Why Dogs Shed Hair

So many of us have to deal with this issue regularly. But why dogs shed hair is actually quite natural.

Dog shedding occurs in nearly all dogs. It 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 differences in genetics, environment and of course, the dog food being fed.

Dog Coat Characteristics.

dog-coat

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 and wave in dog coats: wavy, wire-haired, 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.

Other factors and causes of why dogs shed hair.

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: de-worm 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 being fed 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).[Begin Block]

Summary

Skin and coat health can be helped by regular grooming and by feeding a natural premium dog food of a complete formulation containing all essential vitamins, minerals, amino-acids and fatty acids.[End Block]

Non or Low Shedding Dog Breeds – Hypoallergenic Dogs

Affenpinsher
Airedale Terrier
American Hairless Terrier
Australian Terrier
Basenji
Bedlington Terrier
Bergamasco
Bichon Frise
Black Russian Terrier
Bolognese
Border Terrier
Boston Terrier
Bouvier des Flandres
Brussels Griffon
Cairn Terrier
Cesky Terrier
Chacy Ranior
Chi-Poo
Chinese Crested
Cockapoo
Coton De Tulear
Dachshund
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Giant Schnauzer
Glen of Imaal Terrier
Greyhound
Hairless Khala
Havanese
Irish Terrier
Irish Water Spaniel
Italian Greyhound
Kerry Blue Terrier
Komondor
Lagotto Romagnolo
Lakeland Terrier
Lhasa Apso
Lowchen
Maltese
Malti-Poo
Manchester Terrier
Mi-Ki
Miniature Schnauzer
Norfolk Terrier
Norwich Terrier
Peruvian Inca Orchid
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Poodle (all types)
Poos
Portuguese Water Dog
Puli
Scottish Terrier
Sealyham Terrier
Shih Tzu
Silky Terrier
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Spanish Water Dog
Standard Schnauzer
Tibetan Terrier
Welsh Terrier
West Highland White Terrier
Whippet
Wire Haired Fox Terrier
Wire Haired Pointing Griffon
Xoloitzcuintli
Yorkshire Terrier

Heavy Shedding Dog Breeds

Alaskan Malamute
Akita
Australian Shepherd
Belgian Sheepdog
Collie
English Toy Spaniel
German Shepherd
Great Pyrenees
Keeshond
Newfoundlander

Norwegian Elkhound
Pomeranian
Saint Bernard
Samoyed
Siberian Husky
Shetland Sheepdog