Why is my dog shedding excessively? Should I be concerned?

When we get a dog we expect to have some hair that comes from them on ourselves or about the house as a general fact of life. Dogs are hairy so it comes with the territory.

Shedding is also expected to some degree. However, when the shedding is excessive, we not only worry about the dogs’ health, but it can be quite messy to deal with too.

If your dog appears to be losing lots of hair and you are concerned, don’t worry. There is usually a common and normal cause for this to happen, and lots you can do to prevent dog shedding and help reduce the effects of shedding too.

Seasonal Hair Shedding In Dogs

Dogs naturally lose their hair when the hair reaches the end of the growth cycle. This encourages the growth of healthy new hair and helps the dog shed skin cells and other debris too.

How much a dog sheds depends very much on its breed and health. However, as a general rule, dogs will shed more from March to around July, then September to November. Indoor dogs that don’t spend a lot of time are less likely to be affected by seasonal shedding and may evenly shed all year round.

If your dog is shedding excessively during a shedding season then you have no need to be concerned as this is a normal, healthy process.

Minimizing Shedding In Dogs

Shedding is a healthy process that should not be stopped, but the effects can be minimized.

Regular grooming of the dog is a great idea because it not only gives you control over the removal of their hair, but it bonds you to the pet who likely enjoys the process.

To further aid the shedding process, regular trips to the groomer will help control things. The groomer will also recommend ways you can maintain a good grooming regime for your pet between visits to them.

Lastly, a great hoover designed to gather pet hair is really handy. There are lots of ways to avoid pet hair taking over the home and often it is a case of trial and error, then getting into a routine to keep on top of the issue.

When Shedding Isn’t Normal

Sometimes there are reasons the dog is shedding that are a cause for concern.

Excessive shedding can occur because of issues with stress, nutrition or an underlying medical issue. If you are concerned that your dog’s shedding is abnormal then a trip to the vets is a great start to getting a diagnosis.

An underlying condition is best diagnosed as soon as possible to ensure your dog gets the right treatment. This will not only help them retain their hair, but it will help them regain overall health too.

If the issue is with their diet, this can be easily rectified with a change in food, and perhaps some additional supplements. If they are missing something from their diet the problem is easier to correct that an allergy or sensitivity which may take some detective work on your part.

Further causes of unnatural hair shedding in dogs include:

  • Stress
  • Cancer
  • Sunburn
  • Fungal diseases of the skin
  • Topical allergies
  • Infections
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding

You should speed up your visit to the vet if you notice your pet is scratching or nibbling their skin more than usual. Hair that seems to come out more easily, sores, bald areas or visible rashes, skin irritation or spots are other causes for concern that need looking at.

Your dog’s shedding process is likely normal, but if it isn’t don’t worry, there’s lots of help available.

Groomers and vets can help you get to the root of the issue and at the very least you’ll get a great grooming regime in place that both you and your dog can enjoy.