Dog shedding is not a unique thing, almost every animal sheds; it is a natural process that even humans adopt. The hair on your body grows and eventually falls out; to be replaced by new ones.
This is also true for dogs. However, the process is generally much quicker and involves far more hair on a dog! Of course, this is partly to do with the fact that a dog is covered with hair!
Why is My Dog’s Hair Falling Out?
There are two main issues when you consider dog shedding and why your dog’s hair is falling out.
1. The hair gets everywhere!
Different dogs shed different amounts of hair. But no matter whether they shed a little or a lot, one of the first things a new owner will discover is that you need to find the best vacuum for pet hair quickly!
2. Why is my dog shedding?
The main reason for shedding is to replace their fur. A dog will develop a thicker coat to help keep them warm in the winter. However, as you can appreciate, a thick fur coat in the summer is not a good idea!
Their solution is to shed fur in order to keep a light summer coat. This will keep them warm but, hopefully, not too warm!
In addition, all hair becomes brittle as it ages. It is easier to damage and less likely to provide any form of protection. The result is dog shedding.
Old and damaged hairs fall out; leaving new and healthy ones in their place. It is for this reason that many dogs always seem to have a shiny coat as their hair is constantly being replaced.
Although a natural process, there are some other reasons why your may experience excessive dog shedding:
- Parasites, particularly lice and fleas can cause itching and hair loss
- An infection, specifically bacterial or fungal can also cause dog shedding
- Allergies; whether food related or environmental. Hair falling out is simply a natural reaction in many animals.
- Licking can cause hair loss; especially excessive licking..
Some dogs like to lick, or they may be irritated; even have a small cut which makes them lick one area repetitively.
- Disease can result in excessive dog shedding. This is often an indication of kidney or liver issues.
Even immune diseases, cancer or pregnancy can cause excessive hair loss.
- Other irritant such as your dog coming into contact with potent fertilizers or other irritating substances.
Dog shedding is normal, but you will need to know the difference between your dog’s normal hair loss and an unusual increase.
If the hair loss is caused by an irritant and they are licking it, you may need to verify that they are not making themselves ill.
Do all Dogs Shed?
In short, yes! However, some dogs shed very little and are often considered to be ‘non-shedders’.
These are the ones which are considered to be hairless or to have very short single coats.
In effect, they have very little hair to shed and are, therefore, non-shedding dogs!
It is generally best to accept that your dog will shed and look at options to minimize the time you spend clearing up after them:
• Grooming is one of the best ways to reduce shedding. It does not actually reduce the amount of fur a dog loses.
However, it does allow you to remove it in a more controlled manner.
Simply run a dog brush or comb through your dog’s hair and collect the hair which is ready to fall out.
Your dog shedding will be instantly minimized. Of course, this will need to be done regularly!
• Washing your dog regularly can help reduce the dog shedding issue.
Some of the hair will be lost whilst washing. Some will not shed because the shampoo will help to keep the hair healthy.
• Fleas are easily contracted by most dogs and can be difficult to get rid of.
Fortunately regular flea treatment to remove these parasites will prevent your dog itching. This will reduce hair loss.
• Food can also affect your dog’s shedding. Anything which can upset their internal systems can result in excessive hair loss.
In addition food allergies can cause rashes and itchiness – which will increase dog shedding!
Small Dog Breeds Which Don’t Shed or Bark…
There are some dogs which shed so little they are considered non-shedders. These are general small dogs. The following list is some of the most common.
However, it is worth considering the nature of each dog before you choose one just because it sheds very little.
• Maltese Terrier – A gorgeous looking small dog, generally in white.
Although they have long hair they do not have an undercoat. The result is very little dog shedding!
• Bichon Frise – Another small dog with plenty of hair that just does not shed.
• Basenji – This small dog looks like a cross between a fox and a French bulldog.
It has an excellent temperament with very short hair. As well as no shedding, the Bichon does not bark.
It is important to note that it is a very energetic dog.
• The Italian Greyhound is a smaller version of the standard greyhound.
It has a very short coat ensuring it does not experience excessive dog shedding.
However, it does feel the cold and does like to run!
• Yorkshire terrier – This is an excellent choice for those with limited space.
It has a cheerful nature and is rarely disturbed enough to bark.
There are many other dogs which do not shed. However, there are very few who never bark.
Dogs bark when they are scared or happy; it is impossible for a dog not to feel one of these emotions at some point. If you need a quiet dog then training is the answer.
It is important to know your dog. This will ensure you are aware when dog shedding is normal and when you need to visit your vet.
In general, irritations which last more than a few days, rashes or a collection of scabs warrant a visit to your vet.
You should also consider a visit if you witness excessive
dog shedding due to constant licking; especially if they result in open sores.
Your dog is your best friend. Grooming them, providing them with the best possible exercise and diet will help to reduce dog shedding.
It can even minimize barking and ensure they are always your best friend.