Why Is My Dog Shedding So Much?

Why Is My Dog Shedding So Much?

Note: This is a guest post written by Meghan Wilmott from Dog Pages. Thanks, Meghan!

Is your dog shedding all over your beautiful carpet and sofas?

The first thing you need to do is remain calm. Shedding is their body’s natural process for removing old and damaged hair, just like our locks.

My German Shepherd sheds like crazy, especially during the summer, so I can understand your dilemma right now. 

Why Is My Dog Shedding So Much?

There are numerous reasons for dog shedding, but the main one includes the breed you have. That, and the weather, can make the lint roller your best friend. However, first, you need to understand the different types of shedding.

Normal Shedding

Most dogs shed their coats to make room for new ones year-round. Some may blow their coat once or twice a year, and the sight is one to behold. However, it can be difficult to manage, especially if you have a double-coated breed, such as Akitas and Samoyeds. These breeds blow their coats as the season changes.

Coat blows usually occur during the spring when these dogs shed their fluffy winter coats to prepare for summer. It is not common for indoor dogs, who live in climate-controlled environments.

Seasonal Shedding

As is apparent from the name, some dogs shed seasonally i.e., during certain times of the year. This is usually spring, but some breeds also lose their coats in autumn (fall). This type of shedding occurs across the entire body and follows a cycle. Generally, dogs that can withstand cold weather, such as the Husky or Saint Bernard shed like this.

Which Breeds Shed The Most?

Whether you have allergies or don’t want a dog who sheds too much, figuring out the shed rate of each breed should be an essential part of your research for your next pet. Here are some that shed the most:

1. Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is a large northern breed, which was bred to take heavy loads across icy Alaskan lands. Naturally, this breed boasts an extra thick double coat, which sheds a lot as temperatures rise and fall. It looks fluffy, but you should opt for the breed only if you are ready to manage that gorgeous coat regularly.

2. American Eskimo

This breed does not originate from the US, despite its name. It is originally from northern Europe and is a close relative of the German Spitz. Don’t let their small size fool you. These fluffers boast a gorgeous white double coat – a short, dense undercoat and a longer outer coat. The good news is that even though the coats shed constantly, the breed has long hair, which is surprisingly low maintenance.

3. Cardigan Welsh Corgi

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is the only Corgi breed that has a tail. This herding breed also has a double coat, which sheds year-round. This dog breed has a gorgeous coat, which grows in multiple shades, so if you can maintain its coats, this Corgi can be a show stopper at dog shows.

4. Saint Bernard

There are two types of Saint Bernards – short and long-haired, but both types can shed excessively. The former has dense and smooth coats, while the latter has slightly wavy and medium-length fur. However, irrespective of the breed you get, if you brush yours twice a week, you can prevent excessive shedding.

5. German Shepherd

Considered to be one of the most popular breeds in the world, German Shepherds are known for being loyal companions. The breed is also known for its thick coat, which sheds constantly. The breed blows its coat twice a year, but the dog will still shed in between if not as excessively. 

Tips for Managing Shedding

Now that you know the reasons for dog shedding according to breeds, you can take measures to maintain your pet’s beautiful coat. Here are some tips that can help:

1. Brush Daily

The best way to maintain your dog’s coat, irrespective of the breed, is to brush it daily. This will dislodge loose fur before it has the chance to stick to your expensive carpet, bedsheets, and other home decors. However, not just any brush will do. Choose it according to the breed you have. 

For example, if you have a short-haired dog, such as a Chihuahua or a Dalmatian, use a bristle brush. Similarly, use a rake brush for long-haired breeds, such as German Shepherds and Alaskan Malamutes, and a pin brush is best for dogs that have wavy fur, such as Cocker Spaniels.  

You can get special brushes that are designed especially for dogs that shed excessively from pet stores.

Product Recommendation

HandsOn Pet Grooming Gloves are great for gently removing excess fur. Not only are they easy to use and come in multiple colours, but they’re also quite effective in minimising the fur that ends up on your couch!

2. Add Moisture to Your Dog’s Food

If you only give your dog dry dog food, chances are its fur has gotten weaker because of a lack of moisture. This is especially true for brands that use fillers. If you cannot replace it, at least increase your pet’s moisture intake by adding carrots, green beans, and even melons.

These are dog-safe snacks your pet should consume in moderation regularly. You can also add flaxseeds to their diet but consult with your vet first.

Product Recommendation

PetPlate is a meal delivery service that offers vet-designed, human-grade meals with real ingredients. All of their freshly-cooked meals are made with USDA-certified meats and fresh produce.

3. Give Your Dog a Bath Regularly

Even short-haired dogs need regular baths and not just to ensure they remain clean. By shampooing their fur every other day or once a week, you can reduce the amount of fur they shed. That’s because a batch can remove matted fur, which a brush may not be able to.

How many times you need to do this depends on the breed you have. However, if your pooch loves to play outdoors and roll around in the mud, you need to bathe them more times than its breed accounts for. However, before doing so, consult your vet. Excessive bathing can strip essential oils from your dog’s skin, which can dry out its fur and increase shedding.

Product Recommendation

Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo for Dogs is a great option for regular bathing, especially if your dog has sensitive skin and you’re looking for a soap-free alternative.

Conclusion

A clean dog is a happy dog. No matter how much your pet sheds, regular grooming can reduce shedding and save you a lot of time.

Be a responsible dog owner and ensure your pet is well taken care of, irrespective of the breed.

About the author:

Meghan Wilmott is a singer and a writer who writes for Dog Pages, a dog blog. She lives in Manhattan, where she walks and cares for elderly and special-needs dogs. She has two dogs herself: Finn, a rescue Chihuahua that enjoys singing along with her, and Chloe, a senior Portuguese water dog that tries to eat everything.