Help! My Dog Sheds Like Crazy!
So much fur! 😱🧹
If you have a pup, dog hair is unavoidable — and it's a small price to pay for having a live-in best friend.
But while shedding is totally natural, there can be times when all that hair can feel a little — or a lot — overwhelming.
While it’s impossible to stop your dog from shedding entirely, there are ways to help control all that fur.
The Dodo spoke to Dr. Zay Satchu, cofounder and chief veterinary officer at Bond Vet in New York City, to find out more.
Why do dogs shed?
Dogs can experience shedding for many reasons. And if your pup is a breed with a double coat — like Pomeranians, Great Pyrenees, German shepherds, huskies and more — that shedding can be even more extreme.
“First of all, it’s important to know that most shedding is normal,” Dr. Satchu said. “Dogs have to shed their coat to get rid of old fur and provide room for new, healthy fur.”
But not all dog shedding is created equal — and a lot of how your individual dog's coat sheds is based on her genetics.
“Dogs with hair that continuously grows (Yorkies, for example) will not shed as much because their hairs have longer life spans,” Dr. Satchu said. “Dogs with two layered coats, such as the German shepherd mentioned before, will shed more often because their fur has a shorter lifespan and they have a thick undercoat.”
Reasons why your dog’s shedding
Your dog might be shedding due to a variety of reasons, including the time of year and how old she is! Some common reasons include:
Her coat is prepping for the weather
“Dogs typically shed more in spring and fall; first, to prepare a lighter coat for the warmth, and then to shed their lighter coat to prepare for winter,” Dr. Satchu said.
Have you noticed that your once barely-shedding pup is suddenly leaving hair on the couch more than ever before? Turns out, the older your dog gets, the more she’s going to shed! “Older dogs can definitely shed more as the lifespan of their hair shortens,” Dr. Satchu said.
She’s stressed out
If she’s stressed out for any reason, that might be the cause of her shedding. Shedding can actually be a fear response in pups. “Dogs can also shed more with stress; just ask any veterinary staff member why they always keep lint rollers around!” Dr. Satchu said.
There’s a medical issue
“Lastly, allergies and other hormone imbalances can also cause excessive shedding. So if it seems sudden and if you are noticing any other changes at home, [it’s] always best to discuss with your vet,” Dr. Satchu said.
How to help control my dog’s shedding
“The best thing to do with excessive shedding is keep up with grooming,” Dr. Satchu recommends.
You can help combat the battle against excess hair by:
Getting a good shedding tool
“FURminators work well, and some people (with double coated dogs) enjoy using shedding blades, which are like loops of metal that you brush the coat with,” Dr. Satchu said.
Use an oatmeal shampoo
According to Dr. Satchu, bathing with a gentle oatmeal shampoo is always healthy for the skin — which in turn supports the coat and can reduce shedding.
Get some supplements
“Your vet may also suggest a fish oil supplement to help provide essential fatty acids, which can help the coat (and joints!),” Dr. Satchu said.
So while shedding is just another part of having a sweet pup in your life, all that hair doesn’t have to take over your whole life — or your clothes!
Keeping up with her grooming will work wonders — and if you suspect your pup’s shedding is due to something other than seasonal or age-related reasons — contact your vet to figure out why!
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