Why Is My Dog Shedding So Much? Common Causes and Helpful Solutions
Having a furry friend in the house usually comes with a side of pet hair. But if your dog is shedding more than usual, you may be concerned. Shedding can be caused by several factors, and if it becomes excessive, it could be a sign of an underlying health problem. This post will discuss why your dog is shedding so much, the common causes of excessive shedding, and helpful solutions to stop excessive shedding in your dog.
We’ll also discuss the differences between normal shedding and excessive shedding and how to distinguish between the two. After reading this article, you’ll have a better understanding of why your dog is shedding so much and the steps you can take to help.
What Is Normal Shedding in Dogs?
Normal shedding in dogs happens when old, dead fur is replaced with new growth and is a natural process that all dogs go through regularly. Shedding is particularly noticeable during the spring and fall months when temperatures are shifting and light exposure is changing. During these times of year, you may find extra hair on your furniture or clothing as well as clumps in your dog’s fur. Breed type can also play a factor in how much shedding you see. Breeds like Beagles and Huskies are especially prone to heavy shedding due to their dense coats.
Causes of Excessive Shedding in Dogs
It can be hard to tell if your dog’s shedding is normal or if it’s caused by an underlying health issue, so it’s important to pay attention to any other signs they might be showing. Here are some of the most common causes of excessive shedding:
- Poor Diet: A nutrient-poor diet can lead to patchy and brittle fur as well as increased shedding. To improve your pup’s coat, make sure they are getting enough healthy fats from their food, like omega-3 fatty acids from sources like salmon oil and flax seed oil, and protein for keratin production.
- Environmental Stressors: Changes in your pup’s environment, such as a move or the introduction of a new pet, can cause them stress, which in turn can lead to excess shedding. Make sure that you give your pup lots of extra love and attention during this time so they feel secure in their new home.
- Unhealthy Skin and Coat: Unhealthy skin or coat can result in excessive dryness or oiliness, leading to lots of hair loss. To keep your pup’s skin and coat healthy, brush them regularly, use an all-natural dog shampoo when bathing them every 1-2 months, and trim their nails regularly with dog clippers to ensure proper circulation throughout their body.
- Hormonal Imbalances: Hormonal imbalances such as Cushing’s Disease or hypothyroidism can cause increased amounts of fur loss due to hormonal fluctuations. If you suspect this might be the case with your pup, it’s always best to get them checked out by a vet for proper diagnosis and treatment options.
- Allergies: Seasonal allergies or allergies caused by certain foods can lead to excessive itching, which in turn leads to excess fur loss as your dog attempts to relieve the irritation. If your pup is experiencing allergies, talk with your vet about switching their diet to hypoallergenic dog food or look into antihistamines for relief from their symptoms.
- Parasites: External parasites like fleas or ticks can cause irritation that leads to excessive scratching, resulting in significant fur loss from those areas on their body affected by the parasites. Make sure that you’re using flea and tick medication regularly as prescribed by your vet to eliminate these pests from your pup’s coat quickly and safely.
- Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism is another common hormone-related cause of excessive fur loss in pups. If you suspect that this might be the case with your pup, contact your vet right away for testing and treatment options specific to them.
Simple Solutions for Reducing Dog Shedding
Now that you have some information on what may be causing your pup’s excessive shedding let us look at some simple solutions that can help reduce it:
1) Increase grooming frequency: A regular brushing regimen helps remove dead fur as well as stimulates natural oils for a healthier coat, leading to less hair loss overall.
2) Invest in a quality shampoo: An all-natural dog shampoo helps nourish the skin and coat while washing away dead hair safely.
3) Feed your pup a balanced diet: Ensure that your pup is getting all the nutrients they need from its food – speak with your vet about what kibble would best suit its dietary needs.
4) Limit environmental stressors: Reduce any changes that may cause stress for your pup (eagerly introducing children into their home, etc.).
5) Get regular checkups: Schedule annual checkups with your vet, including blood tests specifically designed to detect any underlying problems that could be causing excessive fur loss.
6) Add vitamins/supplements: Depending on any underlying health issues, speaking with your vet about adding certain dog supplements such as fish oils/salmon oil could help restore lost nutrients in their diet.
7) Clean up often: Brush off any dead fur from furniture or clothing often — this will reduce the amount that accumulates in carpets or bedding, making clean up easier later on.
8) Check for fleas & ticks: As mentioned earlier, parasites such as fleas and ticks should not be overlooked.
9) Reduce baths: Too many baths can strip away essential oils, leaving behind dry, brittle fur — simply use warm water when spot cleaning instead.
10) Minimize allergens: If allergies are suspected, try eliminating certain foods or airborne allergens from home (dust mites, etc.). These precautions will help reduce flare-ups drastically.
When To Contact Your Vet
If you have exhausted easy solutions such as increasing brushing or making dietary changes but still see no improvement, then it’s time to contact your vet right away for more detailed information about how best to treat the issue. A professional opinion could be just what’s needed for those scenarios where underlying issues like hypothyroidism may be causing excessive fur loss.
When it comes to excessive shedding in dogs, many potential causes could be the root of the problem. From environmental stressors to nutrient deficiencies and allergies, it’s important to research any signs or symptoms your pup might be showing. Luckily, there are simple solutions available that can help reduce shedding, such as regular brushing, quality shampoos, a balanced diet, and reducing environmental stressors. If all else fails, contact your vet for more information and tailored advice on how to best address the issue. Taking these steps will help ensure that your pup’s fur is healthy and happy so that you can enjoy each other’s company just a little bit longer.