Managing Excessive Shedding in Dogs
First things first – shedding is entirely normal and 100% healthy, especially during the spring months when the weather is warming, and during fall, when your pooch is preparing their winter coat.
But there are some instances when leaving a trail of hairy destruction in their wake is NOT normal. Here we take a look at how to spot excessive shedding that’s pointing to a problem.
*** Before we begin: A special note on certain breeds ***
This one’s going out to all the: Saint Bernards; Great Pyrenees; Chow Chows; Akitas; Siberian Huskies; Golden Retrievers; Labrador Retrievers and Alaskan Malamutes.
The very special dogs in this list are seriously furry, and they shed a whole lot more than your average canine. Some have double coats, others have special undercoats, but all of them require regular brushing (think weekly, and twice-weekly during seasonal changes).
The many causes of shedding… from completely normal to slightly concerning
As the seasons change, your dog will dress up or down for the occasion. During winter, they’ll build up their coat to stay warm and toasty, while in spring and summer they’ll shed their hairs to keep cool.
Although every type of dog can suffer from sensitive skin, it’s especially common in the following breeds: hound dogs, white dogs, golden retrievers (and other thick-coated breeds), Pomeranians, Doberman, pinschers and more.
If your pup is suffering from itching, inflammation, sores or redness, you may want to check in with your vet. It’s also a good idea to up his intake of:
- Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids
- Proteins and carbohydrates
- Vitamins and minerals (vitamin E in particular)
- Linoleic acid
Finally, a note for ALL doggies during the warmer months. Remember that your canine pal is just as prone as you to sunburn, especially if they’re a dalmatian, Pitbull, boxer, Weimaraner, or Labrador. So watch their sunbathing times, and spray on a sheen of doggy sunscreen if you’re planning a long walk under the hot rays of the summer sun.
A dodgy doggy diet
Cheap dog food may not be doing your dog’s health any favors, and one of the first places an imbalanced diet shows up is in the coat of your canine.
Here’s the thing – minimum quality requirements for dog food don’t really set the bar all that high in terms of nourishment. So if you’ve recently switched your dog food, their sudden jump in shedding may be down to the food not having enough protein or nutrients.
In a limited number of cases, your dog’s excess shedding could well be pointing to a serious underlying medical condition.
If he’s continually scratching and leaving hair everywhere, he may have a parasite infestation (such as lice or mites); it could also be a sign of cancer or fungal infections. Warning signs to look out for in these instances include shedding from various parts of the body (in clumps), lumps and skin discoloration.
Our top tip? Check in with your vet for peace of mind.
The wrong shampoo
If you’ve just given your dog a wash and a few days later he’s suddenly shedding, you may want to look to your shampooing product and regime.
It could be that the shampoo doesn’t agree with him; it may also be down to the fact that you’ve left in a little shampoo which has irritated his skin (so rinse, rinse and rinse again!).
Just like humans, dogs can shed their hair when stressed. Whether being left alone, moving house or simply being a rescue dog with a pretty grim past history, stress and anxiety can show up all over your house and cover your lint brush in five minutes flat.
CBD is one way to tackle anxiety in dogs. Known as cannabidiol for long, you may know this ingredient as being the non-psychoactive element of the hemp family.
Contrary to popular belief, this substance is actually naturally occurring in your dog’s body, and is shown to reduce stress and anxiety. And when we say shown, we mean 10,000 studies (and counting) that are behind CBD as something of a natural wonder.
FOMO bones pack in CBD, but they also contain a powerful trio of other calming ingredients, including: passion flower; valerian root and chamomile. FOMO bones are infused with CBD for treating anxious dogs who just can’t bear to part with you. Did someone say good hair day (every day?).
This article by Jennifer is originally published at FOMO Bones.
Author bio: Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She’s pretty sure in her past life, she was a Great Dane. However, we peg her as more of a labrador. Regardless of her breed, she’s a dog enthusiast who has 15 years experience training dogs and owners.