Tips For Dog Shedding Season
- Thursday, 07 April 2011
As the spring brings with it warmer weather, you may find yourself plucking more tufts of pet hair off your couch. The simple truth is, all dogs shed. Even hypoallergenic or ‘non-shedding’ dogs will shed their old or damaged hair to make way for new hair growth. Many pets develop heavier coats in colder weather to help keep them warm. Warmer weather triggers a reaction in your dog’s body that causes hair follicles to release hair from their undercoat, meaning that spring is the time when shedding becomes more noticeable.
Shedding varies greatly between breeds. Breeds like the Alaskan Malamute, Akita, or Husky that were originally bred for colder climates will have a heavier undercoat to shed during the summer. Other thick-coated breeds include the Australian Shepherd and Collie. Do some research on your dog’s breed to get a better idea of how much shedding is normal for your dog. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian.
If you feel your dog’s shedding is excessive for its breed, it may be a sign of health-related issues. Improper diet, skin infections, allergies and systemic infections can all cause your dog to lose his hair. If this is the case, it is important to see your veterinarian to determine the cause and treatment of the hair loss.
No matter what type of furry friend lives with you, your pet may benefit from supplemental vitamins or specialty shampoos to help manage shedding. Instead of unhealthy table scraps or nutrition-poor “milk-bones”, give your pet treats that contain healthy vitamins and essential oils. Many moisturizing shampoos designed for sensitive skin are available through your veterinarian or at specialty pet supply stores.
There are several brushing tools on the market today that can help to harvest the loose undercoat before it ends up around your home. Be sure to use your de-shedding tool in your yard or at the park and collect the hair for proper disposal.
No matter what type of brush you use, regular grooming is an important routine to develop with your pet. Even if your dog’s coat does not require trimming, set aside time to brush it at least once a week. Not only will it help to manage shedding, but it is also a critical bonding experience between you and your pet. A weekly brushing is also a good opportunity to examine your dog’s coat and skin, noting any changes or problems you might otherwise not have noticed.
Proper diet, supplemental vitamins, and regular grooming will all contribute to the health and beauty of your dog’s coat, and help to keep less of it on your furniture this season.