We love our pooches, but let’s be honest – whether it’s barking, pooping, chewing, scratching or enduring constant dog shedding – sometimes they drive us crazy!
However, most of these issues can be overcome (or at least mitigated) with the proper knowledge, tools and support.
If you’re wondering how to stop your dog from shedding, read on to find out why it happens and what you can do about it.
What causes dog shedding?
Shedding is a completely natural process whereby the dog’s coat rids itself of old or damaged hair, making way for new, healthy hair to grow. Most dogs are double-coated, meaning that they have undercoats and top coats.
The top or outer coat is made up of longer, coarser, and slower-growing ‘primary’ hairs. The undercoat is made up of shorter, softer, faster-growing hairs that grow around the primary hairs. Hair shafts within the follicles go through phases of growth and shedding, just like human hair, and these phases affect the rate of hair growth.
All dogs shed to some extent, except for certain breeds that are naturally hairless. Some breeds shed more than others due to the type of coat they have, as well as their age, diet, hormones, allergies, environment and overall health.
Other factors that can contribute to the amount of shedding include:
The temperature and time of year
Some dogs shed all year long, while others shed mainly in the spring and autumn. This is known as seasonal shedding.
When the weather gets warmer, they shed their heavy winter undercoats to make way for a lighter summer coat.
Then, when it starts to cool down again, they shed the summer coat to make way for a thicker, warmer winter coat.
Dogs can also experience stress-induced shedding during periods of change or upheaval, such as moving house, staying in a boarding kennel, or being introduced to a new housemate.
Just like humans, dogs can suffer from anxiety and this can also trigger excessive shedding.
Underlying health issues
Over time you’ll know how much shedding is normal for your dog. Any changes in the amount or frequency of shedding could indicate an underlying health issue, so be sure to contact your vet if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
How to control dog shedding
While there is no way to eliminate shedding altogether, you can keep it under control with a proper diet and regular grooming.
Choose the right brush and shedding tools
Some dogs need a quick brush every day to keep shedding under control, while others only need to be brushed once a month or so.
There is a huge variety of combs and brushes on the market, all designed to suit different coats and hair types. It’s crucial to find the right brush for your dog, so make sure you do your research to avoid wasting money and potentially damaging your dog’s coat.
In addition to a brush, you may find a shedding tool useful for removing dead hair from your dog’s undercoat.
Bathe them regularly
Bathing your dog cleans their coat and helps to remove dead hair, and grooming them once they’re dry can significantly reduce the frequency and amount of shedding.
Make sure you use products that are designed specifically for dogs (don’t be tempted to share your shampoo and conditioner, no matter how good it smells!) Look for detangling, de-shedding, and moisturising products that will hydrate your dog’s skin, strengthen the follicles, and remove excess hairs from the undercoat.
It’s important not to bathe them too often, though, since this can interfere with the production of oils that are vital for skin and hair follicle health.
Feed them a nutritious, balanced diet
High-quality, balanced dog food will provide all the vitamins and nutrients your dog needs to keep their coat healthy and resilient.
You can also speak to your vet about giving them Omega-3 fatty acids, a supplement that promotes hair growth and supports healthy, supple joints.
Dehydrated skin is a major cause of hair loss, so always make sure your dog is drinking enough water.
Our solutions to dog shedding
At Mark + Chappell, we know just how frustrating excessive shedding can be. We want you to spend less time cleaning hair off the sofa and more time having fun with your dog, which is why we offer a range of products to help keep their skin and coat in tip-top shape.
● Vet IQ Skin & Coat Healthy Treats contain tasty salmon as well as Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, Zinc and Biotin to help dry skin, reduce shedding and promote healthy skin and coat.
● Vet IQ Skin & Coat Conditioner is specifically formulated to promote healthy skin and a glossy coat. It contains Vitamin E and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to soothe dry, flaky skin and minimise non-seasonal shedding.
While you can’t stop your dog from shedding completely, there are methods of dealing with it and keeping it at a manageable level.
Contact us today so you and your pooch can get back to enjoying the summer weather with minimal shedding!