Dog shedding causes can include a lack of grooming, a bad diet, and skin parasites in dogs. Some dog breeds are prone to shedding too. Learn how to stop shedding in dogs.
Dog shedding can be very problematic for pet owners. The dog fur can end up on clothing, furniture, the floor. Dog hair can adversely affect HVAC systems, and dog shedding can worsen allergies. All dogs have fur or hair, so all dogs shed; even “hairless” dogs have fur (albeit sparse.) Just as in the case of human hair, dog shedding will never stop entirely, but it can be controlled and decreased.
There are several causes of dog shedding and in many cases, more than one factor causes profuse dog shedding. Causes include:
- Poor grooming and brushing
- Skin parasites
By addressing the causes of a dog’s shedding, the situation can be dramatically improved.
Skin and Coat Supplements for Dogs Who Shed
Some dogs suffer from dry, flaky skin, a dull coat, and profuse shedding. For this dog, a skin and coat supplement like Lanoline can lead to great improvements. Lanoline and other similar supplements come in syrup form; the syrup is poured over the dog’s meal or served alone.
One simple home remedy to stop shedding and treat dry skin in a dog involves offering olive oil. Soak a piece of bread in olive oil and serve with the dog’s meal. A couple spoonfuls of oil can also be mixed into the dog’s food to help stop shedding from the “inside.”
Dog Shedding Due to Skin Parasites and Fungal Infections
Skin parasites can cause coat problems. If a dog sheds excessively, and if dry, flaky skin is present, in combination with itching, rashes or bald spots, a visit to the veterinarian will be required.
Some parasites like fleas can be treated at home; other skin parasites like sarcoptic mange and ringworm will require a prescription. Food allergies and dermatitis can also cause a dog’s skin problems, so an examination by a veterinarian is essential if a dog is to receive a proper diagnosis and effective treatment.
Excessive Shedding Due to Stress in a Dog
Dog shedding will worsen when the animal is exposed to a stressful situation. A brief stressful experience — like a visit to the veterinarian — is not extremely problematic, as the shedding occurs for a brief period of time. But if a dog experiences stress, fear, and anxiety on a daily basis, this can lead to excessive shedding.
Dogs who suffer from separation anxiety, for instance, are more apt to experience excessive shedding. A dog who is routinely suffering from anxiety and stress will also be more susceptible to health problems, as the stress taxes the immune system. Poor health can lead to a dull coat, unhealthy skin and lots of shedding.
If a dog experiences problems like anxiety, fear, and stress, it’s important to work with a veterinarian and experienced dog trainer in order to remedy the underlying cause of shedding and other health problems.
Brushing and Grooming to Stop Shedding in Dogs
Some dog breeds prone to sheddings, like the Siberian Husky or Chow Chow, require daily grooming due to their thick undercoat. But what many dog owners fail to realize is that dogs with short hair, like the Miniature Pinscher, short-haired Chihuahua or Pug, must be groomed daily in order to stop shedding onto furniture, floors, and clothing.
Brushing a dog daily — several times a day in the case of a dog with a thick undercoat — is an essential first step to controlling shedding. But owners must use the right type of dog brush. Using the wrong type of dog grooming brush will inhibit the owner’s ability to remove dead fur.
Regular bathing is also important in the case of a dog owner who is trying to stop shedding. If a dog is not bathed on a regular basis, the animal’s skin and coat suffer. Bathing a dog also removes a great deal of loose fur, and the brushing before and after the bath serves to remove a large percentage of soon-to-be-shed fur.
It’s also important to note that bathing too frequently can actually increase shedding and over-bathing can lead to dry, flaky skin in the dog. So it’s essential to avoid bathing more than 2-3 times per month.
If dog owners make an effort to stop shedding and little or no improvement is observed (or, if other symptoms like skin problems, rashes and itching are observed) a visit to the veterinarian is essential. Some medical conditions can lead to fur loss and excessive shedding, so prompt diagnosis is essential.