, carpet and furniture, especially during shedding season.
Also keep in mind that dogs who eat a poor quality diet often shed more hair. The dog will sometimes even have a fowl smell to their skin. Sometimes smelling like a corn chip or stale oil. If you think your dog is shedding an abnormal amount of hair read the ingredient of the dog food you are feeding. Even some of the expensive foods sold exclusively at vets can contain poor ingredients. Do your own research on what makes a good dog food and then read all of the labels on your dogs food and treats. You may be surprised what you find.
There are products that can help you remove all the dead hair in a few grooming sessions, leaving less hair to fall out inside your house. During the shedding season, if you do not remove the shedding winter coat, you will most likely see it falling all out all over your house for about a period of a month or so.
There are physical problems that can cause large, abnormal amounts of shedding such as ringworm, skin infections, stress, mange and cancer. It is not normal for your dog’s coat to thin as the dog gets older. If your dog's hair loss is abnormal you will see bald spots. If you see bald spots or you think your dog is shedding abnormally, take your dog to the vet.
Also keep in mind when a dog eats a poor quality diet it will often shed more hair. The dog will sometimes even have a fowl smell to their skin. Sometimes smelling like a corn chip or stale oil. If you think your dog is shedding an abnormal amount of hair read the ingredients of the dog food you are feeding. Even some of the expensive foods sold exclusively at vets can contain poor ingredients. Do your own research on what makes a good dog food and then read all of the labels on your dogs food and treats. You may be surprised at what you find.
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- Rendered Products in Dog Food: What's your dog really eating?
- Understanding Dog Behavior