Dog shedding occurs in nearly all dogs and is a natural process of eliminating (shedding) dead hair. There are a few natural reasons for this – It is a bit like a human sweating, to allow a new coat to come in and for seasonal changes in temperature. There is no such thing as a non-shedding dog, excepting of course the hairless varieties. That said, shedding varies greatly between the breeds because of dogs differences in genetics, environment and of course , the dog food it is being fed.
As a point of interest the difference between dog breeds and how dogs shed hair rests with the growth rate of the dogs hair (3 cycles: anagen, catagen and telogen),
Dog shedding is influenced by these three dog coat characteristics:
- Different types of dog coats: hairless, presence of undercoat.
- Different degrees of curl & wave in dog coats: wavy, wirehaired, and straight.
- Different dog coat lengths: short, medium, and long.
Dog shedding can be problem for two major reasons for dog owners: allergies and the time it takes to clean up hair that has shed.
“Very light shedders” are breeds which usually need to be clipped, stripped and/or cut with scissor’s. Of course as mentioned earlier diet has also a major influence and those fed a very healthy natural dog food tend to shed very lightly except in the spring when dogs naturally shed all their hair so a new coat can grow. The phenomenon of seasonal shedding for some breeds occurs because the dogs shed their winter coats in the spring and if you are the owner of one such breed, you will have to be prepared for large-scale shedding at these times of the year.
In addition to dog coat characteristics, many other factors influence dog shedding:
- Sunlight and temperature: The length of day may influence growth of a new coat on the dog and shedding of the old coat. Outdoor dogs usually shed their thick undercoat in the spring to prepare for warmer weather. Many indoor living dogs experience increased continuous dog shedding and decreased annual dog shedding.
- Health: deworm your dog regularly and treat skin infections properly to maintain healthy skin and coat and decrease shedding.
- Allergies: allergic dogs ( flea and tick infestation) shed more although a compromised immune system goes hand in hand with dogs allergies.
- Dog Nutrition: a high quality natural dog food should provide the conditions for healthy skin and coat on your dog.
- Cleanliness; brush your dog regularly and use adapted shampoo (not for humans !).
- Hormones affect skin and coat health: A healthy thyroid, adrenal glands etc are essential to a healthy dog coat
- Pregnancy and lactation: deplete calcium, minerals and energy stores so that many dogs shed heavily after the pups are born and are being nursed.
Excessive dog shedding, should trigger questions about : skin diseases (Staphylococcus infection, ringworm, dog allergies (flea, tick and lice)), pyoderma), Cushing’s disease and autoimmune diseases as pemphigus complex, pemphigus vegetans, pemphigus foliaceous, pemphigus erythematosis and Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada-like syndrome and of course the dogs diet – is it a premium dog food or a natural premium dog food.
What can you do to reduce shedding?
Grooming helps! Brushing your dog once a day will greatly reduce the unwanted hair all over your clothes, carpet and furniture, especially during shedding season. Feed a high quality dog food diet which should not require the use of supplements as a natural dog food will contain all essential nutrients for optimal skin and coat health (vitamins, minerals, amino acids and omega 6/3 fatty acids).
Skin and coat health can be helped with natural premium dog food of a complete formulation containing all essential vitamins, minerals, amino-acids and fatty acids.
Non or Low Shedding Dog Breeds – Hypoallergenic Dogs
American Hairless Terrier
Black Russian Terrier
Bouvier des Flandres
Coton De Tulear
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Glen of Imaal Terrier
Irish Water Spaniel
Kerry Blue Terrier
Peruvian Inca Orchid
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Poodle (all types)
Portuguese Water Dog
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Spanish Water Dog
West Highland White Terrier
Wire Haired Fox Terrier
Wire Haired Pointing Griffon
Heavy Shedding Dog Breeds
English Toy Spaniel